Survey says? Alaska top 5 in mining attractiveness; Bright & Unpredictable

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Annual Survey of Mining Companies, 2018
Ashley Stedman and Kenneth P. Green, Fraser Institute, February 28, 2019

Takeaways from the report include:

  • Alaska ranks 5th in Investment Attractiveness (2nd in the US—Nevada ranks higher)
  • Alaska ranks 26th (mid-range) in Policy Perception
  • Alaska ranks 2nd in Best Practices Mineral Potential (2nd in the US—Nevada ranks higher)
  • Alaska ranks 5th in the global survey ranking for investment, up from 10th in 2017

Select “Read the Whole Survey” on the Fraser Institute webpage to read more about how the rankings were formulated.

Alaska’s oil production future could be bright, but it’s also unpredictable

Rashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk, February 27, 2019

Alaska’s oil production has remained relatively flat in recent years, but there could be changes on the horizon as new fields come online on the North Slope. The state House Finance Committee heard an update from the Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday. They were told that the legacy fields — those that are currently producing oil — are still the backbone of the state’s oil production. “But as we go out, you know, five-to-six years out, projects that are expected to come online beyond this fiscal year begin to play a more important role,” said DNR Commercial Analyst Maduabuchi Pascal Umekwe. There are new projects coming online, like Hilcorp’s Milne Point Moose Pad, ConocoPhillips’ CD5 expansion and Greater Mooses Tooth 2. There are also new discoveries in development, like Oil Search’s Pikka.

Our Take: As Alaskans deal with the shock of a budget where revenues meet expenses, its important to remember that the largest funding source for the budget comes from oil production. Increase oil production, increase revenue for the state.   Policy matters.

Ottawa gives $1.6 million to Kivalliq hydro-fiber link study
Sarah Rogers, Arctic Today, February 28, 2019

Canada’s federal government will help pay for a study to look at the feasibility of connecting Nunavut’s Kivalliq region west of Hudson Bay to Manitoba’s hydroelectric and fiber-optic networks.  Just a few weeks after the Kivalliq Inuit Association pitched the project to federal officials in Ottawa, the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) delivered support in the form of a $1.6-million investment. That will help fund a two-year technical and feasibility study on developing a hydroelectric and fibre-optic link that would connect communities in the Kivalliq region to northern Manitoba.

Our take: We have heard from our members that a fibre link to remote communities would greatly enhance operations. This is a tremendous step in both technological advancements and also in providing stable energy for studied regions.

Two U.S. bills could advance American presence in the Arctic
Melody Schreiber, Arctic Today, February 28, 2019

The two bills — the Arctic Policy Act (APA) and the Shipping and Environmental Arctic Leadership Act (SEAL Act) — were both introduced late last year but saw little movement before the session ended.  Alaska Sen. Murkowski, a Republican, plans to reintroduce them this spring. Addressing the Alaska State Legislature on February 19, Murkowski framed both pieces of legislation as ways to shore up resources for Alaska and to compete on an increasingly international stage.

Wheeler nears final approval
Kelsey Tamborrino, POLITICO, February 28, 2019

The Senate will vote at 12:30 p.m. today on Andrew Wheeler’s nomination to formally become EPA administrator. Although he’s lost a few backers since his confirmation for deputy, Wheeler is expected to sail through the Republican-controlled chamber. Wheeler has faced questions over his ties to his former lobbying days, as well as over the agency’s handling of PFAS chemicals. But enough Republicans back Wheeler that he should easily clear the chamber today. Wheeler’s “experience makes him uniquely qualified to serve as the head of the agency,” Senate EPW Chairman John Barrasso said from the floor Wednesday.