From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:
DNC REVERSES POLICY, ACCEPTS CONTRIBUTIONS FROM FOSSIL FUEL WORKERS: The Democratic National Committee on Friday reversed its ban on taking financial contributions from fossil fuel companies, after an outcry from union workers that said it was alienating a major part of the Democratic base.
‘Draw the line’: “We have to draw the line that we are indeed a party of a big tent where all working people are welcome,” said DNC Chairman Tom Perez on a conference call Friday night. “We’re not a party that punishes workers simply based on how they make ends meet.”
Resolution: Perez sponsored the Friday resolution that allows the DNC to accept contributions from workers that are employed by fossil fuel firms, such as those that mine coal, drill for and refine natural gas and oil.
Our Take: How very magnanimous of them NOT to punish workers in the fossil fuel industry by taking their money…
Alaska’s North Slope Hit by Strongest Quake Ever Recorded in the Region
Associated Press, August 12, 2018
Alaska’s North Slope was hit Sunday by the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in the region, the state’s seismologist said. At 6:58 a.m. Sunday, the magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck an area 42 miles (67 kilometers) east of Kavik River Camp and 343 miles (551 kilometers) northeast of Fairbanks, the state’s second-biggest city. The U.S. Geological Survey says the earthquake had a depth of about 6 miles (9.9 kilometers.) State seismologist Mike West told the Anchorage Daily News that the earthquake was the biggest recorded in the North Slope by a substantial amount. “This is a very significant event that will take us some time to understand,” he told the Daily News. The previous most powerful quake in the North Slope was in 1995 at magnitude 5.2, West told the newspaper.
Our Take: No impact on pipeline operations and nothing wrong at the Prudhoe Bay field according to statements from Alyeska, the pipeline operator and BP, the field operator for Prudhoe.
Borough, Nikiski seek to have greater participation in LNG export project
Ben Boettger, Peninsula Clarion, August 12, 2018
The Kenai Peninsula Borough is seeking an official role in federal permitting of plans to export North Slope natural gas to Asia via an 806-mile pipeline to a liquefaction plant and export terminal planned for Nikiski — where the Kenai Peninsula Borough intends to keep it, countering efforts by other local governments to propose other locations. At their Tuesday meeting, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly voted to petition the agency leading the LNG project’s environmental permitting — the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) — for intervenor status in the gasline’s environmental impact statement, which would allow the borough to request rehearing of FERC decisions or appeal them to a U.S Circuit Court.
Our Take: With Valdez and Mat-Su “hemming and hawing” for the project, it’s no surprise that the Kenai Peninsula Borough wants to be at the table to protect their interests.
Novatek’s Yamal LNG project doubles its production capacity ahead of schedule
Malte Humpert, High North News, August 13, 2018
Russian natural gas major Novatek and its French partner Total announced the commissioning of the second production line at their Yamal Liquefied Natural Gas facility on the Arctic Yamal peninsula. The doubling of capacity comes six months ahead of schedule and follows the opening of the first production line, or train, in December 2017. The second train began operating on July 12 when the first natural gas was fed into the plant and the first LNG was placed into storage tanks on July 21. “Following the successful start-up of Yamal LNG in December last year, the first shipment from the second train ahead of schedule is another major milestone for this world-class LNG project,” commented Patrick Pouyanné, chairman and CEO of Total.
Forget Trump — coal seeks new life in high tech
Amy Harder, Axios, August 13, 2018
Randy Atkins is trying to make coal great again, but not how President Trump has promised. The intrigue: Atkins’ company, Ramaco Carbon, is working to open what would be Wyoming’s first coal mine devoted not to electricity, but to high-tech products like carbon fiber or 3D printing material. Atkins represents the leading edge of what could be a new, high-value market for coal after decades of being America’s cheapest power source. The big picture: Coal’s share of U.S. electricity mix has plummeted from nearly 50% to 30% in just the past decade, fueled by growth in cheap, cleaner-burning natural gas and tougher environmental regulations. Trump has promised to revive coal and is directing his Energy Department to bolster economically struggling coal plants (and similarly challenged nuclear reactors).
Climate Action Leadership Team: Janet Weiss
From Alaska Governor Bill Walker, August 8, 2018
Listen to BP President Janet Weiss discuss her participation in the Governor’s Climate Action Leadership Team and the need for data driven discussions.
ExxonMobil Adds Support to Permian Gas Pipe Project
Dale Lunin, Natural Gas World, August 10, 2018
Kinder Morgan said August 10 that US super-major ExxonMobil has agreed to support the proposed Permian Highway Pipeline (PHP) project, a 430-mile intra-state conduit designed to transport up to 2bn ft3/day of associated gas from the Permian Basin in Texas to connections that would move it to markets in the US Gulf Coast region and Mexico. Under a letter of intent signed by ExxonMobil, its unconventional oil and gas subsidiary, XTO Energy, may contract for up to 450mn ft3/day of capacity on the $2bn pipeline project. “We are committed to supporting development of the infrastructure needed for our planned production growth in the Permian Basin,” XTO Energy president Sara Ortwein said. “The Permian Highway Pipeline will provide additional capacity for reliable transportation of natural gas to the US Gulf Coast.”
Saudi cuts oil output as OPEC points to 2019 surplus
Alex Lawler, Reuters, August 13, 2018
OPEC on Monday forecast lower demand for its crude next year as rivals pump more and said top oil exporter Saudi Arabia, eager to avoid a return of oversupply, had cut production. In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said the world will need 32.05 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude from its 15 members in 2019, down 130,000 bpd from last month’s forecast. The drop-in demand for OPEC crude means there will be less strain on other producers in making up for supply losses in Venezuela and Libya, and potentially in Iran as renewed U.S. sanctions kick in.