Another commissioner at the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is stepping down this month, to be replaced by a former ConocoPhillips petroleum geologist. The regulatory agency oversees the state’s oil and gas drilling and production.
Longtime commissioner Daniel Seamount is retiring at the end of September, said Samantha Carlisle with the agency. A geologist, Seamount was appointed by former Gov. Tony Knowles in 2000, and had worked in the oil and gas industry before joining the commission.
Seamount notified Gov Mike Dunleavy in an Aug. 24 letter of his plans.
“I admit that I will miss the extremely interesting and always unpredictable challenges that occurred on this job, but it is time to move on,” Seamount said in the letter
At Seamount’s recommendation, Dunleavy on Sept. 19 appointed former longtime ConocoPhillips petroleum geologist Greg Wilson to the commission. Wilson joins commissioner Jessie Chmielowski at the agency.
Wilson will need legislative confirmation of his appointment.
He was a former Arctic exploration leader for ConocoPhillips, the Alaska Oil and Gas Association said last year in awarding Wilson with a lifetime achievement award.
A highlight of Wilson’s career is the discovery of oil fields in the northeastern section of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska in 1999, the trade group said. Those discoveries are associated with the development of the Alpine field, and oil that has started flowing in recent years at the Greater Mooses Tooth field, the group said.
Wilson and Seamount could not be reached for comment on Monday.
The board has oversight of complex oil field activities. It plays a critical role in preventing spills and waste of the oil and gas that support much of Alaska’s budget.
The turnover on the commission comes as it continues to investigate a ConocoPhillips natural gas leak at the Alpine field earlier this year. The gas release lasted for weeks and led to a partial evacuation of a North Slope drill site. A hearing on the subject is set for Oct. 25. The company has blamed an operational mistake for the leak.
Seamount is the second commissioner to leave this month. Jeremy Price stepped down on Friday from the commission. Dunleavy appointed Price to the commission in 2019, after Price served as the governor’s deputy chief of staff. Price had also previously worked for the American Petroleum Institute, among other jobs. Price took a job at a refinery in Anacortes, Wash.
A spokesman for Dunleavy said Monday he did not have information on when the governor might propose a replacement for Price.