JUNEAU (AP) -- The House voted Wednesday to continue an oil and gas exploration incentive that is set to expire in 2004. House Bill 307 would extend the program, which has never been used, to 2007.
The program lets the state provide credits to companies that drill on unleased state land or on private land if the state would benefit by gaining access to geologic data it otherwise would not receive quickly.
The credit can be as much as $5 million per project or $30 million per basin.
Rep. Hugh Fate, R-North Pole, introduced the bill, hoping that it would aid Andex Resources, a company that is trying to develop a natural gas project near Nenana.
Oil and Gas Division Director Mark Myers said he does not know if the state would grant a credit to Andex because it's not clear the state would benefit from gaining quick access to data in that case.
The state does not oppose extending the deadline for the program, though, he said. No credits have been given since the program was put in place in 1994.
The bill passed the House unanimously and now goes to the Senate.
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