FAIRBANKS (AP) -- BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc.'s corporate donations soared nearly 150 percent this year on higher oil prices and a pact tying gifts to oil profits.
The development charter, inked last year as part of BP Amoco's bid to acquire Atlantic Richfield Co., commits BP's Alaska operation to annually give .2 percent of its production profits to in-state organizations and causes.
That translates to nearly $4.8 million across Alaska this year, with nearly one-third, or $1.45 million, going to the University of Alaska.
Last year, BP gave almost $2.2 million to Alaska groups, BP spokeswoman Carla Beam said.
Phillips Alaska Inc., which bought Arco's Alaska holdings as part of BP's takeover deal, also will see increased donations this year, Phillips spokeswoman Dawn Patience said.
Arco gave away about $2.9 million in 1999. This year it plans to donate $3.8 million. A portion of that also will go to the university. The extra money will go primarily to special one-time projects and capital improvements.
The Challenger Learning Center on the Kenai Peninsula will receive a special $30,000 grant every year for three or four years. Anchorage's Native Heritage Center will receive $100,000 a year for five years. And this year the company gave United Way a bonus challenge grant aimed at stimulating local contributions, Beam said.
A community advisory panel will help identify needs across the state, not just in those communities where the company does business. Phillips also is formulating a similar committee, one of the charter's requirements.
''We're based in Anchorage. We have an office in Fairbanks, and we go up to Barrow fairly often,'' Beam said. ''We felt that having diverse representation (on the committee) ... would give us just a little different view of Alaska.''
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.