In an annual report released on Thursday, BP’s Alaska subsidiary reported a profit of $85 million in 2016. That’s compared to a $172 million loss in Alaska in 2015.
As oil prices plunged, BP cut about 260 jobs in Alaska last year, which was about 13 percent of its workforce. But according to a BP spokesperson, the company is not planning any broad-scale layoffs this year.
The company currently employs about 1,700 workers in Alaska.
BP also reported a global profit of $115 million for 2016. That’s after a global loss of $6.5 billion for 2015, its worst loss ever.
Despite the profit, the British company also announced a significant cut to CEO Bob Dudley’s pay. Multiple national news outlets report this is because BP’s shareholders were unhappy that Dudley was set to receive a raise despite the record loss in 2015.
BP also reported it paid the State of Alaska $464 million in taxes in royalties in 2016, compared to $358 million in 2015.
Wasilla Republican Sen. Mike Dunleavy announced he’s leaving the Senate majority, before the Senate passed its budget on Thursday.
Dunleavy joined five minority-caucus Democrats to oppose the $4 billion spending plan, which passed 14-6. He said he felt constrained in the majority, which requires members to support the budget.
“I’m going to respectfully remove myself from the caucus in order for me to vote on this budget the way I think I need to, in order to vote on this budget that I think best represents my constituents,” Dunleavy said.
Dunleavy said he expects to lose his committee memberships, including chairmanship of the Senate State Affairs Committee. He also expects to lose funding for most of his staff as a result of the move.
Dunleavy said the Senate should have cut the budget deeper, and should not reduce Alaskans’ Permanent Fund dividends. He denied that leaving the caucus lays the groundwork for him running for governor next year.
“There’s been people talking about, because the election’s coming up, who is going to run for governor,” Dunleavy said. “People have asked me if I’m going to run. I’ve not committed to run for governor. I’m not going to dismiss it, but that’s not what this is.”
The Senate rejected 16 minority amendments to restore funding for schools, the University of Alaska, and other areas. The body refused to consider amendments that would have restored Permanent Fund dividends.
The minority asked for the Senate to reconsider the budget vote on Friday. Instead, the Senate re-voted on the budget immediately.
Dunleavy voted for the budget the second time, and it passed 15-5. He said that was a mistake, since he thought it was a procedural vote.
If the House doesn’t agree to the Senate’s changes to the budget, then the two chambers will work out their differences in a conference committee.