Morning Headlamp — Sen. Murkowski to Address Joint Session

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski delivers her address at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, to a joint session of the Alaska Legislature. Tune in at 11 a.m. for a live stream of Gavel Alaska coverage or watch on 360 North television, which is available in Juneau over the air on channel 3.3, or on cable and satellite.

U.S. crude oil production increased for the second consecutive month, the first time this has occurred since early 2015. Increased drilling activity in the Permian region, which spans Texas and New Mexico, as well as the start of a number of new projects in the Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico (GOM), more than offset declining production from other regions in October and November 2016. Total U.S. crude oil production from the Lower 48 states, the GOM, and Alaska is expected to average 9.0 million b/d in 2017 and 9.5 million b/d in 2018.

In parallel, crude prices could plunge toward $30/bbl — a rout of about 40% from current levels — unless OPEC extends production cuts that are propping up the market, ABN Amro Bank NV said. “If they don’t continue with this trend, then the oil price could drop back to where it was two years ago,” Hans van Cleef, ABN Amro’s senior energy economist, said in an interview with Bloomberg’s Oil Buyer’s Guide, adding he’s unsure whether the deal to restrict supplies will persist. “Oil prices could easily go back to the low $30s.”

President Trump has pipelines on the brain and has a regulatory agency in his sights for trimming. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration “has gone overboard,” said Brigham McCown, a former head of the PHMSA who served on President Donald Trump’s infrastructure transition team. “They built a Cadillac instead of the Chevrolet that Congress told them to build.” President Trump recently approved the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines, long marred in controversy.

 

First Reads

Watch Sen. Murkowski address Alaska Legislature live at 11 a.m. Wednesday
KTOO, Tripp J Crouse, February 21, 2017

Oil may drop to low $30s without extension of OPEC supply cut, says ABN Amro
WorldOil, Christopher Sell and Alaric Nightingale, February 21, 2017

U.S. crude oil production increases following higher drilling activity
Oil Voice, February 22, 2017

Sheet metal apprenticeship organized in rural Alaska
Alaska Public Radio News, Anna Rose MacArthur, February 21, 2017

Trump Eyes Easing Obama Rules for Sprawling Pipeline Network
Fox News, Catherine Traywick and Laura Blewitt, February 22, 2017

Northern Dynasty rebuts Kerrisdale attack, warns of action to protect investors
Alaska Public Media – KDLG, Dave Bendinger, February 21, 2017