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Letter questions writer's oil-gas facts

Posted: Thursday, February 24, 2005

After reading "Remember, oil and gas resources belong to Alaska," (James Price, Feb. 15), I found myself somewhat disheartened by his lack of true facts. First off, Mr. Price claims BP made $16 billion in fourth quarter profits for 2004. If you researched your information correctly, Mr. Price, you would see that BP's fourth-quarter profits were actually $2.53 billion, worldwide, I might add.

Later in the letter, Mr. Price tries to discredit the fact that Alaska is the most costly place to produce oil in the world. He writes, "Slick ads give a mere slice of the truth."

Actually, Mr. Price, Alaska is the most costly place to produce oil, and major oil companies make a smaller profit margin here than anywhere else in the world, even with ELF (economic limitation factor) incentives in place.

The main concern to the major oil companies in Alaska (BP Exploration, ConocoPhillips and Exxon) with the recent ELF incentive change made by Gov. Frank Murkowski is simple: If they invest $20 billion in the future of Alaska with the construction of a natural gas pipeline, at what point in time and to what degree will the state of Alaska renege or retract on agreements made with these companies regarding natural gas line incentives and taxes?

I know if I was investing $20 billion in a project, especially a project that is guaranteed to make my business partner billions of dollars, I wouldn't want to do it with someone who is already breaking promises.

Think about that, Mr. Price, and consider the future of Alaska. Oil companies need to feel good about making deals with our state, for the good of this generation and the next.

Nicholas Berg

Soldotna



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