From the Washington Examiner’s Daily on Energy:
STUDY: U.S. BECOMING A LEADER IN CLEAN COAL TECH NEEDED TO MEET PARIS GOALS:
The Trump administration isn’t promoting clean coal for nothing. The U.S. is a global leader in commercializing the technology, according to a study issued Monday in Bonn. The Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute released its latest assessment on the progress being made in developing carbon capture and storage, or CCS, technology.
Do the crime, do the time. The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday pledged to prosecute protesters who damage oil pipelines and other energy infrastructure, a move that could escalate tensions between climate activists and the administration of President Donald Trump. The DOJ said it was committed to vigorously prosecuting those who damage “critical energy infrastructure in violation of federal law.”
Oil price increases aren’t enough. North Slope oil prices have reached their highest level in more than two years, but the increase may not last and the boost to the Alaska treasury will likely be limited, state analysts say. And while North Slope oil production is also up in recent years after a long slide, Alaska still faces a $2.5 billion deficit. The higher oil prices are “good news,” said David Teal, legislative fiscal analyst, on Wednesday. But things aren’t like they were in the old days, when much more oil flowed from Prudhoe Bay and other fields, said Teal. In 1990, every $1 increase for a barrel of oil over a year’s time brought $150 million extra to the state’s treasury, news accounts show. Now, every $1 increase annually brings Alaska about an extra $30 million, said Ken Alper, Tax Division director. “It’s not as responsive to price change as it once was,” said Teal.
Senate panel considers arctic drilling bill. A Senate Committee is scheduled to consider legislation next week opening the door to oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) unveiled her bill to open up a portion of ANWR for drilling on Wednesday, a week after a tense committee hearing saw supporters and opponents of drilling there go head-to-head for the first time this session. The bill would direct the Interior Department to hold drilling lease sales for up to 800,000 acres of land in ANWR, with the federal government and Alaska sharing any potential royalties from production there. It would raise $1.092 billion over ten years, according to a Congressional Budget Office score.
Alaska LNG on shaky ground? China’s largest oil company, Sinopec, signed a deal last week to explore the development of a massive $43 billion natural gas pipeline and LNG export terminal in Alaska. The project would carry natural gas from Alaska’s North Slope to its southern coast, where it would be liquefied and exported. The announcement was one among a flurry of putative deals inked as part of U.S. President Trump visit to China. But despite the hype, it is merely a non-binding vague agreement that lacks details regarding financing, offtake agreements, or timelines. Without those hard contracts, it is highly questionable whether the project moves forward. “This is a typical announcement that comes out of these big summits,” Jason Feer of energy consultancy Poten & Partners, told Reuters. “You really can’t build, or get financing for a big project, unless all those pieces are in place.”
China says “this is NOT a contract.” An agreement signed between three major Chinese entities and Alaska’s state-owned natural gas corporation has added new momentum for the $43 billion-plus Alaska LNG Project and could help speed federal regulatory approvals needed for a Final Investment Decision in 2019, a key target. The agreement is still a framework for further talks but it could link Alaska will a large potential customer for North Slope gas. “This is the first time we’ve had these levels of commitments from customers,” Dave Cruz, AGDC’s board chair, told the Alaska Support Industry Alliance in a briefing last Friday. “We know we can offer a competitive price and we know we are not technically challenged. We just needed a customer,” Cruz said. But Sinopec, the lead Chinese company in the deal, expressed caution. “This is a letter of intent for mutual cooperation, not a contract,” Lu Dapeng, a spokesman for Sinopec, told the New York Times. “We are really positive about this, but it will take time,” he said in remarks to the Times.
Let’s Make a Deal. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Interior Gas Utility Board Chairman Mike Meeks and recently appointed board member Bob Shefchik will meet this week with Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority Board Chairman Dana Pruhs and Chief Executive John Springsteen. The Interior Gas Utility seeks to purchase Pentex for $60 million from the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority using state grant money. By purchasing Pentex, the utility would acquire Fairbanks Natural Gas, the Titan LNG gas liquefaction plant and a semi-truck hauling operation to bring liquefied natural gas to Fairbanks.
U.S. Justice pledges to prosecute activists who damage pipelines
Reuters, Timothy Gardner, November 10, 2017
Oil prices reach 2-year highs. It’s not enough for Alaska
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, November 12, 2017
Week ahead: Senate panel to consider Arctic drilling bill
The Hill, Devin Henry, November 13, 2017
$43 Billion China-Alaska Energy Deal Looks Shaky
Oil Price, Nick Cunningham, November 12, 2017
What Chinese LNG deal means for Alaska
The Frontiersman, Tim Bradner, November 11, 2017
Interior Gas Utility set to meet with Alaska officials
KTVA, The Associated Press, November 12, 2017