The Senate Finance Committee is underway. On today's agenda is a look at the state's production forecast (which plays into revenue and therefore the budget).


#akleg Image
Sen. Stedman is opening up with an introduction of committee staff as well as legislative aides. When he gets to Sen. Bishop's team, Stedman says: "His duties are whatever his boss assigns him."
Sen. Stedman on the budget process: "We will pull out of the non-reoccurring funds ... and boil it down to the base budget."

"It's very important that we have a base document to go through" instead of the Gov's budget that he claims "is balanced when it's not."
Sen. Stedman says that they need to get the budget down to basics before the #akleg dealing with all the one-time funding Dunleavy's using to balance the budget. He says it'll help identifying structural deficits and other financial problems.
Co-chair Sen. Bishop has a few safety reminders, including that the refinished tables have sharp edges.

"Please be careful, don't bump into any of these staff tables. ... We have several ways out of this building in an emergency."

Then he points out the various exits.
Commissioner Fiege, who's also one of the five Dunleavy-aligned Permanent Fund Board of Trustees to vote for executive director Angela Rodell, opens up with a phoned-in statement.

She's says "highly politically charged global environment" is making it tougher to invest in oil.
The committee doesn't have any questions.

Onto the presentation, which is being given by petroleum reservoir engineer Pascal Umekwe.…
There's a question about how the production forecast translates to revenue at diff prices.

Sen. Stedman adds "not all oil is the same" when it comes to the state's budget. State only gets big bucks for oil produced on state land, other oil helps with the tariff rate. Image
Sen. Wielechowski asks whether the oil production agreement at Point Thompson is still in place or whether the state has let them off the hook.

Umekwe says they'll have a written update but says their gas production has been pretty high.
A lot of in-the-weeds technical speak. Sen. Stedman asking about processing capacity and what Hilcorp's arrival has done to Prudhoe Bay when it comes to processing facilities.

"It's a substantial bottleneck and has been for years."

However, we've yet to hear "de-bottlenecking."
Sen. Wielechowski homes in on it. Apparently, there's an access issue between Oil Search and ConocoPhillips over processing facilities? He's asking whether the state is working to encourage negotiations between the two, noting the state has interest in seeing this oil produced.
Commissioner Fiege says that Oil Search always planned on building its own water processing facility parallel to the one owned by ConocoPhillips. She notes there is negotiations about other infrastructure use, says the state's standing by but could maybe get involved.
Sen. Stedman says, basically, time is money, is there a sense of urgency on this?

Comm. Fiege says they're closely monitoring it. Timeline sounds like a few months?
Sen. von Imhof: What's the state doing to "guarantee that lessors can access their parcels in a timely manner and in cost-effective manner? It's a problem now."

Fiege says it's nuanced. Typically, producers had shared financial interest over the infrastructure. But not here.
She says the state has a path to actions through laws and regulations should the negotiations fail. She says under state leases, there's an expectation that access cannot be exclusive. Lotsa layers on the onion.
Sen. Wielechowski goes back to the Point Thompson issues. Fiege says the production extension was inked under the Walker administration to give Exxon more time to reach a major gas sale. She says the field had long-running technical issues and now has a new operator in Hilcorp.
Sen. Stedman says they'll plan a more rigorous hearing delving into Point Thompson, noting that the state has invested between $3B and $4B in the field through the state's credit program.
And now we're getting into Cook Inlet gas production, supply availability, gas price to Anchorage.

Between this and processing facilities, it's starting to feel a lot like 2012.
Here's the production outlook from the state with a range of best-case, expected-case, worst-case and also the blue line that includes operator expectations. Image
Sen. Wielechowski, who's getting back into 2012 form, notes that the state has typically been more conservative than the operator projections. He says he's concerned that the state's mid-range and high-range forecast coming in above the operator outlook is concerning.
In the out years, there's a difference of about 200K barrels a day.

Umekwe notes the state's forecast includes things Pikka, which they hope would come online by then.

Stedman reminds everyone once more that not all oil is the same and it's something to consider on revenue.
Sen. Wielechowski asks for a list of information on the leasing efforts in the state. He talks about the state being responsible for seeing development, but says that profitable fields are being given breaks for what they should be doing anyways.
A final note from the administration thanking the Legislature for the funds to sue the federal government over oil and gas development.

That's it for the hearing. They'll be back at 1 p.m. with a hearing on Sen. Micciche's alcohol law rewrite. Sounds like this could be the year!

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Matt Acuña Buxton

Matt Acuña Buxton Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @mattbuxton

Jan 21
On the board testimony issues, Judge Matthews: "Both parties make arguments that are well-grounded."
He says Singer already had the chance to file testimony and supplemental affidavits for his witnesses. Singer doesn't get to call additional re-directs (additional questioning) but can file supplemental affidavits for consideration.

Plaintiffs would get opportunity for cross.
Wells apologizes for requiring Bahnke fly into Anchorage, says she will not be calling her for cross examination today
Read 33 tweets
Jan 21
The first day of the trial challenging the Alaska Redistricting Board's work is underway. Today, they'll be kicking it off with the East Anchorage plaintiffs, who are challenging the Senate pairings with the conservative Eagle River.

#akleg #akredistrict

It's going to be an unusual trial because the direct testimony has already been filed. The opening arguments, too. They'll be starting out with cross examination and then direct testimony.
First, they're taking up several objections raised by the Alaska Redistricting Board against lay testimony and expert testimony brought by East Anchorage.

Judge Matthews rejects both motions, adding that he'll take the hearsay testimony as it comes.
Read 87 tweets
Jan 20
The House Finance Committee is underway with an overview hearing on Gov. Dunleavy's budget proposal.


Presentation:… Image
Steininger explaining how the state's budget has been reduced by ~5% since Dunleavy took office with most of the cuts coming to the University of Alaska and a few other areas. Notes quite a bit of it, though, has been eaten up by more spending on public safety, corrections. Image
Rep. Foster asks why Steininger chose FY19 as the starting point, asking whether it's intended to make the budget look better.

Steininger says it's to "focus on the achievements of this administration."
Read 36 tweets
Jan 20
S. Finance is underway. They're taking a look at the revenue forecast with DoR's Chief Economist Dan Stickel. Stedman prefaces by saying investments have surpassed oil, but "that might be switching around."


Docs:… Image
Stedman says they all need to start settling into a base number for oil price. The state has started to update it more regularly, which Stedman suggests is not particularly helpful because it can make for big swings in the budget outlook.
How's the state's economy doing? "Still a ways to go," Stickel says. Image
Read 21 tweets
Jan 20
Meanwhile, the Superior Court has its final pre-trial briefing. The Alaska Redistricting Board is refusing to make members Borromeo and Bahnke available to testify on Senate pairings.

Singer: "I don't have any obligation" to provide witnesses who didn't support the plan.

Singer, board's counsel, says the depositions are fine.

It sounds like they're going to be putting up Budd Simpson, not Bethany Marcum—the member who came up with the pairings.

Judge Matthews seems to agree with Singer. "What more different information am I likely to get?"
Attorney Holly Wells, the attorney arguing the Senate pairings, says that Singer prevented Borromeo and Bahnke from speaking about executive sessions.

She says they're prejudiced, here.

Judge Matthews seems to suggest there's some merit to that argument.
Read 16 tweets
Jan 19
For the afternoon #akleg, we've got concurrent hearings of the S. Finance Committee on Senate President Micciche's alcohol rewrite bill:…

House Judiciary on a bill dealing with access to MJ conviction records by Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins:…
JKT on his legislation, says it would remove some records of convictions for simple marijuana possession from the public record. You'd have to have been 21+ at the time with no other crimes committed in the act to have your record sealed.

He says it matches the current times. Image
Over in Senate Finance (I'm not sure why I'm doing this to myself), Sen. Micciche says not everyone agrees with everything in his alcohol bill but says it has broad support from the industry associations.

He's been carrying it since 2015. It's been sunk by industry many times.
Read 16 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!