Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell is calling for new tax incentives and credits for oil and gas exploration and development in a bill that would amend the state's oil and gas production tax scheme.

"We remain committed to getting more oil into the pipeline and increasing job opportunities for Alaskans," Parnell said. "As oil production declines and as the federal government moves on several fronts to block responsible projects, we must offer more incentives for development of state lands."

The bill seeks to:

The changes proposed in the governor's legislation are aimed at ensuring that the state continues to receive fair compensation for the sale of its resource while establishing a more competitive investment climate for job creation, the governor's office said.

This legislative session is Parnell's first as an elected governor following his replacement of Sarah Palin following her resignation. Parnell was a supporter of an oil tax increase when he was Palin's lieutenant governor in 2007. During his campaign he outlined changes to oil and gas taxes, however.

"It's clear that the governor has recognized that the investment climate here isn't as robust as it needs to be to address the declining production issues that are facing the state," Marilyn Crockett of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association told news media.

The state, which as a budget reserve of about $10 billion, is also trying to push forward a pipeline that would carry natural gas from the North Slope to Lower 48 markets. Development of the Point Thomson field is seen as critical for a pipeline to go forward, and the state is in negotiations with producers to settle disputed leases in the field (see Daily GPI, Oct. 7, 2010).

©Copyright 2011 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.