Late last week, Alaska Gasline Development Corp. President Keith Meyer delivered an upbeat status report on the progress of the Alaska liquefied natural gas export project, the state’s proposed $44 billion venture to sell its bountiful natural gas reserves into Asian markets. Speaking at the AGDC board of director’s monthly meeting, Meyer talked about the corporation’s recent discussions with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staffers about the state’s application to build the export project. He shared the details of recent visits to Alaska by officials of PetroVietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp. and the China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known as Sinopec, which are both considering buying Alaska’s natural gas. Meyer also laid out a plan to create two new limited liability companies within AGDC to handle some of the agency’s operations. It wasn’t until the very end of his presentation that Meyer finally addressed the elephant in the room — the results of the Alaska elections, which could drastically alter the future of the LNG
Our Take: Will Governor-elect Dunleavy encourage a return to the partnership between industry and the state to advance Alaska LNG? He has been a strong proponent of the private sector and their ability to do what government cannot do.
Renowned energy trader Mark Fisher says the worst is over for oil and it’s time to buy
Berkley Lovelace Jr. & Tom DiChristopher, CNBC, November 14, 2018
Renowned energy trader Mark Fisher on Wednesday said the “worst is over” for the crude oil market following a six-week rout that has seen U.S. crude lose over a quarter of its value. The MBF Clearing founder and CEO said he’d be a buyer right now rather than a seller. The market outlook for crude oil has recently flipped. Investors were worried about a shortage of oil as U.S. sanctions shrank Iran’s crude exports. But the market now expects supply to outstrip demand as the outlook for consumption growth weakens and Washington allows some Iranian crude shipments to continue. However, Fisher theorized that much of the drop in oil prices is due to macro funds getting out of the crude trade and rotating into natural gas futures. He argued that for years, buying oil and selling natural gas has been a huge winner.
A MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE BETWEEN NATURAL GAS GIANTS IRAN AND RUSSIA
Thang Q. Tran & Alan W. Lancaster, Natural Gas World, November 13, 2018
Iran’s substantial natural gas reserves provide Russia with a significant strategic opportunity to solidify its role in the international arena. Although US secondary sanctions against Iran’s petroleum sector resumed on November 5, Russia will most likely defy them by continuing to invest in Iran’s natural gas sector. Russia may also seek to influence the flow of Iran’s natural gas into the European market, where it could undermine Russia’s political-economic interests if not coordinated with Moscow. Iran possesses the potential to emerge as a major natural gas exporter that could alter trade relations within the global market but needs foreign investment. Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), sanctions relief reopened the door for investment and allowed Iran to plan for and implement growth in its natural gas sector to meet rising domestic demand and free up oil for export in the short term. In the long term, Iran can ensure its survival in a post-oil era by securing a share of the global natural gas market.
A graphite deposit inspires plans for Bering Strait mine, infrastructure upgrades
Yereth Rosen, Arctic Today, November 14, 2018
Graphite, the material used to fill simple pencils, is a building block for the modern, high-tech economy. With its thermal and electrical conductivity, graphite is a crucial material for lithium-ion batteries, and those batteries power the electric and hybrid vehicles that are replacing gasoline-powered cars around the world. But the United States imports its entire supply of graphite, largely from China. That need not be the case, one Canadian junior mining company contends. Vancouver-based Graphite One Resources Inc. is seeking to develop the nation’s richest graphite deposit, which lies on the Alaska side on the Bering Strait, 37 miles (55 km) north of Nome. The potential for the Graphite Creek Mine has been cited as a justification for a new deep-water port at Port Clarence. The site, which until 2010 held a U.S. Coast Guard navigational station, is considered a good candidate for a U.S. Arctic port because it could accommodate deep-draft vessels.
Our Take: One of many exciting resource development opportunities for the State of Alaska! A new governor who is uber-supportive of mining and all responsible resource development, who understands the role government should play in supporting such development – like building infrastructure- can make a huge difference.
Drilling Productivity Report
U.S. Energy Information Administration, November 13, 2018
The Drilling Productivity Report uses recent data on the total number of drilling rigs in operation along with estimates of drilling productivity and estimated changes in production from existing oil and natural gas wells to provide estimated changes in oil and natural gas production for seven key regions. EIA’s approach does not distinguish between oil-directed rigs and gas-directed rigs because once a well is completed it may produce both oil and gas; more than half of the wells produce both.