North of 60.

Author:McCorkle, Vern
Position:From the Publisher

Alaska is a very good place to do business and our North Slope oil patch partners know that all too well.

In the latest round of disparaging remarks spewing forth from Rex Tillerson, the two-year-long president of ExxonMobil, he wrongfully calls Alaska's fiscal veracity into question.

Where Exxon is concerned, it may be observed that often the best defense is a good offense. As Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, "Me thinks the lady doth too loud protest."

Tillerson wails about Exxon's risk in investing in a (now) $25 billion dollar gasline project, when in fact, if all three North Slope majors go in on the line, the exposure may be only one-third that amount or nearly Exxon's Alaska net profits for one calendar quarter!

Over the course of the next year or so, the majors' combined investment in Alaska to replace neglected infrastructure and undertake limited exploration is estimated to be about $2.6 billion. The majors' net profits were north of $60 billion last year. Not bad odds, by most standards, even including return on investment, which any business has the right, even the obligation, to fairly maximize. The operative word here is "fairly."

That's all Alaska wants, just to be treated fairly in its dealings with the petroleum industry; and the industry has the right to get the same back from Alaska.

In recent months, the industry has had to lick its wounds following poor treatment when it got literally kicked out of Russia's SAC 2, and when Venezuela nationalizes the industry on May 1 and President Hugo Chavez takes over...

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