Economic Report 1-2018

Economic Report 1-2018

In this Issue: Governor button-holes producer on natural gas BP holds Prudhoe production level; overall slope is up 1.4 percent Energy Chugach/ML&P utility deal CIRI, Chugach in a tiff over wind Health care Ketchikan looks at cost transparency Alaska health plan signups rise Bonds to fund program; companies asked for discount State to accelerate oil tax credit obligation payoff Credits to be eventually paid anyway, but state could pay faster Incentives were aimed at attracting new explorers Business Intelligence $45…

Read More Read More

Prices, projects: Things looking up a little in Alaska’s oilpatch

Prices, projects: Things looking up a little in Alaska’s oilpatch

Things are looking a little brighter in Alaska’s oilpatch? Job numbers have not yet ticked up and in fact they’re still slipping, though modestly now, after big cuts made in 2016 and 2017 as producing companies adjusted to the world of lower prices. But prices are rising, after a long slump. Even during the slump a number of new projects were being worked on and the brighter price outlook should cause some companies to push the green button on their…

Read More Read More

What a contrast! Legislators orderly, civil as they close 2018 session

What a contrast! Legislators orderly, civil as they close 2018 session

Was this a virus whipping through the state capitol in Juneau? As the Legislature shut down last Saturday, May 12, odd things happened: There was civility, cooperation, bipartisanship, and good feelings. “The House and Senate and both (Democrat and Republican) caucuses really came together this year,” House Speaker Bryce Edgmon said as the session ended. Things were much different than last year, when the House and Senate, Republicans and Democrats, were all at each others’ throats. There were extended special…

Read More Read More

POMV deal is done – stage being set for ending session

POMV deal is done – stage being set for ending session

At the end, it happened fast. The conference committee on SB 26 convened at 9 a.m. May 8, voted and sent the bill out eight minutes later. A few hours later both the House and Senate ratified the conference committee report, sending SB 26 on to the governor. After a year of agony and sniping over the proposal to use some of the Permanent Fund earnings for the budget the quick resolution seemed anticlimactic. But that’s the way these things…

Read More Read More

Are they close to a deal on fiscal gap?

Are they close to a deal on fiscal gap?

There seems to be a deal coming together on SB 26, the bill that sets a percent-of-market-draw,
or POMV, in statue as a rule for using Permanent Fund earnings to support the state budget. This is the remaining big issue of the 2018 session and if an agreement is made in the next couple of days a rush to adjournment could begin. An adjournment push should happen even if the deal does not come together, too. Word has been circulating in…

Read More Read More

Railbelt power grid moves slowly to modern era

Railbelt power grid moves slowly to modern era

A bill is pending in the state House that would put the state’s hammer on the six “railbelt” utilities that have been squabbling for years over uniform reliability standards and how to efficiently move power up and down the regional power transmission grid. Also, independent private power producers complain they are stymied in selling their power to customers through the grid by having to pay tolls all through the system. In some cases these have added up to some sales…

Read More Read More

Health care

Health care

Ketchikan looks at cost transparency The City of Ketchikan is exploring a health cost “transparency” rule similar to one enacted in Anchor- age following consumer complaints over confusing billings from PeaceHealth, the local health provider. PeaceHealth of cials say they are working to improve billing procedures including bringing more accounting services to Ketchikan in the hopes that it would improve communication with patients. *** Alaska health plan signups rise A total of 18,313 Alaskans signed up for 2018 health insurance…

Read More Read More

Energy

Energy

*** Chugach/ML&P utility deal Chugach Electric Association’s proposed acquisition of Anchorage’s city-owned Municipal Light & Power hasn’t ruf ed any feathers yet – voters will approve the city’s end of the deal in April elections – but some have raised questions about lack of transparency and how things were negotiated behind closed doors. There still isn’t any information on what other bidders offered although there were some, it was acknowledged. Consolidation of the two electric utilities serving Anchorage has a…

Read More Read More

BP holds Prudhoe production level; overall slope is up 1.4 percent

BP holds Prudhoe production level; overall slope is up 1.4 percent

BP stemmed production declines in the Prudhoe Bay eld for the third year, company officials told us. Prudhoe produces about half of total North Slope oil output, so performance of the 40-year- old eld is critical to supporting overall slope production, which has shown small increases over the last two years. Prudhoe maintained an average of 280,000 barrels per day in 2017, down only slightly from 280,700 in 2016 and 281,800 in 2015. BP is the Prudhoe eld operator. With…

Read More Read More

Governor button-holes producers on natural gas

Governor button-holes producers on natural gas

Gov. Bill Walker is holding meetings with North Slope producers, jawboning them about selling natural gas for the state-led Alaska LNG Project. So far meetings have been held with BP and ConocoPhillips and a meeting with ExxonMobil has either just been held or is planned soon. BP con rmed its meeting but the governor’s office would not comment. The governor’s idea, as sources explained to us, is for the companies to sell gas to the state-owned Alaska Gasline Development Corp….

Read More Read More