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Survey Sheds Light on Alaska’s Competitiveness in the Oil Patch

Seventy-Four Percent of Oil Industry Executives Say They’re Okay with Alaska’s Oil Taxes

Forty percent of oil industry executives say Alaska’s oil taxes “encourage production,” while another 34 percent say our oil tax regime “does not deter investment,” according to a recent survey.

“These numbers are staggering in light of the expensive effort underway to paint Alaska as unfriendly to the oil industry,” says Senator Bill Wielechowski.  “In fact, nearly three quarters of the 645 executives surveyed view our tax system in a favorable light.”

The Global Petroleum Survey is conducted annually by Vancouver’s Fraser Institute in an attempt to identify barriers to investment in oil exploration and production around the world.

The study ranks 133 oil-producing states and nations against a variety of criteria, including their “fiscal terms” -- the royalty payments, severance taxes and fees they charge oil producers.

Only nine percent of the 645 executives surveyed said Alaska’s oil taxes are a “strong deterrent to investment” or would cause them not to invest in Alaska.

“This is 180 degrees from what we’ve been led to believe by the Governor and industry lobbyists in Juneau,” Senator Wielechowski said.  “And it’s contrary to the story they’re telling Alaskans about our competitiveness.”

Wielechowski noted the Fraser survey is consistent with findings Governor Parnell shared after first taking office.

According to the December 20, 2009, issue of Petroleum News, the Governor “said that he has already discussed ACES with 10 oil companies.  Of those, he said, ‘four to five’ thought the tax system was ‘just fine,’ while ‘two or three’ thanked the state for the tax credit program, and two companies wanted to see ACES changed.”

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