Trump administration finalises Alaska oil development
The outgoing administration of US President Donald Trump has finalised plans to open up vast areas of once-protected Arctic Alaska territory to oil development.
On January 4, the US Bureau of Land Management released its plan for the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A), a 23-million-acre swath of land on the western North Slope. The record, signed by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on December 21, allows for lease sales to proceed under relaxed standards.
This decision is one of several pro-drilling activities taken by the Trump administration in its final days in power. On January 6, the Bureau is scheduled to auction off drilling rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, on the eastern North Slope.
The plan will allow oil development on approximately 80 percent of the reserve – under Obama-era rules, about half of the reserve was available for leasing, with the other half protected for environmental and indigenous reasons.
“We are expanding access to our nation’s great energy potential and providing for economic opportunities and job creation for both Alaska Natives and our nation,” says Casey Hammond, principal deputy secretary for the Department of the Interior.
The Trump plan will allow leasing in the largest lake in Arctic Alaska – Teshekpuk Lake – which is a haven for migrating birds and local wildlife. The lake has been off-limits to leasing since the Regan administration.
It is unclear whether the decision to make this acreage available will have a significant impact on Alaskan oil production, which peaked at two million barrels a day, 30 years ago. The state currently produces around 500,000 bpd of crude.
The NPR-A plan has been condemned by environmentalists, who have already sued to overturn the plan.
“On its way out the door, this administration is sticking to its blunt and destructive approach to management solely for oil development,” states David Krause, assistant Alaska director for The Wilderness Society, in a statement.
Incoming President Joe Biden made climate action a core theme of his candidacy, pledging to take bold action to achieve a 100 percent clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050. Click here to read his Top 10 energy priorities.
Global Offshore rebrands Enelift and invests in global hubs
Global Offshore has rebranded Enelift and will invest "a seven-figure sum" in establishing new support hubs in Houston, Dubai, Singapore, Perth and the Caspian during the next six months.
The investment will cover oil, gas and renewables, mainly concentrating on manufacturing capability with associated R&D, as well as in stock held in the hubs.
The company’s flagship Hinge Lok technology provides aluminium, non-welded light weight transportation cradle for casing and tubing. Enelift now plans to enhance its offering by augmenting its existing solutions with robotics and remote operational and training technology, which will reduce manpower for handling offshore equipment that is transported and stored using the Hinge Lok system.
Enelift is partnering with "a Japanese robotics company" and the technology will be trialed with "a Norwegian operator on a Norwegian drilling rig", according to a statement.
Operating from its bases in Aberdeen, UK and Esbjerg, Enelift was founded by 35-year industry veteran and Managing Director Paul Brebner 10 years ago to offer the offshore energy industries safe, reliable and efficient storage and transportation of equipment.
The expansion plans are bolstered by the appointment of Jim Clark of the Craigendarroch Group to Chairman, and Adam Maitland to Non-Executive Director. Maitland is the Managing Director of Hutcheon Mearns IF, and brings his wealth of expertise in the field of corporate finance.
Brebner said Enelift may be a new name in the market, but the experience it brings is "industry renowned".
"Our solutions are underpinned by safety that enables inefficiencies and their associated costs to be eradicated – meaning operational personnel can focus doing what they do best, safely. We remain committed to providing the safest storage and transportation solutions for equipment in the sector as we grow our global operations," he said.
Clark said the market is changing and its solutions fully support customers’ economic and safety aspirations.
"We are very well placed to take full advantage of increasing opportunities in the Middle East, Africa, Far East and Americas. Safety is our absolute commitment to our customers and our support hubs will facilitate this. Aligning our identity to our entire offering ensures that we will drive our expansion through new products and global support sites across the rest of this year."