Parnell confirms deal on Point Thomson gas leases

By Salon Staff

Published March 30, 2012 7:18PM (EDT)

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.

Salon Staff

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