3-27-12 Amid Alaska-Alberta Oil Tax Debates, Shell's Pete Slaiby and Louisana's Gary Chouest Create Advanced Arctic Icebreaker
Fairbanks News Miner by Max Buxton. As the clock ticks down to the end of the legislative session, lawmakers are quickly giving shape to a proposed natural gas pipeline from Cook Inlet to Fairbanks.
Houma Today by Nate Monroe. In a matter of weeks, the largest and most advanced ship EdisonChouest Offshore has ever constructed will depart for the frigid Alaskan coast where it will service the oil-and-gas giant Shell Oil. The ship, 360 feet long, took 2 million man hours and two years of construction to complete. Shell awarded the contract for the Arctic supply vessel in 2009 in anticipation of recently won permits to drill in Alaskan waters. Chouest christened the ship at a ceremony Saturday that attracted federal and local officials, including U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Metairie, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., several members of the Greater Lafourche Port Commission and Shell executives. “What a boat, huh?” said Gary Chouest (NGP Photo-R), president and CEO of the Galliano-based shipbuilding company, in a rare public appearance. ... Elizabeth Itta, a 12-year-old from Nuiqsut, a city in North Alaska, won an essay contest selecting the ship's name. Aiviq, from the Inupiat language, means walrus. Natives of the Alaskan northwest region speak Inupiat. ... Itta and her family were flown to Port Fourchon, a service hub for the Gulf of Mexico oilfield, to attend the ceremony, where she christened the ship. The federal government has granted Shell tentative approval to drill four exploratory wells in July off the Alaskan coast. Aiviq can hold 10,000 barrels of oil, and its thick steel hull is designed to cut through thick ice. It will help supply Shell rigs with food, equipment or any other support needed, said Lonnie Thibodaux, Chouest's spokesman. The project cost more than $200 million. The ship is longer, wider and deeper than any other Edison Chouest has constructed. Shell's drilling operations will begin sometime in July, said Pete Slaiby (NGP Photo-L), vice president of Shell Alaska. ... “This shows our region's importance,” said Chett Chiasson, executive director of Port Fourchon. ... Bill Soplu, a 26-year-old Aiviq crew member from northwest Alaska, said he is excited to depart on the new ship. During his 60-day tour on the ship, Soplu will do just about anything needed. “I saw this boat being built in the shipyards,” he said. “It's pretty remarkable.”
Alaska Oil Tax Issue:
ADN Editorial by Rex Rock Sr. As Alaska Native people, we have an acute understanding of sustainability. We have made this land our home for thousands of years but the atmosphere in Juneau is not creating a responsible path for subsequent generations. Without oil-tax reform, our state, businesses and communities will suffer. We need more oil in the trans-Alaska pipeline to protect our future.
Consumer Energy Alliance-Alaska's Steve Pratt (NGP Photo) transmitted CEA-A's Alaska oil tax policy position to decision makers: Consumer Energy Alliance – Alaska, an advocate for the interests of energy consumers, believes that meaningful tax reform is necessary to provide appropriate marketplace incentives to enable the large capital investments Alaska requires to bring domestic energy supplies to market. On March 21, 2012, the attached Resolution was unanimously passed by our Board of Directors requesting that the Alaska State Legislature pass meaningful reform this session. Watered down tax reform such as exists in recent versions of SB 192 does little to enable companies to make the large capital investments we need. Please pass meaningful, incentivizing tax reform this session.
Alberta's Tax/Royalty Debate Heats Up: Calgary Herald. Alberta had its fifth-straight deficit this year, although it's supposed to be the last. The province projects surging oilsands royalties will erase the red ink in coming years. Opposition parties deride these forecasts as fantasy and have blasted the Tories for financial mismanagement.