Friday’s Fast Five

December 2, 2016 | Posted in : News

Top Story of the Week

The Obama administration finally made good on its long-suspected goal and blocked the sale of new oil and gas permits in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. The Department of the Interior also limited leasing in the Cook Inlet, a strong signal for environmental and anti-industry activists. According to Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, President Obama’s offshore lease plan “is something that I wish we could, the first day of a new administration, the president-elect could wave a wand and make this all better, if you will? It’s not that simple; and that’s why we worked so hard to make sure the (Obama) administration did not do what they did.”

Top Reads of the Week

Armstrong Oil and Gas has high hopes for another North Slope find this winter
Alaska Public Radio News, Elizabeth Harball, November 29, 2016
As the amount of oil flowing through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System declines, big new finds on the North Slope are kindling a lot of excitement in Alaska. Speaking at a recent conference in Anchorage, Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Andy Mack called out one find in particular.

OPEC announces 1.2M barrel cutback for ‘stable and balanced’ market
KTVA, November 30, 2016
OPEC has agreed to reduce its daily oil output by 1.2 million barrels a day. The move was announced Wednesday and will take effect on Jan. 1.

Former Attorney General Richards joins Bering Straits Native Corp.
Alaska Public Radio News, Andrew Kitchenman, November 29, 2016
Craig Richards will be the vice president and general counsel for the Bering Straits Native Corporation.

Quote of the Week

“Long and Prosperous,”– Jim Udelhoven, CEO of Kenai-based Udelhoven Oilfield System Services, Inc.

 

Share on :

Morning Headlamp — Lawmakers Set the Stage for Tax Battles

December 2, 2016 | Posted in : News

Reading the tea leaves. During a speech to industry leaders, Governor Bill Walker’s top tax man said he wants lawmakers to focus on the big picture when it comes to oil and gas taxes. “We don’t want the 2017 legislative session to be dominated by fights over oil taxes. We just don’t,” Ken Alper, director of the Alaska Department of Revenue’s Tax Division, said in a speech at a breakfast hosted by the Resource Development Council. Alper says the Governor wants to pay those credits back — but it depends on how the legislature moves forward this year. Governor Walker is slated to release the budget on December 15.

Alaska Oil and Gas Association leader Kara Moriarty said she agrees with Alper — she doesn’t want to squabble over oil taxes this year, either. But producers are worried about how the Governor plans to deal with the issue. “He didn’t say anything today that gives us any certainty or any stability,” Moriarty said. “Even though he doesn’t want oil taxes to dominate the legislative session, it’s still going to be part of the package, but it’s still not clear what that is.”

BlueCrest estimates a $60 million setback in its finances because of Walker’s cut, and is asking to delay repayment on its $30 million AIDEA loan. “What we’ve asked for is a little bit of reprieve,” said John Martineck, chief operating officer of BlueCrest Energy. “It’s just like your balancing your household finances, if somebody took $60 million out of your household finances, you’d have to change the way you do your business.” In a statement, Walker said: “Although the State has fully met its credit reimbursement obligations under the law, we understand the difficult financial position many companies are currently facing and have encouraged state agencies to be flexible whenever possible in working with companies to get through these trying times.”

 

Help us spread the word!  Tell your friends, colleagues, family and more to sign up today for the latest in AK energy, politics and industry.  Subscribe to AK Headlamp here: http://bit.ly/1OdpLVY

 

First Reads

Alaska leaders seek to avoid fight over oil taxes
Alaska Public Radio News, Elizabeth Harball, December 1, 2016

Walker administration lays groundwork for legislative battle over Permanent Fund, taxes
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, December 2, 2016

Small oil company delays loan repayment after Walker cut tax credits
KTVA, Liz Raines, December 1, 2016

Millett to serve as House minority leader, Chenault as whip
Fairbanks Daily News Miner, December 1, 2016

Environmentalists Hopeful Obama May Permanently Ban Arctic, Atlantic Drilling
Morning Consult, Jack Fitzpatrick, December 1, 2016

 

Share on :

Morning Headlamp — Murkowski Scrambles to Make Strides in Final Two Weeks of Congress

December 1, 2016 | Posted in : News

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is still working on her committee’s energy bill through the final two weeks of this session. “While neither of us supports every provision in this proposal, it is the result of good faith bipartisan negotiations, it encompasses the broad range of work that can be completed this year, and it balances competing preferences for energy and resource policy that will remain just as strong in the next Congress,”  Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee wrote. The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 would be the first bipartisan energy bill in almost a decade, but the House and Senate versions have been split by controversial provisions and the White House has previously threatened a veto.

Empty-handed for now. According to KTVA, Gov. Bill walker’s trip to Asia went well, but he did not return with any contracts. “It’s the same process every other project in the world is using, you sit down with the market,” Walker said in an interview Wednesday. “You know, some in the market have never heard of this project before.” “The major direction is to avoid nuclear and to move to renewable energy if possible,” REI COO Tori Ishihara said. “But as many people know, renewable energy economic-wise [does] not make so much sense I think they are still struggling.”

Stepping up to the plate. Anchorage Republican Rep. Charisse Millett will lead the new House GOP minority in next year’s legislative session, members announced Wednesday. Millett had been hoping to be the next House speaker if the chamber remained under Republican leadership. Another member of the GOP minority leadership is Eagle River Republican Rep. Dan Saddler, who will have the newly created post of “floor leader.”

 

Help us spread the word!  Tell your friends, colleagues, family and more to sign up today for the latest in AK energy, politics and industry.  Subscribe to AK Headlamp here: http://bit.ly/1OdpLVY

 

First Reads

Congressional lawmakers restore key provisions to advance bipartisan energy bill
Utility Dive, Robert Walton, November 30, 2016

Canada PM approves controversial pipeline to Pacific Coast
Juneau Empire, Rob Gillies, November 30, 2016

As market cools, governor still warm on Alaska gas project after sales pitch in Japan
KTVA, Liz Raines, November 30, 2016

OPEC announces 1.2M barrel cutback for ‘stable and balanced’ market
KTVA, November 30, 2016

Anchorage GOP Rep. Millett to lead new House minority, with Chenault as second-in-command
Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz, November 30, 2016

 

Share on :

Morning Headlamp — Craig Richards’ New Boss

November 30, 2016 | Posted in : News

Speaking at a recent conference in Anchorage, Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Andy Mack called Armstrong Oil and Gas’ Pikka Unit on the North Slope a major discovery and critical to coming production. Armstrong Energy director Ed Kerr said the company aims to deliver first oil in 2022. “We are actually moving ahead,” Kerr said. “We’re not contemplating it, we’re not formulating our thoughts on it — we’re prosecuting on it.” One thing Armstrong is less excited about this winter is negotiating with lawmakers. Like other small companies, Kerr said Armstrong is worried about how oil production taxes could change as the legislature takes on the state’s budget crisis. Headlamp shares that concern. The new co-chairs of House Resources, Democrats Geran Tarr and Andy Josephson have already expressed an interest in modifying oil and gas tax policy. Again. For what would be the 7th time in 12 years. 

New digs. Former Attorney General Craig Richards will be the vice president and general counsel for the Bering Straits Native Corporation. “Really, what convinced me that it was the right place for me was just meeting everyone and seeing what a good rapport and good team environment they have, and the ability to help out the Nome region,” Richards said. Richards was a close adviser to Walker on the proposed natural gas pipeline and on Walker’s plan to solve the state government’s budget crisis. He said he’ll miss working in the upcoming legislative session.

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, is reportedly under consideration as chief overseer of the nation’s public lands in the administration of president-elect Donald Trump. Whether Interior is headed by McMorris Rodgers or another candidate — who reportedly also include former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and oil-products executive Forrest Lucas — the agency is likely to chart an unabashedly pro-fossil fuels course under the Trump administration.

 

Top News from S & P Global Market Intelligence

Renewables make lame-duck push for tax extenders
Renewable energy advocates are making a last-ditch effort to convince the outgoing Congress to extend tax credits for a handful of nascent technologies that were left out of a deal that the wind and solar industries struck with lawmakers in late 2015. Facing an uncertain policy future under President-elect Donald Trump, wind and solar companies have taken comfort in the expectation that the production and investment tax credits will support development into the next decade.

Proponents’ hope dims for streamlined LNG approvals in current Congress
provision that would expedite approvals for LNG export projects is looking increasingly unlikely in 2016, as lawmakers spar over an energy bill in the little time left before the end of the current Congress. Despite initial support, language that would mandate a streamlined schedule for the U.S. Department of Energy to approve LNG export proposals may no longer be “in play,” Bill Cooper, a senior policy adviser for the House Committee on Natural Resources, said Nov. 29 at the American Gas Association’s Natural Gas Roundtable.

Market, election optimism doubles coal market value since November 2015
A mix of market and postelection optimism has helped drive up the market value of major U.S. coal producers, resulting in an increase of nearly 130% since November 2015. According to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis of the market capitalization of major public U.S. coal producers, the industry’s value has climbed from $4.82 billion in November 2015 to almost $11 billion as of November 25th of this year.

 

First Reads

Armstrong Oil and Gas has high hopes for another North Slope find this winter
Alaska Public Radio News, Rachel Waldholz, November 29, 2016

Former Attorney General Richards joins Bering Straits Native Corp.
Alaska Public Radio News, Andrew Kitchenman, November 29, 2016

Trump’s energy-policy advisers have ties to oil industry
Alaska Dispatch News, November 29, 2016

Feds seek Kodiak feedback on dispersants avoidance areas
Juneau Empire, November 29, 2016

NYT report: Trump considering U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers for Interior post
The Seattle Times, Jim Brunner, November 29, 2016

 

Share on :

Morning Headlamp — OPEC Price Increase Means Potential Business for Alaska

November 29, 2016 | Posted in : News

According to KTVA, AGDC hopes to transition the AKLNG project by the end of the year, as Alaska continues moving forward with the most expensive natural gas project in North America. “I think it’s going to be a great time to be developing an infrastructure project or energy project in this nation and certainly in this state,” AGDC’s president Keith Meyer told industry members at a Resource Development Council (RDC) meeting earlier this month.

“If we’re going to have a gasline, it’s going to require the market,” Gov. Walker said at the RDC conference. “That’s going to determine if there’s going to be one. We can’t engineer our way into the economics.”

“I remain a skeptic on the state takeover of the AKLNG project,” said Rep. Geran Tarr, who’s slated to serve as co-chair of the committee in the House’s new, Democrat-led majority. “We’ll need to be very careful about whether we move forward and if this is the right time.” “It can’t be some hoped-for thing,” said Rep. Andy Josephson. “It’s got to be more refined and well developed, or the state must, I think, shelve this largely and wait until a better day, a better price.”

On the verge of OPEC price increases, Asian markets may begin to look somewhere else. According to Reuters, OPEC meets on Wednesday to hammer out a deal to prop up prices that have halved since 2014. As they gather, tanker shipments to Asia from non-OPEC sources like Alaska, Azerbaijan, and the North Sea are growing, according to shipping data. “Asian (oil) dependence on the Middle East is higher than they are comfortable with,” said Bill Walker, Governor of Alaska, speaking during a recent visit to Japan. “They’d like to see something coming out of the U.S. We have seen some shipments come over (to Asia) and I think we are going to see more.”

A Happy Thanksgiving from Hilcorp. Since Hilcorp came to Alaska they have gained a reputation for knowing how to get oil and gas out of an aging oil field — and how to keep the tradition of Thanksgiving and appreciation for our senior citizens by continuing a free pre-Thanksgiving turkey dinner at the Kenai Senior Center. It was a full house at the Kenai Senior Center last Tuesday with nearly 300 meals being served. “It was an absolute world class meal and no one went home hungry today that’s for sure,” smiled Lori Nelson, Hilcorp’s External Affairs Manager. Regarding the future and the coming year for the energy industry in the Inlet, Nelson said, “We’re an eternal optimist. Our niche is taking over mature assets and that’s primarily what Alaska is now a mature basin and we are excited about the opportunities that exist not only here in the Cook Inlet but on the North Slope as well.” As seniors left for home it was with many hugs, thankful hand-shakes, smiles of appreciation and good wishes for Hilcorp’s continued success.

 

Help us spread the word!  Tell your friends, colleagues, family and more to sign up today for the latest in AK energy, politics and industry.  Subscribe to AK Headlamp here: http://bit.ly/1OdpLVY

 

First Reads

Legislature’s optimism for gasline wanes, project lags behind schedule
KTVA, Liz Raines, November 28, 2016

As OPEC price hike looms, Asia’s big oil buyers may shop elsewhere
Reuters, Henning Gloystein and Yuka Obayashi, November 29, 2016

Hilcorp serves up Thanksgiving dinner
Peninsula Clarion, November 28, 2016

Norway plans $1.15 billion order for five Boeing Poseidon military aircraft
Reuters, November 28, 2016

Oil and gas mergers and acquisitions are finally making a comeback
CNBC, Tom DiChristopher & John W. Schoen, November 28, 2016             

 

Share on :

What Will We Be Looking For?

November 28, 2016 | Posted in : News

In his blog “Thoughts on Alaska’s Oil and Gas,” Brad Keithley recently wrote about two critical documents that Alaskans will soon see, and, what we should expect from those. The Governor’s budget is due, to the legislature, by December 15th. The Fall Revenue Sources Book, the guideline for responsible budgeting is expected at any time. Keithley does a great job of highlighting the perils and pitfalls that can come from either document.  Click here to read the entire post.

As we have said before on Headlamp, the incoming legislature must be disciplined in everything that they do, not only in regard to the budget, but in regard to how they prioritize tasks and allocate their time. What we WON’T be looking for is a repeat of last session (and for that matter every other session) where 614 bills were introduced, with only 116 passing, and the fiscal crisis not being dealt with.

1128

Legislators tend to believe that introducing bills is always a good thing. Introducing hundreds of bills, many of them trivial, is not a substitute for solving Alaska’s budget crisis.

Headlamp plans to keep a running tab of meaningless bills introduced in the 30th legislative session. We hope the number is 0.

Share on :

Morning Headlamp — Independent Producers Receive Warm Welcome

November 28, 2016 | Posted in : News

Back and forth. Pat Galvin, a former state Revenue commissioner and now chief commercial officer for Anchorage-based Great Bear Petroleum, said Nov. 17 at the Resource Development Council of Alaska’s conference that above all else Alaska’s oil tax “pendulum” needs to stop swinging. We have to find a way to reach an equilibrium, not just to avoid future changes, but also to avoid the perception that there’s going to be future changes,” Galvin asserted. Galvin and Caelus Energy Vice President Pat Foley, who has worked in Alaska with other companies, both said the “give” must include a way to pay the current credits owed. Great Bear is owed “tens of millions of dollars” in credits, according to Galvin, while Caelus expects its bill to the state to hit $200 million by next spring.

Mutual respect. CEO of Kenai-based Udelhoven Oilfield System Services, Inc. Jim Udelhoven, wished Caelus and Armstrong CEOs Jim Musselman and Bill Armstrong best wishes in a Fairbanks Daily News Miner op-ed. Udelhoven applauded the two men for their recent discoveries and championing small, independent oil and gas companies on the North Slope. After highlighting the duo’s business savvy and pro-industry positions, Udelhoven closed by hoping the pair’s stay is “long and prosperous.”

Bluecrest Energy is seeking eased loan terms because it is short on money after Gov. Bill Walker’s decision this summer to defer tax-credit payments owed to oil companies. Bluecrest has said it is owed tens of millions of dollars from the state. The lack of payment affected the company’s ability to fund an account meant to protect the state, according to the resolution.

Think of the children. In a Nov. 16 speech at the Resource Development Council’s annual conference Janet Weiss, president of BP Exploration (Alaska), celebrated the past success of the Alaska oil industry while also reviewing some of the challenges that the industry faces for the future. Addressing the future challenge will require improved efficiency, the use of appropriate technologies and a fiscal environment that keeps Alaska competitive, Weiss said. “What kind of Alaska are we going to pass to our children,” she asked. “Alaska can have a thriving and competitive oil and gas industry.” “As we face a tough situation, it is about coming together with honest debate, honest dialogue, ensuring that we are thinking about more oil going down TAPS…so that we can have this 40-plus-year additional future,” Weiss said.

 

Help us spread the word!  Tell your friends, colleagues, family and more to sign up today for the latest in AK energy, politics and industry.  Subscribe to AK Headlamp here: http://bit.ly/1OdpLVY

 

First Reads

Independent explorers and the oil tax pendulum
Juneau Empire, Elwood Brehmer, November 28, 2016

Delivering energy in a new way on the North Slope
Fairbanks Daily News Miner, Jim Udelhoven, November 27, 2016

BPXA president outlines future options
Petroleum News, Alan Bailey, November 27, 2016

Regulators: Tanker-truck crashes and spills an increasing worry on Alaska highways
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, November 28, 2016

Alaskan Bob Gillam wants to be U.S. Interior secretary
Alaska Dispatch News, Erica Martinson, November 26, 2016

Oil company wants changes to $30 million state loan after Walker’s tax-credit veto
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, November 26, 2016

 

Share on :

Happy Thanksgiving from Headlamp

November 23, 2016 | Posted in : News

Headlamp would like to wish all our readers and their families a very Happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful for your support and hope everyone has a safe an relaxing holiday.

As a new administration and industry uncertainties may linger on the horizon, we hope our next year is as good as our first.

Headlamp will return on Monday, November 28th.

Share on :

Morning Headlamp — Sen. Murkowski Refuses to Accept Defeat on OCS Leases

November 23, 2016 | Posted in : News

Murkowski comes out swinging. According to Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, President Obama’s offshore lease plan “is something that I wish we could, the first day of a new administration, the president-elect could wave a wand and make this all better, if you will? It’s not that simple; and that’s why we worked so hard to make sure the (Obama) administration did not do what they did.” Hopeful the administration would take those pleas into account, Murkowski added she was particularly “ticked off” that “President Obama is telling the new administration to stand up to Russia, and then what does he do — he basically cedes leadership on Arctic energy production to the Russians. It is just incredible to think (the Russians) get the payroll; they get the jobs; they get the revenue and we’re just watching.” Headlamp continues to applaud Sen. Murkowski’s undying support for her state’s largest industry and America’s energy future.

The new House makeup worked well for Gov. Bill Walker’s fiscal agenda, but AKLNG remains a battleground issue. Anchorage Democrat Reps. Andy Josephson and Geran Tarr will co-chair the House Resources Committee, the first stop for any oil and gas tax bills on their way through the legislative process. The central issue, the new Resource chairs said in separate interviews, is that the state is no longer generating meaningful revenue from its production tax since oil prices have fallen and largely stabilized at sub-$50 per barrel prices. “It’s been proven now the low price environment is the new normal,” Tarr said. “There’s just no denying that when we created the current tax structure — the record is clear — we only looked at the $60 to $120 (per barrel) band. We did not create a system that works at these prices and I believe 100 percent we would not have the system we have today if we had done that.”

The majority of oil and gas contractors in a recent survey agreed the election of Donald J. Trump will have a “positive result” and create more jobs in the global energy sector, according to NES Global Talent. Of those surveyed worldwide, 48 percent said they “personally felt positive” about Trump’s election and 63 percent said it would have a positive effect on the energy industry.

 

Help us spread the word!  Tell your friends, colleagues, family and more to sign up today for the latest in AK energy, politics and industry.  Subscribe to AK Headlamp here: http://bit.ly/1OdpLVY

 

First Reads

Murkowski lays out path on Arctic leases
Alaska Journal of Commerce, Elwood Brehmer, November 22, 2016

New House Resource chairs ready to take on oil credits, AK LNG
Homer News, Elwood Brehmer, November 22, 2016

Drill, baby, drill? Election reignites offshore debate
Juneau Empire, Patrick Whittle, November 22, 2016

Survey: Oil and gas contractors optimistic after U.S. elections
Fuel Fix, Mike Smith, November 22, 2016

 

Share on :

Morning Headlamp — Moriarty and Lawmakers Sound Off on Lease Decision

November 22, 2016 | Posted in : News

Still optimistic. AOGA CEO and President Kara Moriarty said there’s still reason to invest in Alaska’s resource development despite the recent lease cancellation from the Obama Administration. According to Moriarty, “Alaska still has vast geology. As you look to the future, the Energy Information Administration released a report earlier this week, we’re still going to be 80 something percent dependent, and we’re not going to have peak oil for the next 40 to 50 years.” Moriarty said there’s always a place for regulation, but only when it is done in an efficient and timely manner.

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) penned an op-ed in The Hill blasting Obama’s legacy of regulation. According to Bishop, “On Friday, the Obama administration announced their five-year plan for the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. This important decision determines which offshore areas under federal control will be available for oil and gas leasing, including Alaska’s Arctic. The global energy supremacy we enjoy today all began with the leasing stage decades ago, putting a plan in motion that grew our nation from a position of energy dependence to energy power. It helped free the United States from the shackles of foreign oil and reduce energy prices for American families, businesses and manufacturers.”  

Lucas Frances, a spokesperson for the Arctic Energy Center (AEC), called the decision a “body blow” for the communities. “Today’s announcement is a body blow for the Native communities, businesses, elected officials, military experts and other Alaskans who repeatedly have pleaded with the White House to allow offshore energy development in the Arctic,” he said in statement after the decision was announced on Friday. “Having been told that local views would take priority, they have now seen that the exact opposite is true and their wishes have been ignored in the name of legacy-building,” he said.

Reuters highlighted some of the hopefuls to fill President-elect Donald Trump’s Department of the Interior. According to the reports, the short list includes “Oklahoma Governor Fallin, who met with Trump on Monday…Sarah Palin, who made famous the motto “Drill, Baby, Drill” when she was the vice-presidential running-mate to Republican John McCain in 2008, and former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, a Trump supporter without experience in public lands policy.”

 

Help us spread the word!  Tell your friends, colleagues, family and more to sign up today for the latest in AK energy, politics and industry.  Subscribe to AK Headlamp here: http://bit.ly/1OdpLVY

 

First Reads

AOGA CEO & President Kara Moriarty Part II: “Why Wouldn’t You Want Alaska’s Resources?”

Your Link Alaska, Maria Athens, November 21, 2016

Trump will probably be out of office before his oil & gas boom happens
CNBC, Tom DiChristopher, November 21, 2016

Obama’s Decision to Block Arctic Offshore Energy Development Called a ‘Body Blow’ for Native Communities
CNS News, Penny Star, November 22, 2016

Trump’s energy plans look to roll back Obama’s climate moves
Fox News, Andrew O’Reilly, November 21, 2016

The audacity of smothering regulation
The Hill, Rep. Rob Bishop, November 21, 2016

Trump’s Interior Department shortlist vexes employees, green groups
Arctic Now, Valerie Volcovici, November 21, 2016

 

Share on :

Page 20 of 63« First...10...1819202122...304050...Last »