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Citigroup joins banking peers in backing away from Arctic oil investment in Alaska

  • Author: Alex DeMarban
  • Updated: April 20, 2020
  • Published April 20, 2020

The logo for Citigroup appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Citigroup Inc. is the latest major bank to say it will not invest in oil and gas projects in the Arctic, where the heart of Alaska’s oil industry operates.

“Citi has not previously provided and will not provide project-related financing for oil and gas exploration and production in the Arctic Circle,” the bank said in its environmental and social policy framework for 2020.

Wells Fargo & Co., Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Swiss bank UBS in recent months also have disclosed that they are pulling back on investments for Arctic oil projects.

In January, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, urged companies to emphasize steps they are taking to combat global warming.

Some oil industry insiders in Alaska have expressed concern that reduced financial support for Arctic drilling could threaten future projects, particularly for small oil companies with limited assets and options for generating cash.

Citigroup’s policy comes as the oil industry is buffeted by rapidly falling oil prices and as Alaska companies trim spending to handle the decline in revenue.

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