Headlamp – Miners like Finland for investment. LNG license lapses.

Miners like Finland for investment. Today, the Fraser Institute released a new study, The Annual Survey of Mining Companies, 2017.This study finds Finland is the most attractive jurisdiction in the world for mining investment, followed by Saskatchewan. Quebec and Ontario rank in the top 10 globally. The survey rates 91 jurisdictions around the world based on their geologic attractiveness for minerals and metals and the extent to which government policies encourage or deter exploration and investment.

Tussle over data release at DOI. A report on Alaska’s oil potential is at the heart of a controversy at the Department of Interior. The magazine Mother Jones reports that a top scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey resigned late last year to protest what he saw as a threat to the agency’s scientific integrity just before USGS released a major assessment of how much oil and gas it believes is in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The assessment looked at the oil potential of the Petroleum Reserve, or NPR-A, a massive chunk of land on Alaska’s North Slope, west of Prudhoe Bay. Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke announced it just before Christmas in a press release with the headline: “New Interior Department Survey Shows ​HUGE Increase in Recoverable Energy Resources.” “HUGE” was in all caps. The USGS is a research arm within the Interior Department, and that breathless announcement was definitely not USGS style. Geologist David Houseknecht was the prime author of the report on the NPR-A. “When it comes to doing the quantitative assessments we take every precaution to avoid even the hint of political bias or influence,” Houseknecht said. Mother Jones reports USGS Associate Director Murray Hitzman resigned on principle after the No. 2 boss at Interior, Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt, pressed the USGS to release the oil and gas data to the secretary days before it was released to the public.

LNG License lapses. In the near future Andeavor won’t be exporting natural gas from the liquefaction plant and terminal in Nikiski it acquired on Feb. 1 from ConocoPhillips. The plant’s license from the U.S Department of Energy to export liquefied natural gas expired on Sunday and Andeavor — the San Antonio, Texas-based oil-refining company formerly known as Tesoro — did not acquire the license from ConocoPhillips and has not applied for an export license of its own, U.S Department of Energy spokesperson Gayland Barksdale wrote in an email.

From today’s Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

ENERGY DEPARTMENT DOLES OUT $17.6 M FOR CLEAN COAL TECH: Energy Secretary Rick Perry gave out nearly $18 million Thursday to six projects to develop new technology to make coal cleaner and climate friendly. The department has been active in announcing grants and competitive awards for carbon capture technology in recent weeks. The Thursday awards are the latest in that effort to move the technology ahead.


First Reads:

Annual Survey of Mining Companies: 2017
Fraser Institute, Ashley Stedman & Kenneth P. Green, February 22, 2018

USGS scientist resigns in tussle over release of NPR-A data
Alaska Public Media, Liz Ruskin, February 21, 2018

Andeavor lets Nikiski LNG export license lapse
Peninsula Clarion, Ben Boettger, February 21, 2018