Author: Bert Stedman
A group of employees from Royal Dutch Shell visited Ketchikan last week. Shell is a global oil and gas producer currently exploring offshore plays in the Chukchi Sea. The purpose of their visit was to meet with representatives of the Ketchikan community, tribes, and businesses to get an idea of the infrastructure, logistical support, and other resources the community may be able to offer for their future relationship.
I am very pleased officials from Shell have visited Alaska to tour one of the communities in my district. The prospect of home porting some of Shell’s Arctic offshore fleet in Southeast Alaska offers substantial economic opportunity for us.
The Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz, asked his official advisory group, the National Petroleum Council, (NPC) to review the Arctic’s oil and gas deposits and current exploration and production technology. NPC was to determine if environmentally responsible energy development could occur and if so, the benefits to the country’s energy security. As the member from The Energy Council to the National Petroleum Council, I was included in the steering committee that produced the report.
Our groundbreaking report which can be found here: http://www.npcarcticpotentialreport.org/ supported exploration and production in the Alaska Arctic while being environmentally responsible. Development will improve America’s “national, economic, and energy security,” and protect America in the future when shale oil production declines.
Our Southeast Alaska ports have the potential to play a critical role in providing support for Shell’s Arctic offshore fleet. Furthermore, our families would benefit financially from livable wage jobs. Ketchikan and Southeast Alaska have a strong history of supporting its maritime economy and industry. I know Ketchikan put its best foot forward in the meetings with the Shell representatives and I remain hopeful for the future of this industry. Additionally, I look forward to meeting with officials from Shell to discuss our infrastructure and improvements needed to support Alaska’s maritime industry.