Companies caution against taking terms off table

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by Your Alaska Link News Team

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Oil and gas company executives cautioned lawmakers against taking off the table items that could be part of negotiations in pursuit of a mega-liquefied natural gas project.

Rep. Paul Seaton asked executives from BP, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil Production for their thoughts on putting oil taxes off limits. He also asked them to be upfront about whether they would try to negotiate that issue.

Bill McMahon Jr., with ExxonMobil, encouraged the House Resources Committee to keep all options open. David Van Tuyl, with BP Alaska, agreed, but said the company realized whatever agreements would be made must work for everyone.

The companies have long sought reliable, stable fiscal terms. Pat Flood from ConocoPhillips said passage of an oil tax cut by the Legislature last year was a significant first step.