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Good News for Southcentral

Apache shines like the midnight sun

As I was thinking about what I was going to write about this month, a press release from U.S. Sen. Mark Begich landed in my inbox titled “TAPS Low Flow Study Provides Wakeup Call for Alaska Industry.”

Basically, we have 10 years left of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, based on the current rate of decline.

“With about 80 percent of State revenue and some of Alaska’s best private-sector jobs riding on the oil pipeline, its continued operation is obviously a top priority for our state,” Begich stated on June 29. “If we don’t act quickly to get more oil in the pipeline, that could go away in just a decade. That’s why I’m aggressively pushing for approval of more oil and gas development on federal lands and in federal waters.”

While doom and gloom may be the voice of the North Slope, there is optimism in other parts of the state. Of note is an ABM article posted on our website June 28 titled “Significant Natural Gas Resources Remain to Be Discovered in Cook Inlet, Alaska.”

Great News for Cook Inlet

Cook Inlet, it appears, holds far more natural gas reserves than previously predicted – about 19 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas and 600 million undiscovered barrels of oil and 46 million barrels of natural gas liquids, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. And lease sales in the area jumped considerably, with 110 bids, 91 of which came from Apache Alaska Corp.

Even though we’ve written about Apache as a newcomer to the state, I Googled the company to see their most recent press releases, and instead of getting its website, more exciting news: “Apache Corp. has eyes for Alaska,” “Apache Alaska Corp. Snatches Up Lion’s Share of Cook Inlet Leases,” “Apache Big Winner,” “Apache Dominates Largest Cook Inlet Sales in Years,” and so on and so on.

With 75 percent of our nation saying the U.S. is not doing enough to develop its gas and oil resources (according to the Rasmusseen Reports), Apache glows like a lantern, shining through Alaska’s dark winter night. Or perhaps, a better analogy for this time of the year, the midnight sun, penetrating all things dreary.

Apache Corp. is an oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Canada, Egypt, the United Kingdom, North Sea, Australia and Argentina.

‘Urgency’ Key

Its mission statement “is to grow a profitable global exploration and production company in a safe and environmentally responsible manner for the long-term benefit of our shareholders.” Among its core values is “to drive to succeed with a sense of urgency.”

My hope is Apache grows big in Alaska, investing in the state, Cook Inlet and in its people. My hope is not unlike U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who wrote.

“Perhaps the best news is that this new estimate (by the U.S. Geological Survey) reflects major reserves in State waters and State lands. That means Alaska residents can expect the jobs, revenues and energy security benefits from these resources within just a few years, compared to the endless delays that plague development in federally held areas.”

Let’s not forget about the North Slope, about offshore, about development in ANWR and the NPR-A. But let’s celebrate what we do have now: Cook Inlet.

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