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BP Abandoning Alaska After 6 Decades

Company plans to sell assets to Texas firm
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 28, 2019 3:30 AM CDT
The 800-mile Trans-Alaska pipeline snakes its way across the tundra north of Fairbanks, Alaska.   (AP Photo/Al Grillo, File)
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(Newser) – BP plans to sell its interests in Alaska's once prodigious North Slope to a company seen as having a reputation of giving new life to aging fields. The sale to Hilcorp Alaska, an affiliate of Texas-based Hilcorp Energy Co., would be worth $5.6 billion, and include interests in the Prudhoe Bay oil field, Point Thomson gas field, and the trans-Alaska pipeline system, BP said in a release. Harvest Alaska, another Hilcorp affiliate, will acquire BP's stake in the pipeline. The sale announced Tuesday will be subject to state and federal approval. The sale comes as BP attempts to divest $10 billion in assets by 2020, the AP reports. Energy analyst Phil Flynn says that since Bob Dudley became BP's chief executive, the company has been shedding older fields and those seen as more inefficient and expensive.

BP, which has been in Alaska since 1959, will no longer have any operations in the state after the sale, reports the BBC. The company denied that the move had anything to do with pressure from environmental groups to stop drilling in the area. "We have other opportunities that are more closely aligned with our long-term strategy," Dudley said. Jason Rebrook, president of Hilcorp Energy Co., said in a statement that his company has a record of "bringing new life to mature basins, including Alaska's Cook Inlet and the North Slope, and we have a clear understanding that an experienced local workforce is critical to success."

(Read more oil industry stories.)

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