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ANCHORAGE - Exxon Mobil has returned eight of its leases in the Point Thomson oil and gas field to the state.
Those returned this week were part of 13 added to the field in 2002. Exxon had promised to drill wells and begin producing oil within four years, but no drilling occurred.
The state has been fighting with the oil giant and other lease holders over the lack of progress in developing the field.
Alaska officials have tried to cancel the leases, but last month it did allow Exxon to drill on two leases after the company said it would start production within five years.