'Duty to develop' bill raises some concerns

JUNEAU — The executive director of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association says a bill intended to get more oil in the trans-Alaska pipeline would instead have a chilling effect on leasing and “kill development.”

Kara Moriarty testified before the Senate Resources Committee on SB209, which would require oil and gas companies interested in an exclusive lease of state lands to submit an exploration or development plan. The Department of Natural Resources would review the plans and determine if they would develop resources in the best interest of the state before qualifying the company to bid on a lease.

Work plans would be included in lease terms. The department would have to review leases annually to ensure plans are being followed.

Moriarty called this an “intrusive exercise” that will drive out explorers.


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