Morning Headlamp — Tillerson and OPEC: Both Good Signs for Alaska

Following recent announcements by OPEC, some experts believe that Alaska could see a slight bump. The agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC countries to cut global oil production sent Brent crude prices up to $55 a barrel. On Friday, the day before the agreement, the price of Alaska crude was $52.74 a barrel. “Any increase in price is obviously a very welcome change for Alaska’s economy,” said Neal Fried, an economist with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Name games. President-elect Donald Trump has officially named ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson Secretary of State. Resistance to Tillerson, who has close business ties to Russia and President Vladimir Putin, is the most recent development in the unusually public efforts Trump has made of the typically discreet process of naming a Cabinet. Nominees to be secretary of state have to go through hearings in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which then votes on whether to send the nominee to the full Senate for another vote. With Republicans in the majority, the committee is currently made up of 10 Republicans and nine Democrats, a ratio that could be altered in the new Congress.

As someone who comes from an oil and gas background, and understands Alaska’s industry, Headlamp hopes Tillerson remembers the importance of resource development and energy infrastructure in Alaska as well as nationally.

Copper prices, which have been in steady decline since 2011, thanks to China’s slowing economic growth, have been on a tear lately, lifting both the stock prices for B.C. copper mining companies and the hopes of developers with new copper projects in the pipeline. A 30% increase in copper prices between October 24 and November 28 has been dubbed the “Trump rally” on the assumption the price rise had something to do with U.S. president-elect Donald Trump’s promise to go on an infrastructure spending binge that would boost demand for basic materials and metals. Hopefully the “Trump rally” extends to all resource development as Alaska continues to suffer under low oil prices.

Greenland’s minister of industry, labour, trade, energy and foreign affairs said the appointment of Rex Tillerson would be welcomed as an “experienced private sector figure.” This would mark the first Arctic nation to comment on the appointment.


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First Reads

Alaska could see economic boost from global oil production cut
KTUU, December 12, 2016

Tillerson could face uphill battle on Capitol Hill
CNN, Manu Raju, Ted Barrett and Nicole Gaouette, December 12, 2016

Obama Order Preserves Alaska’s Coastal ‘Breadbasket’
Bloomberg, Steve Quinn, December 12, 2016

Copper miners feel the Trump bump
Business Insider Vancouver, Nelson Bennett, December 13, 2016

Obama rents office space at World Wildlife Fund: report
The Hill, Jordan Fabian, December 12, 2016

Greenland welcomes pro-oil and gas Trump administration, leader says
Arctic Now, Jim Bell, December 13, 2016