JUNEAU, Alaska — An interesting announcement came about in the midst of this session’s debate about whether the state should reduce oil taxes as a way to spur production on Alaska’s North Slope.
Repsol, a Spanish energy company, sent out a press release Monday which said it plans to spend $768 million exploring for oil on roughly 2,000 kilometers of land near Prudhoe Bay starting next winter.
Denver based 70 & 148 LLC and GMT Exploration are also named as partners in the endeavor.
Repsol Chairman Antonio Brufau called the deal a “perfect fit,” saying the North Slope offers “lower risk” and a “stable environment.”
State lawmakers interpret that to mean companies are looking beyond the Middle East as countries like Egypt, Libya, and Bahrain descend into political turmoil.
“The safe place to look for oil and gas is in Alaska,” said Senate President Gary Stevens (R-Kodiak).
Sen. Bert Stedman said Alaska is getting a lot more interest from smaller firms and he suspects this won’t be the last investment announcement in the near term.