Latest move in tit for tat trade war; Tax Credit program wasn’t all bad.

Alaska puts chunks of North Slope up for single bids in unprecedented lease sale
Elwood Brehmer, Alaska Journal of Commerce, August 9, 2018

Attention oil explorers: Alaska officials have three flavors of SALSA they would like you to try. Painful puns aside, Department of Natural Resources officials for the first time have put together large chunks of available North Slope acreage that will each be auctioned off with a single bid during the state’s annual fall lease sales held by the Division of Oil and Gas. The three Special Alaska Lease Sale Areas, or SALSAs, are some of the only remaining swaths of unspoken-for acreage in the middle of one of the country’s preeminent hydrocarbon basins; and they come with a starter kit of data to inform drilling that any wildcatter should love.

Our Take: The refundable tax credit program provided the state with 3D – seismic data that they can now use to attract new explorers to the North Slope. HEADLAMP is anxious to see the results of this sale.

With tweaks, Alaska Supreme Court rules Yes for Salmon can go on ballot
Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk, August 8, 2018

The Yes for Salmon initiative — or at least most of it — will be on the November ballot. The Alaska Supreme Court today ruled that only certain provisions of the controversial ballot initiative are unconstitutional. Whether the rest becomes state law will be up to Alaska voters. The decision guarantees a big fight ahead. The initiative is aimed at putting in place a much tougher permitting regime for projects built in salmon habitat and is fiercely opposed by a coalition of mining and oil companies, Alaska Native corporations and other groups.

Our Take: Alaska’s Constitution states that ballot initiatives can’t prioritize one state resource over another. HEADLAMP is glad the court required those provisions to be removed from the ballot but the fight to responsibly develop our resources and have a strong economy continues until November.

China hits US oil products, LPG with new tariffs but backs off crude for now
S & P Global Platts, August 8, 2018

China announced Wednesday retaliatory tariffs on an additional $16 billion worth of US imports, including oil products, LPG and coal in a new list of affected goods but leaving off widely-expected import duties on US crude. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce’s latest list imposes 25% tariffs on a swathe of energy commodities from August 23 including “asphalt shale, oil shale and tar sand.” But the ministry said the latest tariffs remove a previous reference to US crude in earlier proposals announced on June 16. Naphtha, propane and butane all remain on the new list which also covers waste metals, petrochemical products and cars.

Our Take:   China blinked first. Import duties on US crude would have hit them hard, leaving them with few options to purchase oil from someone else.

Exxon Seeks Long-Term Deals for U.S. Oil Exports
Catherine Ngai, Serene Cheong and Sharon Cho, Bloomberg, August 8, 2018

Exxon Mobil Corp. is courting refiners with rare long-term U.S. crude export deals, according to people familiar with the matter, as the company expands its trading scope. The oil giant has approached several refiners to discuss contracts for exports of light, sweet crude from the prolific Permian Basin starting as early as this year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The talks are in early stages, with volumes, timing and price still to be determined.

China tariffs create headache for next wave of US natural gas export projects
Tom DiChristopher, CNBC, August 9, 2018

China’s threat to slap tariffs on U.S. natural gas exports is injecting uncertainty into a construction boom for the multibillion dollar facilities that ship American shale gas around the world. By the end of next year, six facilities in the United States are expected to be exporting liquefied natural gas. During that same period, several companies are slated to decide whether they’ll move forward with another wave of American LNG export terminals. Many of those projects are looking to line up buyers in China, which is poised to surpass Japan as the world’s largest consumer of LNG, a form of natural gas super-chilled to its liquid form for export by sea.

Our Take: Alaska LNG is noted in this article

Former state senator appointed to Interior Gas Utility board
Robin Wood, Fairbanks Daily News Miner, August 8, 2018

Fairbanks city Mayor Jim Matherly has nominated former state Sen. Gary Wilken to replace Frank Abegg on the Interior Gas Utility board of directors’ city-appointed seat. Abegg resigned from the position Tuesday in protest of IGU’s purchase of Pentex Natural Gas. Wilken will need to be confirmed by the Fairbanks City Council at its Aug. 20 meeting. Wilken resigned from the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority board of directors in order to accept Matherly’s nomination. He was first appointed to the board in 2010 and was serving his fourth term. AIDEA was the entity that sold Pentex to IGU and provided the loan.