BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. has “discontinued its membership” in Arctic Power, the Anchorage-based association formed to promote drilling in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Pat Presley told PNA this evening. Presley heads up the company’s external affairs department.
“Earlier in the year we said we were discontinuing frontier exploration in Alaska. … We’re focusing our efforts on our existing infrastructure, on viscous oil and working hard on prospects for gas and that’s the business frame behind our decision to discontinue our membership (in Arctic Power),” Presley said.
BP is marketing its Alaska oil and gas leases “outside of infrastructure,” including ANWR, to other companies, he said.
“We will look at and consider all options … to see how that acreage might be made available to other parties who might be interested in investing in them in a way we are not,” he said. “We’re making (oil and gas acreage) available to others more interested in taking exploration risks than we are.”
BP decided “some time ago … to leave the debate of the (ANWR) issue to the American people as we focus our attention on other business opportunities in Alaska. We are not engaged in the public debate and, as such, we are not funding the debate.”
The last contribution BP made to Arctic Power, he said, was in 2001: “Our dues last year were $50,000. We have not made any contributions this year.”
Karen Cowart, BP’s representative on Arctic Power’s board, resigned her seat effective Wednesday, Nov. 20, Presley said.