Morning Headlamp – Repsol latest victim amid hard times for industry

Best wishes. Alaska Dispatch News and other outlets reported that Spanish energy giant, Repsol, will plan to relinquish all 93 of the company’s federal leases in the Chuckchi Sea. The leases were part of nearly 500 Chukchi Sea blocks covering more than 2.5 million acres that were originally sold in the federal government’s record-breaking 2008 lease sale, when companies such as Shell, ConocoPhillips, Statoil and others snatched up little-explored prospects that offered the promise of a big discovery. The office has “essentially closed,” said Bill Hardham, Repsol’s Alaska asset manager. Jan Sieving, Repsol’s North America vice president for public affairs said she didn’t have information about what happened to all the workers in Alaska. Headlamp is sad to see—yet another—energy leader pull out of Alaska due to an unstable business climate and low oil prices. How many more Alaskan jobs must be lost before elected officials change their tune of higher taxes on the industry? 

Don’t let bureaucrats in Washington shut down future OCS leases and development. The comment period on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) outer continental shelf proposal closes in 8 days! Tell the BOEM what you think here.

Who are these guys? Alaska Public Radio News continued to cover the tension between Alaska union groups Inlandboatmen’s Union (IBU) and the International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots and the trans-Alaska pipeline operator. They say the plan to bring in a Louisiana-based company to take over oil spill prevention and response in the Sound risks another spill, 27 years after the Exxon Valdez. This week, the company that operates the trans-Alaska pipeline, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., confirmed that it’s in final negotiations with Louisiana-based Edison Chouest Offshore to take over. Michelle Egan, a spokesperson for Alyeska, said the pipeline operator is confident the Louisiana company will meet its safety and environmental standards.

Voters in the North Slope Borough went to the polls Tuesday to pick a replacement for ousted mayor Charlotte Brower, but she didn’t win back the job she lost in an April 5 recall election. The leading candidates were George Ahmaogak Sr., a former borough mayor who collected 495 votes or 32 percent of the ballots, and Harry Brower Jr., deputy director of the borough’s wildlife department and Charlotte Brower’s brother-in-law, with 463 votes, or 30 percent.


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First Reads

Repsol joins oil-company exodus from the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, June 7, 2016

Unions say pipeline operator risks spill in Prince William Sound
Alaska Public Radio News, Rachel Waldholz, June 7, 2016

Gov. Walker says full deficit-reduction plan might not happen until next year
Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz, June 7, 2016

Election to replace North Slope Borough mayor is too close to call
Alaska Dispatch News, Lisa Demer, June 7, 2016