Kavanaugh on Climate Change and Arctic; Oil Price Opinions: Rally? Squeeze? Bubble Up?

What would Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the US Supreme Court mean for the Arctic?
Melody Schreiber, Arctic Today, September 25, 2018

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is retiring, was a well-known swing vote on environmental issues. But Kavanaugh may not be. Because Kavanaugh comes from the D.C. Circuit Court, he has a long record on environmental issues, especially concerning the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Perhaps surprisingly, Kavanaugh does acknowledge the role of humans in climate change. “The earth is warming. Humans are contributing,” he said in a 2016 hearing on the Clean Air Act — a major climate change initiative from the Obama administration. “There is a moral imperative. There is a huge policy imperative.”

Our Take: An interesting mix – Kavanaugh believes humans contribute to climate change but also believes that federal agencies DO NOT have unlimited authority to address the issues and must have congressional approval for many actions.  

BP Says Oil Spike May Prove Fleeting on U.S.-China Tensions
Sharon Cho and Serene Cheong, Bloomberg, September 24, 2018

Oil bulls cheered by the prospect of $100 oil beware. A rally in prices may be short-lived. That’s according to Janet Kong, who heads energy giant BP Plc’s trading business in Asia. Any spike on the loss of Iranian supply due to U.S. sanctions probably won’t be sustainable in the long run, she said. That’s because the negative impact on demand from a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies hasn’t been priced into crude yet.

Don’t Underestimate the Trade War Impact on Oil Demand
Irina Slav, OilPrice, September 25, 2018

A squeeze on oil demand is looming as a result of the U.S.-China trade war, a senior BP executive told Reuters. Acknowledging the bullish effect of U.S. sanctions on Iran in the short term, Janet Kong, BP’s chief executive of oil trading operations in Asia, said this effect will be short-lived as the market absorbs the shock and moves on to other concerns. “Going into 2019, I worry about the impact of the U.S.-China trade war, manifesting itself slowly,” the executive said. “The trade war impact has not really shown up in the data anywhere, but it will show up gradually over time. So the supply shock is very sharp and prompt, while the impact from trade war is boiling over slowly.”

Trump is relying on OPEC to tame oil prices, but analysts say that’s a mistake
Tom DiChristopher, CNBC, September 25, 2018

  • President Donald Trump is calling on OPEC to tame oil prices, but analysts say the cartel’s sway over markets is limited in the near term.
  • Brent crude prices hit four-year highs this week as the market braces for the impact of U.S. sanctions on Iran, OPEC’s third biggest oil producer.
  • Analysts say oil prices could continue to bubble up until the market sees evidence that OPEC can fill the gap left by falling Iranian exports.

Enable plans $550m US Gulf LNG pipeline
Caroline Evans, Upstream, September 24, 2018

Enable Midstream has unveiled plans for a $550 million pipeline to provide natural gas from northern Louisiana to be used as feedstock in the second wave of US liquefied natural gas exports. A non-binding open season launched Monday for the proposed 165-mile Gulf Run pipeline, which is expected to be placed into service in 2023. The project will run from Westdale to Starks, Louisiana and extend to Gillis. It will also use existing Enable infrastructure to provide access to most of the major US gas basins, including the Haynesville, Marcellus, Utica and Barnett shales and the Midcontinent region. Enable said the Gulf Run project is underpinned by a precedent agreement with a “cornerstone” shipper for a 20-year, 1.1 billion cubic feet per day of capacity firm transportation service. The agreement is significant, since sourcing LNG feedstock is expected to be a challenge for developers in the coming years as more projects move forward and competition for supply increases.

Our Take: Encouraging to see a 20-year agreement with a cornerstone shipper….based on supply and demand.