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Northern Gas Pipelines is your public service 1-stop-shop for Alaska and Canadian Arctic energy commentary, news, history, projects and people. It is informal and rich with new information, updated daily. Here is the most timely and complete Arctic gas pipeline and northern energy archive available anywhere—used by media, academia, government and industry officials throughout the world. Northern Gas Pipelines may be the oldest Alaska blog; we invite readers to suggest others existing before 2001.  -dh

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Alaska Taxes

1-1-15 The New Year Begins!

01 January 2015 2:52pm

Tim Bradner, Alaska Journal of Commerce, Photo by Dave HarbourBill Walker, Governor, Alaska, budget cuts, Photo by Dave HarbourAlaska Journal of Commerce by Tim Bradner (NGP Photo-L).


Gov. Bill Walker (NGP Photo, above) and his new administration are still settling in as state legislators are packing up to head to Juneau for the 2015 session.

Mike Chenault, Speaker of the House, Alaska, budget, Dave Harbour PhotoKeven Meyer, Alaska State Senate, Senate President, ConocoPhillips, Photo by Dave Harbour

The annual political poker game begins Jan. 20 when the state Legislature convenes.


Walker will be at the table. So will House Speaker Mike Chenault (NGP Photo-Far R)​; Senate President Kevin Meyer (NGP Photo-R)​; House Democratic Minority Leader Chris Berta Gardner, Alaska State Senate, Senate Minority Leader, State Budget, Democrat, Anchorage, Photo by Dave HarbourChris Tuck, House Minority Leader, Alaska State House of Representatives, Alaska State Legislature, State Budget, Photo by Dave HarbourTuck (NGP Photo-R)​; and Senate Democratic Minority Leader Berta Gardner (NGP Photo)​.


Alaska Dispatch/AP by James MacPherson.  

Forget South Dakota. North Dakota's most similar sister state these days is some 2,000 miles away.

Alaska and North Dakota — which once had little more in common than wintry weather and elbow room — have for the past several years been locked in a state sibling rivalry ....

"It shocks me how much we have in common with Alaska, and it's not just the cold," said Kevin Iverson, manager of ....

North Dakota is bettering Alaska on crude production and the number of residents now....  The United States' unlikely economic darling that is North Dakota comes in contrast to slipping crude production on The Last Frontier.

...North Dakota recaptured the 47th most populous state from Alaska, which .... North Dakota had an estimated 739,482 residents in 2014, up more ....

Alaska lost more than ....  (Read more)


12-17-14 Alaska Tightens Its Budget Belt

17 December 2014 10:35am

Alaskanomics, by Caroline Huntley

Governor Walker proposes reduced state capital budget amid falling oil prices

Posted: 16 Dec 2014 08:39 AM PST

Another Payment to the Administration's Environmental Supporters?

Sen. Murkowski Responds to Obama's Withdrawal of North Aleutian Basin from Five-Year Leasing Plan

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Energy, Congress, North Aleutian, Bristol Bay, lease sale, Obama, Jewel, Photo by Dave HarbourWASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo), today commented on President Obama’s decision to withdraw Alaska’s North Aleutian Basin from potential oil and natural gas activity.

“Given the lack of interest by industry and the public divide over allowing oil and gas exploration in this area, I am not objecting to this decision at this time,” Murkowski said. “I think we all recognize that these are some of our state’s richest fishing waters.  What I do not understand is why this decision could not be made within the context of the administration’s upcoming plan for offshore leasing – or at least announced at the same time.”

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Tuesday announced the administration was withdrawing the federal waters of the North Aleutian Basin, located off the Alaska Peninsula, from consideration for oil and gas leasing for an indeterminate period of time. The prohibition will remain in place until lifted by the Obama administration or a future administration.

Murkowski also expressed her strong concerns that the Obama Administration is still dramatically out of step with Alaska’s most pressing needs. 

“It is incredibly frustrating that this administration looks at Alaska – with oil production at a fraction of the level it could be at, and with low oil prices about to force steep across-the-board budget cuts – and decides that conservation is our most pressing need,” Murkowski said. “We are not asking to produce everywhere – but right now, we are not being allowed to produce anywhere.  Despite strong support, we are seeing development blocked in the Chukchi, the Beaufort, in NPR-A, and on the Coastal Plain. What we need are decisions to open lands and waters in Alaska, not the familiar and frustrating pattern of shutting everything down.”

The withdrawal will prevent the federal waters of Bristol Bay from being offered for oil and gas leasing under the Interior Department’s next five-year plan for development of the Outer Continental Shelf, which is expected to be released in a matter of weeks. The Interior Department said its prohibition does not affect commercial fishing or other potential economic activity in the region. Interior previously dropped the North Aleutian Basin from its 2012-2017 plan, so today’s announcement largely represents the continuation of an existing policy.

“I also believe the Interior Department must continue to invest in baseline environmental research to determine the health of fishery and crab resources in the region so that future administrations can make informed decisions,” Murkowski said.

Governor Bill Walker, Alaska, Budget cuts, oil tax, sales tax, personal income tax, Photo by Dave HarbourtGovernor Bill Walker (NGP Photo) discussed his FY2016 (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016) budget proposal at yesterday’s Anchorage Chamber of Commerce luncheon.  Having been in the office only two weeks, Governor Walker submitted a $5.3 billion operating budget developed by his predecessor, former Governor Sean Parnell. Walker has not endorsed this budget and his administration is working on its own version. The Walker administration did announce a capital budget of $106 million, pared down from the $220 million capital budget Parnell submitted. With oil prices lower than expected, Walker hopes the decrease in the capital budget will help stretch the state’s dollar and weather a projected $3.5 billion budget deficit for FY2015. Even with the lower capital budget, the state is looking at a similar budget deficit for FY2016, assuming oil prices remain low. Walker, however, pointed out oil prices do swing and is optimistic about the future of Alaska and the opportunities ahead. “We live in one of the most resource-rich states and one of the wealthiest countries in the world,” said Walker. “We don’t have a resource problem. We have a distribution problem. We need a distribution system in place to get our resources to Alaskans and the world market.”

Governor Walker’s team will spend the next few weeks reviewing all capital projects and the operating budget before submitting its final revisions by February 18. At the luncheon, Walker requested the public’s involvement during the budget process. The administration plans to solicit public input on ways to prioritize spending, cut waste and address any inefficiencies as it puts budget plans together.

“I’m confident that together, we Alaskans can manage our way through it,” Governor Walker said. “We need to develop a smart plan so that our children and grandchildren can have stability 30 years from now. We want a plan in place that will not just get us over the hump now, but provide a strong future for decades to come.”

Writing for the Alaska Dispatch, Lisa Deemer writes, "President Obama on Tuesday declared Bristol Bay “a beautiful natural wonder” and designated its salmon-rich waters indefinitely off limits for oil and gas leasing.

"Environmentalists say the move provides significant protection not just for the iconic Bristol Bay sockeye salmon, but for crab, herring, halibut and groundfish, including the lucrative pollock fishery. And salmon returning to the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers pass through the waters that had been considered for drilling."

We would only add that this is yet another long term pay off to the administration's environmental constituencies.  -dh

Oil & Gas Online  

Significant growth in the global middle class, expansion of emerging economies and an additional 2 billion people in the world will contribute to a 35 percent increase in energy demand by 2040, according to a new report released today by ExxonMobil.

As demand increases, the world will continue to become more efficient in its energy use, according to the 2015Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040. Without efficiency gains across economies worldwide, energy demand from 2010 to 2040 would be headed toward a 140 percent increase instead of the 35 percent forecast in the report.

ExxonMobil’s Outlook for Energy projects that carbon-based fuels will continue to meet about three quarters of global energy needs through 2040, which is consistent with all credible projections, including those made by the International Energy Agency. 


11-25-14 Alaskanomics' Northern Energy Report (RDC)

25 November 2014 9:26am

RDC Alert! (Send us your ARCTIC OCS comment for our archives!)  Petroleum News reports what the Russians are doing in the OCS!

Reader Steve Borell provides this link: Germany overreacted by diminishing nuclear power in wake of the ​Fukushima ​disaster--and now is desperate for more coal fired power!  -dh
Calgary Herald by James Wood.  Alberta Premier Jim Prentice sees opportunity trumping obstacles.  -dh
Today's Consumer energy Alliance energy links.
Pebble Partnership's short term judicial victory; but the jury is still out on the long term result of EPA coordinating with environmental activists to pre - emptively block development projects in violation of Constitutional, due process rights.  -dh

Resource Development Council (RDC) Conference Part I (Below), II, Day 1 Wrap Up, Day 2 Morning Sessions, Friday Conference Wrap Up

by Katie Bender (NGP Photo), Alaskanomics

​(Complete conference agenda with videos and presentations)

The Resource Development CouncilKatie Bender, Northrim, Alaskanomics, Alaska, RDC, Resource Development Council for Alaska, Photo by Dave Harbour hosted the 35th Annual Alaska Resource Conference last week. ... Alaskanomics ... highlight(s) the presentations from the conference.

The two-day event allows the resource industry to gather and look back at the past year, while planning for the coming year. There were many things to celebrate at this year’s conference, but participants and speakers were decidedly cautious about the State’s fiscal future.  

As is the tradition, the conference started out with an outlook for the coming year by Alaska Department of Labor Economist, Neal Fried. With the exception of 2009, the Alaska economy has been growing for the past 25 years. The growth has not always been by leaps and bounds, but it has been moving in the right direction. In 2014, it is predicted that there will only be about 900 new jobs in Alaska, which is only 0.6 percent. This is not as strong as many would hope and there will be a breakdown of the employment categories in January when the annual wrap up is published. Fried continued with brief updates of the various resource industries.

  • Timber has had very little change and is down with record lows
  • Mining is largely unchanged as well and has slowed and growth has flattened out
  • Fishing grew in both processing and harvesting this past year
  • Oil keeps hitting new highs, North Slope employment has doubled in the past decade
  • The Visitor Industry is up for the third year in a row

Alaska earnings have grown since a dip in the late 1990s and we currently have the second highest household income behind Maryland. The population grew in the past year, but the growth is starting to slow down.

Kara Moriarty of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association gave the update for the oil and gas industry. She shared the usual numbers that more than one third of all Alaska jobs are tied to the oil and gas industry and for every one industry job, 20 other jobs are generated through industry spending. The oil industry paid $6.9 billion in taxes and royalties and luckily the current tax policy generates more revenue at low prices than the old regime. This is very good since the price of oil has dipped below $80 a barrel. There has been a lot of new development on the North Slope and in Cook Inlet. Moriarty finished with the reminder that while we cannot control the price of oil or Alaska’s high cost environment, we could all be “Resource Proud”.

Stephanie Madsen of the At-Sea Processors Association shared that the fishing industry continues to grow and is currently the number one private sector employer in the state. The value of Alaska’s fisheries fluctuates because of the global market. The industry continues to be challenged by environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) calling for protected areas. Madsen continued by noting that Alaskan fisheries historically have been managed conservatively and are continually adapting to the varying definitions of sustainable.

Keith Coulter with Koncor Forest Projects gave the update for the timber industry, which by far has seen the largest decline of other resource industries. He noted that both fishing and forestry are sustainable and renewable and are not mutually exclusive. Rural communities that have lost timber are having a hard time replacing the jobs and income that were seen with the timber industry. Coulter shared that he felt that Federal Forests should be managed in the same way that private forests are and Alaska should resist efforts to adopt federal forest practices. He warned that changes to the Alaska forest practice should be informed by contemporary science. Coulter also urged the need for reform of federal overreach in the Tongass and elsewhere through fewer environmental regulations and restrictions.

Karen Matthias with the Council of Alaska Producers gave the update for the mining industry. She was proud to share that both Red Dog and Greens Creek Mines were celebrating their 25th anniversary of operation. She said the industry needed to do a better job at sharing success stories from around the state. An example is that Usibelli Mine has been in operation for more than 70 years and is mining responsibly. There are more than 5000 direct mining jobs in Alaska with an average annual wage of $100,000. Donlin Gold is in the permitting process and other mines could bring many new jobs to the state. Alaska is number one in the world for pure mineral potential and holds incredible potential in the mining industry. It was no surprise to conference attendees that permitting is consistently the biggest challenge in mining and is a very slow process. The outlook is bleak right now, but the industry can redouble efforts to fight against those trying to block responsible development and educate the public on the positive impact of mining so that things might improve.

Gideon Garcia with CIRI Alaska Tourism wrapped up the year in review with the tourism industry update. This past year, Alaska saw 1.96 million visitors, who spent $3.9 billion. The tourism industry adds 46,000 jobs for Alaskans. The projections for the 2015 season look good. Cruise traffic is predicted to have a 2.8 percent increase and overall visitor traffic is expected to jump 2-3 percent in 2015.

The year in review and 2015 outlook is a staple to the RDC conference and while presenters were proud to share accomplishments within their individual industries, it was obvious that the challenges of federal overreach, commodity prices, and regulations weighed heavy in the room.

Alaskanomics will continue to highlight the conference with Investment in Action by Trond-Erik Johansen of ConocoPhillips Alaska and Investing in Alaska’s Future with Janet Weiss of BP Exploration (Alaska).

 Posted by  at 04:10 PM in Alaska's EconomyFishing IndustryJobsMiningNatural ResourcesOil & GasPopulationTaxes,TimberTourism | Permalink  

RDC Part 2

The first day of the RDC conference continued with discussions from the heads of ConocoPhillips Alaska and BP Alaska about their investment in the North Slope. Both companies have had a busy year and are continuing the trend of investment in Alaska.

Trond-Erik Johansen of ConocoPhillips kicked things off, assuring the crowd that there are many good things happening in Alaska. There have been some challenging debates over the past few years, but ConocoPhillips will continue to move forward and will stay the course of investing on the North Slope. ConocoPhillips is very focused on converting resources that are in the ground into real oil in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). The 2014 capital budget was up 50 percent from 2013 and is double the 2008-2012 average. The CD5 project, that was announced prior to SB21, is on schedule and on budget ($1 billion). The first oil from the project is estimated to flow at the end of 2015 with peak production at an estimated 16,000 BOPD in 2016.

The Alaska projects that were announced since SB21 hit the books are also still on track. Two new rigs were added at Kuparuk and are producing an additional 8,000 BOPD per rig. Each rig also added an additional 100 direct jobs for the state. Kuparuk production has flattened with the additional rigs. There are new projects in the Western North Slope/Alpine area that will help slow the production decline. A new Kuparuk drill site 2S (Shark Tooth) has been approved for construction. Peak workforce during construction will be 250+ jobs in 2015. The project has a budget of $500 million. An additional 8,000 BOPD is predicted to start in late 2015. Greater Moose’s Tooth is in the permitting stage. If permits are received by February 2015, the project will add 30,000 BOPD in 2017. Johansen wrapped up his presentation with a note about the Cook Inlet Assets and Natural Gas Sales. It is the only LNG plant to export from the US. Exports only occur in the summer because the gas is needed in Alaska during the cold, winter months.

Janet Weiss of BP Alaska shared Johansen’s optimism for the future of Alaska’s North Slope. As of November 18, BP and Hilcorp closed the deal that transferred a portion of BP’s North Slope assets to Hilcorp. The transfer allows BP to focus on the major fields and to remain competitive at Prudhoe Bay. BP will add a rig in 2015 and another in 2016, which will increase activity by 40 percent. They will also add an additional 25 miles of pipeline to bring more oil to TAPS in 2017. BP will also expand their current pads at Prudhoe and add a new drilling pad in the near future.

BP continues to invest not only in production, but also in Alaskans and education. As a company, BP has invested $28 billion in education and workforce programs in Alaska. They will continue their focus on growing the resource space that includes the people of Alaska and not just the capital.

Both ConocoPhillips and BP were cautiously optimistic about being able to slow the production decline on the North Slope. They are both working to move projects forward. Production is still far from the levels of the past, but both leaders felt that Alaska was moving in the right direction and that there are still plenty of resources to develop.

Governor Parnell stopped by the conference for a brief thank you to the resource industry. He highlighted the growth that has been seen during his time in office. Southcentral Alaska has new economic possibilities, especially along the Kenai Peninsula. The Governor thanked everyone in attendance for their support and their work to create more economic opportunities and growth. He concluded by saying how thankful he was for the opportunity to serve Alaska and its citizens and looked forward to getting back to work as a regular citizen.

More RDC highlights will be posted throughout the week.

 Posted by  at 11:52 AM in Alaska's EconomyJobsOil & Gas | Permalink                

Day 1 Wrap Up.

RDC Day 1 Wrap Up

Cook Inlet and the Interior Basin have been the major areas of focus for Hilcorp, Cook Inlet Energy and Doyon Ltd. Hilcorp has only been in Alaska for a few years, but is already making a large impact on production. They purchased assets from Chevron in 2012 and from Marathon in 2013. Production in their major oilfields has doubled from January 2012 through September 2014. Hilcorp President Greg Lalicker noted that he was confident that Hilcorp could meet the needs of Alaska for years to come. An example of this is the Trading Bay Field. There was a steady decline of the field and Hilcorp was able to turn this around and increase production in the field. Hilcorp has invested a total of $73 million in the Trading Bay Field.

Hilcorp will also increase their investment in Alaska with the asset transfer from BP that closed last week. This transfer included 100 percent of BP’s interest in Endicott and Northstar and 50 percent of Milne Point on the North Slope. There is also an option to purchase 50 percent of BP’s interest in the Liberty Development.

David Hall, President of Cook Inlet Energy, continued the discussion by outlining the growth within Cook Inlet. Hall shared the significant investment of Cook Inlet Energy from $34 million in 2012 to almost $140 million in 2014. Cook Inlet Energy works in four distinct fields, Redoubt, West McArthur River, North Fork and Badami. He concluded that the company’s capital expenditures have led to a 436 percent increase in BOE/D from 2012 to 2014. They are continuing to grow and are working hard to offset the production decline.

Jim Mery, Vice President at Doyon Ltd. rounded out the presentation with his company’s work in the Yukon Flats Basin and Nenana/Minto. He said that increased oil activity around the state has revved up Doyon’s business and they are seeing the benefits. Mery outlined Doyon’s objectives of oil and gas discoveries in both basins; new markets for Doyon oilfield service companies; business opportunities for nearby village corporations; job training for shareholders; and to secure new partners for State of Alaska leases.

A focus on the Arctic rounded out day 1 of the RDC Conference. Drue Pearce, Senior Policy Advisor with Crowell & Moring gave a detailed description of the Arctic Council and Alaska’s place in Arctic policy issues. She stressed the shift of the council from promoting economic and energy issues to protecting the environment and conserving its resources. There are many people and organizations that covet the Arctic; and often their agendas do not mesh with Alaska and the Native Alaskan lifestyle. There is currently no discussion of economy or smart development when discussing Arctic policy.

The United States is poised to take over the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015. Secretary of State, John Kerry, will be the chair of the council for the 2 year US term. Alaska will be well represented with Fran Ulmer as the Special Advisor on Arctic Science and Policy. The theme for the US Chairmanship will be “One Arctic: Shared Opportunities, Challenges and Responsibilities.” The thematic areas include addressing the impacts of climate change in the arctic, stewardship of the Arctic Ocean, and improving economic and living conditions in the region. This will be the first time that US policy is addressing economic issues in the arctic in the current administration. Alaskans should continue to watch the work of the Arctic Council because it directly affects the living and working conditions for many Alaskans. Policy-makers should have input from people who live and work in the Arctic when making decisions regarding our coastlines. Some want to shut off the entire Arctic and if they are not able to do that, they will section it off into pieces that do not allow Alaskans to live the lives they have lived for hundreds of years. It is important that Alaskans have a seat at the table when discussing Arctic policy.

The North Slope is primed for new development and Repsol and Caelus Energy Alaska shared their successes from the past year. Bill Hardham, Alaska Operations Manager for Repsol, reported that they were looking forward to their fourth drilling campaign on the North Slope and have made good progress from the first three winter campaigns. Repsol is the second largest North Slope leaseholder with more than 650,000 acres. They intend to be very busy in 2015 with a 500+ workforce and a budget of $240 million. Repsol is currently waiting for permits to be approved and to have the proper weather to start ice road construction. In the past three seasons, Repsol has drilled nine wells and invested $650 million in the North Slope. They first entered the Alaska market because legislators were willing to work on the tax structure and make Alaska more competitive in the national and global market.

Pat Foley introduced Caelus Energy Alaska to the conference to finish the day’s presentations. Caelus is a privately held Exploration and Production company founded in 2011. It acquired Pioneer Natural Resources Alaska assets in April 2014. Caelus is currently working to develop Oooguruk, where they are 70 percent operators. Oooguruk should have 13,000 BOPD gross production, 80+ Alaska employees, and 150-300 Alaska contract workers. Caelus has a $500 million capital budget for 2015. They see Oooguruk as their platform to grow the business, increase production, and further explore the North Slope.  In the next year, there will be many new projects with a lot of diversity for Caelus Energy Alaska.


11-14-14 Can Alaska Avoid A Perfect Economic Storm?

14 November 2014 3:59am

12:15 p.m. EST.  A few minutes ago the Keystone XL approval bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives.  It should be interesting to see what the outgoing Senate leader does with that bill.  See relevant story below.  -dh

Gretta Van Susteren, Senator Dan Sullivan, Alaska, Keystone, Energy, Dave Harbour PhotoCBC alerted us that the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline today.  (Note: Watch Senator-elect Dan Sullivan's interview with Greta Van Susteren (NGP Photo) last night and, in particular, his remarks about Keystone and other energy issues. -dh)

Dianne Blumer, Commissioner, Labor, job projections, Alaska, SB 21, gas pipeline, LNG Project, Dave Harbour PhotoKatie Bender, publisher of Alaskanomics.com, reports today that, "...(Labor and Workforce Development) Department Commissioner Dianne Blumer (NGP Photo) highlights that Alaska is expected to gain more than 36,000 jobs by 2022. This will increase the state’s total job count to more than 370,000. In the projections, health care and mining jobs will have the largest increase with 25 percent and 24.8 percent, respectively.  

(Insert our commentary: "Can Alaska Avoid A Perfect Economic Storm?"  These pleasant job projections are based on history.  

More comment.  Alaska is in the midst of exhaustive vote counting exercises to determine the winner of the November 4 vote for governor.

We would alert NGP readers that Governor Parnell has played key roles nationally in, among other groups, the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission (i.e. IOGCC) and the OCS Governors Coalition.

The IOGCC work, in particular, has placed him in close contact with Canadian provincial premiers whose interests sometimes coincide with Alaska's.

If a new governor should begin representing Alaska in a dramatically different way, national -- and even international -- energy policies will be affected.

We hope that if a close vote finally confirms that Alaska has a new governor, that person will be mindful of not only the big statewide responsibility, but the broader impact of his words and actions as well.


Over the past year and a half, the state's largest investors -- who directly and indirectly propel the majority of non-federal employment -- have based investment decisions on the passage of SB 21 oil tax reform and state support for gas pipeline efforts.  

We have it on good authority that before the election, companies were committed to billions of dollars of new investments in Alaska due to improved state policies.  

With a new administration, critical of both SB 21 and the manner in which the Parnell administration has pursued monetization of Alaska North Slope gas, there is significant risk that investment flows could reverse along with the optimistic job projections Commissioner Blumer has released.  

We also note that Alaska is already using depleting savings accounts to balance a state budget deficit that is based on the assumption of Alaska oil production priced at above $100/barrel.  In recent months, the price of oil has been dropping to new lows -- over 25% lower than the budget requires.   This is due to the prolific new streams of shale oil and gas production, to Middle Eastern oil production policies and to the more efficient use of energy around the world.  

Cutting state spending can reverse positive job projections very quickly.  Oil company spending reductions could combine with state cuts to produce a 'perfect economic storm' for Alaska along with many winters of discontent and out-migration rivaling what we experienced in the late 1980s.  

A new Administration had better approach these issues with a great deal more respect as it governs, than when it was engaged in political campaigning.  -dh)

The projected gain of just over 36,000 jobs by 2022 is a 10.8 percent growth rate for Alaska. This follows the projected population growth of 10 percent during the same period. The health care industry will see the largest increase of jobs due to the increasing age of Alaska residents. Between 2012 and 2022, the number of Alaskans who are 65 or older will increase 79 percent.

The mining industry, minus oil and gas, will be right behind health care in job growth. The expected increase of 24.8 percent will be due to higher-than-average mineral commodity prices and the expansion of existing mines. Many existing mines are expected to grow and there are multiple projects in various stages of permitting and planning. Because of the volatile nature of the mining industry, experts are not able to predict which projects will move forward and there could be significant changes to the forecast depending on mineral prices.

Not only are jobs expected to grow by 36,000 before 2022, there will also be 95,000 jobs that will need to be filled due to employees retiring or changing jobs. As noted earlier, the number of people over 65 will increase significantly in the next 8 years. In comparison, the number of people under 65 will only see a 3.6 percent increase. This will put high demand on healthcare jobs and related services as the population ages.

Alaska Economic Trends gives specifics in a variety of industries and occupations and expands on the forecast through 2022. The full issue can be viewed at http://labor.alaska.gov/trends/oct14.pdf    

Commentary: Note that in the Senator-Elect  Sullivan interview below the question arises as to whether the Keystone XL project will adversely affect marketing of ANS crude carried by the Trans Alaska Oil Pipeline.  In our opinion, the answer is, "no", for a number of reasons.  Crude oil, unlike natural gas/LNG, is a much more fungible, world commodity.  It's like asking, "If I poured a million barrels per day of water in the ocean at Key West, wouldn't that adversely affect coastal structures in Northwest Alaska?"  Also, Alaska's oil has its traditional markets which rely on the particular quality of Alaska crude, which is different than oil sands product from Alberta.  Lastly, if the Alberta oil is not marketed through the gulf coast, it will still find its way into world markets, by rail or pipeline, to Canada's East or West coast.  -dh





10-25-14 What To Do About The Alaska Budget?

25 October 2014 8:42am

Katie Bender, Alaskanomics, Alaska State Budget, Northrim Bank, State Spending, oil price effect on state budgets, Dave Harbour PhotoAlaskanomics, by Katie Bender (NGP Photo).  There is a lot of discussion regarding the State’s budget and the crunch that is coming in the near future if things do not change. In the October 13, 2014 issue of the Bradners’ Alaska Economic Report, three trends are discussed that will cause an issue for the state after 2020.

It should be no surprise that the decline in oil production is of concern to many in Alaska. This is nothing new for the state, as the decline started in 1989. The past fiscal year saw the decline go from 6 percent to zero percent and there is hope that the new and increased activity on the North Slope will keep the decline flat for a few years. Scott Goldsmith, from UAA’s Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER), predicts that production would have to increase 2 percent each year to make a dent in reducing the state deficit.  One year of flat production is good, but far from the needed increase make a difference for the state budget.  More here....


10-18-14 Journal of Commerce's Andrew Jensen Fact Checks State Senator Bill Wielechowski

18 October 2014 4:46pm

Bill Wielechowski, Alaska State Senator, Union lawyer, Alaska Oil Taxes, SB 21, ACES, Andrew Jensen, Alaska Journal of Commerce, Dave Harbour PhotoJournal of Commerce, 8-7-14, by Andrew Jensen.  If there is one thing Anchorage Democrat Sen. Bill Wielechowski (NGP Photo) is good for, it is providing column material with his reactions to ConocoPhillips earnings reports.

This quarter is no different, and he definitely isn’t making the task any more difficult.

• “Yesterday ConocoPhillips announced $627 million in 2nd quarter profits from their Alaska operations or nearly $7 million per day from Alaska alone. On an hourly basis that equates to almost $300,000 in profits each and every hour.”

So? Here Wielechowski is simply trying to appeal to the dark impulse of envy in his audience. According to the report, the company paid an effective tax rate of 50.3 percent in Alaska for the quarter, so the government also made about $7 million per day and $300,000 per hour.

Unlike ConocoPhillips, however, it didn’t have to do anything to make that money other than sit back and collect the checks.  More...

(Note that while this article is about two months old, we provide it this weekend as an addition to our archives since Jensen did such a precise job of researching actual facts and correcting the myths some are trying to perpetuate.  -dh)

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