Morning Headlamp — ConocoPhillips to sell Kenai asset; Native corps. move forward with new drilling

ConocoPhillips looking to sell LNG Plant According to reports, the Houston-based producer is putting its Kenai LNG plant up for sale. Company spokesperson Amy Burnett said the focus will shift to its North Slope endeavors. “Our efforts to market the Plant are consistent with our company’s efforts to regularly review our assets to ensure we are optimizing our portfolio,” Burnett wrote. “We believe the plant is a strategic asset that offers good opportunities for the right buyer.” It’s the second-year ConocoPhillips has sought to sell Cook Inlet assets. In 2015, it put its natural gas production assets up for sale.

Former Alaska Senator Mark Begich penned an op-ed in The Hill opining on the state of Alaska and America’s energy futures. According to Begich, “Alaskans have always had a stake in our natural resource development and a keen understanding of the critical role it plays in our state’s overall economy. But we also understand how important Alaska is to the energy and national security of our country. And we understand we have a responsibility to safely and responsibly develop our resources, which we have proven is possible in Alaska time and time again. Having a ready supply of oil and gas protects America’s role as a leader across the world and protects jobs here at home.

Wild for wildcatting. Doyon Limited says a third well it drilled about 50 miles southwest of Fairbanks failed to find commercial quantities of natural gas or oil, but the company will press ahead with exploration in the frontier region outside the state’s established fields in Cook Inlet or on the North Slope. Officials with Ahtna Inc., meanwhile, said the company was about 100 feet away from the formation it hopes will produce gas from a well near its Glennallen headquarters. The potential pay zone was expected to be reached within hours.

The Alaska Native corporation representing the North Slope has bought two federal leases in the Beaufort sea formerly owned by Shell. That gives the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, or ASRC, the right to explore for oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean, which has historically been controversial in the region. Rex Rock, Sr., is the President and CEO of ASRC.  He announced Wednesday that the corporation has acquired Shell’s leases in Camden Bay, just off the coast of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. “We all know how the Chukchi effort ended, yet we know there is still tremendous potential in Alaska’s offshore,” Rock said.

U.S. oil refiner Tesoro Corp said on Thursday it would buy Western Refining Inc for $4.1 billion to add refineries in Texas, New Mexico and Minnesota. “The acquisition of Western further strengthens our integrated business model and extends our portfolio into attractive and growing markets,” said Tesoro Chief Executive Greg Goff, who will lead the combined company.


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First Reads

ConocoPhillips puts historic Kenai LNG plant up for sale
Alaska Public Radio News, Rashah McChesney, November 17, 2016

The future of the Arctic
The Hill, Sen. Mark Begich, November 17, 2016

Native wildcatters pushing ahead with exploration at oil and gas prospects
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, November 17, 2016

Alaska Native corporation acquires oil and gas leases in Arctic waters
Alaska Dispatch News, Elizabeth Harball, November 17, 2016

Oil adviser gives outlook
Homer News, Elizabeth Earl, November 17, 2016

Tesoro to buy Western Refining for about $4.1 billion
Reuters, Vishaka George, November 18, 2016