How many times do I have to say “no?” Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott has said no, but backers of a pro-salmon ballot measure are trying to go over his head. On Tuesday in Anchorage, Superior Court Judge Mark Rindner will hear oral arguments in an appeal that seeks to override the rejection of the lieutenant governor and put the measure before voters next year. At issue is Mallott’s decision last month to rule the measure unconstitutional and thus invalid for the 2018 ballot. The measure, proposed by Mike Wood of the Susitna River Coalition, Gayla Hoseth of Dillingham and Brian Kraft of Anchorage, calls for improved vetting of all projects that affect salmon streams. Also within the measure is language that declares all Alaska water bodies salmon-bearing unless proven otherwise. Oral arguments in the ballot measure appeal will take place on Tuesday.
Hilcorp public hearing. A public hearing will be held Tuesday in Fairbanks about a proposed oil and gas development project north of Alaska in the Beaufort Sea. Oil company Hilcorp has filed a plan with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to build a small artificial gravel island in the sea. The island would be similar to four existing oil and gas producing islands in the area, according to a news release that announced the meeting. A draft copy of the project’s environmental impact statement can be found at www.boem.gov/liberty. The Fairbanks meeting is 7-10 p.m. at the Westmark Hotel. Other meetings are taking place this week in Nuiqsut, Kaktovik, Utqiagvik and Anchorage.
Oh, the weather outside is frightful – but LNG is delightful. Whether it’s hot or cold may be less of an issue for US natural gas traders in the future as the nation exports record amounts of the fuel, according to one analyst. Demand for cargoes of super-chilled US liquefied natural gas “is going to rival and could surpass weather as a core driver of electricity and natural gas prices in the US” in the next few years, Andrew Weissman, chief executive officer of EBW AnalyticsGroup in Washington, told a conference in Houston last week. Cheniere Energy Inc, which shipped its first cargo of LNG last year from its flagship Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana, has become the biggest US buyer of physical natural gas. It will soon be joined by Dominion Energy Inc, which has won approval to move forward with its own plant. US developers such as Exelon Corp, Magnolia LNG and Tellurian Inc, are planning to build more than 24 LNG plants in the next decade, Weissman said. At the same time, new projects in countries including Canada, where Petroliam Nasional Bhd. just cancelled a project, have almost ground to a halt. That leaves the US as “one of and potentially the lowest-cost source of incremental gas supply,” he said at the Weather & Price Tealeaves IV conference. Weissman estimates that US LNG production could amount to 12bn cubic feet a day by 2020. That’s six times the amount of gas that has flowed daily into Sabine Pass, the only exporting facility in America, on average so far, this year.
Alaska IS the center of the world – for energy dominance. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke made it very clear that boosting energy production in Alaska would be a major part of the Trump administration’s plan for U.S. “energy dominance.” “The road to energy dominance goes through the great state of Alaska,” Zinke said in a speech at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., on Friday. Zinke touted Interior’s first successful sale of leases in Alaska’s Cook Inlet since 2008. That lease sale attracted more than $3 million in high bids for offshore drilling rights across 76,000 acres. Zinke ordered officials in May to open the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A), and the department more recently allowed seismic studies in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). NPR-A was set aside by Congress for oil and gas production, but the Obama administration put roughly half the 22.8-million-acre region off-limits to drilling. Experts estimate that the region holds 895 million barrels of oil and 52.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Alaska natives living near the NPR-A support efforts to open the region up to drilling, Zinke said. Alaska lawmakers have also pushed the Trump administration to do more to encourage energy production. “The last administration turned their back on these patriotic and enormously proud people,” Zinke said, adding that “They have the right to make their own decisions.” Alaska will once again, Zinke’s remarks suggest, play a major role in energy policy. The Obama administration prioritized conservation over oil and gas production, closing off onshore and offshore areas to drilling.
New acquisition for ASRC. Arctic Slope Regional Corp. said it is pleased to announce the acquisition of US Coatings Inc. by its wholly owned subsidiary ASRC Industrial Services LLC. Headquartered in Mobile, Alabama, USC was founded more than 10 years ago. USC is a specialty industrial services contractor serving the marine industry. USC specializes in providing interior tank coating, cleaning and surface preparation services for assorted Maine vessel tanks, including cargo, ballast and freshwater. Additionally, USC is an applicator of advanced coatings and protective systems for marine hulls, decks and superstructures. USC operates across the Gulf Coast, in the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic serving multiple end-markets within the marine industry – including transportation, logistics, tourism, leisure, commercial fishing and the federal government. USC will become a component of AIS’s construction, maintenance and repair operating group. “On behalf of ASRC’s board of directors, I am pleased to welcome the talented employees of US Coatings to the ASRC family of companies,” said Rex A. Rock Sr., president and CEO of ASRC. “The acquisition of USC demonstrates continued progress and commitment to the execution of the AIS strategy that was announced last September and we believe will deliver long-term value for ASRC shareholders.”
From the Washington Examiner’s Daily on Energy: DO THE CRIME, DO THE TIME
CLIMATE ACTIVIST FACES TRIAL FOR ATTACK ON PIPELINES: A climate change activist who attempted to shut down five oil pipelines in four states last year goes on trial Monday. Michael Foster is the first of a group of activists who were involved in an effort to block the flow of oil from Canada to bring attention to the global threat of climate change. Breaking the law: Foster and the other members of the activist group plan to argue that breaking the law was in the public interest because of the harm fossil fuels pose to the Earth’s climate. If you’d like to receive the Washington Examiner’s Daily on Energy newsletter, SUBSCRIBE HERE:
Location, location, location. Governor Bill Walker has called lawmakers back to work this month. The fourth special session this year is set to start on October 23 in Juneau where the last three special sessions were held, but now some lawmakers want to move session number four to Alaska’s largest city. When asked why he chose Juneau last week, the Governor said, “Yes, it would be more convenient to have the special session in Anchorage. That’s not where the capitol is… If the legislature would like to convene and move it to Anchorage, I won’t oppose that.” Rep. Chris Birch (R-Anchorage) sent a letter to Walker asking him to consider amending his special session proclamation. Birch says holding hearings in Anchorage would not only save the state money but also cut costs for members of the public who want to participate. “From my experience in local government, there’s nothing that can really replace the face-to-face discussion and dialogue that happens in the public testimony and hearings,” said Birch. “We’re not talking about moving the capital, we’re talking about a cost-savings and permitting the public direct access to their legislature as they consider the important issues of anti-crime legislation and the governor’s proposed income tax.” When asked which location they’d prefer, six of the 18 house minority members, including Birch, responded Sunday, all saying they are in favor of holding the special session in Anchorage.
DOI’s Economic Report for FY 2016 highlights offshore energy contributions – Department of Interior activities supporting conventional and renewable energy, recreation, conservation, water energy supported $254 billion in economic output and nearly 1.7 million jobs according to DOI’s Economic Report for Fiscal Year 2016, released on Friday. The report is paired with a web-based data visualization tool that enables customized contribution analysis by bureau, activity or State. The tool shows that offshore oil and gas activities supported a total of 316.6 thousand jobs, $30.9 billion in value added and $55.5 billion in economic output in FY 2016.
Petitioners try again to put salmon on the ballot
Juneau Empire, James Brooks, October 2, 2017
Public meeting set for Tuesday on Hilcorp’s Beaufort Sea project
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Staff Report, September 30, 2017
Forget weather; US gas traders want to know about LNG exports
O&G Links, October 1, 2017
Alaska Will Be The Centerpiece Of Trump’s Plan For US ‘Energy Dominance’
The Daily Caller, Michael Bastasch, September 29, 2017
Oil Patch Bits: Arctic Slope Regional Corp. announces new acquisition
Petroleum News, October 1, 2017
Walker leaves location of special session to lawmakers
KTVA, Daniella Riviera, October 1, 2017