Hilcorp Energy Company will take over BP Alaska’s oil and gas leases within Point Thomson, Milne Point and the massive Prudhoe Bay oil field. The transfer is expected to happen around midnight, and marks the close of a major part of the $5.6 billion deal first announced by the oil companies last August.
Last summer, the Canadian metals company employed about 60 people, roughly half of them locals. This year, it has just one full-time and three part-time employees.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has recommended a transportation corridor that cuts through land owned by several Bristol Bay entities that refuse to grant Pebble access to their properties.
The 576-kilowatt project in Kotzebue is the second largest in the state, next to the Willow Solar Farm in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.
Pebble Chief Executive Tom Collier says he wants to share the benefits of the mine with the region, even before the mine delivers its first load of ore.
The mine could be one of the biggest gold producers in the world if completed, but one research firm says that it costs too much to actually build.
Judge William Morse sided with the backers of the initiative and wrote in an 18-page order that the summary provided by Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer was not impartial, as required by state law.
The nonprofit carbon offset program paying for some conversions had plans to scale up this summer by marketing to climate-conscious tourists. Those plans will be shelved until 2021.
Hilcorp took steps to comply after it got a notice of violation
If the Army Corps grants the mine a permit, the EPA has the authority to veto it, but mine opponents say a new letter makes that look less likely.