Morning Headlamp – Red light, green light Russian style.


red light green stoplight

Red light. Green light. Congress struck a deal to finally punish Russia for the alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election. But it was a bit of a rough road to reach that compromise without congressional approval. The compromise between leaders in the Senate, where the bill passed with an overwhelming 98-2 majority, and the House, where the sanctions package stalled, was welded with a carve-out for U.S. oil and gas interests. Here’s the deal: The bill, if passed and signed into law, would restrict U.S. firms from partnering with sanctioned Russian firms on projects in which those Russians owned at least a 33 percent stake. What it means: On its face, the compromise bill would give certain joint ventures the greenlight, while stopping others.

If you build it…The Alaska Legislature is coming back to the state Capitol in Juneau. The Legislature will convene Thursday for what is expected to be a one-day special session to pass the state’s capital construction budget. The capital budget funds road construction and building projects across Alaska, and most of its funding will come from the federal government, but it – like the state’s multi-billion dollar operating budget – was caught in the political divide between the coalition House Majority and the predominantly Republican Senate Majority. An agreement between those two sides has now been reached.

Top Secret Results. Experts say data from the KIC-1 well — the only well ever drilled in the refuge — remains the tightest of North America’s “tight holes,” an industry term for top-secret wells. The explorers, BP, Chevron and two Alaska Native corporations — subsurface landowner Arctic Slope Regional Corp. and village corporation Kaktovik Inupiat Corp.— have kept the data hidden, with only a small number of people aware of what the drillers found. But the results from the 1986 well, drilled 15 miles southeast of the village of Kaktovik, could be something of a Rosetta stone, helping to unlock the refuge’s complex geology and uncertain oil potential.

60 years at Swanson. Three generations of drillers, truckers, operators and other oil workers connected to the Kenai Peninsula’s first oilfield gathered for an anniversary at Kenai’s Cannery Lodge on Wednesday. The July 19, 1957 discovery of oil north of Sterling at Swanson River provided, according to Alaska’s first governor William Egan, “the economic justification for statehood for Alaska.” Many have agreed with his statement, including present Governor Bill Walker, who spoke at the lunch honoring the Swanson River field’s 60th anniversary, organized by its present operator Hilcorp. If you missed the video we shared last week, click here to check it out.

Buy America – Bye American Energy Dominance? Donald Trump’s allies in the oil industry are warning the president that his bid to boost U.S. steelmakers could backfire against their efforts to achieve his goal of “American energy dominance.” The intense lobbying effort comes as the Commerce Department faces a Sunday deadline to give the president a plan to require oil and gas pipelines use American-made steel, an idea Trump embraced in the initial days of his presidency. While the U.S. has imposed “Buy American” rules on government purchases for decades, it would be unprecedented to force those obligations on privately funded, commercial projects.

First Reads:

Russia sanctions carve out will help some energy companies
The Washington Post, Dino Grandoni, July 24, 2017

Mystery surrounds only oil well drilled in ANWR
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, July 23, 2017

Trump America-First Pipeline Plan Draws Ire of American Oil
Bloomberg, Jennifer A. Dlouhy, July 21, 2017

Alaska Legislature to meet Thursday on construction budget
KTVA/Associated Press, July 23, 2017

NordAq fined $100,000 for unplugged well
Peninsula Clarion, Ben Boettger, July 20, 2017

Oil workers celebrate 60 years of Swanson River
Peninsula Clarion, Ben Boettger, July 23, 2017