COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Greenland has ended its 50-year ambition to become an oil producing nation after announcing it would suspend a strategy of searching for oil and would stop granting exploration licenses.
Oil exploration has taken place since the 1970s, involving major companies such as Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Eni, but most drilling came up dry.
Greenland’s potential mineral wealth and strategic location prompted former U.S. president Donald Trump to propose buying the Arctic island, an idea swiftly dismissed by Greenland’s government and Denmark. The new U.S administration also said this year it had no wish to buy the territory.
Naaja Nathanielsen, Greenland’s minister of natural resources, said in a statement on Thursday that the government “has assessed that the environmental consequences of oil exploration and extraction are too great.”
According to a 2007 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report, the underground in the northeast of Greenland potentially contains up to 31.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent.