Internal email casts uncertainty on future of BP Alaska employees

BP employees will continue operating Prudhoe Bay for the next six to 12 months, but their jobs may not be guaranteed beyond that time. (Photo by Elizabeth Harball/Alaska’s Energy Desk)

A leaked internal email brings uncertainty to how many of BP Alaska’s employees will retain their jobs, following the $5.6 billion dollar deal to sell all the company’s assets in the state to Hilcorp.

In the email, sent after the deal was made public, BP Alaska President Janet Weiss told employees they have three options.

First, they can apply for jobs with BP outside Alaska.

Second, they can request to leave BP with a severance package.

The third option for BP Alaska employees is to apply for a job with Hilcorp.

“We have designed the sale to give our employees as many options as possible,” Weiss said in the email.

She added, “it is an understatement to say this is a hard day for all of us.”

The email was obtained by Alaska Public Media and first made public by the Alaska Landmine, a political blog.

BP Alaska spokesperson Megan Baldino confirmed the email’s legitimacy on Wednesday evening.

BP does employ union workers on the North Slope and it is unclear if they have additional options.

The email states BP employees will continue to operate Prudhoe Bay for the next six to 12 months, before the sale gets final state and federal approvals.

Click here to read the email.

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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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