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Wednesday, 9 January, 2002, 12:37 GMT
Alaska criticises BP cutback
BP oilfield off Alaska
BP has invested heavily in Alaska
The Governor of the State of Alaska, Tony Knowles, has criticised the oil giant BP for scaling back its plans for offshore exploration.

BP has postponed its development of the Liberty field - a move which could save it about $600m - and cut about 120 staff and 75 contract positions.

"It is about a fifth of BP's Anchorage workforce," the governor's spokesman Bob King told the BBC's World Business Report.

"Moreover I think we are concerned on BP's decision to focus solely on development of existing fields and not on more frontier development in Alaska," he said.

Abandoning risk

"It is a business decision on BP's part and that is certainly their decision to make...I think Governor Knowles is much more bullish about Alaska oil and gas potential and wants to see additional development."

"We certainly want to see them remain a strong business partner in Alaska," he added.

The move is part of a plan to abandon risky frontier development in favour of enhanced production at existing North Slope fields, Ronnie Chappell, spokesman for BP Exploration, said earlier in the week.

Oil projects in Alaska have come under heavy fire from environmentalists concerned over the wildlife living in the icy region.

Governor's spokesman Bob King
"We certainly want to see them remain a strong business partner in Alaska"
See also:

06 Nov 01 | Business
Cheaper oil hits BP profits
07 Oct 01 | Americas
Alaska clean-up 'could take years'
11 Apr 01 | Americas
Opposition grows to Alaska oil drill
02 Aug 01 | Sci/Tech
Ice and oil: The risks
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