Thursday, November 28, 2013

Alaska Oil Future

Updates

March 15, 2017: Smith Bay, North Slope

March 10, 2017: Nanushuk Play; Pikka Area; North Slope; Repsol, Armstrong Energy, big discovery announced; 1.2 billion bbls of recoverable light oil; said to largest conventional onshore discovery in US in 30 years.

October 27, 2015: 88 Energy Limited has begun drilling horizontal shale on the North Slope This is just one of many links.

October 13, 2015: update on Kuparuk oil field, north slope, Alaska.

July 17, 2015: Alaska's North Shore production areas, EIA.  

Original Post
 
The Alaska oil story has always been difficult for me to understand. This article -- sent to me by a reader -- in The New Times brings us up to speed.

The NYT is reporting:
Ms. Palin was elected governor in 2006 on a pledge to clean house after revelations of oil-industry corruption in the State Legislature, and in 2007 oversaw a sweeping overhaul of policy that included big new taxes on oil profits.
But this year Gov. Sean Parnell — Ms. Palin’s lieutenant governor, and successor after her resignation in 2009 — led a drive in the Republican-controlled Legislature to repeal the Palin tax package, arguing that it discouraged new exploration. That is a big issue in Alaska, where oil taxes pay for 90 percent of the state’s general fund budget. 
And now the confusion due to strange bedfellows:
Supporters of the Parnell plan scoff that nostalgia for the Palin years is misguided hindsight. The old law, they said, created big disincentives for oil companies to explore and drill.
“People were angry at the oil industry, angry at the Republican Party, angry at the lawmakers who got caught in the scandal, and she channeled that,” said Andrew Halcro, the president of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, referring to Ms. Palin. “And so when she raised taxes, people were like, ‘All right, you go get ’em.’ But then the reality sunk in.” 
And that's why I was always so confused when I heard Alaska, oil, Palin, Tea Party, taxes, all in the same paragraph. 
She did the right thing. She put in a tax that was tough on the big guys,” said Jack Roderick, 87, a major public figure since Alaska’s early statehood as a lawyer, author, former Democratic mayor of Anchorage Borough — and now leader of the repeal drive
The Alaskans did not see the Bakken coming, nor did anyone else for that matter:
“In just the last five or six months, Alaskans are starting to see the benefit of a competitive tax regime,” he said in a telephone interview, pointing to new investment in oil drilling areas. He said that he gradually saw harmful effects in the ACES law he helped Ms. Palin pass and that Democrats, in “all of a sudden now raising her legacy,” were overlooking or ignoring the explosive rise of challengers in energy production since Ms. Palin’s time, notably North Dakota.
When will this be decided? 
The referendum on oil taxes will be in August. Mr. Parnell is aiming to seek a second full term in the general election two months later. The two races are now intertwined, Democrats said. 
This will be interesting to watch.

By the way, this helps me put into perspective North Dakota's approach to the oil patch.

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