Morning Headlamp — Another warning from ratings agencies to Alaska

Rate and see. Reuters reported global ratings agency S&P warned that Alaskan bonds could be downgraded if lawmakers fail to finalize a budget. S&P on Thursday put the state’s AA-plus general obligation, AA appropriation, and A-plus moral obligation ratings on Alaska’s debt on CreditWatch with negative implications. S&P said it remains to be seen whether SB 128 and other fiscal reforms would be sufficient to put Alaska’s fiscal structure on a sustainable trajectory. The legislature has passed a budget. It is now time for Gov. Walker to sign it. Inaction from the Administration yet again threatens the state’s financial future.

AGDC gets new leadership. According to an Alaska Dispatch News report, the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. chose Keith Meyer, a former executive of a Houston-based liquefied natural gas company, as its new president. Board members praised Meyer’s qualifications, which include a 35-year industry career with 15 years focused on LNG projects. Headlamp sources inform us that Mr. Meyer may be of the persuasion that the state can and should “go it alone” on the major gasline project. We certainly hope this is not the case. More than anything, Alaska needs to keep the AKLNG megaproject moving forward. Our economic future certainly depends on it. We will be watching.

JX Nippon Oil & Energy received an Alaskan North Slope cargo earlier this month, Japan’s first ANS crude imports since May 2000 and surprising markets at a time when arbitrage economics are heavily loaded in favor of Asian and Middle Eastern crudes. Japan last imported 423,020 barrels of ANS crude in May 2000, according to Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry data. In 2000, Japan imported a total of 7.66 million barrels of ANS crude. Headlamp implores lawmakers to imagine our global energy capacity if we make policy more favorable to the oil and gas industry.

Less than a week to go! The comment period on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) outer continental shelf proposal closes in a week! Tell the BOEM what you think here.


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First Reads

S&P ratchets up pressure on Alaska over budget
Reuters, Rory Carroll, June 9, 2016

State gas line agency gets a new president — with a $550K salary
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, June 9, 2016

BOEM’s Hopper, API’s Milito discuss future of offshore energy development
E&E, June 9, 2016

Make no mistake: The fiscal crisis presents a choice to save or sink Alaska
Alaska Dispatch News, Dermot Cole, June 9, 2016