Governor buries the hatchet on Point Thomson



Gov. Bill Walker made the announcement himself this time: The State of Alaska has approved ExxonMobil’s plan to engineer the expansion of the Point Thomson project on the North Slope. 

 In August, the Division of Oil and Gas issued a six-page letter of denial of the company’s plans at Point Thomson, saying there were instances of conditional language in the company’s expansion. The company submitted a revised plan as requested by October.

Now, with all that in the rear view mirror, the governor struck a jubilant note about how Pt. Thomson could contribute to the gas line he hopes to build from Prudhoe Bay to Nikiski to ship gas to China.

“The Alaska LNG Project has been endorsed by the Trump Administration and the Chinese government. Interest in this project has grown immensely in the last 45 days due to the historic Joint Development Agreement between the State of Alaska, Sinopec, the Bank of China and the Chinese Investment Corp.,” said Governor Bill Walker.

“Our approval of the Point Thomson to Prudhoe Bay pipeline plan adds to the momentum of the Alaska LNG Project and demonstrates the commitment of the Point Thomson working interest owners to move gas from Point Thomson into Alaska Gasline Development Corp.’s 800-mile pipeline,” Governor Walker said in the statement.  “The expansion project also helps build a Stronger Alaska, because it will increase oil production out of Point Thomson by 50,000 barrels per day.”

“It’s clear that ExxonMobil is committed to commercializing North Slope gas, particularly from Point Thomson. This helps align the company’s work in Alaska with the State of Alaska and AGDC,” said Natural Resources Commissioner Andy Mack, in the governor’s press release.

It may be a signal that Walker is ready to make peace with Exxon. The announcement, coming at a time of year when the public is generally distracted, is a signal that he doesn’t want much scrutiny focused upon it.

Walker has held a well-known, decades-long grudge against Exxon.  He even sued the State of Alaska over its settlement with Exxon during the Parnell Administration — a good settlement that led to billions of dollars in investment and 10,000 barrels of condensate being put into the Trans Alaska Pipeline.

He reluctantly dropped his suit against the the Exxon settlement once he became governor in 2015.

[Read the State’s letter to Exxon approving the plan of development]


  1. When Walker had a card to play (approving the pipeline) did he get anything in return? Like maybe a commitment on gas prices at the well head.
    My guess is that he did not because if he did, then we would have heard about it.

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