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BP’s looming departure from Alaska marks the end of a very exciting era in this state — and perhaps the beginning of a new one.
My wife and I arrived in Alaska in August 1967 when Richfield Oil was drilling what became its Prudhoe Bay discovery well. That December a small item in The Anchorage Times said bush pilots were reporting that Richfield was flaring gas at its wildcat site at the mouth of the Sagavanirktok River.
The company was by then Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO) after Richfield and Atlantic Refining merged the previous year, but Richfield was then the better known of the two and had been operating in Alaska for several years. So the first reports were about Richfield.