Category: Alaska

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Changes to Alaska’s Mining Laws – Qualification Statutes

Senate Bill 155, amending Alaska’s mineral tenure statutes, took effect April 30, but also addresses certain historical events affecting state mining claims. As previously reported, the amendments clarify who can hold state mining rights. But maybe more importantly, the law now addresses the effect of past qualification issues on the validity of the mineral interests. … Continue Reading

Draft North Slope Area Plan Available for Public Review and Comment

Stoel Rives is actively monitoring developments in the North Slope Area Plan (NSAP).  This week, the Public Review Draft of the NSAP was issued for public review and comment. Comments must be received by mail, email, fax, or through the online public comment portal by not later than July 15, 2020. Comments may also be hand delivered to … Continue Reading

Alaska’s Mineral Tenure Statutes Amended

Governor Mike Dunleavy signed Senate Bill (“SB”) 155 amending Alaska’s mineral tenure statutes, effective April 30, 2020. The legislation addresses issues regarding qualification to hold state mining claims, location of claims, statements of annual labor, and automatic abandonment of mining claims. The amendments and additions to the statutes clarify a number of issues and assure … Continue Reading

Alaska DNR Issues Guidance for Placer Mining Operations During COVID-19

The Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”) Division of Mining, Land and Water has issued guidance for placer mining operations to comply with the state’s COVID-19 health mandates. Mining is identified as “critical infrastructure” in the Alaska Essential Services and Critical Workforce Infrastructure Order. Before traveling to their placer operation, and while at their operation, miners … Continue Reading

Alaska Suspends Fees for Easements, Rights-of-Way, and Mining Leases

State of Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy has issued COVID-19 Disaster Order of Suspension No 2, suspending a long list of statutory and regulatory provisions. The list of suspended statutes includes AS 38.05.850 which authorizes the state to grant easements and rights-of-way for roads, pipelines, and other facilities associated with the extraction of minerals. Under such authorizations, … Continue Reading

AOGCC Implements Electronic Permitting Procedures in Response to Office Shutdowns Caused by COVID-19

Last month, the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC) announced that it would be implementing electronic permitting procedures in response to office shutdowns caused by COVID-19. The electronic process will also serve as the initial step in developing a fully electronic permitting and reporting system. The initial system will utilize “AOGCC-designed fillable PDF and … Continue Reading

Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Proposes Repeal of Certain Alaska Administrative Code Regulations

The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC) has proposed a repeal of regulation changes in 20 AAC 25. of the Alaska Administrative Code. Specific regulations proposed for repeal are as follows: 20 AAC 25.037 well control requirements for other drilling and completion operations; 20 AAC 25.047 reserve pits and tankage; 20 AAC 25.225 potential … Continue Reading

Alaska DNR Issues Notice of Public Scoping for Possible Appeal Regulations Revisions

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is soliciting public comment regarding potential regulation revisions involving the process for filing and handling appeals and requests for reconsideration under 11 AAC 02. No specific regulations are being proposed at this time. Rather, DNR is seeking public input and suggestions before the department begins drafting proposed regulations. DNR is … Continue Reading

Rental Rate Increases Go into Effect for State of Alaska Mining Claims, Leasehold Locations, Prospecting Sites, and Mining Leases

New rental rates are now in effect for state mining claims, leasehold locations, prospecting sites, and mining leases in Alaska. The new rental rates became effective on August 30, 2019, and thus are applicable to the rental year that commenced on September 1, 2019. These increases were made by the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources … Continue Reading

National Park Service Regulations Do Not Apply to Inholdings in Alaska

Alaska is different—it has moose hunters on hovercrafts, many large national parks, and certain unique federal laws. Last week the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that National Park Service laws and regulations of general applicability do not apply to inholdings within Alaska’s national parks. Sturgeon v. Frost, 587 U.S. ___ (2019). While on a moose … Continue Reading

The Battle Over the Alaska Oil and Gas Production Tax Credit

Alaska’s oil and gas production tax has been subject to continuing debate and change as lawmakers and policymakers struggle with balancing budgets in times of volatile oil prices while also encouraging the investment necessary to monetize the state’s resources to run its government, create jobs, build and maintain infrastructure, and promote economic activity. In my … Continue Reading

Alaska Department of Natural Resources Seeks Input on Mining Regulations – Comments Due 4/29/16

The Alaska DNR is requesting public comments on its mining regulations for establishing and maintaining mining claims – 11 AAC Chapter 86. These regulations (as well as related regulations at 11 AAC 82 and 11 AAC 88) establish or address many of the requirements for locating claims on state lands, performing assessment work, paying rent, filing production … Continue Reading

Alaska Legislature Lowers Oil and Gas Production Taxes, Amends Incentives

Senate Bill 21, which was recently signed into law, significantly alters Alaska’s Oil and Gas Production Tax regime. Although discussions regarding this law have largely been focused on North Slope activity, other areas of the state are also affected. To understand the relevance of the amendments, it is useful to have a basic understanding of … Continue Reading

Proposed Alaska Oil and Gas Production Tax Bill Would Reduce Tax Rates, Alter Credits

On January 16, 2013, Alaska Governor Sean Parnell introduced proposed legislation that would significantly alter Alaska’s Oil and Gas Production Tax regime. The current law, known as Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share Act (“ACES”), was enacted in 2007 and is located in Alaska Statutes 43.55.011 et seq. This tax is levied on the net profits … Continue Reading

Alaska Gets Into the Fracking Regulation Game

On December 20, the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC) released proposed regulations governing hydraulic fracturing. The regulations would require AOGCC approval to conduct fracking activities. For comparison, California recently released a “discussion draft” of potential regulations which would impose certain requirements on fracking operations but would not require additional approval (see California Environmental … Continue Reading
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