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Point Thomson deal commits companies to produce by winter of 2015

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch
Business Wire photo

According to the Dow Jones Newswire, a settlement agreement announced on Friday commits Exxon Mobil Corp., ConocoPhillips and BP to begin producing natural gas at Point Thomson by May of 2016.

The state will allow the companies to develop Point Thomson as they see fit in exchange for the commitment to begin producing natural gas and condensate by end of the winter season of 2015-16. About 200 million cubic feet per day of gas and 10,000 barrels per day of condensate should be produced, according to Dow Jones.

To move oil and gas condensates, a pipeline will be  designed to move about 70,000 barrels a day to the trans-Alaska pipeline. Point Thomson is 60 miles east of Prudhoe Bay and all together holds an estimated 8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas -- roughly a quarter of the known North Slope reserves -- plus hundreds of millions of barrels of oil and gas liquids.

The agreement on Friday also affirmed that a "major gas sale off the North Slope of Alaska is a primary goal of the parties."

Friday’s settlement puts to rest a long-standing dispute between the oil companies and the Alaska government. In 2006, the state revoked the Point Thomson license it had assigned Exxon and its partners because the companies hadn't developed the area.