Updated: 31 a few minutes ago Published: 49 a few minutes ago
Another Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission commissioner is stepping down this month, to be replaced by a former ConocoPhillips petroleum geologist. The regulatory agency oversees the state’s oil and gas drilling and production.
Longtime commissioner Daniel Seamount will retire at the end of September, the agency’s Samantha Carlisle said. A geologist, Seamount was appointed by former Governor Tony Knowles in 2000 and had worked in the oil and gas industry before joining the commission.
Seamount informed Gov. Mike Dunleavy in an Aug. 24 letter of its plans.
“I admit that I will miss the extremely interesting and always unpredictable challenges that have arisen in this work, but it’s time to move on,” Seamount said in the letter.
On Seamount’s recommendation, Dunleavy on Sept. 19 appointed longtime former ConocoPhillips petroleum geologist Greg Wilson to the commission. Wilson joins Commissioner Jessie Chmielowski at the agency.
Wilson will need legislative confirmation of his nomination.
He was a former leader in Arctic exploration for ConocoPhillips, the Alaska Oil and Gas Association said last year when presenting Wilson with a lifetime achievement award.
A highlight of Wilson’s career was the discovery of oil deposits in the northeast section of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve in 1999, the trade group said. These discoveries are associated with the development of the Alpine field and oil that has begun to flow in recent years from the Greater Mooses Tooth field, the group said.
Wilson and Seamount could not be reached for comment on Monday.
The board of directors oversees the complex operations of the oilfields. It plays a vital role in preventing the oil and gas spills and waste that support a large portion of Alaska’s budget.
The commission’s turnover comes as it continues to investigate a natural gas leak from ConocoPhillips at the Alpine field earlier this year. The gas release lasted for weeks and led to a partial evacuation of a North Slope drill site. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for October 25. The company blamed an operational error on the leak.
Seamount is the second commissioner to leave this month. Jeremy Price resigned from the commission on Friday. Dunleavy appointed Price to the commission in 2019, after Price served as the governor’s deputy chief of staff. Price had also previously worked for the American Petroleum Institute, among other jobs. Price took a job at a refinery in Anacortes, Wash.
A spokesman for Dunleavy said Monday he had no information on when the governor might propose a replacement for Price.