Headlamp – Have the stars aligned for Alaska?

All China all the time. China’s giant state-owned oil company, Sinopec, and a pair of Chinese financial institutions have signed an agreement to advance Alaska’s liquefied natural gas export project, state officials announced Wednesday. The five-party agreement includes the state of Alaska, its gas pipeline agency — the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. — Sinopec, and the state-owned Bank of China. In an Alaska twist, the final participant is China Investment Corp., a state-owned $800 billion investment account that’s essentially a Chinese version of the Alaska Permanent Fund.

More China. China’s top oil company Sinopec announced earlier today it has agreed to help develop Alaska’s long-awaited $43 billion natural gas pipeline megaproject, according to the U.S. government. Alaska Gasline Development Corp., the state of Alaska, Sinopec, China Investment Corp. and the Bank of China have signed an agreement to advance the pipeline in Alaska. According to initial reports, the investment could be as much as $43 billion. The deal also has the potential to create as many as 12,000 U.S. jobs during construction, reduce the trade deficit between the United States and Asia by $10 billion each year and provide China with cleaner energy, according to the announcement.

Still more China. President Donald Trump can return to the United States claiming to have snagged over $250 billion in deals from his maiden trip to Beijing. Whether those deals live up to the lofty price tag is another question altogether. “This is truly a miracle,” China’s Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said at a briefing in Beijing. The quarter of a trillion dollar haul underscores how Trump is keen to be seen to address a trade deficit with the world’s second-largest economy that he has long railed against and called “shockingly high” on Thursday.

One more China. The headline number is impressive: A quarter-trillion dollars worth of deals from China that President Donald Trump can use to show he’s creating opportunities for U.S. businesses and jobs for his base. The reality, however, is that the roughly 15 agreements unveiled on Thursday are mostly non-binding memorandums of understanding and could take years to materialize — if they do at all. A day earlier, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced $9 billion of deals, many also MOUs with few details, rather than contracts.

But wait, there’s more. The stars have finally aligned in the long-elusive effort to get Alaska’s massive gas reserves out of the ground, or at least it seems that way right now. Late Wednesday, state officials announced that Chinese firms and the state-run Alaska Gasline Development Corp. (“AGDC”) have inked a joint development agreement to advance the liquefied natural gas project. Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping were in attendance as the State of Alaska, AGDC, Sinopec, China Investment Corp., and Bank of China signed the deal at the Great Hall of the People, a famed building at the edge of Tiananmen Square in Beijing which is used for legislative and ceremonial activities of the Communist Party of China.

Last one…we promise. China’s top state oil major Sinopec, one of the country’s top banks and its sovereign wealth fund have agreed to help develop Alaska’s gas sector as part of U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit, company and government statements said on Thursday. Sinopec, China Investment Corp and the Bank of China will work with the Alaskan government on LNG marketing, financing and China’s role in developing the state’s major liquefied natural gas (LNG) project. Aiming to tap its North Slope gas reserves, the state created Alaska Gasline Development Corp (AGDC) in 2010 to build a gas treatment plant and pipeline network to produce up to 20 million tons of LNG per year for export. The U.S. government said in a statement the deal will involve investment of up to $43 billion, create up to 12,000 U.S. jobs during construction and reduce the trade deficit between the United States and Asia by $10 billion a year.

From Washington Examiner’s Daily on Energy:

TRUMP’S MIDNIGHT ENERGY DEAL WITH CHINA A VICTORY FOR ALASKA: President Trump late Wednesday night oversaw a major deal between Alaska and China for a natural gas export terminal. Chinese banks and energy companies would finance and build the terminal in Alaska to create an energy supply route to China. The agreement was signed in the presence of Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Trump’s visit to the communist country, according to the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., one of the parties to the deal. An economic boom: “This is an agreement that will provide Alaska with an economic boom comparable to the development of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System in the 1970s,” said Alaska Gov. Bill Walker. Who is involved: the development corporation and the Alaskan government signed the joint liquefied natural gas, or LNG, development agreement with the state-run China Petrochemical Corporation, or Sinopec, CIC Capital Corp., and the Bank of China. China wants ‘stable’ supply from U.S.: Sinopec said its goal is to help create a “stable” route for purchasing LNG from Alaska.

First Reads:

Alaska gas line agency signs agreement with Chinese oil company, financial institutions
Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz & Alex DeMarban, November 8, 2017

China backs landmark LNG pipeline deal with Alaska
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Erin Granger, November 8, 2017

Trump’s $250 billion China ‘miracle’ adds gloss to ‘off-kilter’ trade
Reuters, Matthew Miller and Adam Jourdan, November 8, 2017

Trump’s $250 Billion China Haul Features Little of Substance
Bloomberg, Nick Wadhams, Peter Martin, and Keith Zhai, November 8, 2017

Alaska-China gas deal to be finalized over next year
KTUU, Austin Baird and Kortnie Horazdovsky, November 8, 2017

UPDATE 2-Chinese companies agree to develop LNG in Alaska as Trump visits
Reuters, Reuters Staff, November 9, 2017