Arctic

Goldman Sachs becomes first major U.S. bank to stop funding Arctic drilling, pulls back on coal

Goldman Sachs becomes first major U.S. bank to stop funding Arctic drilling, pulls back on coal

Goldman Sachs becomes first major U.S. bank to stop funding Arctic drilling, pulls back on coal

December 16, 2019 - 11:36 pm Arctic, Coal News, Press Releases
Interview: Novatek steps on gas pedal with Arctic LNG 2 construction, plans downstream LNG business in Germany and Poland

Interview: Novatek steps on gas pedal with Arctic LNG 2 construction, plans downstream LNG business in Germany and Poland

LNG World News Russia’s Novatek is pressing ahead with the construction of its second Arctic liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project, while in the meantime also planning to develop LNG downstream business in Germany and Poland, according to the company’s finance chief Mark Gyetvay. Arctic LNG 2 is Novatek’s second large-scale LNG export project following the launch of the Yamal LNG project two years ago. The second project located on the Gydan peninsula across the straight from the LNG plant on the Yamal peninsula includes the construction of three LNG trains at 6.6 million tons per annum each, using gravity-based structure (GBS) platforms. “We started pouring concrete for the first GBS at the end of July this year. Each unit will have 14 modules on the GBS platform, so for GBS 1 the modules are being constructed in China. The idea would be to eventually transition that work from foreign[Read More…]

December 9, 2019 - 11:44 am Arctic, Closing Bell Story, International, Natural Gas News, Popular 4
World Powers Increasingly See Icy Arctic as a Hot Property

World Powers Increasingly See Icy Arctic as a Hot Property

From AP News From a helicopter, Greenland’s brilliant white ice and dark mountains make the desolation seem to go on forever. And the few people who live here — its whole population wouldn’t fill a football stadium — are poor, with a high rate of substance abuse and suicide. One scientist called it the “end of the planet.” When U.S. President Donald Trump floated the idea of buying Greenland, it was met with derision, seen as an awkward and inappropriate approach of an erstwhile ally. But it might also be an Aladdin’s Cave of oil, natural gas and rare earth minerals just waiting to be tapped as the ice recedes. The northern island and the rest of the Arctic aren’t just hotter due to global warming. As melting ice opens shipping lanes and reveals incredible riches, the region is seen as a new geopolitical and economic asset, with the U.S.,[Read More…]

White House Seeks Swift Action to Issue Alaska’s ANWR Oil Leases

White House Seeks Swift Action to Issue Alaska’s ANWR Oil Leases

From REUTERS ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – The Trump administration is seeking to sell leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as quickly as possible – drawing fire from opponents of drilling in the sensitive area, who are warning against a rushed process. A top Department of Interior official who traveled to Alaska last week promised an imminent start to the leasing process, saying he wanted to wrap up environmental studies within a year, more quickly than such documents have been completed in the past. The department will “move very, very quickly on that project,” David Bernhardt, deputy secretary, said in a speech in Anchorage, one of several stops he made in an Alaska trip that included visits to the North Slope and to Fairbanks. Bernhardt said in the future he wants environmental impact statements to be finished in a year, not just for ANWR, calling the study process as unproductive[Read More…]

March 19, 2018 - 11:30 am Arctic, Closing Bell Story, Energy News
Interior Dept. to Begin Processes to Lease ANWR this Month

Interior Dept. to Begin Processes to Lease ANWR this Month

From The Washington Examiner Drilling ANWR at least a decade away: Murkowski The Trump administration this month will begin the process of opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and natural gas leasing. Interior Department officials visited Alaskan communities this week to let them know the agency in March will publish a notice in the Federal Register of its intent to do a draft environmental impact statement for energy leasing in the refuge, known as ANWR. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, said this week that the Interior Department could have the first lease sale to oil and gas drillers in 2019. Joe Balash, Interior’s assistant secretary for Land and Minerals Management, told local media he is hopeful the agency can meet that goal. Balash is Sullivan’s former chief of staff. “I worked with Sen. Sullivan a long time,” Balash said, according to the Anchorage Daily News. “He’s got very ambitious goals for us.[Read More…]

March 9, 2018 - 6:15 pm Arctic, Closing Bell Story, Energy News
ENB Line 21 Replacement Project

Canada’s National Energy Board Approves $53 Million Enbridge Pipeline

The National Energy Board (NEB) will allow Enbridge Pipelines Inc. (ticker: ENB) to replace a 2.5 km segment of its Line 21 Norman Wells Pipeline located in the Northwest Territory of Canada. Enbridge applied to the NEB on March 10, 2017 after identifying a potential safety concern related to a shifting slope on the Mackenzie River. The approval includes Enbridge’s plan to leave the section of pipe that is being replaced under the Mackenzie River. The section of pipe that is to be left behind will be cleaned, filled with grout and capped – in accordance with NEB regulations and CSA standards. The new pipe will be installed using a trenchless crossing method called horizontal directional drilling (HDD). The NEB held a hearing in Fort Simpson, Canada in October 2017 to review the application. During the hearing, the NEB heard from Enbridge, six intervenors and nine commenters including: Indigenous groups,[Read More…]

Alaska Collects $21.2 Million from Dec. 6 Lease Sale, North Slope Nets $20 Million of Total

Alaska Collects $21.2 Million from Dec. 6 Lease Sale, North Slope Nets $20 Million of Total

Armstrong Energy, Repsol, ConocoPhillips among winning bidders The State of Alaska held a record-breaking oil and gas North Slope lease sale on Dec. 6, netting competitive bids from investors around the world. The Division of Oil and Gas reported that it had received 143 bids from companies and investors seeking oil and gas leases on state lands during the division’s annual North Slope, Beaufort Sea, and North Slope Foothills areawide oil and gas lease sales. Total winning bids totaled nearly $21.2 million. Ranked by dollar amount, this North Slope areawide sale is the third largest of its kind since 1998, when areawide oil and gas leasing began, Alaska’s Division of Oil and Gas reported. By bid value, it is the largest sale since 1998, netting an average of $110 per acre. “I am particularly pleased to see Repsol E&P adding to its promising North Slope portfolio and showing strong interest[Read More…]

Statoil Greenlights Largest Offshore Project This Year

Statoil Greenlights Largest Offshore Project This Year

Johan Castberg will cost $6 billion Norway’s Statoil (ticker: STO) approved the largest offshore development this year today, approving the Johan Castberg project in the arctic Barents Sea. Discovered in 2011, Johan Castberg is farther north than Prudhoe Bay in Alaska. Several exploratory wells have indicated the field has significant oil reserves, but its remoteness makes development a challenge. Original plans called for more than $12 billion in capital expenditures, and had a breakeven above $80/bbl. This was good enough before the oil price crash, but plans were overhauled after 2014. Statoil now expects to spend NOK 49 billion, or just under $6 billion developing the field. This means the project has a breakeven of $35/bbl, much more plausible given the current market environment. Statoil estimates it will be able to recover 450 – 650 MMBOE from the field using the new development plan. Johan Castberg will use a floating[Read More…]

Murkowski Greenlights Tax Plan with Drilling ANWR in It

Murkowski Greenlights Tax Plan with Drilling ANWR in It

From the AP WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Senate Republicans’ tax overhaul bill (all times local): Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she supports the Republicans’ sweeping tax package, now that it would allow oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Murkowski got the provision added earlier this week, but her initial version violated arcane Senate rules about which provisions can be added to the tax bill. The Alaska Republican said Thursday the provision was tweaked to comply. She says, “We have done it and we’re ready to go.” Drilling in the refuge has long been a contentious issue, pitting environmentalists against those who want to increase domestic oil production. The Senate is expected to vote on the tax bill late Thursday or early Friday. 7:50 p.m. Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin says he is still withholding support for the Republicans’ sweeping tax package because it doesn’t cut taxes[Read More…]

December 1, 2017 - 2:34 pm Arctic, Closing Bell Story, Energy News
Alaska Oil: Drilling the Cook Inlet Again

Alaska Oil: Drilling the Cook Inlet Again

From the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman With $40-$60 per barrel oil, Hilcorp pushing oil production in written-off basin Not long ago, people were writing off Cook Inlet as a depleted oil producing basin. State agencies were focusing on how to safely shut down the 10 offshore platforms that produce oil. But things have changed. Hilcorp Energy, now the owner and operator of the platforms, is finding and producing new oil in the 50-year-old producing fields in north Cook Inlet. The company’s GP 11-24 well recently drilled to 12,613 feet off the Granite Point platform in Cook Inlet. It is producing 1,100 barrels per day with no water — a very good well for the mature producing basin, Hilcorp’s Alaska vice president, David Wilkins, said Wednesday. “The last drilling was done in the mid-1990s, between 1992 and 1996 and the wells were mostly disappointing,” Hilcorp spokeswoman Lori Nelson said in an e-mail.[Read More…]

Eni Receives Federal Permit to Drill Four Beaufort Sea Exploration Wells 

Eni Receives Federal Permit to Drill Four Beaufort Sea Exploration Wells 

First new Alaska Arctic exploration wells in 2 years From the AP ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A subsidiary of an Italian energy company has received a federal permit to drill the first oil exploration wells in U.S. Arctic waters in two years. The federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced Tuesday it has approved an application from Eni U.S. Operating Co. Inc. to drill exploratory wells in the Beaufort Sea. Drilling could begin next month from Spy Island, a gravel artificial island in state waters about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) off the coast near Prudhoe Bay. Eni will use extended-reach drilling techniques to reach federal submerged lands. The drilling would be the first in federal Arctic waters since Royal Dutch Shell in 2015 sent down an exploratory well in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast. Former President Barack Obama last year banned oil and gas exploration in most[Read More…]

November 29, 2017 - 2:16 pm Arctic, Closing Bell Story, Energy News
Arctic Oil Drilling Under Attack as Norway Dragged to Court

Arctic Oil Drilling Under Attack as Norway Dragged to Court

From: Bloomberg A group of activists is trying to put a stop to Norway’s Arctic oil exploration and forcing the country to defend itself in the first court case of its kind. Greenpeace and a Norwegian group, Nature and Youth, say Norway’s decision to award 10 Barents Sea exploration licenses in 2016 to Statoil ASA, Lundin Petroleum AB, Chevron Corp. and others, breaches the country’s constitution. Drilling in these areas, which include new acreage bordering Russian waters, is incompatible with Norway’s commitment to fight climate change under the 2015 Paris Agreement and poses a threat to the environment, the plaintiffs say. Norway’s government says the plaintiffs are misreading the law — or at least its intention. Representatives from the two sides meet in court in Oslo on Tuesday. The lawsuit is the first of its kind in Norway. But it marks part of a growing global trend of legal challenges brought against governments and companies for falling short[Read More…]

November 13, 2017 - 3:01 pm Arctic, Closing Bell Story, Energy News
Armstrong Energy Sells Alaska Interests

Armstrong Energy Sells Alaska Interests

Current sale involves half of interests, can be expanded to all Denver-based private E&P Armstrong Energy is selling its interest in its Alaskan properties, where it made a massive discovery earlier this year—the largest conventional onshore discovery in 30 years. Oil Search (ticker: OSH), from Papua New Guinea, will pay $400 million for minority interests in the Pikka and Horseshoe units, along with the adjacent exploration acreage. Armstrong and private GMT Exploration will each divest half of their respective interests in the fields. Repsol is not party to these transactions, and will continue to hold its minority shares. OSH has the option to double its holdings for another $450 million, which would give it a majority interest in all the available leases. Pikka will produce 100 MBOPD Pikka is one of the most significant projects under development in Alaska, with first phase production of about 100 MBOPD expected. Recent filings[Read More…]

Alaska’s Oil Production Decline Flattens, State Hopes for a Continued Upswing

Alaska’s Oil Production Decline Flattens, State Hopes for a Continued Upswing

Oil production rose in 2016, 2017, expected to rise in 2018 Most attention in the U.S. oil and gas industry has focused on unconventionals with the Permian basin being the hottest of the hot shale plays based on operator activity, industry employment and deal flow. However a mere 3,814 miles and 63 hours away by car, lies a conventional oil play haven that hopes to stage a comeback. Alaskan production peaked in 1998, when the state produced over 2 MMBOPD, and has generally been in decline since. Production bottomed in 2015, when the state pumped 483 MBOPD. However, recent activity has exceeded expectations, and production has grown in the last two years according to the state’s natural resources governing agency. According to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, oil production growth is expected to continue further, with the department forecasting 2018 production 9 MBOPD higher than 2017. The department identifies[Read More…]

Gulf of Mexico LNG Shippers Have a $45,000-a-Day Problem

Gulf of Mexico LNG Shippers Have a $45,000-a-Day Problem

Dealing with costly delays in getting tankers through the Panama Canal may slow down U.S. LNG shipments, according to Octavio Simoes, president of LNG export terminal developer Sempra LNG & Midstream. Bloomberg reported that Simoes calculated that every day a cargo is held up at the canal can cost a trader $45,000. Simoes was speaking at Energy Dialogues LLC’s North American Gas Forum in Washington. More than one-third of ships are running up against delays in getting through the canal, Simoes said, warning that the holdup could limit the amount of LNG the U.S. can sell to Asia, according to Bloomberg. There is a way to ship U.S. natural gas to Asia and entirely avoid traversing the Panama Canal, however. The Alaska Gasline’s proposed pipeline and LNG export project would circumvent the Panama Canal by shipping LNG directly from Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula to Asia. The proposed project was exited by its major[Read More…]

October 3, 2017 - 6:50 pm Arctic, Closing Bell Story, LNG, Oil and Gas 360 Articles
First Lease Sale in Alaska’s Federal Waters Since 2008 Attracts $3 Million

First Lease Sale in Alaska’s Federal Waters Since 2008 Attracts $3 Million

Hilcorp Alaska top bidder in Cook Inlet federal lease sale with more than $3 million in high bids on 76,000 acres Cook Inlet Lease Sale 244 — the first lease sale held in Alaska’s federal waters since 2008 — garnered $3,034,815 in high bids yesterday for 14 tracts covering roughly 76,615 acres in Cook Inlet, off Southcentral Alaska. All bids were submitted by Hilcorp Alaska LLC. “Today was the first time in nearly a decade that parcels off Alaska have been leased,” said Vincent DeVito, Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy. “Today’s successful sale is another step in an America First energy strategy that puts us on our way toward energy dominance.” Cook Inlet Lease Sale 244 is the final to be held under the 2012-2017 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program (Five Year Program). It offered 1.09 million acres in Cook Inlet, comprising 224 blocks[Read More…]

Source: BLM

Zinke Signs Order to Jump-Start Alaskan Energy Production in the NPR

Order also calls for updating ANWR resource assessments U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke signed a secretarial order to jump-start Alaskan energy production in the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPR-A) and update resource assessments for areas of the North Slope, including the “1002 area” of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). “Working with the Alaska Native community, Interior will identify areas in the NPR-A where responsible energy development makes the most sense and devise a plan to extract resources. We will do it in a way that both respects the environment and traditional uses of the land as well as maintains subsistence hunting and fishing access,” Zinke said in a statement. The order calls for an appropriate statutory balance of promoting development while protecting surface resources and an evaluation under the existing Integrated Activity Plan on efficiently and effectively maximizing the tracts offered for sale during the next NPR-A lease sale.[Read More…]

Electricity from the Sea is Real: the World’s Most Powerful Tidal Turbine Achieves 2 MW Peak Power in North Sea

Electricity from the Sea is Real: the World’s Most Powerful Tidal Turbine Achieves 2 MW Peak Power in North Sea

2 MW floating turbine sends power to the UK national grid You’ve probably heard of the concept—using oceanic tidal flows to generate electricity. After the concept lived a sci-fi storyboard kind of existence for decades, a concept for an affordable technology to generate electricity from the sea has evolved into reality, thanks to the efforts of a Scottish engineering firm that has been actively developing a novel technology for floating turbines since 2002. Scotrenewables Tidal Power Limited has announced it reached a milestone in tidal generation that is deployable and delivers power to the grid. Its floating turbine reached full rated power in operations at the European Marine Energy Centre in the Orkney Islands off the northern tip of Scotland, where the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean converge.   According to reports from the company, the ‘SR2000’ was re-connected to its subsea cable in a low cost connection operation that[Read More…]

Russia Can Wait for $70 Oil Before Re-Entering Arctic Waters

From Bloomberg Russia can wait for a sustained recovery in oil prices before drilling again in Arctic waters, relying for now on less costly regions even as rival producer Norway accelerates development of its northerly fields. “We estimate production costs for the Russian Arctic offshore in the range of $70 to $100 a barrel,” Energy Minister Alexander Novak said by email. These reserves “are our backup stock,” he said before the International Arctic Forum in Russia’s Arkhangelsk that began Wednesday. While crude is languishing at around $51 a barrel — less than half the price of mid-2014 — analysts at Morgan Stanley forecast a rebound to $70 by the end of 2019 as bloated global stockpiles decline. As Russia waits, Norway’s Arctic waters may host a record number of wells this year following recent discoveries, new government license awards and efficiency gains. Russia plans to boost exploration in the Arctic Barents and Kara seas from 2019,[Read More…]

March 29, 2017 - 3:38 pm Arctic, Closing Bell Story, Crude Oil News
Repsol and Armstrong Energy Announce Largest U.S. Onshore Conventional Hydrocarbons Discovery in 30 Years

Repsol and Armstrong Energy Announce Largest U.S. Onshore Conventional Hydrocarbons Discovery in 30 Years

Horseshoe-1: massive Alaska North Slope oil discovery Repsol (ticker: REP) and privately held Denver based Armstrong Energy LLC announced today the discovery of a massive oil field in Alaska, with an estimated 1.2 billion barrels of oil recoverable. This is the largest U.S. onshore conventional hydrocarbons discovery in the last 30 years, Repsol said in a press release. Drilled during the 2016-2017 winter campaign, the Horseshoe-1 discovery well encountered more than 150 feet of net pay in several reservoir zones in the Nanushuk section. A sidetrack, Horseshoe-1A, also encountered more than 100 feet of net pay. Repsol and Armstrong Energy Repsol has been active in Alaska since 2008 and has made several discoveries in the North Slope with its partner Armstrong Energy. Multiple exploratory wells have been successful in the Pikka area, where the company has drilled 13 wells. Armstrong is the operator of both the Pikka unit and the[Read More…]

A Father of Fracking Seeks to Emulate Shale Boom in Alaska

From Bloomberg A pioneer of the U.S. shale revolution wants to take fracking to Alaska. Success could help revive the final frontier’s flagging oil fortunes. Paul Basinski, the geologist who helped discover the Eagle Ford basin in Texas, is part of a fledgling effort on Alaska’s North Slope to emulate the shale boom that reinvigorated production in the rest of the U.S. His venture, Project Icewine, has gained rights to 700,000 acres inside the Arctic Circle and says they could hold 3.6 billion barrels of oil, rivaling the legendary Eagle Ford. While the potential is huge, the difficulty of shipping millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals — the ingredients used in fracking — to one of the most remote areas on earth is nothing short of monumental. At stake is an Alaskan industry that’s seen output tumble from 2.1 million barrels a day in 1988 to 520,000 in[Read More…]

March 9, 2017 - 12:45 pm Arctic, Closing Bell Story, Crude Oil News
Alaska in Talks to Purchase ConocoPhillips’ Nikiski Kenai LNG Facility

Alaska in Talks to Purchase ConocoPhillips’ Nikiski Kenai LNG Facility

Alaska determined to be an LNG exporter even when the oil and gas companies have bailed Alaska’s KTVA11 reported last night that the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) said in a presentation before the Senate Resources Committee on Monday that it is in discussions with ConocoPhillips (ticker: COP) about purchasing its liquefaction plant in Nikiski. Rosetta Alcantra, an AGDC spokeswoman, told KTVA the ConocoPhillips facility could potentially replace a larger LNG facility that would have to be built under original Alaska LNG pipeline (AKLNG) project plans, for which AGDC is the sole remaining applicant. Alcantra said she didn’t have information regarding how much the ConocoPhillips plant would cost or where money for the purchase would come from. “That’s a detail that would need to be ironed out,” she said. “It would be something, maybe there would be opportunities through other partnerships that would make it more realistic.” Alaska Gasline Development Corporation is last[Read More…]

January 24, 2017 - 4:49 pm Arctic, Closing Bell Story, LNG, Oil and Gas 360 Articles
President Declares “Indefinite” Offshore Drill Ban for Alaska and Atlantic Coastal Waters

President Declares “Indefinite” Offshore Drill Ban for Alaska and Atlantic Coastal Waters

White House Issues Memorandum Withdrawing Bulk of Alaska’s Arctic OCS and Portions of Atlantic OCS from Oil and Gas Drilling Today the White House pulled the plug on offshore drilling leases in the bulk of the Arctic offshore Alaska and portions of the Atlantic outer continental shelf (OCS). “The United States is designating the vast majority of U.S. waters in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas as indefinitely off limits to offshore oil and gas leasing, and Canada will designate all Arctic Canadian waters as indefinitely off limits to future offshore Arctic oil and gas licensing, to be reviewed every five years through a climate and marine science-based life-cycle assessment,” the White House said in a joint statement with Canada.   The Arctic withdrawal encompasses the entire U.S. Chukchi Sea and significant portions of the U.S. Beaufort Sea, according to a simultaneous statement put out by the Department of Interior. The[Read More…]

Alaska Celebrates Highly Successful Lease Sale this Week, Most Industry Bids Since 2010

Alaska Celebrates Highly Successful Lease Sale this Week, Most Industry Bids Since 2010

Industry made it abundantly clear they are interested in Alaska’s oil and gas–onshore and offshore: Eni, ConocoPhillips, Armstrong, Anadarko On Wednesday, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas each held a lease sale in Anchorage, putting state and federal leases up for auction. Officials associated with the lease sale said they were surprised by the high number of bids they received.  The revenue associated with both of the lease sales is sizeable, according to reports by the Arctic Energy Center. At the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas sale, over 633,000 acres of Beaufort Sea and North Slope tracts were sold for $17.8 million.  BLM received $18.8 million from the NPR-A lease sale it conducted, and the state of Alaska will receive $9.4 million of that. At the BLM sale, the agency received 92 bids for 67 lease tracts – the most it has received since[Read More…]

President Withdraws More of Alaska from Future Oil and Gas Production

President Withdraws More of Alaska from Future Oil and Gas Production

White House  removes 43,000 sq. miles and 3 Tcf of natural gas potential from offshore Alaska On Nov. 9, the president signed an executive order creating the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area. “This area, encompassing 112,300 square miles, represents a hugely productive, high-latitude ocean ecosystem and supports one of the largest seasonal marine mammal migrations in the world, including thousands of bowhead and beluga whales, hundreds of thousands of walruses and ice seals, and millions of migratory birds,” the White House said in its announcement. The Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area is delineated for the purpose of focusing a locally-tailored collection of protections related to oil and gas, shipping, and fishing. Norton Basin Planning Area and parts of St. Matthew-Hall are withdrawn from federal OCS leasing “Under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the president has withdrawn Norton Basin planning area and portions of the St. Matthew-Hall planning area from future oil and[Read More…]

Alaska will have No Arctic Offshore Federal Lease Sales: BOEM

Alaska will have No Arctic Offshore Federal Lease Sales: BOEM

Alaska reels as BOEM Announces Federal OCS Lease Schedule for 2017-2022 The U.S. government released its final list of federal lands offshore that it will open for lease sales for oil and gas development on the outer continental shelf (OCS). Excluded from the lease sales are the highly prospective areas offshore Alaska in the Arctic—the Chukchi Sea and the Beaufort Sea. “Based on, among other factors, current market conditions, evidence of a lack of industry interest, and the recent increase in onshore oil and gas production, the Secretary (of the Interior) decided that Arctic lease sales are not needed in the 2017-2022 program to best meet the nation’s energy needs,” the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said in its final document. The proposed final program proposes a lease sale schedule of 11 lease sales, 10 in those portions of three OCS planning areas in the Gulf of[Read More…]

Offshore Alaska: DOI Adds More Drilling Regulations

Offshore Alaska: DOI Adds More Drilling Regulations

President Obama ‘turning his back on the livelihoods of Alaskans who depend on resource development’ Today, the United States Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management released 348 pages of new Requirements for Exploratory Drilling on the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf. Today’s rule addresses certain key factors associated with conducting offshore oil and gas activities on the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf, specifically adding regulations for the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea Planning Areas. According to the BOEM executive summary: “Although there is currently a comprehensive OCS oil and gas regulatory program, there is a need for new and revised Arctic-specific regulatory measures for exploratory drilling conducted by floating drilling vessels and “jack-up rigs” (collectively known as mobile offshore drilling units or (MODU)) in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea Planning Areas (defined in this final rule as the Arctic OCS). “The United States (U.S.) Arctic region, as recognized[Read More…]

Offshore Pain Continues:  Shell Cancels $600,000/Day Transocean Rig

Offshore Pain Continues: Shell Cancels $600,000/Day Transocean Rig

Polar Pioneer was the Focus of Protests Just Months Ago Royal Dutch Shell (ticker: RDS.B) delivered some bad news for Transocean (ticker: RIG) as companies returned to their respective offices following an extended Christmas weekend. According to a RIG press release, Shell elected to cancel its contract for the Polar Pioneer rig, which was originally scheduled to expire in July 2017. The Polar Pioneer is a harsh environment semisubmersible rig with maximum drilling depth of 25,000 feet. Shell originally contracted the rig for operations in the Arctic, but it was returned to Washington State in October 2015 following exploration in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. Day rates ranged from $561,000 to $624,000. A Foreseen Ending The Polar Pioneer received plenty of publicity in its time with Shell: the rig was greeted by hundreds of protestors when it was first docked in Seattle earlier this year. Hundreds of activists in petroleum-based kayaks embarked[Read More…]

Alaska’s $64.6 Million Purchase of TransCanada’s Interest in Alaska LNG is State’s “Number-One Get Well Card”

Alaska’s $64.6 Million Purchase of TransCanada’s Interest in Alaska LNG is State’s “Number-One Get Well Card”

Alaska hopes to make $400 million more per year after buying TransCanada’s share of the project Last week Alaska Governor Bill Walker said that the decision to purchase TransCanada’s share of the project was the “number-one get-well card” for Alaska’s $3.5 billion budget deficit. “Today is a historic day,” said Walker. “By gaining an equal seat at the negotiating table, we are taking control of our destiny and making significant progress in our effort to deliver Alaska gas to the global market.” The State of Alaska announced that it will officially buy TransCanada’s (ticker: TRP) share of the Alaska LNG (AKLNG) project for approximately $64.6 million, according to a release from the office of Alaska Governor Bill Walker. The decision required the backing of the Alaskan legislator, which authorized an appropriation allowing the state to purchase TransCanada’s 25% share of the project. In June 2014, Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources[Read More…]

Drill Rig in Alaska - Oil & Gas 360

Statoil Bails on Alaska Offshore Leases, Citing Competitive Reasons

Sen. Murkowski: Obama Administration at Fault for “Project Killer” Regulations Statoil (ticker: STO) is closing the door on its Alaska operations, the company announced in a press release on November 17, 2015. The Norway-based exploration and production company plans to shut its office in Anchorage and will walk away from 16 operated and 50 non-operated leases in the Chukchi Sea. The announcement comes less than two months after another supermajor, Royal Dutch Shell (ticker: RDS.B), exited the region based on an exploration well that was deemed uncommercial in the current commodity environment. In a Shell-issued release, the company cited high costs, potentially modest returns and “the challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment” as the main reasons behind its decision. Similarly, STO said that the leases were simply “no longer considered competitive within Statoil’s global portfolio.” Several other companies, including BP plc (ticker: BP), Chevron (ticker: CVX) and ExxonMobil (ticker: XOM)[Read More…]