Alaska’s new Governor to meet with the President; Judge says “no” to NPRA lawsuits.

December 11, 2018 | Posted in : News

Dunleavy among new leaders to meet with Trump
Associated Press, December 10, 2018

Officials in Gov. Dunleavy’s office say he will be meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday. Officials said Monday that Dunleavy and 12 other newly elected governors and territorial governors will participate in the Washington, D.C., meeting. Dunleavy says in a statement that the meeting is the “first of many opportunities to work in concert with the President and federal officials on advancing my administration’s priorities, like bringing new jobs and investment to Alaska.”

Our Take: Headlamp predicts that these two will get along well and work together to forge a path to America’s energy dominance through Alaska. #huge #winning

Judge dismisses challenges to oil lease sales in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska
Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk, KTOO, December 10, 2018

A federal judge in Anchorage has dismissed two lawsuits brought by environmental groups against the Trump administration challenging oil lease sales in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, or NPR-A. Environmental groups had argued the federal Bureau of Land Management did not do an adequate environmental review before it held oil lease sales in 2016 and 2017. In one of the lawsuits, the groups also argued the federal government failed to fully consider how oil produced in the 23-million acre Reserve could worsen climate change. The federal government argued it did complete an extensive environmental review for oil leasing in the Reserve under the Obama administration, as part of a management plan for NPR-A finalized in 2013. The Trump administration is currently considering an overhaul of that management plan.

Our Take: Good to see a federal judge acknowledging the extensive work that is done on environmental reviews prior to a lease sale.

EIA Expects US LNG Capacity to Double in 2019
Natural Gas News, December 10, 2018

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said December 10 it expects US LNG export capacity to more than double in 2019 as a raft of new liquefaction trains come on-line through the year. The US is home to 3.6bn ft3/day (37.2bn m3/yr) of LNG export capacity now, the EIA says in its latest Today in Energy report, and that is expected to increase to about 4.9bn ft3/day by year-end as new trains enter commercial operation at Cheniere Energy’s Corpus Christi terminal in Texas and its Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana.

Bank of America sees oil gains in 2019, but that forecast is far from universal
Natasha Turak, CNBC, December 11, 2018

Despite dramatic slides in the oil market, some forecasters remain positive on prices and demand going into 2019. A year ahead outlook report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch expects Brent crude to regain its recent losses in 2019 and settle at $70 a barrel. But amid mounting global uncertainty on everything from trade and monetary policy to politics, that forecast is far from consensus. “Volatility will be high in the near future, but going into 2019, we are constructive on oil prices,” Hootan Yazhari, head of global frontier markets equity research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told CNBC’s Dan Murphy on Tuesday

U.S., China Kick Off a New Round of Trade Talks
Bob Davis and Lingling Wei, The Wall Street Journal, December 11, 2018

The U.S. and China started the latest round of trade talks with a phone call involving Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He. The three senior officials discussed Chinese purchases of agricultural products and changes to fundamental Chinese economic policies during the phone call, said people familiar with the conversation. They didn’t provide further details. As part of the trade truce reached between Mr. Xi and Mr. Trump, Chinese officials are also considering making changes to the Made in China 2025 plan, a state-led industrial policy aimed at enabling Chinese companies to dominate a number of industries such as artificial intelligence and robotics, said people familiar with the matter. The policy is a focal point of the U.S.’s complaints that Beijing engages in unfair trade practices that put foreign firms at a disadvantage to Chinese companies.

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Conoco hits a home run – $1.2b invested in AK; Knopp strikes out.

December 10, 2018 | Posted in : News

ConocoPhillips eyes output hike with $6.1bn spend
Eoin O’Cinneide, Upstream Online, December 10, 2018

ConocoPhillips is looking for a sizeable rise in production next year but has elected to keep capital expenditure flat at $6.1 billion. The US independent is to target its Lower 48 unconventional plays as well as operations in Alaska, although Europe and North Africa are still to get around $700 million of the expected spending pot. Of the $6.1 billion total – the same mark at which ConocoPhillips expects to exit this year – $3.1 billion will go on the Lower 48, where the company expects to operate an average of 10 or 11 rigs between its big three core shale areas of the Bakken, Eagle Ford and Delaware sub-basin of the Permian. Another $1.2 billion or so will go on Alaska, up from $900 million this year, with costs at the recently-sanctioned Greater Mooses Tooth-2 (GMT-2) development accounting for some of the rise.

Our Take: This is such great news for Alaska. A stable business climate with the right tax structure allows this to happen. See the next story.

Striking out on his own, legislator hopes to charter new coalition in the Alaska House
James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, December 9, 2018

Kenai Republican Rep. Gary Knopp on Saturday formally announced that he will not join a Republican-led majority in the Alaska House of Representatives. The move denies Republicans the 21-member support needed to control the House and leaves the body adrift less than one month before the Legislature convenes Jan. 15. Speaking by phone from the Kenai on Sunday, Knopp said the prospective Republican majority, a result of November’s general election, was unsustainable, and he is attempting to force a compromise in order to avert a collapse in the middle of the legislative session. “I can’t think of anything worse than going down there to implode in the middle of session.,” Knopp said. While Republicans control 23 of the 40 seats in the Alaska House, only 21, including Knopp, had pledged their support to the majority that intended to replace last year’s predominantly Democratic coalition. The remaining two — Rep. Louise Stutes of Kodiak and Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux of Anchorage — were members of the coalition and have kept their distance from the new Republican group.

Our Take:   Headlamp is disappointed in Rep. Knopp. His actions could give power in the House to those who believe in a “keep it in the ground” philosophy and who consistently propose legislation that is harmful to Alaska’s economy.  

India’s Petronet looking for long-term deal to buy U.S. LNG
Nidhi Verma, Reuters, December 10, 2018

Top Indian gas importer Petronet LNG is looking to sign a deal in a year’s time to buy at least 1 million tonnes of U.S. natural gas annually for a period of up to 10 years, as it pushes to diversify its supply sources beyond the Middle East. As part of any deal, the firm could potentially take a stake in a U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, said Petronet’s managing director, Prabhat Singh. “The U.S. market is open compared to other markets where the state is (often) the controller of minerals,” Singh told Reuters late last week. “The U.S. offers lots of opportunities and we would like to explore that properly and make a venture (there),” he said.

Why greens are turning away from a carbon tax
Zack Colman and Eric Wolff, Politico, December 9, 2018

This month’s fuel-tax riots in Paris and the defeat of a carbon-fee ballot measure in Washington state show the difficulty of getting people to support a levy on the energy sources that heat their homes and power their cars. Meanwhile, even the most liberal Democratic candidates this year gave carbon taxes scant if any mention in their climate platforms, focusing instead on proposals like a phaseout of fossil fuels and massive investments in wind and solar power

From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

RICK PERRY SEEKS ALLIANCE WITH FORMER OPEC ALLY AND NATURAL GAS RIVAL QATAR: Energy Secretary Rick Perry visited Qatar over the weekend to form a new relationship with the largest exporter of natural gas in the Middle East soon after the country announced it would be leaving the OPEC oil cartel.

Perry called his meeting with Qatar’s energy minister a productive discussion, meant to hone a new relationship on energy.

“Had a productive visit with Qatari Minister Al Kaabi where we discussed our strategic relationship on energy cooperation as world leaders in natural gas and the need for free, fair, and diverse markets to promote energy diversity,” Perry tweeted on Saturday.

The U.S. became a net natural gas exporter last year, with sizable new gains in shipping shale-based gas into the global market. The U.S. also became the largest energy producer this year, claiming leadership from Russia and Saudi Arabia in an increasingly competitive year.

Qatar announced earlier this month that it would be leaving the global oil cartel OPEC, finding it more advantageous to strike out on its own. The country has been at odds with neighbor Saudi Arabia, who accused it of fomenting terrorism and initiated a diplomatic and economic blockade against it.

Trump had initially supported the Saudi-led blockade, but later invited the leader of Qatar to the White House where he praised him as a friend.

Although Qatar is a rival of the U.S. when it comes to natural gas production and exports to Asia, the country is looking at making energy investments in the United States.

 

 

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Woe unto WOTUS; 5 decades worth of oil from Texas

December 7, 2018 | Posted in : News

U.S. Coast Guard chief optimistic about icebreaker ship funding
Timothy Gardner, Reuters, December 7, 2018

The United States may soon get funding for a new heavy icebreaker ship, the head of the U.S. Coast Guard said on Thursday. The United States has two polar-capable operational icebreakers — a heavy one, the Polar Star, which is more than 42 years old and has outlived its life expectancy by a dozen years, and a medium one designed for research, the Healy. By comparison, Russia has about 40 to 50 icebreakers, purpose-built vessels that can rescue other ships, supply bases, and reach oil spills in harsh polar conditions. “I’m guardedly optimistic funding for that first polar security cutter is going to be there,” Commandant Karl Schultz said at a National Press Club event. Icebreakers support scientific missions and operate in the Arctic and Antarctic, which hold vast natural gas, oil, mineral, fish, and freshwater resources, Schultz said.

China to Have 68 LNG Terminals in Five Years
Natural Gas News, December 7, 2018

China is likely to have 68 LNG receiving terminals in the next five years, more than three times the current number, Guo Zonghua, president of leading state-owned think-tank Shaanxi Gas Design Institute said at an event November 30. He said that at present, there are 20 LNG receiving stations in China, with a further 20 are under various stages of construction. There are 28 projects that have been proposed. So, China will probably have 68 LNG receiving stations in the next five years, he said.

Related:

                  China becomes world’s largest natural gas importer, overtaking Japan

A Trade Detente Would Fuel The U.S. Energy Sector And China’s Environment
Ken Silverstein, Forbes, December 5, 2018

Donald Trump’s trade war with China is causing uncertainties in both the financial markets and the overall economy. To that end, the U.S. oil and natural gas sectors could get seriously hurt unless both sides can save face or one side folds. Economists agree on almost nothing — except that free and fair trade produces better business and healthier economies. And that axiom especially holds true when it comes to the relationship between the United States and China, considering that the Asian nation is the second biggest economy in the world and that it is a voracious consumer of oil and natural gas. In fact, the two economies are inextricably linked to the import-export markets.

Oil Soars After OPEC And Partners Reach Deal
Tsvetana Paraskova, OilPrice.Com, December 7, 2018

Oil prices shot up on Friday after the stubborn holdout Iran agreed to have OPEC reduce oil production by a total of 800,000 bpd, while non-OPEC nations, led by Russia, are reportedly adding another 400,000 bpd of cuts, for a total of 1.2 million bpd OPEC+ production cut.  At 09:31 a.m. EDT on Friday, WTI Crude was soaring 3.73% at $53.41, while Brent Crude was surging 4.15% at $62.55. As the talks began on Friday, reports emerged that Russia may be ready to cut its oil production by 200,000 bpd as part of a deal with OPEC to reduce oil supply—a higher commitment than 150,000 bpd previously aired.

USGS: Permian’s Wolfcamp is largest potential oil and gas resource ever assessed
Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, December 6, 2018

The Permian Basin’s Wolfcamp and Bone Spring formations in West Texas and New Mexico hold the most potential oil and gas resources ever assessed, the U.S. Interior Department said Thursday. The region in the Permian’s western Delaware Basin holds more than twice as much oil as the largest previous assessment – the Wolfcamp shale in the Permian’s separate Midland Basin southeast of Midland. That study was completed two years ago. To put the new results into perspective, the Delaware Basin’s Wolfcamp and Bone Spring plays would hold almost seven times as much oil as North Dakota’s Bakken shale.

From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

TRUMP’S COMING POWER PLAY ON OBAMA WATER REGS: The Environmental Protection Agency plans to roll out early next week its proposal to weaken landmark Obama-era changes to the regulation of waterways.

“The previous administration’s 2015 rule wasn’t about water quality,” reads a talking points memo obtained by the New York Times ahead of next Tuesday’s announcement. “It was about power — power in the hands of the federal government over farmers, developers and landowners.”

Woe unto WOTUS: The new rule is Trump’s version of the Clean Water Rule, also known as the Waters of the United States rule, which became a GOP target after the previous administration used it to extend the EPA’s enforcement authority over both large and small bodies of water, including small tributaries and drainage ditches.

The Trump rule would shrink Obama EPA’s definition of a waterway to include only larger bodies of water, excluding smaller waterways that feed into them, according to environmental groups tracking the issue.

Environmentalists are gearing up to fight hard against the proposed regulation, which will undergo a public comment period beginning later this month, according to the Times.

 

 

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Energy Dominance; Production Reduction: Voters want clean energy

December 6, 2018 | Posted in : News

US is well on its way to Trump’s goal of ‘energy dominance,’ says Marathon Petroleum CEO
Elizabeth Gurdus, CNBC, December 5, 2018

President Donald Trump’s goal of making the United States a global superpower in energy is starting to come true, Marathon Petroleum Corp. Chairman and CEO Gary Heminger told CNBC on Tuesday. “When I look at the president’s theme to begin with and the beginning of his administration, he wanted to have energy dominance in the U.S. and I believe that we are well on our way,” Heminger told Jim Cramer in an exclusive “Mad Money” interview. “We’re the largest producer in the world today.” Recent declines in oil prices haven’t stopped U.S. producers from pumping more oil ahead of OPEC’s meetings later this week, at which the group of oil-exporting countries are expected to cut production.

OPEC tentatively agrees to oil cut, waits for Russia to commit
Rania El Garmal, Ahmad Ghaddar, Reuters, December 6, 2018

OPEC tentatively agreed to an oil output cut on Thursday but was waiting for a commitment from non-OPEC heavyweight Russia before deciding the exact volumes for a production reduction aimed at propping up crude prices, two sources from the group said. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak flew home from Vienna earlier for talks with President Vladimir Putin in St Petersburg. Novak returns to the Austrian capital on Friday for discussions among Saudi-led OPEC and the group’s allies. The price of crude has fallen almost a third since October, but U.S. President Donald Trump has demanded the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries make oil even cheaper by refraining from output cuts.

From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

CONSERVATIVE GROUPS SURVEY SHOWS MIDTERM VOTERS WANT ACTION ON CLEAN ENERGY: A post midterm-election survey conducted by conservative groups shows a majority of voters want to see action on legislation to promote clean energy.

The survey released Thursday by Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum and the Conservative Energy Network found that 68 percent of voters surveyed say that the issue of clean energy was important to their vote in 2018, and even bigger majorities say they would support candidates who support clean energy.

“These survey results represent what we have seen time and time again—that voters understand the benefits of clean energy policy and they want action,” said CRES Forum Managing Director Heather Reams.

The survey was completed November 8‐12, 2018, among 800 respondents who voted in the 2018 election.

Our Take: Clean energy = natural gas.   We’ve got it. They want it. Good.

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Trump Tuesday: China, Qatar and Coal.

December 5, 2018 | Posted in : News

China Breaks Its Silence on 90-Day U.S. Tariff Truce
Chao Deng and Grace Zhu, The Wall Street Journal, December 5, 2018

China is beginning to flesh out details of a weekend tariff truce with the U.S., after days of vague Chinese statements and a barrage of comments from President Trump and other administration officials. China’s Commerce Ministry in a statement Wednesday acknowledged for the first time that Beijing on Saturday agreed to a 90-day cease-fire to allow negotiations to take place. The statement, attributed to an unnamed spokesman, said that the negotiations have a “clear timeline and road map” and that China aims to quickly implement “an agreed upon consensus.” Also this week, key government agencies and China’s supreme court announced tough punishments for infringing on intellectual property—a prominent complaint by the Trump administration.

Qatar Leaves OPEC
Nikos Tsafos, Center for Strategic & International Studies, December 4, 2018

For the oil market, the impact is likely minor—Qatar is a small crude oil producer, and its liquids production is far greater than its crude oil production anyway (see graph below). But for an organization whose cohesion has always been shaky, and at a time when the market is trying to divine OPEC’s next moves, this is hardly an encouraging sign. The most obvious question is whether any other countries will follow; even if they do not, Qatar has sent a strong signal about what it thinks of OPEC, and that message will weigh on other countries and their deliberations. It also raises some questions about OPEC’s market strategy, especially in light of the very robust growth in U.S. oil production, and whether the OPEC-plus partnership with Russia has come at the expense of the more technocratic approach that served Saudi oil policy well for years.

From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

TRUMP’S EPA TO MAKE IT EASIER TO BUILD NEW COAL PLANTS: The Environmental Protection Agency is expected Thursday to propose weakening an Obama-era rule that would have required new coal plants to be built with expensive technology that captures carbon emissions from their smokestacks.

Industry sources told Josh that the Trump administration’s EPA will introduce a replacement rule regulating emissions from new coal plants that would not force them to be built with carbon capture and storage, also known as CCS.

The coal industry had argued that the Obama administration’s New Source Performance Review Standard would be a de facto ban on new coal plants, because it effectively would have mandated carbon capture, which is technically feasible but cost-prohibitive in many cases.

EPA wants higher-efficiency coal plants: The Trump EPA’s version of the rule would soften the standard, encouraging so-called higher efficiency critical or supercritical power plants that burn coal at higher temperatures than conventional technologies.

Coal industry gives thanks: “We are supportive of EPA’s decision to revise the standards for new coal plants,” Michelle Bloodworth, president and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, told Josh. “If we are ever going to build new coal plants in the country again, we will need reasonable standards.”

 

 

 

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Website woes for climate change; AGDC sees hope in 90-day tariff freeze.

December 4, 2018 | Posted in : News

Where’d the website for Walker’s climate change team go?
Elizabeth Jenkins, Alaska’s Energy Desk, December 3, 2018

As Gov. Mike Dunleavy was sworn into office Monday, the transition of power was also taking place online. The Alaska Office of Information Technology is going through the process of updating the state website and editing pages with the former governor’s name. That means websites you could access last week may not be available now. For example, the page with the state’s new climate change policy is offline. Jeff Turner, Dunleavy’s deputy communication director, said he doesn’t know if the site will be restored. The administration is still discussing if the page will go back up.

Our Take: Cue the crying and gnashing of teeth from members of Walker’s Climate Action Leadership Team, Dermot Cole, Charles Wohlforth and the usual suspects – those who believe that a government committee can do more than the private sector to reduce emissions. AKHEADLAMP applauds Governor Dunleavy for acknowledging that the state has higher priorities and that the private sector is already successfully reducing emissions using their own money.

American LNG developers see possible opening from US-China trade truce
Scott DiSavino, Reuters, December 4, 2018

Companies proposing new U.S. liquefied natural gas export projects, including one in Alaska’s Arctic, expressed optimism on Monday with the agreement between the United States and China temporarily halting the imposition of higher tariffs could help advance their projects. U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on Saturday to a 90-day freeze on new tariffs to advance trade talks, declaring a truce following months of escalating tensions. Alaska Gasline Development Corp, which expects in 2020 to make a final investment decision to build its $43 billion Alaska LNG project to pipe gas from the Arctic to a liquefaction and shipping facility further south, was “gratified that trade talks appear to be progressing,” said spokesman Jesse Carlstrom.

As Trump lobbies against OPEC output cuts, energy sector, economy could take hit
John Blum, Houston Chronicle, December 3, 2018

President Trump’s political pressure on Saudi Arabia and other foreign oil producers to keep crude prices low is harming the U.S. energy sector and the Texas economy, according to energy analysts and a new report. Oil prices have cratered — falling by nearly one-third since early October — because of soaring output from the world’s top producers, especially the United States. Trump has called on OPEC and its allies to resist production cuts to push prices higher, a move aimed at keeping U.S. gasoline prices low. Many analysts predict that if OPEC, Russia and other producers meeting in Vienna this week fail to agree on output cuts it will push crude oil prices even lower.

Related:

Oil complex rallies as OPEC reassures market of output decision

OPEC works on deal to cut output, still needs Russia on board

Hilcorp looking to strike at Lightning
Josh Lewis, Upstream Online, December 4, 2018

Houston-based Hilcorp Energy has spudded an exploration well on the Lightning prospect on the US Gulf Coast in Matagorda County, Texas. Joint venture partner Otto Energy revealed Tuesday drilling had started on the Green-1 well the previous day from an onshore rig. The well is expected to take 60 days to drill to a depth of 15,500 feet and will target the Oligocene age Frio-Tex Miss sands. “Recent nearby discoveries in the same play trend highlight the benefit of newly acquired 3D seismic in being able to unlock plays like this,” Otto managing director Matthew Allen said.

Big Fracking Profits at $50 a Barrel? Don’t Bet on It
Bradley Olson and Rebecca Elliott, Wall Street Journal, December 4, 2018

The rapid decline of U.S. oil prices will test the claim of fracking companies that they can now prosper at $50 a barrel or less, a price level they have found challenging in the past. For years, the companies behind the U.S. oil and gas boom, including Noble Energy Inc. NBL -1.08% and Whiting Petroleum Corp. WLL -0.71% , have promised shareholders that they have thousands of prospective wells that they can drill profitably even at $40 a barrel. Some have even said they can generate returns on investment of 30%. But most shale drillers haven’t made much, if any, money at those prices. From 2012 to 2017, the 30 biggest shale producers lost more than $50 billion. Last year, when oil prices averaged about $50 a barrel, the group as a whole was barely in the black, with profits of about $1.7 billion, or roughly 1.3% of revenue, according to FactSet.

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Pumpkin pie and Caribou soup:   Inauguration Alaska style!

December 3, 2018 | Posted in : News

There’s never been an Alaska inauguration like this: Noorvik welcomes Dunleavy
Kyle Hopkins, Anchorage Daily News, December 3, 2018

Picture a schoolhouse, smelling of pumpkin pie and caribou soup, surrounded by miles of frosted tundra. There has never been an inauguration ceremony for an Alaska governor quite like this. A former state senator and Republican, he becomes just the 12th person to hold the office. “Folks are really excited,” said high school basketball coach Mike Zibell, who grew up in this Inupiat village with Dunleavy’s wife, Rose. The governor-elect canceled plans to make the final leg of the journey by snowmachine and shortened the visit after Friday’s earthquake placed Southcentral Alaska in a state of emergency. Dunleavy was expected to take the oath of office by noon in front of up to 600 people. (The official village population is 669.) GCI Channel 1 will broadcast the event beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Our Take: Congratulations to Governor Dunleavy!   AKHEADLAMP looks forward to his administration and their commitment to responsible resource development.  

Shell to tie exec pay to new climate targets
Eoin O’Cinneide, Upstream Online, December 3, 2018

Shell is planning to tie executive remuneration to new short-term goals as part of its wider drive to tackle emissions from oil and gas activities. The Anglo-Dutch supermajor will from 2020 start setting goals for three- or five-year periods to reduce its net carbon footprint from energy products in its portfolio. These targets will be set every year for the next three or five years until 2050.

Canada’s Unprecedented Oil Cut Plan Boosts Crude, Stocks
Kevin Orland, Bloomberg, December 3, 2018

Alberta’s announcement that it will cut oil production next year to bolster prices sent crude soaring and boosted shares of Canadian producers. The unprecedented move by the country’s largest oil-producing province is aimed at easing the crisis in the nation’s energy industry. The plan announced on Sunday will lower production of raw crude and bitumen from Alberta by 325,000 barrels a day, or 8.7 percent, from January until excess oil in storage is drawn down. The reduction would then drop to 95,000 barrels a day until the end of next year at the latest.

Related:

Qatar’s Departure From OPEC Suggests Gulf Rift Is Here to Stay

Iran Warns Oil Will Slump to $40 If OPEC Fails to Cut Production

Dow rises more than 100 points after Trump and Xi agree to pause the US-China trade war
Fred Imbert, John Melloy, CNBC, December 3, 2018

U.S. stocks rose on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day ceasefire in the trade war that has weighed heavily on global stock markets for most of 2018. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 148 points while the S&P 500 gained 0.6 percent. The Nasdaq Composite rose 1.1 percent. The consumer discretionary sector in the S&P 500 was the best performer, rising more than 2 percent. Amazon and Apple rose 4.6 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively. Stocks came off their highs in midmorning trading, however. At its high of the day, the Dow had risen nearly 442 points.

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Headlamp – Kids Appealing in Alaska; Problems with Port Mac LNG Site

November 30, 2018 | Posted in : News

State Outlines Problems with Proposed Port MacKenzie LNG Site
Larry Persily, Alaska Business, November 29, 2018

Constructing the gas liquefaction plant and marine terminal at the Port MacKenzie site proposed by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough does not eliminate the challenges of building on the property across Knik Arm from Anchorage instead of the project’s preferred site sixty miles to the south on Cook Inlet, the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. (AGDC) told federal regulators.  The state team this month filed several lengthy packages of information in response to a list of requests sent October 2 from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which is just three months away from its scheduled release of the proposed Alaska LNG project’s draft environmental impact statement (EIS). The review will look at multiple project alternatives—including the LNG plant site.

Chinese yards lead race for LNG Canada contract
Xu Yihe, Upstream Online, November 29, 2018

A pair of Chinese fabrication yards have emerged as the front runners to provide the bulk of the modules needed to build two liquefied natural gas trains for the Shell-led LNG Canada project in British Columbia. Among the six bidders to supply more than 200,000 tonnes of modules for the C$40 billion (US$31.2 billion) LNG project, the facilities of Offshore Oil Engineering Company (COOEC) and its joint venture partner Fluor – COOEC-Fluor Heavy Industry – in China’s Zhuhai city are leading the race for the process modules, sources familiar with the tender process said. Two other Chinese yards, Penglai Jutal Offshore Engineering and Bomesc Offshore Engineering, will likely provide some utility modules and those for electric power, they added.  The lead contractor, the US-Japanese Fluor-JGC consortium, will make awards in the first quarter next year.

What to expect from the crucial G-20 meeting between Trump and Xi this weekend
Yen Nee Lee, CNBC, November 30, 2018

  • Discussions around trade are expected to dominate the G-20 summit, with the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping likely to take center stage.
  • Most experts are not expecting a major breakthrough in the ongoing U.S.-China tariff fight.
  • “At most, there might be an agreement for the president to withhold further tariffs … in exchange for discussions over the next several months,” said Gary Locke, former U.S. ambassador to China.

From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy

MEANWHILE…KIDS APPEAL CONSTITUTIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE LAWSUIT IN ALASKA: A group of 16 youths is appealing a decision by the Alaskan superior court last month to throw out their climate change claims.

The appeal was sent to the state’s Supreme Court late Thursday, noting that it comes just days after the U.S. national climate change assessment was released showing that it would be devastating not to combat global warming.

What are they appealing? The state’s superior court had concluded that the youths did not point to any policy of the state that has contributed to climate change. The court ruled that the claims must be addressed by Alaska’s executive and legislative branches of governments.

The Trump administration is fighting a similar lawsuit making its way through the federal court system. The youths in both cases argue that government actions have helped create an energy system that has spurred on global warming, undermining their constitutional rights for personal well-being

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Election politics with the Ambler Road; Perry on emission reduction “Just do it!”

November 29, 2018 | Posted in : News

Gov. Walker lifts funding restrictions on road to benefit Northwest Alaska mines
James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, November 28, 2018

Gov. Bill Walker has partially reversed one of his cost-cutting moves, allowing work to proceed on the proposed Ambler Road in the Brooks Range of northern Alaska. In an announcement Tuesday, Walker said he is allowing state agencies to use $3.6 million in available funds to advance the project. Work on the Ambler Road was halted in December 2014 when Walker issued Executive Order 271, which froze spending on six major construction projects, including the Knik Arm Crossing, Juneau Access Project, Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project and the Ambler Road. In his statement, Walker said the state’s fiscal situation has improved since he issued the executive order freezing funding. Work on Susitna-Watana and the Knik Arm Crossing remains frozen, and the Juneau Access Project has been canceled.

Our Take: Why the delay? Governor Walker could have released these funds a long time ago – the claim that the fiscal situation was to blame rings hollow. The governor didn’t have any problem hiring numerous special assistants who cost more than $3 million dollars and did nothing to strengthen the economy. This smells like election politics – releasing the funds would have jeopardized potential votes from the anti-mining crowd.   Our advice to the new administration? Do the right thing, do things right, do the right things right.

Oil’s wild price swings keep stock investors on the sidelines of energy sector
Tom DiChristopher, CNBC, November 29, 2018

  • Oil prices have plunged more than 30 percent, while the S&P 500 energy sector is down about 15 percent.
  • Analysts say the wild swings in the oil market means stock investors are sitting on the sidelines of the energy sector.
  • Portfolio managers believe energy stocks are undervalued, but still don’t see generalist investors rushing into the sector.

‘MISSION POSSIBLE’ REPORT URGES GOVERNMENTS TO PAVE THE WAY FOR GREEN STEEL
Natural Gas Magazine, November 29, 2018

Reaching net-zero carbon emissions from heavy industry and heavy-duty transport sectors is technically and financially possible by 2060, and earlier in developed economies, and could cost less than 0.5% of global GDP, according to a report published November 19 by the ‘Energy Transitions Commission’ (ETC). The report, Mission Possible, outlines possible ways to fully decarbonize cement, steel, plastics, trucking, shipping and aviation. These together represent 30% of energy emissions today, but this could rise to 60% by mid-century as other sectors lower their emissions.

From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Thursday morning that the U.S. is the model to the world for how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions despite Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord.

Perry explained that although “America got criticized for backing away” from the climate deal, it should not be taken as the U.S. not having an interest in dealing with the problem of global warming.

“We have great interest in it, but we just don’t talk about it,” Perry said in giving the keynote speech at a Consumer Energy Alliance forum on the power grid.

Bragging rights: Perry added that the U.S. has cut overall emissions 14 percent over the last 13 years, while his home state of Texas was able to cut emissions while increasing oil and natural gas production and adding more cars on the road.

The U.S. story “isn’t just rhetoric,” because “it’s not bragging if you can do it,” he added, while not mentioning the recent national climate assessment released last week that talked about economic losses in the nation if climate change is not addressed.

Buy natural gas: His big pitch to the world is to buy more U.S. natural gas to help other nations reduce their carbon footprints, he said.

“My job is to sell a lot of [liquefied natural gas] around the world” to help others reduce emissions, he said. “I think there is a great story to be told here.”

Tackling climate change Texas style: Texas reduced its emissions by nearly 20 percent while growing its economy, which was primarily the result of fuel switching to natural gas and building more state-of-the-art power plants to burn the fuel, he explained.

“I shared that with people around the world,” Perry said. “Here’s a model that works.”

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Who will tighten their taps and by how much?

November 28, 2018 | Posted in : News

Expect a ‘Saudi First’ policy on oil production cuts, regardless of Trump’s demands, analysts say
Natasha Turak, CNBC Business, November 28, 2018

Saudi Arabia will likely move to cut its oil output in order to prop up crude prices, against Donald Trumps’ demands to keep pumping so that prices stay low. Analysts believe that despite Washington’s geopolitical leverage over the kingdom, after its staunch defense of the Saudi monarchy amid accusations over its alleged role in the murder of Saudi Journalist Jamai Khashoggi, Riyadh will still pursue its own economic interests rather than abide by the wishes of President Trump.

 

 

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