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Morning Headlamp - Lease Sale a Wild Success Despite Low Price Environment


Officials used words like "outstanding" and "surprising" as the bids were opened in state sales held in the Robert B. Atwood Building in downtown Anchorage early Wednesday morning. High bids totaled $17.8 million on tracts covering 633,000 acres on the North Slope and in the coastal Beaufort Sea. In total, the state Division of Oil and Gas received 402 bids on 384 lease tracts on the North Slope. No one bid on state leases in the North Slope Foothills area.


"This is great news — for the state and the industry. As Alaska grapples with a $3.5 billion deficit, these $17.8 million of oil and gas lease sales are the first stage to getting much-needed production in our state," Gov. Bill Walker said in a release from his office.


Australian-based 88 Energy owns Accumulate and is partnering with Houston-based Burgundy Xploration on the unconventional Icewine exploration project. The acreage the partners won this year adds to their already significant holdings on the southern Slope. The joint venture's total position will be over 690,000 acres once the leases are transferred, according to an 88 Energy press release.


ConocoPhillips walked away with 146,600 additional acres and Armstrong won rights to 39,000 acres of state leases, according to preliminary DNR figures.


For the Beaufort Sea sale, the state received eight bids on seven tracts, for 33,460 acres, generating $870,000 in winning bids. A company called Narwhal LLC, which is new to Alaska, was the lone bidder on six of the Beaufort Sea tracts in Harrison Bay, southeast of Caelus' discovery in Smith Bay.


Headlamp congratulates all parties, including the state, on yet another successful lease sale. Specifically, we would like to highlight the sale's newcomers or those who dramatically increased their commitment to the region. It appears that the opportunity to develop our resources that now exists with a Trump presidency is already benefiting Alaska. 


News Deeply opined on how a Donald Trump presidency will impact the Arctic over the next four years. According to the piece, it is highly probable that the United States will return to a policy framework that is significantly more oriented toward unilateralism than multilateralism. Trump will support the Arctic Council only so much as it directly supports American interests, as he understands them. Trump has also indicated a support for the development of North American-based energy supplies. He has stated, on record, his support for the construction of new pipelines and the development of new North American-based supplies. Finally, Trump's policies regarding Arctic security are still ambiguous. His praise for Putin and willingness to work with Russia runs counter to his promise for increased global presence and security.


Chairman of the Congressional Coal Caucus, Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., told S&P Global Market Intelligence that he is bullish about the chances to revive the beleaguered industry and, above all, deliver on the promise of sector jobs. "This is one of those black-and-white issues," McKinley said referring to the choice between President-elect Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. "It was a choice we had to make and I believe that President Trump will be able to accomplish much of what he's trying to do."


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First Reads

'Surprising' Alaska oil-lease sale draws big bids
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, December 14, 2016

Slope lease sales generate $36 million in state, federal bids
Alaska Journal of Commerce, Elwood Brehmer, December 14, 2016

What Donald Trump's Presidency Might Mean for the Arctic
News Deeply, Rob Huebert, December 14, 2016

Researchers modify sawdust as possible Arctic oil spill tool
Fairbanks Daily News Miner, December 14, 2016

Coal caucus chair bullish on opportunity, certainty under Trump Exclusive
SNL, Christopher Coats, December 14, 2016

Editorial: Exxon's inside man
Juneau Empire, December 14, 2016

AK Headlamp
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Anchorage, AK 99503


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