Time right for Alaska, BP says

June 4, 2013 at 7:49 AM

JUNEAU, Alaska, June 4 (UPI) -- The time is right to make major investments in energy projects in Alaska, BP Alaska President Janet Weiss said.

BP, one of the largest oil companies in the world, said it would add $1 billion in new investments to its Alaskan programs in response to tax policies enacted by Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell.

"With this new tax law, the Alaska Legislature and Governor Parnell have taken an important step toward improving Alaska's long-term economic future," Weiss said in a statement published late Monday.

BP said it was also evaluating an additional $3 billion in new projects for the western end of Prudhoe Bay. The company, which has headquarters in London, said the new projects would be a source of state economic stimulus and increase oil production.

Parnell backed legislation for a 35 percent flat tax rate. The previous tax regime for energy companies was pegged to oil prices.

Investments targeting production should see benefits by the fourth quarter of 2013. New drilling rigs may be in place as early as 2015, BP said.

Parnell said in a statement that he expected more economic development "as more investments flow north."

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