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Historic Ventures

This is another busy month from start to finish.

Photo © Russ Slaten

This is another busy month from start to finish. The tenth annual Alaska Oil and Gas Congress, held at the Anchorage Marriott Downtown the third week of September by Ontario-based Canadian Institute, has probably been in the works since before the ninth annual event wrapped up last year. International speakers will join industry and government leaders from Alaska and other areas of the United States to present an open forum on a variety of topics related to developing oil and gas and other natural resources in Alaska. It is not to be missed. Much of the agenda this year has a focus on the future.

Another agenda with a focus on the future is the recently formed Arctic Iñupiat Offshore, LLC (AIO), a seven company venture made up of one regional and six village corporations—all organized under ANCSA, or the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act—Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (Arctic Slope region), Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation (Barrow), Tikigaq Corporation (Point Hope), Olgoonik Corporation (Wainwright), Atqasuk Corporation (Atqasuk), Kaktovik Iñupiat Corporation (Kaktovik), and Nunamiut Corporation (Anaktuvuk Pass). These companies are focused on the future.

On July 31, AIO signed a binding agreement with Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc. The agreement gives AIO options with Shell’s Chukchi Sea leases and activities; specifically, the new company can acquire an interest in Shell’s Chukchi venture.

Rex A. Rock Sr., president and CEO of Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and president of AIO, spoke to a crowd of people gathered at the Hotel Captain Cook event held to let the world know about the historic venture.

“You know, the economics are not what they need to be, so this is huge for the future,” Rock said. “The Arctic Slope region is dependent upon oil production regardless of its origin. Let me repeat that: The Arctic Slope region is dependent upon oil production regardless of its origin.”

Rock’s words rock, and while he and others at the event had more to say, this statement of his is the most profound and resonates for us all because it is not just the Arctic Slope region that is “dependent upon oil production regardless of its origin.” Alaska “is dependent upon oil production regardless of its origin.”

More about AIO and Shell next month from ABM’s Associate Editor Russ Slaten; September’s coverage shows other historic ventures and their tremendous economic impact throughout business and industry—Alaska Native Corporations. The team has put together another really great magazine. Enjoy!

—Susan Harrington, Managing Editor

This first appeared in the September 2014 print edition of Alaska Business Monthly magazine.

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