RCA says it needs another month to consider Hilcorp’s confidentiality request

An above-ground section of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System near the Toolik Lake Research Station in the North Slope Borough. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/Alaska's Energy Desk)
An above-ground section of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System near the Toolik Field Station in the North Slope Borough. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/Alaska’s Energy Desk)

The state commission overseeing BP’s proposed sale of its Alaska oil assets to Hilcorp said it needs another month to weigh confidentiality requests after receiving dozens of public comments and new documents from the two companies.

According to an order filed this week, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska will extend its deadline to Feb. 11 to decide on Hilcorp’s request to keep its financial statements private.

It’s the next step in the RCA’s review process of a portion of the $5.6 billion deal between the two oil companies.

The deal includes BP’s stakes in Alaska oil fields, pipelines and other assets. The five-member RCA is charged with approving the transfer of BP’s interest in the trans-Alaska pipeline, and the Milne Point and Point Thomson pipelines.

Hilcorp, a private company, has argued that making its finances public during the process would damage its business and give its competitors an unfair advantage. The company argued that it already routinely discloses financial information to various agencies, according to an RCA filing.

In public comments, however, some Alaskans demanded financial transparency from Hilcorp to ensure the company has the resources to operate the assets it wants to buy and to respond to any oil spills or other incidents. Some also raised concerns about Hilcorp’s safety and environmental record.

The RCA has received more than 200 public comments on the proposed sale.

On Dec. 20, Hilcorp and BP filed a 37-page joint response to some of those comments, saying they wanted to correct “certain misconceptions and misinformation.” They also said the RCA should move forward with the part of the deal involving BP’s 48% interest in the trans-Alaska pipeline without a public hearing.

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