Nathaniel Herz, Alaska's Energy Desk - Anchorage


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

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.

On warming North Slope, one flood response last year cost pipeline operator $10 million

As Alaska's North Slope gets wetter and warmer, its rivers have been running at record high levels -- prompting questions about whether similar events will become more frequent as Alaska's climate warms.

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.

Nevada prosecutors drop domestic violence charges against former Alaska political consultant

Prosecutors in Nevada have dismissed all charges against a former Alaska political consultant -- U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan's campaign manager in 2014 -- who was accused of assaulting his former fiancee.

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.

Federal judge rejects North Slope tribe’s challenge to Conoco drilling program

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason dismissed a legal challenge Thursday that a North Slope tribal government had brought against President Donald Trump's administration's approval of oil drilling and other industrial activity nearby.

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.

Longstanding tensions underlie Arctic Slope Regional Corporation’s withdrawal from AFN

Long before Arctic Slope Regional Corp. announced its withdrawal from the Alaska Federation of Natives last week, there were signs of a schism.

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.
Goose Creek Prison. Photo by Ellen Lockyer, KSKA - Anchorage.

Drugs are getting into Alaska prisons through the mail, officials say. Now they want to give inmates copies, instead.

Alaska GOP Gov. Mike Dunleavy's administration is proposing to stop giving state prisoners their mail -- instead providing them with copies to make sure that no "contraband" gets through with the original version, according to budget documents.

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.

In new budget, Alaska Gov. Dunleavy retreats from cuts but still favors big PFDs

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy released a new state spending plan Wednesday that retreats from some of his aggressive budget-cutting proposal while still pushing for larger Permanent Fund dividends.

Kaktovik man agrees to plead guilty to illegal polar bear harvest, faces 4 months in prison

Chris Gordon will accept a maximum prison sentence of four months and a $4,500 fine, according to a plea agreement filed Friday that was signed by his attorney and federal prosecutors.

Hilcorp paid a $25,000 fine after a worker died last year on its North Slope drilling rig

Shawn Huber, 36, died at the Milne Point field when a drilling rig’s operator accidentally opened a set of hydraulic jaws and dropped a 700-pound, 31-foot section of drilling pipe that struck Huber in the head. The operator was distracted, according to the investigation, because he was training a colleague.

New legal filings: Seven were denied PFDs based on Alaska’s defunct same-sex marriage law

The assertion comes from an anonymous state worker quoted in an ongoing lawsuit filed by a woman in a same-sex marriage with a member of the military stationed outside the state, who says she was unlawfully denied her 2019 PFD.
The ConocoPhillips building in downtown Anchorage.

For sale: A stake in an array of ConocoPhillips’ Alaska projects

On the block are old, new and unbuilt projects: the Kuparuk River Unit, which is Alaska’s second-largest oil-field; the newer Alpine unit to the west; and the undeveloped Willow prospect in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.

A new oil boom on Alaska’s North Slope is encircling a village, and residents have raised a red flag

A major proposed North Slope oil project is running into local opposition from residents of the village of Nuiqsut, who are already partially surrounded by development and wary of more.