We provide an update of the FY 2016 budgets actions (lower item this page).

State Attorney General Craig Richards unveiled Gov. Bill Walker’s new fiscal plan, in concept form, in a Oct. 28 briefing to legislators in Juneau. Essentially the plan calls for bulking up the Permanent Fund by transferring in other state savings accounts like the Constitutional Budget Reserve and also having certain oil revenues flow to the Fund instead of to the state general fund. The bulked-up Fund would then be managed like one of the large endowments that fund major universities and foundations.

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Alaska gas producers are considering expanding the pipeline size for the planned $50 billion-plus Alaska LNG Project from 42 inch to 48 diameter pipe, Gov. Bill Walker said Friday in an interview.

The state of Alaska is a partner in the project with producers BP, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil. Walker has pushed for the larger pipe size to provide capacity for shipping more North Slope gas, the governor said.

“If the pipe is expanded the state and the producers have agreed to share the cost of the expansion,” said Katie Marquette, Walker’s press secretary.

There are concerns that a late change in the project design could complicate the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission process now underway, but FERC has told the state it won’t be a problem.

“FERC chairman Norman Bay met with the governor in August in Alaska and told the governor that the change in design at this stage will not complicate or delay the federal regulatory process,” Marquette said. Read the rest of this entry »

Prudhoe Bay producers now expect to ultimately recover 14.1 million-14.2 billion barrels of oil from the giant Alaska North Slope field, about 60% of the estimated oil in place in the reservoir rock, company managers said.
That’s up from 9.6 billion barrels, a 40% recovery, estimated when Prudhoe was first discovered in 1968.

“The Prudhoe producers have done a very good job of maximizing recovery, and they’ve had a very high quality reservoir to work with,” said Mark Myers, Alaska’s Commissioner of Natural Resources.
To get this result, Myers said, the field operators have employed innovative new production and drilling technologies, some of them invented or first applied on the slope.

These include multi-lateral wells, or several wells drilled underground off a single well from the surface; use of low-cost coiled-tubing units for drilling; extended-reach horizontal production wells and “four dimensional” seismic, the commissioner said. Read the rest of this entry »

Repsol has laid out its plans for development of new oil discoveries in the Colville River delta. In an application filed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers June 15, the company has proposed construction of three drill sites, an operations center pad and pipelines sufficient to support 60,000 barrels per day of oil production. Once approved, the project would take about three and a half years to construct and would include 76 production and injection wells, a 150-bed operations camp as well as warehouses and maintenance buildings.

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