Agency overseeing BP-Hilcorp deal will hold public hearing, denying companies’ request

An above-ground section of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System near the Toolik Lake Research Station in the North Slope Borough. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/Alaska’s Energy Desk)

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska, which is overseeing Hilcorp’s purchase of BP’s stake in the trans-Alaska pipeline, plans to hold a six-hour public hearing on the deal next month, denying a request by the companies to approve the transaction without one.

The commission announced the hearing Friday, saying it had received public comments both supporting the deal, and registering concerns.

RelatedAlaska utility regulators ask Hilcorp, BP for more details on $5.6B deal

The hearing, scheduled for 3 p.m. Feb. 4 in downtown Anchorage, will “allow additional comment on the applications,” the RCA said in a one-page notice, signed by Chairman Robert Pickett.

BP and Hilcorp, in a written filing last month, had asked the RCA to approve the deal without holding a public hearing. The companies cited concerns about delays and said that the agency had not held hearings while scrutinizing other “major transactions.”

A BP spokeswoman, Meg Baldino, declined to comment. Hilcorp officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.