Oil exec’s departure muddies future of North Slope project

Jul 20, 2021, 8:13 AM | Updated: 10:00 am

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The departure of an oil company executive has raised questions about the timeline of a major project on Alaska’s North Slope.

Keiran Wulff resigned as managing director of Oil Search due to a worsening medical issue that has also come during a whistleblower complaint about his behavior, the company’s chairperson, Rick Lee, said during a call with financial analysts Monday.

Wulff had directed Oil Search’s Pikka project for the last three years, the Anchorage Daily News reported. The New Guinea-based company has been working with Repsol, a Spanish company, to develop Pikka, which is located on state land east of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and the major ConocoPhillips’ Willow project.

Oil Search and Repsol estimate Pikka could produce 80,000 barrels of oil a day in the first phase of development in 2025.

Oil Search was expected to determine by the end of 2021 whether to commit funding to the multibillion-dollar project.

“If the market has felt that that was the case in the past, it’s certainly not the case today,” Lee said.

There is now no specific date for when the company will make a final decision on whether to fund the project, he told analysts.

Oil Search and Repsol need to agree with investors on an appropriate level of funding and risk for Pikka, he said, adding that the company has the same level of passion for it as Wulff did.

“For us, it’s very much a matter of how and when we fund this project going forward,” he said.

A whistleblower complaint filed last month prompted the company to begin an internal investigation in Wulff’s behavior, Lee said.

“The board entered into discussions with Dr. Wulff following the receipt of recent concerns and complaints about his behavior,” Lee said. “In (the) view of the board, this unacceptable behavior was inconsistent with the standards required under the company’s code of conduct.”

A medical condition that has worsened prompted Wulff’s resignation, Lee said. No other details on the medical condition were released.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Mourners carry the body of a victim of a mosque bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 18. 2...
Associated Press

Police: Death toll in Afghan capital mosque bombing now 21

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A bombing at a mosque in the Afghan capital of Kabul during evening prayers killed at least 21 people, including a prominent cleric, and wounded at least 33 others, eyewitnesses and police said Thursday. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack Wednesday night, the latest to strike the […]
1 hour ago
FILE - Kimi Raikkonen, of Finland, pauses during a news conference in Concord, N.C., May 20, 2011. ...
Associated Press

Kimi Raikkonen hits pause on retirement to race NASCAR

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kimi Raikkonen retired to Switzerland at the end of last year’s Formula One season and has blissfully spent the last eight months with his young family. Did he miss racing? “Not really, no,” the 2007 F1 champion said. Yet here he is, not even a full year into retirement, and Raikkonen […]
1 hour ago
FILE - In this image provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volod...
Associated Press

Zelenskyy to host Lviv talks with UN chief, Turkish leader

LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is due to host the U.N. chief and Turkey’s leader Thursday for talks on the recent deal to resume Ukraine’s grain exports, the volatile situation at a Russian-occupied nuclear power plant and efforts to help end the nearly six-month-old war. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres arrived Wednesday in […]
1 day ago
Taiwanese soldiers operate a Oerlikon 35mm twin cannon anti-aircraft gun at a base in Taiwan's sout...
Associated Press

US to hold trade talks with Taiwan, island drills military

HUALIEN, Taiwan (AP) — The U.S. government will hold talks with Taiwan on a wide-ranging trade treaty in a sign of support for the self-ruled island democracy China claims as its own territory. The announcement Thursday comes after Beijing held military drills that included firing missiles into the sea to intimidate Taiwan following this month’s […]
1 day ago
A currency trader watches monitors near screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSP...
Associated Press

Asian stocks follow Wall St down after Fed inflation report

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets followed Wall Street lower Thursday after the Federal Reserve said U.S. inflation is too high, suggesting support for more aggressive interest rate hikes. Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney declined. Oil prices edged higher. Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index lost 0.7% on Wednesday after notes from the Fed’s […]
1 day ago
FILE- Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) goes up high to dunk the ball during the first h...
Associated Press

LeBron James inks 2-year, $97.1 million deal with Lakers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James has agreed to a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension through the 2024-25 season with the Los Angeles Lakers, his agent announced Wednesday. Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul said the league-maximum deal makes James the highest-paid player in NBA history. His new deal includes a player option that would keep […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Oil exec’s departure muddies future of North Slope project