Dunleavy taps Feige to be Alaska Natural Resources head
Becky Bohrer, Associated Pres, November 15, 2018
Gov.-elect Mike Dunleavy on Wednesday named a former director of Alaska’s Division of Oil and Gas to be his Natural Resources commissioner. Dunleavy announced his selection of Corri Feige during a Resource Development Council conference in Anchorage in which he repeated that Alaska would be “open for business” under his administration. Dunleavy said he would ask Gov. Bill Walker’s administration to halt the creation of any new regulations until the new administration is in place. Walker spokesman Austin Baird said late Wednesday afternoon that the administration had not yet received any direct request from Dunleavy or his team. But he said Walker has no plans to implement new regulations that would restrict resource development. Through the remainder of his term, Walker “will continue to champion responsible resource development of Alaska’s vast natural resources, from oil and gas to minerals to timber,” Baird wrote in an email. “Because there was never any plan to implement new regulations restricting resource development, the Governor-elect is effectively asking the Walker Administration to continue the work we’ve been doing for the past four years,” Baird wrote.
Our Take: Congratulations to Commissioner Feige! Baird’s response to Governor-elect Dunleavy’s request highlights one of the major problems with government. The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. Some of Governor Walker’s commissioners are currently taking actions that hurt not only resource development, but businesses in general in Alaska. Headlamp is looking forward to a governor who will direct his entire team to help, not hurt, Alaska business.
AGDC project schedule calls for work to begin first-quarter 2020
Larry Persily, Alaska Journal of Commerce, November 15, 2018
The Alaska Gasline Development Corp. told federal regulators Nov. 6 that it plans to start building construction camps and access roads at the natural gas liquefaction plant site in Nikiski in the first quarter of 2020 and along the 807-mile pipeline route by the second quarter. The state-led project’s latest timeline still shows first liquefied gas production by fall 2024. Sticking to that schedule assumes the state corporation can sign LNG customers to binding long-term contracts, complete the deals to buy gas from North Slope producers, find investors and financing for the estimated $43 billion project, acquire the rights to about 900 acres of land in Nikiski, secure any state legislative approvals that may be needed, work through all the required federal and state regulatory authorizations, and reach terms with contractors and suppliers for one of the most expensive energy projects in U.S. history.
Our Take: Securing funding to keep on this timeline is critical for AGDC. Their options aren’t, nor should be, limited to money from the state to proceed.
UAE says energy executives should embrace A.I. to improve profits
Sam Meredith, CNBC, November 13, 2018
Big Oil should do all it can to embrace fast-improving Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the energy industry, according to the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) first minister dedicated to fostering the technology. Speaking at the ADIPEC oil summit in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, the UAE’s minister of state for AI technology said: “Data is the new oil.” “Any company, any government that merges data and oil is going to get yields that we have never seen before. We are going to see lower costs, with profits that cannot be found elsewhere.” The oil and gas market represents around 50 percent of the world’s energy demand at present, Al Olama said, before adding data, blockchain, AI, the internet of things and other emerging technologies would radically change the industry over the coming years.
Zinke gave rare attention to Alaska: The next secretary of the Interior should do likewise
Fairbanks Daily News Miner Editorial, November 14, 2018
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has taken a great deal of action in Alaska compared to his predecessors, which is why ongoing investigations into alleged ethics violations should grab your attention. Secretary Zinke has been criticized for breaking government travel rules before. What’s new is the Justice Department is investigating a land deal in his hometown of Whitefish, Montana. A foundation that Secretary Zinke started, and has remained involved with, has ties to this land deal. The problem is that the development is backed by the chairman of the Halliburton oil company and there’s potential for Secretary Zinke to benefit from this. In a word, Secretary Zinke has been polarizing for Alaskans. But he has given rare attention to Alaska.
China Outlines Possible Concessions to U.S. Ahead of G-20 Talks, Sources Say
Shawn Donnan, Saleha Mohsin, Jenny Leonard, Bloomberg, November 14, 2018
Chinese officials have outlined a series of potential concessions to the Trump administration for the first time since the summer as they continue to try to resolve a trade war, according to three people familiar with the discussions. The commitments for now fall short of the type of major structural reforms that President Donald Trump has been demanding, two of the people said, cautioning that a long road lies ahead in negotiations. One person said that talks between the world’s two largest economies are continuing and constructive.