In Forbes about a week ago, an op ed piece was run pointing out our current situation as a a state:
“Alaska stands at an economic crossroad. The state faces a multi-billion dollar deficit, historically low oil prices, and declining energy production; yet energy development is essential to its economy”. With that as a setting, federal impacts are lined out, the editorial writes out a scenario where pending federal departmental decisions on ANWR and ocean drilling could directly effect Alaska’s financial future”.
Highlighted is the 5 year Oil and Gas Leasing proposal which highlights plans which could lead to oil lease sales being cancelled. The proposal manages what can and can’t be developed on the Continental shelf, where there are vast methane hydrates deposits (put out by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management office.
With a third of Alaskan jobs tied to oil/gas, this could have a large impact. In the news a couple days ago was the announcement of two major firms shutting down operations at the moment. What happens up on the slope effects the road system as the workers who fly up have homes and spend money in the urban areas. We’ll have to see what the rest of 2016 brings as far as crude prices, yet these changes we are seeing may be structural, and most likely will not just ‘bounce back’ when oil gets back up to over $100/barrel or with a newly elected president.