ANCHORAGE, Alaska, June 5, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Polar Petroleum Corp. (OTCBB:POLR) (herein after "Polar Petroleum", "Polar" and/or "the Company") is pleased to report on news that oil industry majors BP, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips plan to invest an extra $1 billion over the next 5 years on the North Slope of Alaska. BP is the operator of Alaska's Prudhoe Bay field, the largest oil field in North America. As operator, BP will increase capital spending at Prudhoe Bay by roughly 30%, adding 2 new onshore rigs to bring BP's total fleet in the area to 9 working rigs. According to a June 3, 2013 new release issued by BP, the increased investment is due to changes in Alaska's industry friendly oil tax policy (i.e., Senate Bill 21 or SB 21), which was signed into law on April 14, 2013.
BP also announced it has support from the other Working Interest (WI) owners at Prudhoe Bay (BP 26%; Exxon 36%; ConocoPhillips 36%; Chevron 1%) to evaluate a further $3 billion worth of new development projects in the Greater Prudhoe Bay area. Among the additional development opportunities being evaluated are expanding and debottlenecking existing Prudhoe Bay facilities; constructing a new drilling pad; and expanding of existing pads, including the drilling of over 110 new wells. The additional development projects could take nearly 10 years to complete, and would be expected to further increase Alaska's oil production while creating new industry jobs.
The news is yet another indication that the state's tax reform has revived Alaska's energy industry by making it more attractive to oil industry investment. On April 17, 2013, ConocoPhillips announced its first additional investments on Alaska's North Slope based on the tax change. According to ConocoPhillips, the company will be deploying a new drilling rig to the Kuparuk oil field to work over existing wells in order to increase production. BP's June 3, 2013 news release included the following comments from the president of BP Alaska, Janet Weiss: "With this new tax law, the Alaska legislature and Governor Parnell have taken an important step toward improving Alaska's long-term economic future. Our announcement today should make abundantly clear that BP is committed to being a part of that future and to continuing to extend the life of North America's largest oil field." Weiss also added: "Now that an improved tax structure is in place, oil and gas projects can once again move forward, keeping Alaska competitive in the midst of America's recent energy renaissance."
The tax reform was backed by Alaska's governor, Sean Parnell, and is designed to simplify the tax system and abolish the structure of raised tax rates that previously took effect at higher oil prices. In contrast, the former system resulted in Alaska's tax rate exceeding 50% when oil prices were high, making Alaska less inviting for energy companies. The new system represents significant benefits for companies such as Polar Petroleum by utilizing a base tax rate for oil companies of 35% on net profits.
In addition to the news of the extra industry investments, BP also plans to increase well work at its Prudhoe Bay and Milne Point fields as soon as Q4 2013 to improve the performance of existing wells on the North Slope.
Polar Petroleum Corp.'s President and CEO, Daniel Walker, commented: "With the Prudhoe Bay Unit bordering our Hemi Springs Project to the north, and several of the unit's producing oil wells being about 1 mile away from our project, we are understandably encouraged by the news of such significant industry investment so close by. We're also encouraged by the near-term and longer-term investment that is already being spurred by the new and welcomed industry friendly tax regime in Alaska. Increased investment will undoubtedly only make the region more productive and attractive."
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Read more about Alaska's oil and gas industry on Polar Petroleum's official website, as well as further information about the Company and its latest news releases at http://www.polarpetro.com.
ABOUT POLAR PETROLEUM CORP.
Polar Petroleum (OTCBB:POLR) is an independent American oil and gas company based in Anchorage, AK. The Company is focused on securing domestic energy solutions through the exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas in Alaska's proven North Slope region: home to the 2 largest oil fields in North America, over 10 other producing fields, and established infrastructure. The Company's Franklin Bluffs Project overlies the 3 source rocks thought to represent potential unconventional shale oil on the North Slope. Test drilling in the vicinity has met expectations for finding oil in the source rocks.* The Company's Hemi Springs Project is estimated to potentially represent recoverable petroleum reserves of ~558 million barrels of oil.** The Company's North Point Thomson Project lies along the northern border of ExxonMobil's Point Thomson Unit and is 8 miles northeast of the producing Badami Unit.
Polar's projects comprise 29 leases and ~66,061 acres, and are strategically positioned between many of the major players of the oil and gas industry and the necessary infrastructure to bring hydrocarbons to market.
* Petroleum News, Sept. 23, 2012; ** Geologic Study and Initial Evaluation of the Potential Petroleum Reserves of the Hemi Springs Project, North Slope, Alaska (D. T. Gross & D. W. Brizzolara, Mar. 25, 2013).
|ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS,|
|Polar Petroleum Corp.|
|Daniel Walker, President & CEO|
|4300 B Street|
|Toll Free: 1-888-765-2773|
This press release may include certain statements that are forward-looking in nature and that involve a number of uncertainties and risks. Such forward-looking statements are within the meaning of that term in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based on Polar Petroleum Corp.'s current expectations and projections regarding future events, which are based on currently available information. The forward-looking statements in this press release may also include statements relating to Polar Petroleum Corp.'s anticipated new developments, business prospects, financial performance, strategies and similar matters. Polar Petroleum Corp. disclaims any obligation to update any of its forward-looking statements, except as may be required by law.
Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors: The United States Securities and Exchange Commission permits US companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only those mineral deposits that a company can economically and legally extract or produce. We may use certain terms in this press release, such as "measured," "indicated," and "inferred" "resources," which the SEC guidelines prohibit US registered companies from including in their filings with the SEC. US investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our Form 10-K which may be secured from us, or from our website at http://www.polarpetro.com.
|1. Financial Times website, June 3, 2013.|
|2. BP website, June 3, 2013.|
|3. Oil and Gas Journal website, June 3, 2013.|
|4. Petroleum News, Apr. 21, 2013.|
|5. Newsminer.com, Apr. 25, 2013.|
|6. Yahoo News, Apr. 15, 2013.|
Source:Polar Petroleum Corp.