ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – A company based in Papua New Guinea has grabbed attention for its interest in what at least one Alaska official has called the state’s third-largest oil field.

Alaska’s Energy Desk reported Wednesday that Oil Search, based in the country that’s just south of the equator and just north of Australia, last week took over as operator of the Pikka Unit.

State Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Andy Mack says oil in the Pikka Unit field alone could reverse the long-term decline in the amount of oil flowing down the trans-Alaska pipeline.

President of Oil Search Alaska, Keiran Wulff, said the company’s first planned development in Alaska could represent a significant investment – in the range of $4 billion to $6 billion.

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