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April 10, 2009 --- Vol. 15, No. 32April 2009

Governor says rig on way to Point Thomson

Gov. Sarah Palin said at a press conference today that there is “equipment rolling down the ice road today and the big rig following that equipment” on the way to Point Thomson.

Palin called it a win for Alaska and a win for the hard line the administration has taken with Point Thomson operator ExxonMobil, demanding that the company follow through with development at the unit.

Department of Revenue projects increased North Slope spending

Recent reports from North Slope operators indicate that lease expenditures will total $4.24 billion in fiscal year 2009, which ends June 30 — up from $3.98 billion in FY 08.

And for FY 2010, which begins July 1, lease expenditures are expected to exceed $5 billion, the Alaska Department of Revenue said today in releasing its spring 2009 revenue forecast.

The department said the FY 2010 projections represent a 33 percent increase in spending over FY 2008 and attributed the increased spending to incentives included in ACES, Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share, the production tax changes passed in late 2007 which were intended to encourage investment in the state.

General purpose unrestricted revenue for FY 09 is expected to total $5.86 billion, a substantial reduction from FY 2006 revenues but $335 million more than the department forecast at the end of January.

Unrestricted revenue is projected to drop to $3.21 billion for FY 10 — an increase of $25 million over the FY 10 interim forecast released in February.

General purpose unrestricted revenue reached a record high of $10.7 billion in FY 08, when the price of Alaska North Slope crude oil averaged $96.51 per barrel.

Revenue said the lower revenue in FY 09 and FY 10 “is primarily the result of lower oil prices,” which fell more than 80 percent between July and December 2008.

The projected average Alaska North Slope crude oil price is projected at $65.70 per barrel for FY 09 and $58.29 for FY 10.

See full stories in April 19 issue, available online at noon, Friday April 17 at www.PetroleumNews.com

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