Oil investment - bring it on, and hopefully it's only a start

This editorial first appeared in the Ketchikan Daily News:

Bring it on

Whatever one’s position on the state’s oil-tax legislation, BP Alaska’s Sunday announcement that it will bring two new drill rigs to the North Slope by 2016 is welcome indeed.

The Associated Press reports the move is part of a $1 billion additional investment over five years in response to the state’s oil production tax rollback.

Drilling for oil is cheerful news on its own in a state that knows how it needs to be done, within a country that needs to get serious about its domestic oil supply.

But along with that obvious benefit to the country, the drilling will come with 200 jobs. BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon are eyeing another $3 billion in projects at the west end of Prudhoe Bay, as well.

The first of the new rigs is set to arrive in 2015 and the second, the following year. According to AP, it’s not yet clear how many new wells will be drilled. But the oil giant says BP plans to do more work, starting this fall, to make production more efficient.

It’s too early to tell, they say, how much new production might result; we can’t know the future economics at this point.

What we do know is that any time an extra billion bucks is invested in Alaska, that’s a good thing.

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