Congratulations are due Exxon and the State of Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources for completing the first development well at Point Thomson in northern Alaska. This is a huge field full of domestic crude, and it’s time to drill for it!
This week we’ve witnessed great progress toward more energy security for Alaska and our entire nation. What began as hefty trucks and hard working men and women heading up an ice road last year, to the commencement of drilling at Point Thomson, this progress has finally led to Exxon’s announcement today of completion of its first development well to produce oil and gas. Our “tough stance” with big oil and perseverance in insisting that Alaska’s resources be developed instead of warehoused while foreign countries are busy developing their oil and gas reserves has paid off to the benefit of everyone involved.
Drill here, drill now... energy independence is a national security issue that can’t be ignored any longer.
- Sarah Palin
The tough stance Gov. Palin spoke about related to the State of Alaska enforcing lease contracts with Exxon-Mobil. On February 19, 2009, ExxonMobil returned eight unexplored land leases in the Point Thompson area to the State of Alaska’s Department of National Resources (DNR). The company had also paid a $20 million fine for failing to develop these leases. In our commentary that day, we wrote,
"Oil companies often lease land on which to drill, but never actually drill....When a large corporation flouts the laws of a state, this is an area that’s open for all manner of corruption. How tempting it could have been for the state or various elements within Governor Palin’s administration to look the other way in exchange for some favor from the company or some lobbyists. That did not happen under her watch. Instead, the company was forced to honor its agreement and consequently is now moving forward on honoring other agreements."
On May 8, 2009, as Governor Palin delineated above, Exxon-Mobil began drilling its Pt. Thomson well at 0230 local time. Governor Palin attended a luncheon on June 3, 2009 to express her appreciation to Exxon-Mobil for moving forward with the project.