Hilcorp agrees to operate Point Thomson

ExxonMobil is in the process of transferring operations at its Point Thomson gas field on the North Slope to Hilcorp Energy, according to representatives of both companies.

An agreement signed Oct. 19 calls for Hilcorp to take over as operator at Point Thomson early next year presuming the requisite state regulatory approvals are secured.

ExxonMobil Alaska spokesman Hans Neidig said there is no change in ownership associated with the arrangement. ExxonMobil owns 62% of the eastern North Slope field, which started producing natural gas liquids in 2016. Hilcorp purchased BP's 37% stake in Point Thomson as part of its $5.6 billion takeover of the London-based major's Alaska assets. Other parties collectively own less than 1% of Point Thomson.

“This change takes advantage of Hilcorp's scale and experience operating North Slope assets and allows the Point Thomson working interest owners to contribute our respective strengths to the value of the asset,” Neidig said.

No cash changed hands in the deal.

Hilcorp took over operations at Prudhoe Bay from BP in June 2020. Prudhoe Bay and Point Thomson are seen as primary sources of natural gas for the state's long-sought pipeline and LNG export project.

Hilcorp Alaska Senior Vice President Luke Saugier said the company is excited to continue its commitment to Alaska in a prepared statement. 

“We welcome the opportunity to apply our proven record of enhancing conventional assets to Point Thomson,” Saugier said.

Hilcorp has leaned on its business model of extending the life of mature assets to steadily increase its position in the state since entering the Cook Inlet basin approximately a decade ago.

The Point Thomson deal will impact 38 ExxonMobil employees, according to Neidig, who said they would be able to interview with Hilcorp or be repositioned within ExxonMobil, possibly outside of Alaska.

ExxonMobil agreed to construct Point Thomson in 2012 at a cost of roughly $4 billion. Development of the high-pressure gas field was a key precursor to a large LNG project.


Elwood Brehmer can be reached at [email protected].

10/27/2021 - 8:39am