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February 2014

Articles

Alaska Lenders Finding Good Borrowers

Alaska Lenders Finding Good Borrowers

On October 31, Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) completed the largest, most technical transaction in its history. It acquired Peak Oilfield Service Co., thanks to commercial financing from Wells Fargo. The term loan supported a strategic acquisition for BBNC, which is owned by 9,400 Alaska Native shareholders in Southwest Alaska.

2014

Right out of the gate, 2014 is looking to be a better year than 2013. Not that I’m superstitious; I’m not (usually). However, the only traffic violation I ever received, and that was more than twenty years ago, was for going thirteen miles over the speed limit, thirteen minutes after midnight, on the thirteenth of the month. Bad luck with the number thirteen? You be the judge.

US Cabotage Laws and Alaska’ LNG Trade

US Cabotage Laws and Alaska’ LNG Trade

Love it or hate it, the Jones Act is the single most important piece of US maritime legislation to date. It provides many Alaskan fishermen with jobs on the water, delivers significant employment benefits to injured mariners, and protects Alaskan seaman from the vicissitudes of foreign flagged jurisdictions by limiting US trade to US owned and operated vessels. All in, the Jones Act generates over $100 billion in US revenue and provides over five hundred thousand jobs to Americans annually. However, the Jones Act is not without its critics, and many of the larger commercial maritime entities are wondering what future the Jones Act will have if Alaska needs to ship Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to US ports, rather than those exclusively in Asia. This article will examine the current LNG tanker market, US shipping laws, and the impact each will have on Alaska’s LNG trade.

Sustainable Arctic Construction: Challenges Inspire Creativity

Sustainable Arctic Construction: Challenges Inspire Creativity

I’m crouched under a building, trying to sketch the location of water and wastewater lines as the winds rattles the paper in my hands and snow skitters around me. Using a pencil is clumsy with gloves, but the day is too cold not to wear them. A few yards away the waves in Norton Sound pound on the seawall—the beach is completely submerged beneath the storm surge.

Between Strait and Sea

Between Strait and Sea

During the second half of September last fall, a Danish-owned ice-class bulk carrier, the Nordic Orion, became the first large commercial vessel to traverse the Northwest Passage since the US tanker SS Manhattan in 1969. Embarking from Vancouver in Canada in early September, sailing in waters abutting Alaska and thereafter transiting these Canadian Arctic waters, the Nordic Orion deposited its cargo of 73,500 tons of coking coal at the port of Pori in Finland. For the Danish owner of the vessel, Nordic Bulk Carriers, the voyage proved to be another feather in its cap. In 2010, Nordic Bulk had become the first non-Russian company to sail the Northern Sea Route—spanning the Arctic coast of Russia—when it shipped iron ore from a port in Norway to China.

Read the Fine Print

An average consumer encounters written contracts on a regular basis. Transactions over the internet typically require you to read and agree to the terms and conditions that govern the access to data being granted or to confirm that you are waiving certain rights to privacy. Every cell phone company and fitness facility requires their customers to sign lengthy written agreements that set forth the rules that govern the new relationship. Although laws have been passed to ensure that the font used in such agreements meets a minimum size requirement (so we can actually read it without a magnifying glass), the language is still often convoluted and so plagued by legal jargon that it can be difficult to determine what you agreed to do.

Arctic Shipping and Northern Harbors

Arctic Shipping and Northern Harbors

It may come as a surprise to most Americans—and even to many Alaskans—that the Port of Nome is a very busy place. Between May and December, hundreds of vessels make port calls at Nome. And, driven by such geopolitical trends as high demand for gold and other minerals, commodities transshipment, increased oil exploration, and even international tourism, Nome officials are striving to keep port development ahead of demand.

Parker Drilling’s Arctic Alaska Drilling Units

Parker Drilling’s Arctic Alaska Drilling Units

It was a typical winter day in February 2013 on Alaska’s North Slope when Parker Drilling’s Rig No. 272 started its inaugural journey from the Crazy Horse Pad in Deadhorse to its first drilling site.

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