Governor Sean Parnell this past week engaged in meetings with government officials and key oil and gas companies in Norway and Scotland.
The governor's meetings examined the real world, positive effects that tax changes are having in North Sea operations so Alaskans know better what to expect from new oil field investment under Alaska's new oil tax regime. Looking for ways to recover from more than a decade of declining production, the United Kingdom recently reformed its oil tax structure to bring on new production. As a result, substantially higher levels of investment have flowed to the United Kingdom's North Sea oil and gas operations.
"The UK is seeing the real results of tax reform -- billions of dollars in new investment and job opportunities," Governor Parnell said. "Like the UK, we have positioned Alaska for an oil production comeback by making our state more competitive. Alaska has already seen encouraging steps toward more production and new investment with recent announcements from Conoco and Repsol."
Governor Parnell discussed fiscal and tax policy with officials from BP Norway, Statoil, and BP North Sea, and met in Scotland with oil field service company personnel, university professors on tax policy, and public sector authorities.
Governor Parnell had planned to also represent Alaska at the European Seafood Expo in Brussels. However, the governor postponed his trip to attend a memorial service in Alaska. Commerce, Community, and Economic Development Commissioner Susan Bell, First Lady Sandy Parnell, and International Trade Director Cindy Sims attended the expo in support of Alaska's fishing and seafood industries.
The governor is scheduled to return to Alaska this week.