International Interest in the North Slope: Global companies pursue exploration and production in Alaska.

Author:Anderson, Tasha
Position:OIL & GAS SPECIAL SECTION / FOREIGN INVESTMENT
 
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ANS West Coast oil prices are again (slowly) on the rise since a dip in 2018. Last year started with oil in the mid- to high-$60 per barrel range, hitting $80 a barrel in June and then reaching a 2018 high of $85.36 on October 3 before dipping back into the $60 and $50 range for the rest of the year. As of April 1, ANS oil hit $70 again and continues to gradually climb upward.

Overall, oil prices have slowly and steadily trended up. Other positive news from the Slope includes BP's investment in a massive, 450-acre seismic program that wrapped up last month; Pantheon Resources confirmed a successful flow test at its Alkaid well in April; and Oil Search flowed oil from two wells in its Pikka unit in April.

All these positive early-year announcements follow a landmark development in 2018 when Alaska's Congressional Delegation, after decades of work, managed to open ANWR to development. It had been hoped that offshore Arctic exploration, which was banned by then-President Barack Obama, would be able to move forward due to an executive order by President Donald Trump--disappointingly, on April 1 a federal judge overturned the executive order, once again shutting down hope of developing a project offshore in the Alaska Arctic, at least for now.

Governor Mike Dunleavy said of the decision, "I am disappointed by this ruling and its implications for the state and national economy. Alaska's potential offshore oil and gas deposits, if given the opportunity to be safely and responsibly developed, can create jobs, revenue, and economic opportunity for decades. One president should not have the power to lock up Alaska's resources in perpetuity. America needs Alaska's natural resources."

Despite this recent decision (which may likely be appealed), in general the North Slope today is defined by cautious optimism and renewed interest and investment. Alaska's oil potential is global in scale, and international organizations engaged in exploration or development (or both) have been seizing opportunities they see in the Last Frontier.

Elixir, Entek, and Exploration

Elixir Petroleum is an international oil and gas exploration company whose strategy is to "acquire high impact exploration projects" that meet several objectives, including onshore, early stage, low cost exploration opportunities with moderate geological risk or conventional and unconventional oil and gas projects with clear monetization outcomes.

Elixir Petroleum bid on and was awarded three leases...

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