I'd like to dispute a causal link implied by Exxon Mobil:
Stripping Exxon Mobil of its leases, set off what the Irving, Texas, company says could be "protracted" litigation and detrimental to any agreement for an Alaska natural gas pipeline.Actually, no - it's not the decision to strip Exxon of the leases that is leading to the litigation. It's Exxon's failure to comply with the terms of the leases, failure to accept the state's regulatory process, and decision to challenge the decision in court that has sparked the litigation. That litigation will only be as "protracted" as Exxon chooses to make it. And they look like they've dug in their heels.
But the duration of this litigation is entirely in the hands of Exxon - don't pin this on the state Department of Natural Resources.
Given Exxon's behaviour in another case, I'd expect this to be a fairly lengthy process.