This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

"The Oil's There"

Stocks in this article: ROYL

High costs

Among the challenges for North Slope shale oil development is the high cost of operating in the region. Duncan questioned whether these high costs are somewhat self-inflicted, with a need for more service competition to drive costs down.

And industry needs to work with the state to reduce the complexities and redundancies of the permitting system.

"It's very expensive," Duncan said. "Time is money and it takes a long time to get just about anything through the permitting system."

Many wells needed

This permitting issue will become especially critical when it comes to development drilling in a shale oil play, with perhaps 200 new wells needed every year, Duncan said, commenting that people need to take a hard look at the regulatory systems in the Lower 48 states, where thousands of wells may be permitted in a year in a single play.

Duncan also suggested extending the Alaska railroad north to Prudhoe Bay. A railroad would enable the transportation of equipment and material to Prudhoe Bay more quickly than at present, and year round; it could act as a backup to the pipeline system for transporting oil south, and might also provide a means of exporting potential North Slope products such as heavy oil or the products from a gas-to-liquids plant, Duncan suggested.

Workforce an issue

Duncan sees the availability of the necessary workforce in Alaska as a huge problem, as activity in a shale oil development ramps up. The "brain drain" from Alaska to the Lower 48 needs to be reversed, and it is important to be pro-active rather than re-active in dealing with this issue, Duncan said. People need to be appropriately educated and trained. Is there scope for Alaska becoming a center of technical expertise and innovation, Duncan asked? And relocation incentives may be necessary to persuade people to move north, he said.

4 of 5

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,399.67 +19.26 0.12%
S&P 500 1,904.01 +17.25 0.91%
NASDAQ 4,316.0740 +57.6360 1.35%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs