Oil and Gas

Goldman Sachs, in Arctic drilling tiff with Alaska governor, hires veteran...

In response to Goldman's announcement that it would not finance oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska's governor suggested he could cut off the millions of dollars a year that the state pays the Wall Street firm. Now Goldman is playing defense: Last week, it hired a lobbyist, Wendy Chamberlain, to represent its interests in the state.

Renewables

A year after a dam was removed, this river near Anchorage is still waiting for water

The effort to remove the dam on the lower Eklutna River couldn’t succeed on its own because upstream, utilities divert the river into a hydroelectric power plant. Officials say it will take years before they decide whether to add more water that could help restore salmon.

With rain in the forecast, Ketchikan switches back to hydroelectric power

The second half of October brought enough rain for Ketchikan’s electric utility to switch off its diesel generators.

Cordova hosts U.S. Senate field hearing on microgrids

Abraham Ellis is with the Sandia National Labs in New Mexico. “We are interested in those technologies to figure out ways to improve the energy resilience for cities,” he said. “For defense applications, and things like that, that really need to keep on going with electricity supply, even if the normal grid fails for whatever reason.”

Economy

To guard against coronavirus, Alaska oil companies are screening workers before flights to the North Slope

The companies met last week and agreed to "start screening all of their workers when they check in in Anchorage," said Heidi Hedberg, Alaska's public health director.

Hilcorp revived this declining North Slope oil field. Can it do the same for Prudhoe Bay?

While many North Slope fields are only the decline, production at Hilcorp's Milne Point has actually increased by huge amounts. Now, the company is acquiring the massive Prudhoe Bay field, raising hopes of a similar revival there.

Anxiety creeps into oil-dependent Alaska as banks step back from Arctic investment

An aggressive advocacy campaign against banks' involvement in Arctic oil means that Alaska companies are facing more obstacles to raise the cash they need. They've responded by tailoring their pitches to financial institutions, as Alaska lawmakers fight back.

Climate Change

Study claims Exxon Valdez oil spill didn’t cause Prince William Sound...

The study says wild red salmon are affected more by adult hatchery-raised pink salmon that compete with reds or eat them when they're small. And the research also says herring declines are more related to increased fresh water from melting glaciers, rather than oil inundation after the spill.

More energy stories

An Anchorage attorney made a fortune fighting Big Oil in Alaska court. Now he’s funding the campaign to raise their taxes.

Frustrated by the industry-supported overhaul of oil taxes in 2013 and the unsuccessful campaign to repeal it, Robin Brena is chairing the citizens initiative to raise taxes. And he’s also the effort’s top funder, contributing more than $100,000 so far.

Agency overseeing BP-Hilcorp deal will hold public hearing, denying companies’ request

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska, which is overseeing Hilcorp's purchase of BP's stake in the trans-Alaska pipeline, plans to hold a six-hour public hearing on the deal next month.

Opening the Arctic Refuge brought Alaska’s largest Native corporation $22.5 million from BP and Chevron

Arctic Slope Regional Corp. collected $22.5 million from a pair of oil companies after Congress opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s coastal plain to drilling in 2017, according to corporate documents.

As Anchorage warms, wintertime is defined by ice as much as snow

For many in Anchorage, winter and its accompanying outdoor opportunities are something to relish rather than escape. But residents of the state’s largest city are being forced to renegotiate their relationship with winters.

Polar bear protections delayed oil exploration in the Arctic Refuge. A new study shows how companies can still move forward.

A new study says that by using infrared sensors to detect dens, and accepting strict limits on when to survey specific areas of the coastal plain, polar bear disturbance can be dramatically reduced – from as many as eight dens if no restrictions are abided by, to one or less using the most conservative approach.
A photograph of homes and a big blue sky.

LISTEN: A Washington Post correspondent talks about reporting on climate change on Alaska’s North Slope

The Washington Post made the Alaska North Slope village of Nuiqsut front page news earlier this month, under a provocative headline: "Alaska's warming, but can't quit big oil." We talked with the reporter who wrote the story.

Our reporter is trying to learn more about Hilcorp. Here’s how you can help.

Alaska's Energy Desk reporter Nat Herz is exploring Hilcorp's company culture as it's set to become one of the biggest players in Alaska's oil industry. He's written an open letter to Hilcorp employees asking for their help.

Alaska utility regulators ask Hilcorp, BP for more details on $5.6B deal

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska is asking the companies for five new sets of documents. They include the purchase and sale agreement, charts detailing the companies' corporate ownership and operating structure, and additional financial statements.
pipeline

A Colorado wildcatter found a huge new North Slope oil field. Now it’s buying up new federal leases in Alaska.

Armstrong Oil and Gas, which found and then sold a mammoth field on Alaska's North Slope, just bought up about 1 million acres in oil leases in the National Petroleum Reserve.

A year after a dam was removed, this river near Anchorage is still waiting for water

The effort to remove the dam on the lower Eklutna River couldn’t succeed on its own because upstream, utilities divert the river into a hydroelectric power plant. Officials say it will take years before they decide whether to add more water that could help restore salmon.