Passing the torch at Prudhoe Bay; Weiss to remain Alaska resident
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Janet Weiss, president of BP Alaska, plans to remain in the state after BP’s Alaska assets are transferred in a sale to Hilcorp, she said in remarks to the Resource Development Council’s Alaska Resources Conference Nov. 20.
“I came to this state many years ago; I fell in love with the rocks and reservoirs, but I learned that there’s a lot more to Alaska ... it’s beauty ... I’m thankful,” she said. “Our kids were born here; we’ve got some very close friends that live here, and Troy and I are planning on staying here.”
“This is a time for us to think about the things that we’ve created - innovation, a community we’ve built together - but it’s a lot more than that,” she said. “Alaska has helped make BP - big BP, and BP Alaska. We would not be the company we are today without Alaska. Thank you, Alaska, you made us far better and you made our lives far richer.”
Weiss said Prudhoe Bay would be in good hands with Hilcorp.
“You’ve heard me talk the past couple of years about 40 more,” she said.
“Hilcorp is an expert in mature fields; it’s what they do; they’re fantastic at adding decades to mature fields; they unleash the ideas of their people and bring creativity to the fore,” she said. “They’ve got a proven track record, so we deeply believe that they’re going to be very successful as operators.”
“Prudhoe Bay is a very special place; it’s an iconic field; it’s one of the great fields across the planet,” she said. “It’s produced 13 billion barrels in the state, and with Hilcorp at the reins, I believe there is far more than 2 billion left to go and far more than 40 more.”
A word from HilcorpDavid Wilkins, senior vice president of Hilcorp Alaska, joined Weiss at the podium.
Wilkins said Weiss is a phenomenal leader.
“She leads not from Harvard MBA technical; she leads from inside the soul; she leads with passion, conviction,” he said. “There is nobody that is better focused for BP, a better spokesman for this industry, a better spokesman for this state. ...”
“I also want to thank Janet for their dedicated team,” he said. “I’m learning that passion - the innovation, the grit of BP employees - over the past month.”
“I’m excited about the opportunities to lead these great people into the next generation of Prudhoe Bay,” Wilkins said. “What will that look like? Honestly, today I can’t tell you, because we’re still in the seek to understand mode.”
“We’re still talking to BP employees ... ‘what would you do?’” he said. “We’re still talking to our great partners of ExxonMobil and Conoco, seeking to understand what we need to do. We’re still talking to the state and governmental officials, ‘what do we need to do?’”
“But I do know, like Janet said, Prudhoe Bay is world class, and in my 30 plus years of experience ... I’ve never seen a field like it; I haven’t seen anything built like it on the planet.”
“I’m looking forward to the great opportunity in the future,” Wilkins said.
- STEVE SUTHERLIN