BP Chief Touts New Oil Tax Structure

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

The President of BP Exploration for Alaska, John Minge, gave a rousing talk to a couple hundred people in the Carlile Transportation facility in Anchorage at noon today. Minge spoke in support of Governor Parnell’s legislation that would change the Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share, or ACES, tax system.

Minge said even though the session is slated to end soon with the tax issue tabled, he believes the tax structure will change. He says he wants Alaska to get a fair share of oil profits but ACES goes too far.

Minge believes there is a lot being spent today, but a lot of investment is going into infrastructure maintenance and upgrades that does nothing to add more oil to the pipeline. He says if the tax structure changes to the Governor’s plan, BP will advance a gas partial processing plant and a new drill pad he referred to as the I pad.

Minge says BP has identified more than 5 billion barrels of resources and a better fiscal policy would help them unlock them in existing fields. He says BP, along with partners ConocoPhillips and Exxon will be conducting seismic work at Point Milne and Point McIntyre. The work will take place in 2012 and 2013 and cost 100 million. This is being done, he says, because they anticipate the tax law will change and if it does the estimated 20 to 40 new wells that he expects they’ll find would be competitive under the Governor’s plan.

But Anchorage Democrat Representative Mike Doogan says the legislature hasn’t moved an inch since the bill left the House. He says currently it appears that the oil companies want a bunch of money and they’re not willing to commit to how that will help Alaska. That, Doogan, says is why lawmakers are stuck.

Fairbanks Democrat Senator Joe Paskvan says he’s pleased that BP wants to have continued conversations. He says the tax issue is by no means shelved and it will be worked on through the summer and into next year.

CORRECTION: We mistakenly referred to Senator Paskvan as a Republican, he is a Democrat. We apologize for the error.

Photo by Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage: President of BP Exploration for Alaska, John Minge, speaks to a couple hundred people on April 14, 2011.

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