Headlamp – RDC Conference accentuates the positive. Oil & Gas Leasing 101 for Al Franken

Accentuate the positive… There is plenty for the players of Alaska’s extraction industries to be positive about and that should translate into a cheery Resource Development Council for Alaska conference. The annual gathering for some of the state’s largest industries will be held Nov. 15-16 as it usually is at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in downtown Anchorage. RDC for Alaska Executive Director Marleanna Hall said some of the good vibes are being sent all the way from Washington, D.C. Last year’s conference convened shortly after President Donald Trump was elected and while there was anticipation about what a Trump White House would mean for Alaska businesses, no one knew quite what to expect. “There’s some optimism out there and a lot of it is coming from the changes in the energy outlook for America; it’s coming from opportunities to revise and revamp federal regulatory processes and a lot of it is coming from the top down,” Hall said.

Oil & Gas Leasing 101 for Al Franken. Senators had to explain to Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota the economics underlying federal oil and gas leasing during a hearing on opening up more areas in Alaska to drilling. Franken opposes a Republican bill to open a small portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas exploration, arguing it could impact the porcupine caribou native to the region Franken also went on a long rant about why it didn’t make economic sense to him to open more Alaskan lands to drilling when millions of acres were left untapped by oil companies. Franken sits on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. “This is a very contentious issue and since there’s another million acres that are already leased — oil companies don’t lease land, at least I don’t think they do, it doesn’t make any sense to me,” Franken said in the hearing. “I don’t know the oil business, but why would you lease anything where you didn’t think there was oil?” Franken said. “It doesn’t make any business sense.”

Vietnam signs MOU with AGDC. Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) and PetroVietnam Gas (PVGAS) today signed a memorandum of understanding setting forth the basic principles to collaborate on potential opportunities of LNG supply from AGDC to serve LNG import projects in Vietnam and to evaluate the possibility of upstream resource investment in Alaska. The agreement was signed in Hanoi, Vietnam by executives of AGDC and PVGAS in the presence of U.S. President Donald Trump and Vietnam President Trần Đại Quang. PVGAS is a subsidiary of state-owned PetroVietnam (PVN). PVGAS is developing LNG receiving and regasification terminals in Vietnam, namely Thi Vai LNG Terminal and Son My LNG Terminal, in order to supply natural gas to newly built and proposed power plants and existing gas users. “The agreement with Vietnam fits very well with AGDC’s broader marketing program and recently announced deal with Sinopec, which leaves a portion of the Alaska LNG production capacity with AGDC for sale to regional Asian markets such as Vietnam,” said Keith Meyer, president, AGDC. “Vietnam is a new entrant to the LNG industry but has the potential to be a rapidly growing customer of LNG and we look forward to participating in the growth of the Vietnamese economy by providing reliable and stable natural gas supply.”

Ice, Ice Baby. Alaska officials expect a busy ice road construction season on the North Slope this winter, a sign of improving economic activity in the state’s oil patch after years of layoffs and low oil prices. Ice roads and snow roads used for exploration drilling and the cleanup of old wells in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska are key to the plans, said Melissa Head, who oversees the state’s ice road permitting program.

First Reads:

Optimism abounds in advance of annual RDC gathering
Alaska Dispatch News/Alaska Journal of Commerce, Elwood Brehmer, November 14, 2017

Al Franken Gets Schooled On How Federal Oil Leasing Works During A Hearing
The Daily Caller, Michael Bastasch, November 15, 2017

Alaska Gasline Development Corporation Signs MOU with PetroVietnam Gas
Informed Infrastructure, Parul Dubey, November 13, 2017

North Slope frozen road construction is up this winter
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, November 15, 2017