ExxonMobil Sues Alaska over Oil Leases

ExxonMobil claims Alaska should pay $800 million in damages for revoking its gas and oil leases on a North Slope oil field. The field in question is Point Thomson which holds one-fourth of the state's 35 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves.

The state said it revoked the leases because the oil company had not tried to develop the fields that the state had hoped someday would be sold to the lower 48 states.

Exxon filed a separate request for reconsideration of a gas field development proposal that was rejected by state Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin last month. Exxon Mobil has a 36 percent interest in the field; BP PLC has 32 percent; Chevron Corp. has 25 percent; ConocoPhillips has 5 percent; and minority owners hold the rest.

The oil companies purchased the leases 31 years ago. The state revoked the leases in 2006, hoping other companies would move forward and start developing the fields.

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