BP sale rumor surfaces again, with credibility


Petroleum News is reporting the latest rumor in the oil patch: BP is selling off its Alaska assets and exiting the state.

It’s a rumor that’s going like wildfire around the oil patch.

Normally, when the Petroleum News reports something, it’s a fact you can take to the bank. If the newspaper is going to go out on a limb with a rumor, it’s because the rumor is so strong, it’s the news.

The whispers of BP’s possible exit have been ramping up for weeks, and insiders have contacted Must Read Alaska with various versions.

One version is that BP is reportedly selling most or all of its interest in Prudhoe Bay to ConocoPhillips and Hilcorp. ConocoPhillips would operate the west half (WOA) and Hilcorp would take the eastern portion (EOA) of BP’s North Slope interests, according to this rumor.

Another rumor is that BP has called a company meeting for all Alaska employees on Aug. 20, with no subject announced.

BP operates the entire Prudhoe Bay field — more than half of Alaska’s total oil production.

Of course, no BP or ConocoPhillips representatives will talk about it, because those companies are publicly traded and there are strict regulations surrounding information that can impact share price. Announcements like this are done systematically, governed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

But Hilcorp is a privately owned company, with an entirely different corporate culture. If it’s buying out BP’s assets, the change could mean a trimming of the workforce.

What appears evident is that BP and Hilcorp have been in discussions for some time, but have never sealed a deal.


  1. Hilcorp is a partnership with the Carlyle Group that is partially run by David Rubenstein who was also the principal investor in ADN when Rogoff consolidated the two businesses.
    Carlyle is also hired to help manage the PF in Alaska of which they are given a few hundred million to spend.
    It seems they are working on gaining a large slice of the Alaskan economy these days.
    “More recently, Carlyle formed a second, $1.24 billion joint venture with Hilcorp in 2015 to acquire, operate and develop onshore oil and gas properties in North America.”

  2. BP employees have not received any notice of a company-wide meeting on August 20; that rumor is absolutely false.

  3. As far as BP is concerned, they are not the main player on the slope like they use to be. They have been slowly divesting assets within the company to cover the costs from the McCondo oil spill. Unfortunately Alaska with its unfavorable tax climate, and BP’s lack of funding there will be change in who operates on the North Slope. It’s in part the way old aging oil fields work. Big oil comes in, squeezes as much profit as they can then transfer the high risk older equipment to a smaller company. It happens all the time in business.

  4. Rumor from BP employees is major layoffs coming…400 people or more to be announced today, Aug. 20. It will be interesting to see how accurate the rumor-mill is….

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