Big Oil poised to win fight over Alaska taxes

|By:, SA News Editor

In a victory for Big Oil, an Alaska ballot measure to repeal a 2013 law that drastically cut the amount of taxes major oil companies in the state had to pay appears headed for defeat.

A measure on Alaska’s primary ballot yesterday would have reinstated the state’s progressive oil taxes, originally installed in 2007 and dismantled last year in an effort to lure oil companies to the state.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) and BP, the two biggest oil producers in the state, called it a victory; COP, which has said it plans to spend $2B to drill more wells in Alaska's Alpine and the Kuparuk fields, says the new tax plan has improved the investment climate in the state.

BP has said the new tax code enables it to invest $1B into Prudhoe Bay, the field that has produced 12B barrels of oil over several decades and could pump 12B more before it is completely spent.