After a decade long battle over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), the Trump Administration has opened the area to oil and gas development. One of the largest remaining stretches of wilderness in the United States, North-Eastern Alaska sits above billions of barrels of oil. The reported ANWR lease area contains up to 11.8 billion barrels of attainable oil across 1.5 million acres of coastal plain. Although any oil production within the wildlife refuge would be years in the future, companies could begin the process of seeking permits and exploring for oil and gas much sooner.
British Petroleum (BP) announced this week that they are selling their Alaska operations to Hilcorp Energy Co. for $5.6 billion dollars, ending their six-decade existence in “The Land of the Midnight Sun.” The sale to Hilcorp Energy Co includes BP’s stake in the Prudhoe Bay oil field, the Point Thomson gas field and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. The deal makes Hilcorp Energy Co. the second largest Alaska producer, between leader ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil. The proposed deal is subject to state and federal regulatory approval but the deal is expected to be finalized in 2020, according to BP.