Morning Headlamp — North Slope still “target rich”

Looking for targets. Bill Armstrong, CEO and founder of Armstrong Energy LLC, and his team have  plans to be one of the only outfits to invest in exploration this winter: drilling two wells south of the company’s previous work in the Pikka Unit. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently evaluating Armstrong’s development plan for three well pads and a processing facility in the early, scoping phase of the Nanushuk environmental impact statement, or EIS. Despite being an independent player, he looks for big plays in arenas dominated by the majors, in part to weed out competition. “Small and Alaska don’t seem to go together very well,” Armstrong said. If the shallow Nanushuk formation proves to be even half of current expectations, Armstrong, a geologist by trade, believes it will be the next play on the North Slope, which he considers to still be a “target-rich environment.” Headlamp applauds Armstrong’s commitment to exploration in a low-price environment.

According to Business Wire, Fitch Ratings has assigned a ‘AA’ rating to $113.075 million of Alaska Municipal Bond Bank Authority (MBBA) general obligation (GO) and refunding bonds. Oil prices and resource development was a factor that lead to this rating. According to the analysis, “Alaska’s ‘AA+’ Issuer Default Rating (IDR) reflects the state’s maintenance of very substantial reserve balances and conservative financial management practices to offset significant revenue volatility linked to oil production from the North Slope and global petroleum price trends. For many years, the state focused on expected declines in production at its oil fields, prudently dedicating a substantial share of its past oil tax revenue to reserves to ease anticipated revenue loss due to the declines. However, the steep drop in crude oil prices beginning in late 2014 exceeded expectations and significantly reduced tax revenues to the state, requiring sizable use of reserves to fund operations in fiscal years 2015 through 2017.”


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First Reads

Five things to know about the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG project in B.C.
Alaska Highway News, September 27, 2016

Armstrong Energy CEO aims to prove North Slope is still ‘target rich’
Homer News, Elwood Brehmer, September 27, 2016

Market Possibilities for Alaska Gas
Web Center 11, September 27, 2016

Fitch Rates Alaska Municipal Bond Bank Authority’s $113MM GOs ‘AA’; Outlook Negative
Business Wire, September 27, 2016