ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A public hearing on the proposed sale between two oil companies of a share of the trans-Alaska pipeline was scheduled despite their request to approve the transaction without one, according to state regulators.
The five-member Regulatory Commission of Alaska oversees utilities and intrastate pipelines and will listen to testimony on the proposed sale of BP-Alaska’s ownership stake in the pipeline to Alaska Hilcorp Energy Co.
BP’s share of the trans-Alaska pipeline is part of the Alaska assets Hilcorp has proposed to buy for $5.6 billion, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
The commission announced Friday that the hearing will be from 3-9 p.m. Feb. 4 at its offices in downtown Anchorage.
The commission already had received about 200 written comments during a comment period that ended in December. The hearing would “allow additional comment on the applications,” committee members said in a statement signed by Chairman Robert Pickett.
“The comments both supported the transfer of (BP pipeline assets to Hilcorp) and expressed concerns with the transfer,” committee members said.
The hearing will allow the public to comment on the companies’ request to transfer BP’s 48% stake in the 800-mile (1,287-kilometer) trans-Alaska pipeline and other pipeline assets to Hilcorp, officials said.
Texas-based Hilcorp announced plans to buy BP’s Alaska assets in August and expects to finalize the deal next year, commission officials said.
“The (hearing) is totally appropriate and commensurate with the public interest,” policy analyst Phil Wight told the newspaper. “This is a great chance for the public to have their voice heard.”
BP spokeswoman Meg Baldino declined to comment. Hilcorp officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.