Morning Headlamp – Secretary of State Visits Alaska and AGDC sets sights on 2019 for construction.

Our cup runneth over – New Projects Could Add Over 100K Barrels by 2021. Since mid-2015, oil explorers have announced three large discoveries on the North Slope that together, if peak estimates are correct, could add 420,000 barrels of oil daily to TAPS. But some of the projects are not expected to be developed for at least five years. Referring to the big discoveries, Paul Decker of the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas said the division feels “pretty solid” about the production estimates at Pikka, a project involving Armstrong Oil and Gas of Denver and Spanish oil company Repsol. In January, ConocoPhillips heralded its Willow discovery in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, saying the field could produce up to 100,000 barrels daily. In addition to those and other long-term prospects, Decker also highlighted about 10 prospects with shorter timelines to production. Those projects could begin producing oil within four years, although some are currently on hold as company profits suffer during the oil-price rout. Two projects that haven’t been postponed, with first production estimated between 2018 and 2021, are Greater Mooses Tooth 1 and 2 on federal land. The two ConocoPhillips prospects could yield between 55,000 and 60,000 barrels of crude daily. Headlamp remains hopeful that Alaska will help bring these projects online with the one thing we can control: a stable tax structure.

Tillerson in the House! United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be in Fairbanks next month during the Week of the Arctic. The Week of the Arctic is a series of events, workshops, and presentations tied to the Arctic Council, an international body representing eight circumpolar nations. The United States is concluding its chairmanship of the council and, following tradition, will host a meeting as the next country takes over. That meeting is scheduled for Fairbanks the week of May 8. Finland is taking over the chairmanship.

Senate stays strong in opposition to income tax.  Higher oil prices have cut the projected gap between what the state government spends and what it raises. Senate Finance Committee co-chairwoman Anna MacKinnon said the state has time to close its budget gap if it passes Senate Bill 26 this year. The measure draws money from Permanent Fund earnings to pay for state government, and limits Permanent Fund dividends. “It is short-sighted to be thinking about an income tax at this point in time,” MacKinnon said.

Mining brings Money to Alaskans.  For the next ten years, the North West Arctic Borough will receive annual payments from Teck Alaska based on a fixed asset value of Red Dog mine. The payments are estimated to be between $14 and $18 million per year. Previous payments were $11.6 million annually. Wayne Hall, superintendent for environment and community relations with Teck Alaska, explains the annual payments to NAB have increased since the previous agreement.

If I had a hammer…Representatives of the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation were in Nikiski on Wednesday evening to present a state-led pipeline mega-project with a different economic approach but few technical changes from its previous incarnation, and few answers to questions of how the project could affect Nikiski. Fritz Krusen, Vice President of AGDC’s Alaska LNG project, said the project aspires to start construction by Jan. 21, 2019.


First Reads

New projects could add 100K barrels by 2021, but some are questionable

Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, April 30, 2017

Oil prices shrink budget gap, but lawmakers remain far apart

Alaska Public Media, Andrew Kitchenman, April 28, 2017

Northwest Arctic Borough to receive almost $200 million over 10 years from Red Dog Mine
Alaska Public Media, Davis Hovey, April 28, 2017

AGDC shares new plans for LNG pipeline
Peninsula Clarion, Ben Boettger, April 29, 2017

Secretary Tillerson to attend Arctic Council meeting in Fairbanks
Alaska Public Media, Robert Hannon, April 28, 2017