Conoco buys BP’s stake in Alaska’s No. 2 oil field

The entrance to ConocoPhillips’ Kuparuk Field camp. (Photo by Rachel Waldholz/Alaska’s Energy Desk)

Oil company BP is selling its stake in the second-biggest oil field in Alaska.

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In a deal announced today, ConocoPhillips said it will take over BP’s 39.2 percent interest in the Greater Kuparuk Area.

The deal will “continue our strategy of coring up our legacy asset base in Alaska,” Conoco CEO Ryan Lance said in a statement.

Conoco is already the biggest oil producer in Alaska, but buying BP’s interest in Kuparuk adds to its growing presence west of Prudhoe Bay. Conoco is also pursuing several new oil projects in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, including potentially a new production facility.

Conoco already operates Kuparuk, so BP spokeswoman Dawn Patience said the deal won’t mean big changes on the ground.

“It will continue to add barrels to the trans-Alaska pipeline, the state continues to collect royalties and production continues. So there won’t be that much difference on the North Slope,” Patience said.

BP will still operate Prudhoe Bay, the state’s biggest oil field. Patience said the deal means BP can prioritize keeping up production there.

“It’s an opportunity in Alaska to increase our focus on the resource base at Prudhoe Bay,” Patience said.

Also as part of today’s deal, BP is acquiring part of Conoco’s stake in the Clair Field offshore of Scotland.

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Elizabeth Harball is a reporter with Alaska's Energy Desk, covering Alaska’s oil and gas industry and environmental policy. She is a contributor to the Energy Desk’s Midnight Oil podcast series. Before moving to Alaska in 2016, Harball worked at E&E News in Washington, D.C., where she covered federal and state climate change policy. Originally from Kalispell, Montana, Harball is a graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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