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Morning Headlamp - Strange bedfellows to protect the PFD

New friends, old mistakes


Beginning of a beautiful friendship. The Alaska Gasline Development Corp. announced it has entered into a Cooperation Agreement with BP to collaborate in the development of the financial and tolling structure intended to advance the Alaska gasline and LNG project. This agreement is intended to assist in developing a commercial structure of the project to enable project financing. According to the release, the objectives are to "progress the effort to utilize third-party infrastructure funding sources as a means to reduce the cost of service on the Project infrastructure," and to "assist AGDC in developing the Project on an expeditious timeline within AGDC's target in-service date of 2023-25."


Headlamp applauds the state partnering with private industry on such a monumental energy infrastructure opportunity. To read the full agreement, check it out here.


New friends, old mistakes. Legislators on opposite ends of the political spectrum are supporting an Alaska Senate bill to restore the other half of Alaskans' PFD checks cut by Gov. Bill Walker last year. Walker vetoed about half the amount available for checks after legislative sessions that focused on the state's multibillion-dollar deficit ended in gridlock. Signing on as co-sponsors to Republican Sen. Mike Dunleavy's bill are conservative Republicans Cathy Giessel, David Wilson and Shelley Hughes and Anchorage Democrats Bill Wielechowski and Tom Begich. The bill is scheduled for an initial hearing on Tuesday.


Black gold rush. The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. leaped by 35 this week to 694. A year ago, 637 rigs were active. The number of Alaskan rigs however, remained unchanged.


Outside help. The state gas line agency has hired five new contractors with experience in liquefied natural gas projects as part of a team based in Houston, Texas, at a cost of roughly $1 million a year.  The announcement of the Houston contractors on Monday came days after the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. opened an office and hired a contractor in Japan to help find gas buyers in Asia to support the pipeline and liquefied natural gas project.


According to KTVA, AGDC isn't reaching its hand out to lawmakers for new money on the state's liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline project — known as AKLNG — but it is looking at taking on a new facility – the ConocoPhillips LNG plant in Nikiski. "Whether it's on the table or not, there are some positives as well as some different things that we can look at," said Rosetta Alcantra, an AGDC spokeswoman. "The state is looking at every viable option we have available."


An America First Energy Plan, posted on the White House website soon after noon on Friday, said President Trump  would focus on lowering energy costs and "freeing us from dependence on foreign oil." Weaning the U.S. from OPEC's whims has long been a goal of American leaders – at  least rhetorically. From the days of Richard Nixon that's been a pledge of U.S. presidents. But Bailey Lipschultz and Mark Shenk say that unlike those earlier calls, Trump may actually be able to succeed. U.S. imports are back up, but because of the shale boom U.S. production is up and there's scope for it to rise further.


First Reads

Alaska dividend bill draws support from unusual allies
Associated Press, Becky Bohrer, January 23, 2017

State gas line agency hires 5 new contractors for Texas office
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, January 23, 2017

US rig count jumps 35 this week to 694
Associated Press, Becky Bohrer, January 23, 2017

Ban on offshore Arctic energy is out-of-step with views of the people who matter most
The Hill, Lucas Frances, January 23, 2017

State considers buying ConocoPhillips LNG facility in Nikiski
KTVA, Liz Raines, January 23, 2017

Freeing the U.S. From OPEC No Longer Just a Dream: Bloomberg Government Energy
Bloomberg, Mark Drajem, January 23, 2017

AK Headlamp
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Anchorage, AK 99503


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