State 2A Champions thank Marathon for support

Posted: Tuesday, May 16, 2006


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  Alliance Kenai Chapter chairman Dan Grove discusses new tax proposals and their effect on Cook Inlet with Ben Schoffmann of Marathon Oil.

Ninilchik Lady Wolverines, State 2A Champs, present Ben Schoffmann of Marathon Oil Co. with a signed team photo in appreciation of their continued support of their school

Members of the Alaska State 2A Lady Wolverine basketball team from Ninilchik traveled to Kenai last week to present Ben Schoffmann of Marathon Oil with a token of the team’s appreciation for Marathon’s continued support. The Lady Wolverines are the only team to win five consecutive state championships and have won eight state titles since 1992. “We really enjoy the working community relationship that we have developed with the folks in Ninilchik,” commented Ben Schoffmann, Operations Superintendent for Marathon. Schoffmann addressed the Kenai Chapter of the Alliance recently and the Lady Wolverines with their coach made the trip from Ninilchik to express their appreciation with an autographed team photo.


Alliance Kenai Chapter chairman Dan Grove discusses new tax proposals and their effect on Cook Inlet with Ben Schoffmann of Marathon Oil.

Schoffmann was updating the Alliance in Kenai on the impact the proposed changes in the petroleum production tax (PPT) would have on the oil and gas industry in the Cook Inlet. Schoffmann pointed out that generally when the price of oil and gas increases so does exploration which leads to new discoveries and more supply. “I think we were starting to see that in the Inlet. Last year at this time we were talking about the need to find more gas to fuel industry here as well as the rising prices in the consumer market, and we were seeing an increase in Inlet activity which Marathon was participating in. But Alaska as a whole hasn’t been attracting the investment that has been happening in the lower 48 and elsewhere. The exploration rig count here hasn’t followed the oil or gas price as it has in the lower 48 and I attribute that to some of the challenges that Alaska has as well as the uncertainty now with the PPT that is now being talked about and that uncertainty makes investors nervous and more likely to put those dollars elsewhere. Marathon as other international companies has a variety of other opportunities available to it for investment around the world and just like any investor looks for the bank that pays the best interest rate, companies do the same thing with their investment dollars,” said Schoffmann.

Schoffmann pointed to incentives that can encourage investment and exploration and hoped that incentives such as the economic limitation factor or ELF for marginally producing fields wouldn’t be abandoned in the Inlet because the result could be the abandonment of investment. Schoffmann also explained that when the oil industry earns increased profits so do federal, state and local governments because they collect more tax revenues. Industry then invests their profits in finding more oil and gas which means more jobs, construction and more development which hopefully results in more supply for the market. “Companies are accountable to their stockholders, and it’s not just a few people sitting in a smoke filled corner room that are benefiting from increased profits, you see it throughout the economy,” said Schoffmann.

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