Morning Headlamp — 2017 May See Oil Recovery

Turning a new leaf. According to Oil Price, oil has seen a slight bump ahead of OPEC production cuts that will take place at the onset of the New Year. survey of oil analysts puts oil at $58 per barrel over the course of 2017, fueled by tighter conditions after the OPEC cuts. The prices would be up roughly a quarter from this year’s average. The big question, however, is how quickly and how substantially U.S. shale output comes roaring back.

Platts posits that a Trump administration will make quick work of ongoing energy infrastructure projects to make good on campaign promises. Specifically, President-elect Trump has said he wants to expand the amount of drilling on federal lands and waters, likely including lease sales for both the Arctic and Atlantic. But redoing the offshore lease plan could take as long as three years and the expected legal fight to undo Obama’s prohibitions on drilling in US Arctic and Atlantic waters could take even longer. Headlamp looks to Alaska’s Congressional delegation to jump-start the repeal of Obama’s anti-Alaska policy positions.

Following a flood of comments and a report with questionable findings regarding exploratory activity at the proposed Pebble mine, Alaska resource managers have temporarily delayed a decision over whether to approve a new land-use permit for the project and instead extended Pebble’s old permits.

Welcome gift. Incoming Speaker of the House Rep. Bryce Edgmon has a full plate ahead of him come the start of the next legislative session. According to a Fairbanks Daily News Miner profile, “Edgmon will be thrust into a spotlight he has long shied away from. He will lead a House coalition comprised largely of Democrats who through an organizational shake-up following the November elections are regaining power after years in the minority.” Most notably, Edgmon and company will have to face what is being hailed “the gravest fiscal crisis in state history.”  Headlamp wonders if the new speaker will be able to garner 21 votes for any of the controversial policies introduced last year that failed in the house?  With 3 of his caucus members promising to reduce the budget before looking for new revenue – it may be difficult. Headlamp also wonders if the new speaker will rein in members of his caucus who intentionally mislead the public about the budget and the impact of new taxes on the budget gap. 


First Reads

Oil Rally Gains Momentum Ahead Of OPEC Cuts
Oil Price, Evan Kelly, December 27, 2016

Outlook 2017: Trump inauguration to bring major US oil policy changes
Platts, December 28, 2016

Alaska lawmaker who has long shunned spotlight is becoming speaker
Fairbanks Daily News Miner, Beck Bohrer, December 27, 2016

Facing public concern, state delays action on Pebble permit
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, December 28, 2016

Feds to begin cleanup of old wells on the North Slope
The Daily Progress, December 28, 2016