Morning Headlamp — Oil and Gas Exploration Dips Globally

The Wall Street Journal examined recent oil and gas exploration and spending developments over the past few years. According to the analysis, “world-wide, oil-exploration spending last year was the lowest since 2007. There’s been less conventional oil and gas (as opposed to resources contained in shale or oil sands) discovered in the past 2½ years than in 2012 alone.”

Providing industry examples, “BP has cut exploration spending from $3.5 billion in 2013 to around $1 billion this year. And Eni—one of the past decade’s most successful big explorers—has a target to discover 1.6 billion barrels between 2016 and 2019 at a cost of $2.30 a barrel. That comes after Eni found 11.9 billion barrels at a unit cost of $1.20 per barrel over the past eight years. It is a major shift for big oil companies that designed their exploration strategies to find enough conventional oil and gas to replace all the barrels they pump every year.”

According to BP CEO Bob Dudley, “Some frontier exploration near infrastructure is acceptable, but really big, long-term infrastructure, deep water frontier is probably not in the cards for us.”

Facing opposition to his administration’s plan to borrow up to $3.5 billion to cover Alaska’s pension shortfall, Gov. Bill Walker announced yesterday he will not allow a bond offering. The decision to stop the transaction came after the governor and members of his administration met with members of the Senate Finance Committee about the idea this week. In a statement issued by Walker’s office, the meeting occurred at Walker’s request, and the response was negative. “Given their lack of support, I have decided not to proceed with the issuance at this time,” Walker said. “Building a collaborative relationship with the Legislature will be necessary to reach our primary goal, which is a long-term fiscal plan for our state.”

On November 8th the stakes couldn’t be higher for energy production on federal lands — if you believe what the presidential candidates say according to Bloomberg. “It’s one of the starkest differences between the two candidates,” Chris Warren, a spokesman for the American Energy Alliance in Washington, D.C., told Bloomberg BNA. But the reality of what the Nov. 8 general election could mean for fossil fuel production on public lands may not be so straightforward. John Cossa, an associate at Beveridge & Diamond PC in Washington, D.C., who previously served as an attorney-adviser at the Interior Department’s Office of the Solicitor, said Clinton’s promise to expand the moratorium on leasing public lands could be “difficult.”


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First Reads

Oil Companies Shift Exploration Tactics, Curb Spending
The Wall Street Journal, Sarah Kent, October 25, 2016

ConocoPhillips (COP) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Sell”
The Cerbat Gem, Doug Wharley, October 25, 2016

Facing opposition, Alaska Gov. Walker halts pension bond sales
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, October 25, 2016

With the US Senate majority trending blue, Murkowski’s chairmanship is at risk
Alaska Dispatch News, Erica Martinson, October 25, 2016

Trump, Clinton, and the Fate of Fossil Fuels on Public Lands
Bloomberg BNA, Rachel Leven, October 25, 2016

District 3 incumbent: Cuts can cure what ails budget
Fairbanks Daily News Miner, Matt Buxton, October 25, 2016