News

Former adviser to Alaska governor to buy natural gas firm

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A former adviser to Alaska Gov. Bill Walker is expected to complete the purchase of a Cook Inlet natural gas company.

Hex LLC, owned by John Hendrix, is set to purchase Furie Operating Alaska LLC for $15 million, Alaska Journal of Commerce reported Wednesday.

Hex won a Dec. 5 bankruptcy auction to buy Texas-based Furie, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August, records showed.

Hendrix served as Walker’s oil and gas adviser from 2016 to 2018 and was general manager of Apache Corp.’s operations in Cook Inlet prior to working in the administration.

Hendrix did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Hex submitted initial filings for a business license with the state Commerce Department Nov. 23, records showed.

Furie owed lenders approximately $440 million at the time of its filing in federal Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

Alaska Pipeline Co. filed a letter with the bankruptcy court Dec. 17 claiming the company’s rights to secure assurances Hex can meet the terms of Furie’s gas contract.

Alaska Pipeline Co. is in discussions with Hex to obtain assurances Hex can fulfil the contract, the letter said.

Furie lost $21.4 million in the first quarter of 2019. The company was owed about $105 million in refundable tax credits from the State of Alaska, records showed.

Furie operates the Kitchen Lights Unit project in central Cook Inlet and has contracts to supply Homer Electric Association and Enstar Natural Gas.

Furie also signed a contract with Chugach Electric Association in 2017 to supply the Anchorage electric utility with firm gas shipments beginning in 2023.

The Associated Press