DNR to complete its review of BP sale this week

BP’s operations center at Prudhoe Bay. (Photo by Elizabeth Harball/Alaska’s Energy Desk)

The state Department of Natural Resources says it expects to complete its review of the BP-Hilcorp deal by the end of the week, allowing the oil companies to close part of the $5.6 billion sale by June 30 — about 10 months after BP announced its plans to exit Alaska.

DNR Commissioner Corri Feige provided the update Friday at a 40-minute meeting with the governor’s oversight committee for the transaction. She said the oil companies could first close the piece of the sale that includes BP’s stakes in Milne Point and the massive Prudhoe Bay oil field, as state regulators continue to review another key part of the deal.

BP employees will work with Hilcorp at Prudhoe Bay for the first 90 days to ensure a “seamless and safe transition,” Feige said.

“There’s going to be some depth in the bench,” she said. “Experienced BP personnel will be seconded into Hilcorp to help with that hand-off and transition of those facilities.”

Meanwhile, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska continues to review the sale of BP’s interest in the trans-Alaska pipeline and other pipeline assets to Hilcorp. The RCA has said it expects to make a final decision on the transfer in September.

BP has said it could transfer part of its Alaska business to Hilcorp in June, and the rest after it gets approval from the RCA.

RELATED: BP says sale to Hilcorp is still on, but under revised terms

The deal will push Hilcorp into the position of Alaska’s second largest oil producer. 

Critics of the proposed sale and the state’s review of it have demanded more transparency, and raised concerns about the impacts of low oil prices on Hilcorp and the revised terms of the deal. The City of Valdez has taken a fight to have Hilcorp reveal its finances to state Superior Court.

Reach reporter Tegan Hanlon at thanlon@alaskapublic.org or 907-550-8447.