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Pat Forgey

JUNEAU -- Alaska's gross domestic product shrank 2.5 percent last year, making it the only state in the nation with a decline during a year of overall economic rebound.

But an Alaska economist cautioned against making too much of any individual state’s GDP number -- especially when a state is as small and commodity-driven as Alaska.

"Our numbers jump around a lot, but employment still grows and the economy still grows," said Neil Fried, economist with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development's Research and Analysis Section...

Pat Forgey

Alaska's gross domestic product shrank 2.5 percent last year, making it the only state in the nation with a decline during a year of overall economic rebound.

But an Alaska economist cautioned against making too much of any individual state's GDP number -- especially when a state is as small and commodity-driven as Alaska.

"Our numbers jump around a lot, but employment still grows and the economy still grows," said Neil Fried, economist with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development's Research and Analysis Section.

The federal Bureau of Economic Analysis on Wednesday released state-by-state GDP numbers for 2013, with North Dakota, which saw 9.7 percent growth, sitting at the top of the range...

Pat Forgey

JUNEAU -- Alaska's Beth Kerttula, who left the Legislature earlier this year for a Stanford fellowship in ocean policy, has been tapped to become the new ocean policy director for the Obama White House.

The Palmer native represented Juneau in the House of Representatives for 15 years, the last seven as leader of the Democratic minority. She left for Stanford University, her alma mater, in January to serve as a visiting fellow at the Center for Ocean Solutions.

News of Kerttula's White House position came from Stanford this week.

"Beth will bring her wisdom, boundless energy and sense of humor to her federal post," said Meg Caldwell, executive director of the Center for Ocean Solutions, in an email to staff announcing Kerttula's departure...

Pat Forgey

JUNEAU -- Alaska's Beth Kerttula, who left the Legislature earlier this year for a Stanford fellowship in ocean policy, has been tapped to become the new ocean policy director for the Obama White House.

The Palmer native represented Juneau in the House of Representatives for 15 years, the last seven as leader of the Democratic minority. She left for Stanford University, her alma mater, in January to serve as a visiting fellow at the Center for Ocean Solutions .

News of Kerttula's White House position came from Stanford this week...

Pat Forgey

JUNEAU -- An expensive jack-up drill rig brought to Alaska by bankrupt Buccaneer Resources will likely keep producing for the state despite the company's troubles, officials say.

The rig, called the Endeavour, was financed by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority and a Chinese bank, but has had trouble since the beginning and contributed to Buccaneer's downfall.

Now AIDEA is saying that the Buccaneer bankruptcy filing may prove beneficial to Alaska because that may make the rig available to work in Cook Inlet exploring for gas and oil. That's something troubled Buccaneer hasn't been able to do.

"Buccaneer has had problems with financing, they haven't been out drilling," AIDEA Deputy Director Jim Hemsath told the board of directors Wednesday...

Pat Forgey

JUNEAU -- An expensive jack-up drill rig brought to Alaska by bankrupt Buccaneer Resources will likely keep producing for the state despite the company's troubles, officials say.

The rig, called the Endeavour, was financed by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority and a Chinese bank, but has had trouble since the beginning and contributed to Buccaneer's downfall.

Now AIDEA is saying that the Buccaneer bankruptcy filing may prove beneficial to Alaska because that may make the rig available to work in Cook Inlet exploring for gas and oil. That's something troubled Buccaneer hasn't been able to do.

"Buccaneer has had problems with financing, they haven't been out drilling," AIDEA Deputy Director Jim Hemsath told the board of directors Wednesday...

Pat Forgey

JUNEAU -- Buccaneer Resources' bold but risky attempt to jump-start Cook Inlet gas and oil production, backed by state subsidies, has ended in bankruptcy. But state officials say the impact on Alaskans should be minimal.

Buccaneer, owned by Australia's Buccaneer Energy Ltd., filed for bankruptcy protection Saturday in Texas, where its U.S. operations are headquartered. It has sought and been given initial permission to wind down company operations in preparation for selling off its assets. Buccaneer listed liabilities between $50 million and $100 million, and assets of less than $50,000...

Pat Forgey

JUNEAU -- Buccaneer Resources' bold but risky attempt to jump-start Cook Inlet gas and oil production, backed by state subsidies, has ended in bankruptcy. But state officials say the impact on residents should be minimal.

Buccaneer, owned by Australia's Buccaneer Energy Ltd., filed for bankruptcy protection Saturday in Texas, where its U.S. operations are headquartered. It has sought and been given initial permission to wind down company operations in preparation for selling off its assets. Buccaneer listed liabilities between $50 million and $100 million, and assets of less than $50,000...

Pat Forgey

JUNEAU -- NANA Regional Corp. has been growing for years, investing in the oil and gas industry to supplement profits from its cash cow, the massive Red Dog zinc mine near Kotzebue.

But now the company has seen profits plunge for two years in a row, including a $75 million loss last year. Company officials declined comment, but a review of publicly available financial documents indicate that one of the most recent of those oil and gas support-service businesses is a big part of the problem.

As recently as 2010, NANA booked a $41 million profit. The losses are the first in at least 10 years...

Pat Forgey

JUNEAU -- NANA Regional Corp. has been growing for years, investing in the oil and gas industry to supplement profits from its cash cow, the massive Red Dog zinc mine near Kotzebue.

But now the company has seen profits plunge for two years in a row, including a $75 million loss last year. Company officials declined comment, but a review of publicly available financial documents indicate that one of the most recent of those oil and gas support-service businesses is a big part of the problem.

As recently as 2010, NANA booked a $41 million profit. The losses are the first in at least 10 years...

Pat Forgey

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