Apache to shutter Alaska operations

Apache Corporation, which has been exploring oil and gas resources in the Cook Inlet area, announced Thursday that it will exit the state.

The Houston, Texas-based corporation has been exploring north of Nikiski since approximately 2010. Apache’s Alaska general manager, John Hendrix, informed the Legislature of the company’s decision.

“Low oil prices are certainly affecting the way companies do business not just here in Alaska but across the nation,” said Walker in a release. “My team and I are committed to working with the federal government and producers to increase oil production into the Trans Alaska Pipeline System and achieving a balanced and sustainable state budget.”

The company had not yet released a public notice of its decision, but the news was publicly announced during the Alaska House of Representatives morning press conference Thursday. Low oil prices informed most of the decision, said Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski. Chenault said he spoke to the company Wednesday about its decision.

“With oil prices the way they are, they don’t really have much choice,” Chenault said. “They can’t keep investing money without a short term investment.”

He said the local economy will likely feel the company’s departure.

“It could be just about anyone, all the way down to the restaurant down the street that’s providing food (to the workers),” Chenault said. “Each time one of these smaller companies goes away, it affects everyone.”

The company had been engaged in stop-and-start exploration and seismic data gathering, marked by multiple delays and consideration of other potential projects, such as extending the North Road. In its annual report to the Securities and Exchanges Commission, the company called 2015 “a transitional year for Apache.” Most of its adaptation to low oil prices was to reduce activity and cut overhead and operating costs, according to the report.

“We are prepared for a potentially ‘lower for longer’ commodity price cycle, while retaining our ability to dynamically manage our activity levels as commodity price and service costs dictate,” the company wrote in its annual report.

Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, the chair of the Senate Resources Committee, said in a statement that she was disappointed that low oil prices forced the company to exit.

“My hope is that we, as a state, can set the right environment and conditions for our private economy to weather the economic downturn,” Giessel said. “We owe it to Alaska’s economy, Alaska’s communities and Alaska’s families to be measured in how state government moves forward.”

 

Reach Elizabeth Earl at [email protected].

Updated: 
03/03/2016 - 9:54pm

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