BP retires oil and gas leases near Glacier

Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. (AP) _ Montana's U.S. senators say BP has agreed not to pursue further oil and gas development on leases it owns in northwestern Montana, including one near the entrance of Glacier National Park.

Democratic Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester say BP is the latest of several energy development companies to voluntarily retire leases near the North Fork of the Flathead River.

The senators say they helped broker an agreement with BP to relinquish interest in three leases totaling 1,853 acres. One was a 394-acre lease near the entrance to Glacier, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

To date, the primary interest in more than 200,000 acres, or about 80 percent of the total leased acreage, has been relinquished by companies including ConocoPhillips, Chevron and an Exxon subsidiary XTO Energy.