Chinese oil importers shun U.S. crude despite tariff reversal
Jessica Jaganathan and Chen Aizhu, Reuters, August 14, 2018
Chinese oil importers are shying away from buying U.S. crude as they fear Beijing’s decision to exclude the commodity from its tariff list in a trade dispute between the world’s biggest economies may only be temporary. Not a single tanker has loaded crude oil from the United States bound for China since the start of August, Thomson Reuters Eikon ship tracking data showed, compared with about 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) in June and July.
South Asia’s LNG import growth
Shardul Sharma, Natural Gas World Magazine, August 14, 2018
In emerging Asia, China has been grabbing all the headlines in the past year for the blistering growth in its LNG imports triggered by government’s coal-to-gas switching policy. Last year, LNG imports to China were a record 38.13mn mt, up over 46% on year, according to the Chinese customs department, which meant that it edged ahead of South Korea to become the world’s second largest LNG importing nation after Japan. The trend has spilled over to this year too as demand for gas remains strong. However, south Asia – primarily India, Pakistan and Bangladesh – has also seen significant expansion in demand for the commodity.
Our Take: The market is certainly getting stronger for Alaska LNG. If the state recognizes market forces and doesn’t try to force a project…
Billionaires Druckenmiller, Soros Throw Weight Behind Oil Rally
David Wethe and Luzi-Ann Javier, Bloomberg, August 14, 2018
The recovery in the oil industry is attracting some of the most recognized billionaires in money management. Stanley Druckenmiller’s Duquesne Family Office bought 1.68 million shares in VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF in the second quarter, the third-biggest addition to its portfolio in the period, a regulatory filing showed Tuesday. It also added the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund. George Soros’s hedge fund bought energy stocks including Chevron Corp.
BLM releases more details on gas project
Tim Bradner for the Frontiersman, August 14, 2018
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management released details last week on ConocoPhillips’s planned Willow oil and gas project in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, which would be a major development project if it proceeds. Conservation groups are meanwhile gearing up to fight the BLM’s fast-tracking of an environmental review of the project. Under a new procedure the agency must complete its draft Environmental Impact Statement within a year. In a plan submitted to BLM ConocoPhillips has proposed a project involving a central oil and gas process facility; up to five drill pads with 50 producing wells on each pad; in-field roads; an airstrip and a temporary offshore artificial island in Harrison Bay, to the north, that would facilitate the unloading of large production process modules for the field.
Our Take: The usual suspects “will be working to ensure that the Western Arctic’s rich habitat and subsistence resources are protected,” translation: we will use this opportunity to raise as much money as we can to fight any development anywhere in Alaska. Meanwhile in the real world, the area being discussed is inland, a good distance away from “ecologically sensitive coastal areas where there are lagoons, lakes and wetlands that are important habitat for migrating birds.”
More U.S. Marines to train in Norway, closer to Russia
Reuters, August 15, 2018
The United States will more than double the number of Marines stationed in Norway, in line with plans first outlined in June, the Norwegian defense ministry said on Wednesday. Plans to increase the number of Marines in Norway to 700 from 330 and moving some of them closer to the border with Russia had triggered a sharp reaction from Moscow, which called the plans “clearly unfriendly”. The government in Oslo, increasingly concerned about Russia since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, insists the increased U.S. presence is only for training purposes and should not be interpreted as a military escalation.
Norway’s border with Russia profoundly shapes its Arctic security policy, says study
Malte Humpert, High North News, August 15, 2018
A new study published by The Polar Journal identifies geography as a key factor to understanding Norway’s and Canada’s differing approaches to Arctic security. In addition, the study concludes that the way the two countries rely on and utilize NATO shapes their Arctic security policies. The authors of the study, Andreas Østhagen, Gregory Levi Sharp, and Paal Sigurd Hilde, explain that the Arctic must be understood not as a singular region, but as a series of distinct subregions “where the dominant security variable is Russia.” “Norway’s approach to NATO is arguably quite different from its fellow Nordic NATO-members,” says Østhagen. “The direct border with Russia and being strategically important in the North Atlantic are key explanatory factors.”
From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:
JUDGE SLAMS CHILDREN’S CLIMATE LAWSUIT IN LATE-NIGHT RULING: A judge in Washington state issued a late-night ruling Tuesday that killed off a climate change lawsuit filed against the state by a group of child activists.
King County Superior Court Judge Michael Scott ruled in favor of the State of Washington’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, Aji P. v. State of Washington. The 13 young activists in the suit argue that the state is violating their constitutional rights through actions that cause climate change. Judge Scott ruled that issues brought up in the case are political questions that cannot be resolved by a court and must be addressed by Congress and the president.
A similar lawsuit by child activists has also targeted the Trump administration and will be heard in federal district court in October. It appears the child plaintiffs are having better luck going up against big government, and not the states.
Our Take: Headlamp hopes for the same outcome here in Alaska. We reported on this story earlier Alaskan youth sue state government for lack of action against climate change. How many judges will have to say, “these are political questions that can’t be resolved in court”, before people stop wasting time and money on frivolous lawsuits?