Following an executive order from U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is in the process of generating updated assessments of the oil and gas resources on Alaska’s North Slope in what could be the precursor to an exploration and development boom on federal lands that have mostly been off-limits to the industry.Did President Trump need to get involved? Who cares. This is how it really happened:
The May 31 executive order has renewed a sense of hope for opening currently off-limit areas of the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPRA), and opening the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), which has been tightly closed to the industry since the 1980s, to exploration.
As older oilfields such as Prudhoe Bay, the Kuparuk River and the Alpine have long since reached their production peaks, the state of Alaska has been anxiously watching the steady decline of oil through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) over the last three decades – peaking in 1988 at 2.1 million barrels of oil per day to today’s roughly 500,000 barrels.
While it has long been speculated that off-limit areas in NPRA and the 1002 Area in ANWR have the potential for major discoveries of hundreds of millions or billions of barrels of oil, decades of legislation and land management policies have kept them closed to the industry to varying degrees, said David Houseknecht, USGS senior research geologist who is overseeing the North Slope assessments, to Rigzone.
Yet recent, headline-making discoveries on the North Slope by Armstrong Oil & Gas, Inc., ConocoPhillips Alaska and Caelus Energy Alaska have sparked excitement in the Last Frontier State. All lie within a major fairway stretching from the Colville River Delta to the western coast of Smith Bay. If areas that are currently off-limits to leasing near Teshekpuk Lake in NPRA open up, that could be the catalyst to the next energy boom in Alaska, Houseknecht said.
Earlier this year, Murkowski introduced a bill to the House and the Senate calling for the opening of ANRW to exploration.And then a few phone calls to the Secretary of the Interior.
The "good guys" have less than four years to get these projects moving. There's no guarantee President Trump will be re-elected. A four-year window of opportunity.
Making America great. Again.
My wife and I mentioned this to each other this morning -- time to sack the 7th Fleet admiral. I guess it's finally happening.
From Navy Times:
The head of U.S. Forces Pacific is preparing to sack the head of the three-star U.S. 7th Fleet after a string of mishaps among the Japan-based ships that have rocked the Navy to its core.
Adm. Scott Swift is traveling to Japan and plans to remove Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin for a loss of confidence in his leadership there, two U.S. officials confirmed.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the pending firing.