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Apache Pulls Out of Alaska, Leaving Cook Inlet Due to Price Collapse

Depressed commodity prices have prompted Houston-based Apache Corp. to pull up stakes in Alaska, giving up on its operations in the Cook Inlet.

"Due to the current downturn, Apache has had to significantly scale back operations and spending," the company said in a statement Thursday.

"We recently reduced our spending plans for 2016 by 60% from 2015 levels and are focusing our limited dollars on specific international opportunities and strategic testing in North America [see Shale DailyFeb. 25]. Operations we are suspending as a result of the downturn include our Alaskan activities."

The company did not provide details on the effect its move would have on jobs locally.

Apache entered the Cook Inlet in 2011 and in that year executives touted 110 exploration blocks, making the company "the largest acreage holder in the Cook Inlet of Alaska..." CEO Steven Farris said at the time (see Daily GPINov. 4, 2011).

"Low oil prices are certainly affecting the way companies do business not just here in Alaska but across the nation," said Gov. Bill Walker in response to the Apache news.

The U.S. Department of Energy recently reauthorized exports of liquefied natural gas from the ConocoPhillips Alaska Natural Gas Corp. export terminal at Kenai, AK. Such exports are seen as a stimulus to producers in the Cook Inlet as they create a market for excess gas that can't be consumed locally, according to ConocoPhillips (see Daily GPIFeb. 9).

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