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BP says it employed more than 20,000 Alaskans last year

BP Alaska spent $1.5 billion on more than 350 contractors in 2012, helping to support some 20,500 jobs across Alaska, according to the company.

Also, some 2,300 employees worked directly for BP Alaska to help manage 13 oilfields on the North Slope. Those fields account for about two-thirds of the state's production, said a press release from the company describing BP's Full Economic Impact Report 2013.

The report highlights BP's efforts across the nation, and breaks down its investments by state. The company is invested in 13 Alaska fields, including Prudhoe Bay, still the largest oil field in North America, as well as Endicott, Northstar and Milne Point.

“For more than 35 years, Alaskan oil and gas production has been a principal piece of BP’s global portfolio. With new technologies and investment, it will continue to play an integral role in our company’s business strategy and in America’s energy future,” said Janet Weiss, BP Alaska president, in the statement.

She also said it is BP's job to strengthen the state's economy following passage of Senate Bill 21, which starting Jan. 1 is set to begin reducing state taxes on oil producers by hundreds of millions of dollars yearly. “There are tens of thousands of Alaskan jobs dependent in some way on BP operations in the state," she said. "We believe that Alaska’s future and BP’s are very much intertwined."

BP has said it will spend an additional $1 billion over the next five years in response to passage of Senate Bill 21, adding two new drilling rigs in an effort to increase oil production.

"These plans call for an increase in drilling and well-work activity, the upgrading of existing facilities and the addition of up to 200 new jobs in the state, giving a boost to both the company’s operations and the state’s economy," the release said

BP also said in the report that it paid the state $2.8 billion in taxes and royalties in 2012. Its capital expenses in Alaska in 2012 totaled $780 million and its operating expenses totaled $1.8 billion, said spokesperson Dawn Patience.

As for its gross earnings, BP "reported some $5.5 billion in sales and operating revenues in 2012, down from $6.1 billion in 2011 but up from $4.8 billion in 2010," said a Petroleum News article.

Contact Alex Demarban at alex(at)alaskadispatch.com