As Pulitzer Price winner Daniel Yergin once noted, "the major obstacle to the development of new supplies is not geology but what happens above ground: international affairs, politics, investment and technology." In the case of Alaskan oil production, the biggest obstacle for oil companies has been the tax system implemented by former Gov. Sarah Palin. The system would increase the royalty percentage Alaska receives as the price of oil increases, and at high prices companies would have to surrender as much as 75% of all income generated on a barrel of oil. Now that Palin's plan has been repealed in favor of a 35% flat tax, big Alaskan players like ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) and BP (NYSE:BP) are looking to invest there again.

Tune into the video below to find out what BP, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), and Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS-B) all have in store for Alaska and what it means for these companies from an investment standpoint. 

Meanwhile, this company is taking on OPEC's stranglehold of the oil markets
There is an behind the scenes energy giant that rents a very specific and valuable piece of machinery for $41,000... per hour,and companies like Exxonmobil and BP are willing to get on waiting lists to use it. The technology this company is providing the energy industry is redrawing the borders of power, and OPEC is getting scared. In our exclusive, brand-new Motley Fool report, we reveal the company we're calling OPEC's Worst Nightmare. Simply click here give you free access to uncover the name of this industry-leading stock!!

Fool contributor Aimee Duffy has no position in any stocks mentioned. Fool contributor Tyler Crowe has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow them on Twitter @TMFDuffy and @TylerCroweFool, respectively. 

The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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