Hilcorp-BP sale details to remain confidential, regulators ask for more financial info

(KTUU)

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Regulatory Commission of Alaska has extended the deadline for Hilcorp to argue why its financial statements should be kept confidential as it works to purchase the Alaska assets of oil giant BP Alaska.

An order issued Tuesday afternoon extended the deadline to rule on the company's financial statements, but granted the company's request to keep confidential the purchase and sale agreement covering the $5.6 billion transaction.

"We require a filing that further explains the potential competitive harm from disclosure of financial information," the order reads, saying further that the filings should also disclose whether the financial statements are required to be filed with any federal agency.

Hilcorp, a private company based in Texas, is in negotiations with BP Pipelines, Alaska to acquire BP's portions of the PTE pipeline, Milne Point Pipeline, Trans Alaska Pipeline System, and Valdez Marine Terminal. The Regulatory Commission of Alaska is required to approve the transaction.

[RELATED: State commission to decide if Hilcorp can keep finances confidential]

In numerous filings with the RCA, the company has petitioned for confidential treatment. Opponents of the request say they want to know if the company is able to pay for a costly oil spill cleanup on the North Slope, if one were to occur.

The Commission agreed with arguments that the purchase and sale agreement governing the transfer may remain confidential because of the potential that disclosure "may weaken the disclosing party's bargaining position with regard to other unrelated transactions."

When it comes to financial statements, the commission asked for more information, citing the vast public interest and the scale of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, "an acquisition of assets on a much larger scale and that carries with it both greater performance expectations and increased potential financial risk should a catastrophic event occur," the order reads.

The deadline for the ruling on financial statements is now March 12, 2020.

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