China vows to protect its interests from ‘reckless’ U.S. trade threats
Reuters, Michael Martina and Ben Blanchard, May 29, 2018
China lashed out on Wednesday at renewed threats from the White House on trade, warning that it was ready to fight back if Washington was looking for a trade war, days ahead of a planned visit by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. In an unexpected change in tone, the United States said on Tuesday that it still held the threat of imposing tariffs on $50 billion of imports from China unless it addressed the issue of theft of American intellectual property. Washington also said it will press ahead with restrictions on investment by Chinese companies in the United States as well as export controls for goods exported to China.
Our Take: Alaskans take note. The picture painted by the Governor’s office implying that Alaska LNG is immune to the politics between the two countries, is, well, politics. The federal government is serious about restrictions on investment by Chinese companies in the United States. Trust but verify what you are being told or sold. Most Alaskans want an LNG project, one that is commercially viable and provides a benefit to the state and its residents.
Ottawa buying out Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline, taking over expansion
Business In Vancouver, Nelson Bennett, May 29, 2018
Every Canadian, even those who are opposed to it, now own the Trans Mountain pipeline, or will very soon. The federal government announced Tuesday morning May 29 that it will buy out Kinder Morgan Canada’s (TSX:KML) Trans Mountain pipeline and take over its $7.4 billion pipeline twinning project. It will then try to flip it. Ottawa will pay $4.5 billion to buy Kinder Morgan’s existing Trans Mountain pipeline and indemnify the $7.4 billion twinning project. The Alberta government will also provide $2 billion in emergency funding to cover unforeseen costs.
Our Take: Alaskans take note part two. As mentioned in the story, Canadian taxpayers could be on the hook for at least $12 billion, should the Canadian government not find a buyer-developer willing to take on the project and be forced to build the project itself. Sound familiar?
Lt. Gov. Mallott views growth in energy sector as Alaska’s future
Alaska Public Media, Kayla Desroches, May 29, 2018
Mallott dropped by Kodiak last week for a fundraising event, and in an interview with KMXT, said Alaska needs to focus on transitioning from a fossil-fuel based economy to more renewable resources, like hydro and wind power. Mallott said it could take a while to make that switch. “I expect that it will be a combination of the market place for such fuels and public policy that will drive that timing, and that has really not come into focus yet, certainly at the national level,” Mallott said. Mallott says it’s vital to the state’s economy to diversify its industries and, within those industries, to branch out. It’s the same for energy.
Our Take: It’s good to see the chairman of the state’s Climate Action team acknowledge the role of the market place in the energy economy.
BLM holds meetings for Alaskans to weigh in on ANWR oil and gas leasing
KTUU, Derek Minemyer, May 29, 2018
The Bureau of Land Management is hosting public hearings across the state giving Alaskans the chance to weigh in on proposals to lease land in ANWR for oil and gas development — a deeply divisive issue for industry and conservation groups alike. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge represents the largest onshore oil and gas prospect on federal land in the United States, and it could pump an estimated 10 billion barrels of oil from out of the ground and in to state and international markets, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Representatives from both sides of the issue met at a public scoping meeting held by the BLM at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks Tuesday night, where environmental advocates rallied outside.
Our Take: Look for “the rest of the story” in an AKHEADLAMP special edition later today.
North Dakota facing crew challenges
Upstream, May 29, 2018
North Dakota has just enough frack crews to keep up with the number of rigs currently operating mainly in the US state’s prolific Bakken shale formation, with recent regional reports indicating oil patch jobs are hitting their highest levels since July 2015, writes Julia Martinez. However, North Dakota Oil & Gas Division director Lynn Helms said there will not be enough crews to service the 70 drilling rigs that the active fleet could grow to, even though major operators tell him they are doing all they can to hire people.
Our Take: 8 years ago, many Alaskans left the state to work in North Dakota. The opportunity presents itself again.
Exxon shareholders reject proposal to split CEO, chair roles
Reuters, Ernest Scheyder, May 30, 2018
Exxon Mobil Corp shareholders rejected a proposal on Wednesday that would have split the roles of chairman and chief executive, securing CEO Darren Woods’s role as he looks to improve results at the world’s largest publicly traded oil producer. Exxon under Woods has moved aggressively to launch major expansion programs to find and produce new reserves of oil and natural gas, as well as expand the company’s refining and chemical footprint. Woods in March told Wall Street investors that the expansions should help double Exxon’s earnings by 2025 to about $31 billion.