Polar Star Struggles; Permitting reform – quality not quantity.

The only U.S. heavy icebreaker broke down on a mission to Antarctica again
Melody Schreiber, Arctic Today, February 1, 2091

The Polar Star, the only operational U.S. heavy icebreaker, reached Antarctica on its annual resupply mission to McMurdo Station on Jan. 17 — but not without encountering difficulties along the way. First, one of the electrical systems started smoking. The incident damaged wiring in an electrical switchboard, and one of two evaporators used to make drinking water stopped working. Then the shaft driving the ship’s propeller began leaking. Divers, using a hyperbaric chamber on loan from the U.S. Navy, entered the waters beneath the vessel and repaired the seal. And then there were the ship-wide power outages as the vessel broke through an 18-mile stretch of solid ice, sometimes as thick as 21 feet, to McMurdo Sound. To fix those issues, the entire power system was shut down and rebooted, which took nine hours.

Permitting in Alaska should focus on quality, not page count.
Eric Fjelstad, Bill Jeffress, Anchorage Daily News, February 3, 2019

Last fall’s ballot initiative campaign made clear that there are many misperceptions about what it takes to permit a project in Alaska and, specifically, about the federal permitting process being undertaken to evaluate resource development projects. Alaska has an abundance of federally protected wetlands and federal lands, which results in federal agencies playing a key role in the permitting of resource development projects in the state. The current federal administration has made permitting reform a top priority. This is important for Alaskans because resource development is a fundamental cornerstone of our economy. However, there are interests openly advocating that Alaska’s resources should stay in the ground, and that we should not build roads or other infrastructure. These interests actively work to stop projects and are strongly resisting efforts to reform the federal permitting processes. Their latest claim, arising on multiple fronts, is that federal project evaluations are being undertaken too quickly.

UK government urged to back industry future
Anamaria Deduleasa, Upstream Online.Com, February 4, 2019

Scotland has called on the UK government to support its “ambitious” plans to ensure a long-term future for the local oil and gas industry. In a new report, the Scottish Affairs Committee recommended the UK government agree to several steps, which it calls necessary for the industry to prosper and adapt to the government’s climate change targets. According to research by the committee, which follows an in-depth inquiry with six evidence sessions with industry experts, stakeholders, environmental groups and ministers, the industry should focus on maximizing economic recovery to provide a domestic source of oil and gas.

WorleyParsons edges closer to Jacobs acquisition
Josh Lewis, Upstream Online, February 4, 2019

Australian engineering company WorleyParsons is edging closer to the completion of its $3.3 billion acquisition of Jacob Engineering’s energy, chemicals and resources segments. WorleyParsons confirmed Friday it had received regulatory approval for the deal from the European Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau, which adds to the US HSR antitrust clearance it received in December. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval in South Africa and certain pre-completion restructuring activities within Jacobs.