Morning Headlamp — Industry issues front and center on 2016 ballot

Armstrong Energy is asking the state to expand its prospective Pikka North Slope oil and gas unit, which the company already believes holds upwards of 1.5 billion barrels of recoverable oil. The expansion application, submitted to the Department of Natural Resources Sept. 19, requests the department add 14,400 acres to Pikka in leases adjacent to the southern portion of the current unit. Pikka was approved in June 2015 as a 63,300-acre unit situated between Caelus Energy’s Oooguruk Unit to the east and ConocoPhillips’ Colville River Unit to the west. The Division of Oil and Gas is seeking public comments on the Pikka expansion application through Oct. 31.

This proposed expansion is coupled with reports that Hilcorp is looking to maintain and grow its Alaskan presence. “2016 is the year of surviving and thriving,” Hilcorp Senior Vice President of Alaska Dave Wilkins said. “We have had no layoffs in Hilcorp to date and we’re not going to have any layoffs in Hilcorp.” The company is drilling more wells this year than it did last and plans to drill more wells next year than it will this year, Wilkins noted. Hilcorp is also continuing through the National Environmental Policy Act process to secure federal permits for its large Liberty prospect. If developed, Liberty would be a manmade island about six miles offshore in the Beaufort Sea and slightly to the east of Prudhoe Bay.

AOGA CEO Kara Moriarty penned an op-ed to set the record straight on the political use of oil rhetoric as the election season arrives in its final weeks. Moriarty outlines three common misconceptions: “Fact No. 1: Low oil prices are responsible for Alaska’s budget shortfall, not the tax policy…Fact No. 2: Increasing taxes on a struggling industry is bad economic policy…Fact No. 3: The state continues to receive a fair share of oil revenue, even at low prices.” Headlamp always applauds Moriarty’s commitment to enhancing the discussion surrounding the oil and gas industry, especially as Alaskans gear up to go to the polls in November.


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First Reads

Armstrong Energy seeks to expand unit
Alaska Journal of Commerce, Elwood Brehmer, October 21, 2016

Hilcorp Energy is here to grow
Alaska Journal of Commerce, Elwood Brehmer, October 21, 2016

Anchorage Senate race pits labor leader against staunch industry supporter
Alaska Public Radio News, Elizabeth Harball, October 21, 2016

Setting facts straight on oil rhetoric
Fairbanks Daily News Miner, Kara Moriarty, October 22, 2016

North Slope leader, honored at AFN, responds with stories of unconventional political maneuvers
Alaska Dispatch News, Lisa Demer, October 22, 2016

Judge: EPA Must Analyze Jobs Lost in Coal Industry
Associated Press, October 21, 2016

Nikiski residents face uncertainty over Alaska gas project
KTUU, October 21, 2016

Associated Press, Matthew Daly, October 22, 2016