JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell says a settlement has been reached in the long-running dispute over leases on the Point Thomson gas fields, clearing the way for progress on a major pipeline project.
Parnell confirmed the settlement with BP PLC, Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips and other companies Friday. He had set an end-of-quarter deadline for the major North Slope players to coalesce behind a project that would move liquefied natural gas to market. The end of the quarter is Saturday.
Parnell said the companies also have agreed to work together toward a pipeline.
A major obstacle was lack of a resolution after the state began pulling leases it believes energy companies have held for too long without developing.
The leases are seen as critical to the fortunes of a gas pipeline, long-sought by Alaskans as a way to shore up revenues amid declining oil production, create jobs and provide a reliable source of energy.