The North Slope is an established producing petroleum province where exploration began in the 1950's. To date over 32 bnboe has been discovered in the basin with the majority found in the super giant Prudhoe Bay and Kuparuk oil fields. The North Slope basin is located in a harsh Arctic environment that presents unique challenges for explorers such as seasonal access environmental issues and higher costs. Massive potential for material discoveries exists within the plays of the basin particularly the Chukchi Sea. In the current environment companies are choosing to relinquish leases casting doubts over the future of the play.