In another move to cut costs amid depressed oil prices, BP Alaska plans to put its midtown Anchorage headquarters up for sale and will lease it back from a buyer, the company told its employees Monday.
The global energy giant, one of Alaska's big three oil companies, is exploring similar deals for a number of offices in the rest of the U.S and the United Kingdom as it struggles to rein in seven straight year-on-year quarters of plunging earnings. The readjustments to its real estate assets are happening in concert with large layoffs worldwide, including hundreds of job cuts in Alaska and pullbacks in project spending.
BP Alaska has no plans to vacate the 277,000-square foot building, which it opened in 1985, according to an internal memo sent to employees by BP Alaska regional president Janet Weiss.
"Fundamentally, BP is not a real estate company and this relatively simple real estate transaction will free up overall capital and allow us to focus on our core business of oil and gas," Weiss wrote. "Rest assured we have no plans to move offices!"
The land and 13-story office building had an assessed value of $81,430,300 in 2016. Should a sale occur, BP would become tenants rather than owners of the office building, BP spokeswoman Dawn Patience wrote in an email.
The adjacent BP Energy Center, used by many nonprofits, schools and religious organizations for meetings and other events, and the BP Early Learning Center, which provides child care for the company's employees and contractors, are not part of the sale plans, the memo said. BP will continue to operate the building and manage its cafeteria, wellness center and conference rooms.
The sale is being handled by BP Group Real Estate. Patience said there is no information available on prospective buyers.
ConocoPhillips entered a similar agreement, known as a "sale-leaseback," when it sold its Alaska headquarters, a key fixture of the Anchorage skyline, to a partnership between local real estate developers JL Properties, Seattle-based Washington Capital Management and Cook Inlet Region Inc. in 2013.