Opening Area 1002—a small part of the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge—to oil exploration and development can reduce U.S. foreign import dependence.
The recent oil discovery on Alaska’s northern coast could reverse the state’s declining output and restore government coffers after revenue declined sharply from the collapse in oil prices.
The Governor of Alaska has proposed changes to how the state collects revenue, a recognition that the state’s best oil days are likely in the past.
States that are major oil and gas producers are seeing significant holes in their budgets in part due to low prices. One major player on this list is Louisiana, which has a long energy-rich history and is going through a severe fiscal crisis at the moment.
Despite oil prices falling to levels not seen in more than a decade and Arctic drilling efforts halted by major companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, Houston-based Hilcorp’s latest proposal to build a gravel island for oil extraction off the shores of Alaska is still moving forward.
Despite its potential, the Arctic will not likely see large-scale development in the near-to-medium term, if ever. The region’s remote location, lack of infrastructure, harsh conditions, and most importantly, the high-cost of drilling will continue to undermine Arctic oil drilling.
After years of regulatory battles, environmental advocacy protests, and more than $7 billion of investment, Royal Dutch Shell is abandoning its costly efforts to extract oil from Alaska’s Arctic waters. But is Arctic oil truly sidelined for good?
As oil production falters and prices remain low, the future of Alaska's economy is in doubt, even as Alaskans bank record payouts from their oil fund.
Lisa Murkowski is a Senator from Alaska and the chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. She speaks with The Fuse about oil production in her home state, as well as energy policy at the state and national level.
For Arctic drilling, Shell has a narrow window of opportunity during summer months when low levels of sea ice permit industry operations. If protesters are able to sufficiently delay the rig deployment, they could feasibly derail Shell’s entire 2015 operation.