The Alaska Landmine has learned that Governor Bill Walker has been meeting with the global heads of ConocoPhillips, BP, Hilcorp, and a meeting with Exxon is scheduled. When asked about the meetings, Governor Walker’s office said it could not comment on any ongoing stakeholder meetings. I put in a public records request with Governor Walker’s office for a copy of his calendar for more specific details. Governor Walker will be giving the State of the State address soon. The house and senate will formally call the joint floor session after they gavel in next week. A source says they are expecting it to be January 18th. I would venture to guess he will be talking about these meetings during the State of the State address.
What These Meetings Could Mean
I only have knowledge of the meetings, not what has been discussed. However, with the recent announcement of the gasline deal with China and the opening of the Arctic Wildlife National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for drilling, I highly doubt they were meeting to discuss golf. I published an article last November that included the actual gasline deal with China, it can be seen here. The deal says China will finance 75% of the gasline and Alaska will cover the other 25%. The cost to Alaska could be $12-15 billion. Many have wondered how Alaska would pay for this.
Here are some ideas I have about what the meetings could be about:
- The companies could be paying for or providing low cost financing for Alaska’s share of the gasline in exchange for some ownership
- They could be getting long term gas sales agreements in place with Alaska and/or other countries
- They could be making some kind of deal on oil taxes or credits in exchange for help on the gasline
This is just speculation as I do not know what has been discussed. However, it is a good sign that the heads of these major corporations remain interested enough in Alaska to be talking to Governor Walker. I would say something will be announced during the State of the State next week.