Final Friday 2018: ANWR seismic delayed;  Russia’s marriage to OPEC over. 

Shutdown delays oil exploration plans in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Alex DeMarban, The Anchorage Daily News, December 27, 2018

President Donald Trump last year said opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling was a top Republican accomplishment.  But the partial government shutdown over his demand for $5 billion in border-wall funding is delaying exploration plans there.  Two shuttered Interior Department agencies, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, can’t advance the process to issue permits for seismic activity until the shutdown ends.  “Every day delayed now is a delay to collecting seismic activity,” Jeff Hastings, chief executive of SAExploration, said Thursday, referring to the shutdown.

Related:

                ANWR DEIS published

Russia dashes plans to make its oil market alliance with OPEC permanent
Tom DiChristopher, CNBC, December 28, 2018

The marriage between Russia and OPEC is off.  Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak on Friday poured cold water on long-simmering plans to make Moscow’s alliance with OPEC and other oil producers permanent. The group of roughly two dozen producers has been managing global petroleum supply for the last two years in order to rebalance the market after a prolonged and punishing oil price downturn.

Tammie Wilson talks oil prices, budget cuts
Erin McGroarty, Fairbanks Daily News Miner, December 28, 2018

Republican Rep. Tammie Wilson of North Pole seems undaunted by the possibility of dropping oil prices, noting that production is set to go up and the state could use additional budget cuts in certain areas.  Wilson was named co-chair of the House Finance Committee when House Republicans announced their victory and subsequent leadership team less than 24 hours after the polls closed Nov. 6.  The House leadership team could still change. The remaining uncertainty of the House District 1 race and the recent departure of Kenai Republican Gary Knopp from the Republican caucus leave the House majority up in the air.

Our Take:   No meaningful reductions will be made if Reps Pruitt and Wilson are not co-chairs of House Finance.   Rep Knopp and those who claim that a bi-partisan coalition will keep things running smoothly without impasse are actually charting a course for gridlock since 10 of those interested in the coalition aren’t interested in budget reductions, want a larger PFD and want more taxes from working people and business to feed their frenzy.  Apparently  they didn’t learn anything from the last session.