Bryan Cohen Nov. 8, 2012, 8:49pm

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Legal Newsline) - Alaska Attorney General Michael Geraghty announced a consent decree on Wednesday with Hilcorp Alaska LLC to resolve competitive concerns of the company's acquisition of Marathon Oil Company's assets on the Cook Inlet.

The proposed agreement would give South Central Alaskan consumers significant pricing protection during a five year period and encourages new investment in the development and exploration of Cook Inlet's resources for natural gas.

"Hilcorp is well known in the oil and gas industry as an active developer in mature oil and gas basins such as Cook Inlet," Geraghty said. "It plans to spend approximately $300 million over the next two years on new Cook Inlet development in addition to the more than $200 million Hilcorp spent in 2012 alone. This settlement allows Hilcorp to keep investing in Cook Inlet while still protecting consumers."

Under the terms of the consent decree, Hilcorp would place a cap on the price of natural gas sold to Cook Inlet industrial users and local utilities during the next five years. The agreement would also prevent Hilcorp from selling gas for liquefied natural gas export until the needs are met locally.

Alaskan residents may submit comments on the proposed settlement to Superior Court for 60 days after the filing of the decree. After the comment period, the court will hold a hearing to determine if the agreement should be approved.

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