State puts out list of companies that got $75 million in cashable tax credits last year

A rig in the Pikka unit, where oil companies Armstrong Oil & Gas and Repsol say they’ve found 1.2 billion barrels of oil. (Photo courtesy Armstrong Oil & Gas)

The state has released the list of companies it reimbursed for oil and gas exploration and development work last year.

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These cash-for-credits recipients used to be kept confidential, but a law passed in 2016 now requires that the state report them.

According to the Department of Revenue, the state spent just over $75 million last year, paying down a debt it owes under the now-defunct program.

The total debt has ballooned up to about $900 million this year. The state is making minimum payments on that debt — it’s not scheduled to pay them off fully until about 2025.

A company doing work on the North Slope, Repsol, got the highest payment, at nearly $18 million.

Despite getting payments totaling about $28 million, several companies like BlueCrest Energy, Caelus and Great Bear Petroleum have slowed or halted work in the state. Company leadership has consistently cited slow reimbursement from the state under the program as a reason for the delays.