On Wednesday morning, temperatures in the North Slope hub community of Utqiaġvik reached 20 degrees below zero, a record low for April 29.
The North Slope Borough is backing out of a tentative deal to rent RavnAir Group’s Utqiaġvik hangar and is reasserting its right to use Ravn’s assets to support air service to its communities during the coronavirus emergency.
Oil giant ConocoPhillips announced Wednesday that it’s shutting down its drill rigs on the remote North Slope oil fields, and placing them into long-term storage, to protect its employees and contractors during the coronavirus pandemic.
Alaska’s largest private-sector employer, Arctic Slope Regional Corp., has laid off employees and cut charitable giving due to the collapse in oil prices and the economic shutdown caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.
Alaska’s largest rural air carrier, RavnAir Group, says it’s cutting its service by 90% amid a coronavirus-driven crash in revenue — a move that could leave dozens of rural villages with deeply diminished air service.
Despite largely negative input from the public, the AIDEA board voted unanimously to support a resolution to categorize the Ambler Road project as an Arctic Infrastructure project.
Legislators who represent the bulk of Alaska’s villages are asking the state’s congressional delegation to try to extend the deadline for Alaskans to get REAL ID-compliant identification.
Organizers of the Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse, Yukon, made a decision to cancel the event over coronavirus concerns. The cancellation sent shockwaves of disappointment across the Arctic Circle.
While many North Slope fields are on the decline, production at Hilcorp’s Milne Point has actually increased by huge amounts. Now the company is acquiring the massive Prudhoe Bay field, raising hopes of a similar revival there.
The case shows how it’s become common for polar bears to disrupt village life in Kaktovik, which sits on an island at the edge of the Beaufort Sea. As climate change melts sea ice and drives the bears ashore, residents say they’ve been under increasing stress.