Headlamp – “It isn’t the bonding that injures the State’s balance sheet, it’s the spending”

Follow-up: HB 331 is Still a Good Deal
King Economics Group, Ed King, May 8, 2018

After we published an article about HB 331 last week, the “Alaskans for a Sustainable Budget” posted a retort questioning our conclusions. First, I have to say that they do bring forward one compelling argument. The advantage of HB 331 hinges on the fiscal responsibility of the legislature, and their history isn’t great. But we have to be careful that we are comparing apples to apples.

Our Take: We agree with Mr. King’s statement: It isn’t the bonding that injures the State’s balance sheet, it’s the spending.” HB 331 is a good bill. It is working through the Senate Finance committee today and should be on the Senate floor for a vote by Friday.

Great expectations for great exploration
Upstream Oil & Gas, Wood Mackenzie, May 9, 2018

The results are in. Comparing 2018 results to last years we look at how the industry is making headway and whether the foundations of success set in 2017 are strong enough to sustain future activity. We’ve also looked at what the industry was saying a decade ago. Are things as different as we might expect?

Our Take: Wood Mackenzie provides a great look at the future of exploration through the lens of industry: The role of exploration vs other growth options, the approach the companies are taking and the challenges that need to be overcome. A key message this year: Track record, risk appetite and commitment to exploration are characteristics of top explorers and almost half of the most exciting discoveries of 2017 were in the Americas.

Walker’s oil & gas advisor leaves for job at NANA
Alaska Public Media, Rashah McChesney, May 8, 2018

Gov. Bill Walker’s chief oil and gas advisor has taken a new job. Later this month, John Hendrix will join the NANA Regional Corporation as the president of its commercial group. That group includes subsidiaries that do oil field and mining support services, as well as construction and capital projects. Hendrix has been in Walker’s cabinet for nearly two years. When he was hired in 2016 for the $185,000 a year position, his focus was on figuring out how Alaska can produce more oil.

Our Take:   Welcome back to the private sector Mr. Hendrix! We know that your time in the Governor’s office can help all of us understand how to work together as a state to responsibly develop more of our resources.

U.S. refiners reap big rewards from EPA biofuel waivers
Reuters, Jarrett Renshaw, May 8, 2018

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s expanded use of waivers to free small refineries from the nation’s biofuels law has saved the industry as a whole hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a Reuters review of public filings. Dozens of refineries have received the financial hardship waivers from EPA in recent months, meaning they no longer have to earn or purchase blending credits known as RINs. They can also sell any RINs they have on hand into the market, which helps other refiners by cutting market prices.

Our Take: When a federal court tells you that you have been to “stingy” with waivers – you listen. The EPA waiver expansion is a good decision that can help refineries like those in Alaska – Andeavor and Petro Star.

Oil soars after Trump dumps Iran nuclear deal, stocks gain
Reuters, Herbert Lash, May 8, 2018

Crude oil prices rose to 3-1/2-year highs on Wednesday following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from a nuclear deal with Iran, a move that helped lift equity markets as Exxon Mobil, Chevron and other oil majors rallied.

Here’s How the Biggest Oil Buyers Can Tackle Trump’s Iran Action
Bloomberg Markets, Pratish Narayanan, May 8, 2018

For the world’s biggest oil buyers, the imposition of U.S. Sanction on Iran will be a case of déjà vu. Earlier in the decade – before the crude market was rolled by a global glut, before prices were rocked by the biggest crash in a generation, and before American oil began getting shipped all over the world – refiners in Asia had to contend with international financial measures aimed at curbing the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.