Hilcorp increases production; Blocking gas bans; Alaska shines for mining

In News by wp_sysadmin


Hilcorp revived this declining North Slope oil field. Can it do the same for Prudhoe Bay?
Nathaniel Hertz, Alaska’s Energy Desk, March 5, 2020

For three decades, the overarching story of Alaska’s big North Slope oil fields has been one of decline, with production gradually sinking as companies pumped out the most easily accessible crude.  But over the past few years, at one of the basin’s oldest developments, something unusual happened: Production actually increased, and not just by a little. In 2018, the Milne Point field pumped slightly less than 21,000 barrels a day. In January, it was up to nearly 32,000 barrels daily — a difference that, at today’s prices, is worth an extra $3.5 million a week.  The architect of that turnaround is Hilcorp, the privately-owned oil company that bought a 50 percent stake in Milne Point in 2014. Now the company is poised to acquire a much bigger prize as part of its $5.6 billion deal with BP: a piece of the massive Prudhoe Bay field.

Exxon Taps Brakes on Permian Basin After Virus Hammers Oil
Kevin Crowley, Bloomberg, March 5, 2020

Exxon Mobil Corp. is slowing the pace of its flagship shale project in the Permian Basin, one of the first signs that the oil majors are throttling back on production in response to the recent slump in prices.  The U.S. energy giant will cut Permian production growth by about 10% over the next two years, the company said at its analyst day in New York on Thursday but will stick to its long-term plan to almost triple output from the basin by 2024.

Related:            Exxon Keeps Up $35 Billion Annual Spending Despite Oil Rout

ConocoPhillips sells oil leases in Permian Basin, DJ Basin
My San Antonio, March 5, 2020

Houston oil major ConocoPhillips is exiting the DJ Basin of Colorado and has sold its Waddell Ranch lease in the Permian Basin of West Texas, the company said in a Thursday morning statement.  Financial terms and the buyers were not disclosed.  The Waddell Ranch lease included the company’s only vertical oil wells in the Permian Basin. ConocoPhillips still owns numerous leases in the West Texas shale play where it continues to use horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.


Gas industry seeks to block gas bans.
Nicola Groom, Richard Valdmanis, Reuters, March 5, 2020

Lawmakers in at least five U.S. states have proposed bills since mid-February to prevent cities from banning natural gas as an energy source in new buildings, marking an escalation in the national battle over the fuel’s role in fighting climate change. The new bills, backed by business and utility interests, come as a growing number of cities in California and the Northeast vote to electrify their building sectors to avoid gas, a fossil fuel that contributes to global warming but which the drilling industry says is cleaner than alternatives like coal.


Fraser Survey: Alaska shines, Canada slips
Shane Lasley, North of 60 Mining News, March 6, 2020

No Canadian jurisdictions make investment attractiveness top-10 for first time in a decade; geology boosts Alaska to No. 4.    Canada’s provinces and territories have fallen from grace in the eyes of the global mining community, according to the latest rendition of Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies.  For the first time in a decade, no Canadian jurisdiction ranks in the top 10 for “investment attractiveness” in the annual survey conducted by the Canadian public policy think-tank.  Except for Alaska, is was a tough year for the five jurisdictions covered by North of 60 Mining News. When it comes to attracting mining and mineral exploration investment, Alaska ranked 4th globally, up one spot from last year. 


Governor Dunleavy announces three more town hall meetings

Alaska house temporarily strips Eastman of committee roles

How hard is it to hit that 100 billion target?
Ed King, King Economics Group, March 5, 2020

The House passed HCR13 earlier this week, mostly along caucus lines. The resolution is now in the Senate. It states that the legislature is committed to protecting the Permanent Fund and ensuring the continuation of the PFD for future generations.  While the language is not actually in the resolution, the House Speaker stated that their goal is to grow the fund balance to $100 billion by 2040. Let’s explore this goal a little bit.