A BP sponsorship sign is shown at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage, Alaska, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. BP announced plans Aug. 27, 2019, to sell its Alaska assets to Hilcorp, and its plan to pull out of Alaska could leave a big hole for nonprofits and other programs that benefited from the oil giant’s donations and its employee volunteers. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

A BP sponsorship sign is shown at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage, Alaska, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. BP announced plans Aug. 27, 2019, to sell its Alaska assets to Hilcorp, and its plan to pull out of Alaska could leave a big hole for nonprofits and other programs that benefited from the oil giant’s donations and its employee volunteers. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

Voices of the Peninsula: Change is hard, but can be good for business and good for the economy

  • Monday, November 11, 2019 11:13pm
  • Opinion

Alaskans respect the fact that we live in a wild, unpredictable state. And that’s not just the weather. Decades ago, Alaska hitched its economic wagon to the oil industry, ensuring decades of ups and downs, growth and decline. It goes without question that oil and gas have been positive for our state, especially on the financial side. But it always has been and remains an industry in flux.

Change is the only guarantee in life, especially in the business world, whether your company transports goods across the state or rents rooms to tourists. Our business does its best to anticipate change, and remain flexible when it inevitably arrives. Alaska now finds itself again preparing for a major sea change, this time the transition from BP to Hilcorp, a move that signals a new era in the oil and gas industry in Alaska.

My business mantra is to find opportunity in change. As I examine the proposed sale of BP’s assets to Hilcorp, I see significant opportunity for all of us. Hilcorp represents an exciting new opportunity. No stranger to Alaska, Hilcorp has been operating in Alaska for years now, both in the Cook Inlet and on the North Slope. They’ve made a name for themselves in that time, proving that older oil and gas fields once thought to be in perpetual decline could be worked over and made productive again. I’m appreciative of the jobs Hilcorp provides locally and especially for their positive attitude of being a responsible and generous corporate neighbor.

All this means good things for Alaska’s economy. Our oil and gas industry is evolving, and that is good — again, change is inevitable. Alaska now can boast a diverse mix of companies in the state, from legacy partners like ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips, who continue to sanction new projects and invest in our communities, and newcomers like Hilcorp, who bring new ideas and change paradigms about what it takes to succeed in the oil business. From the Alaskan point of view, this means a combination of decades of tried-and-true experience in Alaska, and fresh ideas about how to get more life out of old fields. For those of us who appreciate the jobs and economic opportunity such a combination presents, it’s the best of both worlds.

Duane Bannock is a nearly lifelong resident of Kenai and a call-in talk-radio show host, in addition to being employed in the hospitality industry. These comment represent his own opinions and not necessarily those of his employers.


Duane Bannock is a nearly lifelong resident of Kenai, Alaska and a call-in talk-radio show host in addition to being employed in the hospitality industry. These comment represent his own opinions and not necessarily those of his employers.


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