Morning Headlamp — What does tripling Alaska’s gasoline tax mean for the state budget and the economy?

December 20, 2016 | Posted in : News

Turn back the clock to 1953. President Barack Obama will invoke a provision in a 1953 law that gives him wide latitude to withdraw U.S. waters from future oil and gas leasing, said the people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision had not been announced. Until now the law has been used sparingly to permanently preserve coral reefs, walrus feeding grounds and marine sanctuaries. The move could indefinitely restrict oil production there, according to two people familiar with the decision.

According to the Alaska Dispatch News using the so-called 12(a) provision to keep drilling out of big chunks of the nation’s territorial oceans is sure to draw a legal challenge, and there is scant legal precedent on the matter. President-elect Trump may rescind Obama’s order, but the statute doesn’t include a provision for reversal and that action may take years to work its way through court. “Congress didn’t give the president that power to undo a withdrawal,” said Niel Lawrence, Alaska director of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Trump may claim it. And it may even get upheld.”

Headlamp anxiously awaits President-elect Trump’s pro-resource development agenda when he is sworn in next month.

Just average. As a part of Governor Walker’s budget plan, Alaska’s gasoline taxes could triple. Walker’s fuel tax proposal calls for increasing the gasoline tax from 8 cents per gallon to 16 cents per gallon on July 1, 2017. On July 1, 2018, the tax would rise to 24 cents per gallon. “We don’t feel like it makes us uncompetitive or is an onerous tax; it just makes us average,” said Alaska Department of Revenue Commissioner Randall Hoffbeck by phone Friday.

Positing on how the industry will fare in 2017, Wood Mackenzie expert Tom Ellacott said the year “will be a year of stability and opportunity for oil and gas companies in positions of financial strength. More players will look at opportunities to adapt and grow their portfolios.”

 

First Reads

OPEC deal makes oil investors most bullish since slump began
Alaska Dispatch News, Mark Shenk, December 19, 2016

Obama Said to Use 1953 Law to Block Drilling in Arctic, Atlantic
Bloomberg, Jennifer Dlouhy, December 19, 2016

Alaska Gasoline Prices Increase Almost 3 Cents Per Gallon
TVTV, Brandon Smith, December 19, 2016

The Right Way to Do Infrastructure Spending
Patriot Post, Stephen Moore, December 20, 2016

How will the oil and gas industry do in 2017?
Fuel Fix, David Hunn, December 19, 2016

Walker proposes tripling gasoline tax to take a bite out of Alaska budget deficit
Alaska Dispatch News, James Brooks, December 19, 2016

 

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Morning Headlamp — Former Governor Weighs in on State’s Fiscal Decision

December 19, 2016 | Posted in : News

Confidence is key. In a Fairbanks Daily News Miner op-ed, former Governor Frank Murkowski calls Alaska “its own worst enemy” when it comes to developing a gas line. Murkowski notes that certainty in fiscal policy is step one if the state wants to get on the same page with private industry. According to the piece, “In short, it is the constant change in direction over short time periods (relative to the time it takes to develop a project of the gas line’s size) that has caused and will continue to cause the gas line to elude us for so long.” Industry investors deserve to know the playing field if investment is to continue. Frequently changing fiscal policy will leave the private sector with no choice but to curb their commitment to Alaska.

According to the Energy Information Administration, U.S. dry natural gas production continued to increase in 2015, reaching 74.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). This record-high level was a 4.5% (3.2 Bcf/d) increase over 2014, according to EIA’s Natural Gas Annual, which provides final production data for 2015. Production gains were highest in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, due in large part to production from the Marcellus and Utica/Point Pleasant shales. These three states accounted for most of the total increase in 2015. Although annual production in 2015 grew, monthly U.S. natural gas production has since declined in 2016, falling to 71.4 Bcf/d in July 2016 after reaching a peak of 75 Bcf/d in April 2015.

No time like the present. Exxon has been critical of some of Obama’s efforts to safeguard natural resources. The company, under now Secretary of State pick Rex Tillerson’s leadership, has questioned the wisdom of limiting offshore oil drilling off the Atlantic coast and Alaska. Tillerson told The Associated Press last year that drilling off Alaska is important despite disapproval from environmentalists because “eventually we are going to need it” to meet energy needs. U.S. policy about domestic drilling would fall under the Interior Department more than under Tillerson.

The Alaska Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state on Friday after an epic tax dispute with some of the major North Slope oil companies, a victory that means the state won’t need to refund an estimated $500 million in taxes and interest, officials said.

 

First Reads

Alaska often its own worst enemy on gas
Fairbanks Daily News Miner, Frank Murkowski, December 17, 2016

Governor Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Budget
Sit News, Mary Kauffman, December 17, 2016

Walker renews push for Fund earnings to fill deficit
Peninsula Clarion, Elwood Brehmer, December 17, 2016

Q&A: Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson Could Affect Climate Policy
CBS Miami, December 17, 2016

Oil Patch Job Postings Increase in Early Signal of Recovery
Newsmax, December 17, 2016

U.S. natural gas production resilient to market changes in 2015, but has fallen in 2016
US Energy Information Administration, December 17, 2016

New Alaska House leaders embrace loophole to raise campaign cash from lobbyists
Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz, December 17, 2016

State wins case against oil companies worth an estimated $500 million
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, December 17, 2016

 

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Friday’s Fast Five

December 16, 2016 | Posted in : News

Top Story of the Week

This week, to everyone’s surprise, exploration companies brushed aside concerns of low oil prices on Wednesday, bidding heavily in state and federal lease sales that were some of the largest in years. High bids totaled $17.8 million on tracts covering 633,000 acres on the North Slope and in the coastal Beaufort Sea. Offering land in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, the agency received 92 bids on 67 tracts, generating $18.8 million for 614,000 acres. The state receives half the revenue from the sale, or $9.4 million.

Top Reads of the Week

Exxon’s Tillerson, Trump’s choice for State Dept., has history in Alaska
Alaska Public Radio News, Rachel Waldholz, December 13, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump has chosen ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his nominee for secretary of state.

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

Walker proposes slashing 795 state jobs to cut budget
Fairbanks Daily News Miner, Becky Bohrer, December 16, 2016
Gov. Bill Walker has proposed cutting hundreds more state jobs as part of a budget plan that includes the use of earnings from Alaska’s oil-wealth nest egg and ultimately tripling state motor fuels taxes.

Quote of the Week

“I believe that President Trump will be able to accomplish much of what he’s trying to do.”– Chairman of the Congressional Coal Caucus, Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va

 

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Morning Headlamp — Walker Proposes State Job Cuts

December 16, 2016 | Posted in : News

According to the Fairbanks Daily News Miner, Gov. Bill Walker has proposed cutting 795 more state positions as part of a budget plan that includes the use of earnings from Alaska’s oil-wealth nest egg and ultimately tripling state motor fuels taxes. In a statement Thursday, Walker said the state has already slashed its budget and will look for more ways to reduce costs. But he said Alaska can’t cut its way to prosperity and a critical discussion is needed on raising new revenue. Cutting positions or laying off employees? A big difference that the Walker administration has been unable to grasp or explain clearly.

Heading into this year’s regular session, Walker proposed various industry tax increases, oil and gas tax credit changes and use of Alaska Permanent Fund earnings to help pay for state government. Lawmakers, whose work extended into two special sessions, agreed to credit changes focused largely on Cook Inlet, but other major pieces pushed by Walker faltered.

Frack facts. The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will decide the fate of hydraulic fracking in Alaska following a recent report released from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This week the EPA released a report concluding that operations using hydraulic fracturing “can impact drinking water resources under some circumstances.” National industry groups blasted the EPA’s report saying the technique is largely safe and that the report “distorts the science.” Bob Shavelson leads Cook Inletkeeper, the organization asking the commission to allow public comment when a company wants to frack a well. After the hearing, Shavelson said it’s all about transparency. “I think it’s just basic good governance for Alaskans to have the ability to look at a permit, to read it, to try to understand it and to submit a comment,” Shavelson said. “I don’t see the big cost or burden or delay that comes with that.” Headlamp would note that fracking has been done responsibly for years in Alaska already.

Back in the ring. In Washington, DC, the decades-long quest to open the 1.5 million-acre coastal plain to drilling has been elusive for Alaska politicians. However, the fight is back, thanks to the presidential election victory of Donald Trump, who will preside over a Republican-controlled Congress. It now takes on new urgency as the state economy is shaken by low oil prices and a steep decline in crude flowing through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.

Texas driller Pioneer Natural Resources Co. has locked in future sales through hedging contracts for about 85 percent of its oil and natural gas output next year, Chief Operating Officer Tim Dove said in an interview. The company hasn’t hedged much for 2018, as it bets that prices have room to run beyond their jump in the past two weeks, he said.

 

First Reads

Trump’s choices of Cabinet renew debate over opening Alaska’s Arctic refuge to oil drilling
Fox News, Andrew O’Reilly, December 15, 2016

Fracking in Alaska: Who should weigh in?
KTOO, Elizabeth Harball, December 15, 2016

Walker proposes slashing 795 state jobs to cut budget
Fairbanks Daily News Miner, Becky Bohrer, December 16, 2016

Pioneer Sees Oil Reaching $70 in 2018 as Global Glut Burns Off
Bloomberg, Alix Steel and Alex Nussbaum, December 15, 2016

Battle over drilling in Arctic refuge expected to heat up in next Congress
Alaska Dispatch News, Hal Bernton, December 15, 2016

Seeking fast track to export, LNG industry likes sound of Energy Secretary Perry
SNL Beta, Rachel Adams-Heard, December 15, 2016

Energy producers with eye on public land find ally in Trump’s Interior pick
SNL Beta, Christopher Coats & Molly Christian, December 15, 2016

 

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All they want for Christmas is for you to retire their debt…

December 15, 2016 | Posted in : News

Many business folks were surprised to receive multiple invitations for an event this evening billed as “Bringing good cheer to legislators.”

Strange as it may seem, that’s exactly what a group of legislators are expecting you to do – add them to your Christmas list.

“Bring us Good Cheer” is the opening line inviting people to a fundraiser for the “Bi-partisan House Majority.”

Claiming that “Alaskans want Solutions” and “Party labels don’t matter,” Representative Harriet Drummond and Representatives-Elect Jason Grenn, Dean Westlake and Zach Fansler are providing you the opportunity to retire their campaign debt…in the Christmas spirit of course.

In addition, Rep. LeDoux is giving you the chance to support her special little project, called “Gabby’s Tuesday PAC.” Rep. Paul Seaton, has followed in LeDoux’s footsteps and also created his own PAC, the “Sustain Alaska Fund.” Though we aren’t quite sure how Rep. Seaton intends to “sustain Alaska” given his animosity towards our state’s oil, gas and mining industries, he’s more than willing to take donations for his PAC.

If you find it a bit strange for legislators who just finished a campaign, to be fundraising again and asking the public for further contributions, before even providing their solutions to our state’s economic problems, don’t worry you are not alone. We too find it very strange and frankly out of place.

The only “solutions” this new majority has talked about publicly are increasing the size and scope of government and new and increased taxes. In fact, Representative Seaton, who will be the new co-chair of the House Finance Committee, introduced a bill instituting a 16% income tax last year…How’s that for sustaining Alaska?

Will the business community respond to this request? It will be interesting to see what names show up on the corresponding APOC reports.

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Morning Headlamp — Lease Sale a Wild Success Despite Low Price Environment

December 15, 2016 | Posted in : News

Officials used words like “outstanding” and “surprising” as the bids were opened in state sales held in the Robert B. Atwood Building in downtown Anchorage early Wednesday morning. High bids totaled $17.8 million on tracts covering 633,000 acres on the North Slope and in the coastal Beaufort Sea. In total, the state Division of Oil and Gas received 402 bids on 384 lease tracts on the North Slope. No one bid on state leases in the North Slope Foothills area.

“This is great news — for the state and the industry. As Alaska grapples with a $3.5 billion deficit, these $17.8 million of oil and gas lease sales are the first stage to getting much-needed production in our state,” Gov. Bill Walker said in a release from his office.

Australian-based 88 Energy owns Accumulate and is partnering with Houston-based Burgundy Xploration on the unconventional Icewine exploration project. The acreage the partners won this year adds to their already significant holdings on the southern Slope. The joint venture’s total position will be over 690,000 acres once the leases are transferred, according to an 88 Energy press release.

ConocoPhillips walked away with 146,600 additional acres and Armstrong won rights to 39,000 acres of state leases, according to preliminary DNR figures.

For the Beaufort Sea sale, the state received eight bids on seven tracts, for 33,460 acres, generating $870,000 in winning bids. A company called Narwhal LLC, which is new to Alaska, was the lone bidder on six of the Beaufort Sea tracts in Harrison Bay, southeast of Caelus’ discovery in Smith Bay.

Headlamp congratulates all parties, including the state, on yet another successful lease sale. Specifically, we would like to highlight the sale’s newcomers or those who dramatically increased their commitment to the region. It appears that the opportunity to develop our resources that now exists with a Trump presidency is already benefiting Alaska. 

News Deeply opined on how a Donald Trump presidency will impact the Arctic over the next four years. According to the piece, it is highly probable that the United States will return to a policy framework that is significantly more oriented toward unilateralism than multilateralism. Trump will support the Arctic Council only so much as it directly supports American interests, as he understands them. Trump has also indicated a support for the development of North American-based energy supplies. He has stated, on record, his support for the construction of new pipelines and the development of new North American-based supplies. Finally, Trump’s policies regarding Arctic security are still ambiguous. His praise for Putin and willingness to work with Russia runs counter to his promise for increased global presence and security.

Chairman of the Congressional Coal Caucus, Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., told S&P Global Market Intelligence that he is bullish about the chances to revive the beleaguered industry and, above all, deliver on the promise of sector jobs. “This is one of those black-and-white issues,” McKinley said referring to the choice between President-elect Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. “It was a choice we had to make and I believe that President Trump will be able to accomplish much of what he’s trying to do.”

 

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First Reads

‘Surprising’ Alaska oil-lease sale draws big bids
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, December 14, 2016

Slope lease sales generate $36 million in state, federal bids
Alaska Journal of Commerce, Elwood Brehmer, December 14, 2016

What Donald Trump’s Presidency Might Mean for the Arctic
News Deeply, Rob Huebert, December 14, 2016

Researchers modify sawdust as possible Arctic oil spill tool
Fairbanks Daily News Miner, December 14, 2016

Coal caucus chair bullish on opportunity, certainty under Trump Exclusive
SNL, Christopher Coats, December 14, 2016

Editorial: Exxon’s inside man
Juneau Empire, December 14, 2016

 

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Morning Headlamp — Opportunity knocks on Alaska’s door via Trump Cabinet Picks

December 14, 2016 | Posted in : News

Filling the roster. President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke, who has represented Montana’s at-large congressional seat for one term, to serve as secretary of the Department of the Interior, according to an individual with firsthand knowledge of the decision. In addition, Trump has picked Rick Perry to head the Energy Department, an agency whose name he forgot during a presidential debate even as he vowed to abolish it.

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski issued the following statement on Perry’s appointment, “I welcome the President-elect’s nomination of former Gov. Rick Perry to be Secretary of Energy. I strongly believe the leadership at this Department should have a broad understanding of the need to increase access to energy, make it more affordable, and improve environmental performance – all key factors that should drive our nation’s innovation policy. As a former governor of Texas, Rick recognizes the economic and security benefits of technology innovation and an energy supply that is diverse, reliable, and affordable. I look forward to meeting with Gov. Perry to discuss a wide range of important issues, including the high cost of energy in Alaska, the United States’ innovation excellence, the future of nuclear energy, LNG exports, and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. I also look forward to learning more about the team he would put in place around him, and to considering his nomination before our committee at a hearing in early January.”

Headlamp applauds both choices as they signal a new commitment to responsible resource development that was absent from the Obama administration. 

Shell has turned away from giant “frontier” projects, focusing instead on exploring closer to home, such as in Malaysia where it has been producing oil for more than a century. Many of its rivals are following suit. Shell, like many of its peers including BP and Exxon Mobil, have been forced into such strategies as the chances of finding new and huge reservoirs in hitherto unexplored frontier areas has diminished. The rate of successful exploration has dropped sharply in the last decade, with the proportion of projects finding any oil or gas down from around 40 percent to about 30 percent, according to Andrew Latham, vice president of exploration at consultancy Wood Mackenzie. Fewer than half of the finds go into commercial production. For Shell, the success of the new strategy and the Alaskan failure mean it will not return to frontier areas in the near future, but Ceri Powell, Shell’s head of exploration still sees opportunities for big discoveries in the likes of West Africa, Namibia, South Africa, Uruguay and eastern Canada.

Without question, Trump is building the most pro-drilling Cabinet in American history. In addition, a portion of Trump’s promise to speed economic growth and create 25 million new jobs rests on his commitment to leasing more federal lands and offshore areas for drilling. In the campaign, Trump’s advisers estimated that such an expansion would generate nearly $100 billion a year in additional economic growth over the next decade. The source for their projections was a study by a Louisiana State University economist, Joseph Mason, published by the Institute for Energy Research, a group that champions pro-fossil-fuel policies. “There’s been a lot of rhetoric from Trump about ramping up U.S. oil and gas production, but I think there are relatively few regulatory steps they can take to achieve that,” said Jason Bordoff, a former energy adviser to President Obama who is the founding director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. “You can open a lot of new areas, and you can scrap a lot of environmental rules, and on the margin that might slightly reduce the cost of drilling a new well. But that has a negligible impact compared to the swings of the global oil market.”

The Exxon vs Gov. Walker feud got much more interesting with the presumptive appointment of Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson to Secretary of State. Exxon holds the state’s largest share of natural gas reserves and was, until recently, the lead partner in the effort to build a gas line, a role the state is now taking over. Tillerson, who said he’s been involved in Alaska natural gas projects at Exxon since 1985, told World Gas Intelligence that Alaska has been its own “worst enemy” on the pipeline project, saying the state changes its approach every time it changes governors. Gov. Walker has frequently fired back.

 

First Reads

After Alaska flop, Shell’s search for oil moves closer to home
Alaska Dispatch News, Ron Bousso, December 13, 2016

Donald Trump faces an oil price conundrum
Alaska Dispatch News, Jim Tankersley, December 13, 2016

Activists rally in Anchorage against massive Arctic oil, gas lease sale
Your Link Alaska, Ron Bousso, December 13, 2016

3 legislators look to next session
Juneau Empire, Ben Boettger, December 12, 2016

Exxon’s Tillerson, Trump’s choice for State Dept., has history in Alaska
Alaska Public Radio News, Rachel Waldholz, December 12, 2016

Trump taps Montana Rep. Zinke as interior secretary
Alaska Dispatch News, Juliet Eilperin, December 14, 2016

Trump taps Perry to head Energy Department
Fairbanks Daily News Miner, December 14, 2016

 

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

December 13, 2016 | Posted in : News

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

 

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Morning Headlamp — President Obama Places More Regulation on Alaskan Waters

December 12, 2016 | Posted in : News

Enough already. On Friday, President Obama announced protections for the northern reaches of Alaska’s lands and waters, closing off more than 40,000 square miles of Bering Strait-area waters to future oil leases and requiring the federal government to set up a system for increasing the input of Native people. The executive order closely mirrors requests brought to the White House this year by the Association of Village Council Presidents, Kawerak, Inc. and the Bering Sea Elders Group.

Natalie Landreth, senior staff attorney at the Native American Rights Fund, said the move to block off those areas to drilling effectively closes the door on a 1987 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Amoco Production v. Village of Gambell, which left the area an unlikely source of oil and gas development, but without any long-term clarity in the situation. The communities there wanted the White House to “protect us from having to oppose lease sales every five years for the rest of our lives,” Landreth said. The president has also ordered federal agencies to consider traditional knowledge in its actions and set up a formal consultation program to employ the input of regional tribal governments.

The move comes a day after Alaska’s all-Republican congressional delegation — Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young — sent Obama a letter objecting to any use of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to withdraw offshore waters from future oil and gas leases. Alaska Gov. Bill Walker said Friday that while he supports the efforts of tribal leaders to protect their resources and find economic opportunities, the state government is worried about new moves to limit oil and gas drilling “at a time when the state is grappling with declining oil prices and production. We are concerned about the timing and lack of clarity on how this executive order will be implemented in the coming years.”

According to the Alaska Dispatch News, support industry companies are adapting to warmer temperatures when it comes to building North Slope ice-roads. Instead of gravel roads, support companies now look to make makeshift “asphalt” of ice chips, snow and lake water. “Ice roads are an amazing compromise,” said Brian Shumaker, co-owner of BeadedStream, a company providing temperature sensors that help analyze ground conditions before roads are built. “It minimizes the impact of exploration and construction.” “Companies are like, ‘I only have $50 million to do this test well. I don’t want to waste it sitting around in camp waiting for an ice road to open,'” Shumaker said. As always, Headlamp applauds support industry companies for their continued ingenuity in making the oil and gas industry as efficient and responsible as can be.

Oil prices surged to their highest level since mid-2015 on Monday after the world’s top crude producers agreed to the first joint output cut since 2001, sparking concerns about inflation, which pushed up U.S. Treasury yields to a more than two-year peak.

 

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First Reads

Obama administration offers parting protections for Alaska waters and tribes
Alaska Dispatch News, Erica Martinson, December 10, 2016

As temperatures rise, oil industry adapts to sustain Alaska ice-road seasons
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, December 10, 2016

Russia among other nations joining OPEC to cut oil output
Alaska Dispatch News, Vladimir Soldatkin, Rania El Gamal, Alex Lawler, December 11, 2016

Analysis: Saudi Arabia signals aggressive cuts to show commitment to OPEC output deal
S&P Global, December 11, 2016

Trump vows to address Dakota Access, Keystone XL
Argus, December 11, 2016

Oil hits highest price since mid-2015 as global producers agree to cut
Alaska Dispatch News, Caroline Valetkevitch, December 12, 2016

 

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Friday’s Fast Five

December 9, 2016 | Posted in : News

Top Story of the Week

This week state economist Caroline Schultz said that Alaska is in a recession, which likely began at the end of 2015. One of the most notable aspects is the job loss across all sectors, especially the oil and gas industry which lost 2,384 jobs, with the losses accelerating from January through June of this year, for an average loss of 16.4 percent.

Top Reads of the Week

This is what Russia’s new foreign policy strategy says about the Arctic
The Barents Observer, Atle Staalesen, December 2, 2016
The document, a guiding strategy for the country’s relations with the abroad, warns against an aggravation of international relations in the Arctic.

BlueCrest Gets A Break From The State On $30 Million Loan
KBBI, Rashah McChesney, December 6, 2016
A state corporation has agreed to change the terms of a multi-million dollar loan to a Cook Inlet oil company. Texas-based BlueCrest asked for the loan modification to help the company deal with construction delays and the loss of oil tax credit payments from the state.

Groups in Alaska divided over possibility of Pruitt as new head of EPA
KTUU, Travis Khachatoorian, December 7, 2016
NBC News reports, sources close to Trump expect him to announce Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt as his nomination to head the EPA.

Quote of the Week

“It’s sort of like a murder mystery — you know — a paperback book,”– David Houseknecht, US Geological Survey

 

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