Uncertainty is the enemy of investment- a good reason to Vote No on 1!

November 2, 2018 | Posted in : News

To carry out the salmon habitat measure, Alaska must decide what ‘significant’ means
Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk, November 1, 2018

Alaskans will soon vote on Ballot Measure 1, the controversial initiative aimed at protecting Alaska’s salmon habitat. Companies behind big proposed mines and oil developments have helped raise millions of dollars to campaign against it. But beyond big resource development projects, opponents say Ballot Measure 1 could hinder projects like road improvements. Supporters counter that it was specifically written to allow vital infrastructure projects to go forward. So how will the ballot measure affect mid-sized projects used by everyday Alaskans? The answer isn’t clear-cut. Part of the uncertainty on how the salmon habitat initiative could affect things like small-scale hydro projects or mom-and-pop placer mines hinges on a single phrase in the ballot measure: “significant adverse effects.”

Our Take:   Uncertainty is the enemy of investment. Even the proponents of BM1 acknowledge that critical elements of this proposed new law will be determined AFTER Alaskans vote on the initiative.   Can you imagine how many lawsuits can be filed over three simple words “significant adverse effects?” Headlamp can. Read Ed Kings’ piece below on the status of our economy. We are not out of a recession yet. Why would we do anything to harm our economy?

Alaska by the Numbers – November Edition
Ed King, King Economics Group, November 1, 2018

Read about the big news that broke last month, and how it impacts Alaska’s economy.

Exxon, Chevron Profits Soar as Big Oil Returns to Dominance
Bradley Olson, The Wall Street Journal, November 2, 2018

Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. each reported their highest third-quarter profits in four years as the world’s largest oil companies appeared to have finally shaken off the malaise of a years long oil price crash. Exxon’s net income rose 57% to $6.24 billion as improved operations helped the company reap the benefits of higher prices for drilling and better refining margins. Chevron’s profits doubled to $4 billion and its production in the red-hot Permian basin in West Texas and New Mexico surged 80%.

White House officials are pushing back on the idea that a trade deal with China is imminent
CNBC, November 2, 2018

For a brief moment Friday, there was optimism in the market that the Trump administration was getting closer to a trade deal with China. But administration officials are telling CNBC that there is no indication of an imminent agreement. On Friday, a report that said President Donald Trump had asked U.S. officials to prepare a draft trade agreement with China sent the market higher. Then, after it became clear that the reported progress might not materialize, the Dow went negative. Three senior administration officials told CNBC on Friday that there is no indication of an imminent trade deal, despite some progress being made behind the scenes. Later Friday, Trump’s top economic advisor Larry Kudlow told CNBC’s “Halftime Report” that Trump had not asked his Cabinet to put together a draft trade deal.

From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

RICK PERRY IS OFF TO EUROPE NEXT WEEK TO SECURE LNG DEAL: Energy Secretary Rick Perry is off to Europe next week to continue discussions on energy security with Poland, Ukraine, Hungary and Czech Republic “to build on his recent efforts to elevate American energy partnerships in the region.”

Perry is also expected to announce a new liquified natural gas deal with Poland, Axios first reported on Thursday. The deal is part of the Trump plan to diversify the region’s energy supply away from Russia.

Our Take: Good for America and for Alaska LNG. China may have the demand, but the trade war and China’s questionable business practices don’t make them the best partner for Alaska LNG.

Cities Threatened by Climate Risk Still Getting AAA Bond Ratings
Christopher Flavelle, Bloomberg, November 2, 2018

Last fall, after a trio of deadly hurricanes, ratings companies warned vulnerable coastal cities to get ready for climate change — or face higher borrowing costs on the $3.9 trillion municipal bond market. Climate advocates cheered, hoping the prospect of downgrades would push local officials to better protect their residents from the effects of global warming. Twelve months, two catastrophic storms and thousands of credit ratings later, those companies have yet to downgrade a single city because of climate change. The companies, which include Moody’s Corp. and Fitch Ratings Ltd., say that’s because cities are taking steps to protect themselves.

Our Take: “climate advocates cheered” at the thought of their communities facing higher borrowing costs. Nothing says “I care” about my community more than hoping bad things happen to it. SMH.

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Just the facts at FERC; D’s get an F for lack of climate change plan.

November 1, 2018 | Posted in : News

New energy commission head pledges to avoid political influence
Timothy Cama, The Hill, October 31, 2018

The newly minted chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) says he is committing to keeping the agency neutral and avoiding political influence. Neil Chatterjee , a Republican, was tapped last week by President Trump to succeed Kevin McIntyre , another Republican, atop FERC. McIntyre will remain as a commissioner on the body, which has five spots but only four commissioners. FERC and the companies and organizations that deal with it say they value the agency’s independence and neutrality — something which Chatterjee echoed Wednesday. “No one was more committed to ensure the depoliticization of the agency and not allowing political interference than Kevin McIntyre,” Chatterjee told reporters Wednesday at FERC’s Washington, D.C. headquarters, adding that he wants to maintain the example McIntyre set.

Interior gas officials agree to explore Siemens’ plan
Elwood Brehmer, Alaska Journal of Commerce, October 31, 2018

Utility officials have signed a one-year agreement with Siemens Government Technologies to further investigate the company’s plan to get more and cheaper natural gas to Interior Alaska. The Interior Gas Utility board of directors voted 4-2 on Oct. 23 to enter into a memorandum of understanding with Siemens. Company representatives have said for more than a year that they, leading a consortium, can put together an LNG supply chain that is competitive with the Interior Energy Project plan IGU and the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority have already agreed to.

Our Take: This project has been floundering. Can a private sector company move the project forward, where the government has failed?   Rhetorical question.

Two offtake contracts already signed for LNG Canada
Nelson Bennett, Biz, October 26, 2018

The $40 billion LNG Canada project is not the only large liquefied natural gas project proposed in the world, several of which involve some of the same partners involved in the Canadian project. It’s expected final investment decisions on some of those other projects could come in 2019. But the Kitimat project is “the most competitively advantaged project” of all of them, LNG Canada CEO Andy Calitz told a group of more than 200 businessmen and women at a Greater Vancouver Board of Trade (GVBOT) event Friday October26.

Our Take: Actually, the viewpoint of a loyal reader – A good lesson for new state leaders considering oil taxes- “Ultimately, Dakers said the NDP government’s decision to scrap the previously Liberal government’s special LNG taxes and approve a new “competitive tax structure” was what allowed the partners to pull the trigger and sanction the project.”

Democrats have no broad climate plan even as they prepare to win the House
The Guardian, November 1, 2018

Democrats don’t have a plan to address climate change comprehensively – or even to a significant degree – if they regain control of the US government in the near future, despite criticizing Republicans as the party of pollution. After failing to get conservatives on board to limit planet-warming gases through legislation or regulation, Democratic leaders in Washington are now wary of wading into another tough political fight, despite an intensifying environmental crisis. If Democrats win back the House in Tuesday’s midterm elections, their strategy is to hold oversight hearings on Donald Trump’s environmental rollbacks and pursue more incremental and popular measures, according to close observers and a senior Democratic aide.

Related: From the Washington Examiner Daily on Energy:

CHAMBER MAKES MIDTERMS ABOUT VOTING ON ENERGY: The Chamber of Commerce launched an 11th-hour campaign this week to get voters to cast their support behind energy jobs.

“In order to continue to harness our abundant natural resources and spur innovation, we need elected officials who support forward-looking energy policies,” said an email sent to supporters a week before the Nov. 6 midterm elections by the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute.

It explains that “Pro-energy” elected officials will help to ensure the energy industry is able to “improve all Americans’ access to abundant, affordable energy and to provide hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs.”

It doesn’t say who to vote for in specific races, but links to their website where voters can research how both Senators and House members voted on key issues to see for themselves.

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Headlamp’s Halloween Horror – “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

October 31, 2018 | Posted in : News

What’s so special about the Mustang Field?
Rashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk, October 30, 2018

The Mustang Field is pretty unremarkable — in that it looks like the rest of the North Slope. Flat tundra stretches as far as the eye can see — and on top, all the signs of the oil industry. There’s a long gravel road, a big pad and some equipment. What is remarkable about this field is the type of investment it has gotten in the past decade. Specifically, about $95 million dollars in state or state-backed loans. Instead of being operated by one of the major players on the North Slope, it is run by a small, 13-year-old, independent oil company — Brooks Range Petroleum Corporation.

Our Take: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” There are so many scary aspects of this story, not the least of which is the government lending itself money before the law was changed to allow the transaction.

RPT-Next-wave LNG race hits hurdles in U.S.-China trade war
Julie Gordon, Scott DiSavino, Reuters, October 30, 2018

The delay of a U.S. Gulf Coast liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project has crystallized fears that the U.S. trade battle with China is hampering efforts to line up buyers needed to move ahead with multi-billion-dollar builds. The United States is positioning itself as the dominant provider of the supercooled fuel as Asian nations shift away from dirtier power sources like coal, and this month’s approval of a giant Canadian project led by Royal Dutch Shell bolstered enthusiasm for the sector overall in North America.

Our Take: Companies new to the LNG world “face a range of challenges from financing to contract pricing to pipeline access…” “This favors energy giants like Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp and Qatar Petroleum, all of which have projects in the works, along with Cheniere Energy, the leading independent U.S. LNG company.” If only the energy giants got involved with Alaska LNG again…

Related:

China Signals More Support Needed Amid Pressure on Economy
Bloomberg News, October 31, 2018

Crude oil is doing something it hasn’t done in years
Stephanie Landsman, CNBC, October 31, 2018

Energy expert John Kilduff sees an unusual phenomenon affecting crude oil and beaten-down stocks. According to the Again Capital founding partner, oil and stocks have embarked on the closest trading relationship since early 2016 and during the financial crisis sell-off. “This has been the highest correlation that I’ve seen in quite some time,” he said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Futures Now.” His latest thoughts came with U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude on track for its worst month in more than two years. WTI closed at $66.40 a barrel on Tuesday, while Brent crude settled at $76.23. “A lot of folks like to trade crude oil and other commodities to get away from the correlations you have in the stock market,” said Kilduff, a CNBC contributor. “But over the past 20 days, you can see where stocks peak out in early October. Crude oil peaked out in early October.”

BP post strongest quarter in 5 years
Josh Lewis, Upstream Online, October 30, 2018

UK supermajor BP saw profits rise during the third quarter of the year, posting its strongest underlying performance in more than five years. BP posted a profit of more than $3.35 billion for the three months to 30 September, an increase on last year’s $1.77 billion third quarter profit. “Our focus on safe and reliable operations and delivering our strategy is driving strong earnings and growing cash flow,” BP chief executive Bob Dudley said. “Operations are running well across BP and we’re bringing new, higher-margin barrels into production faster through efficient project execution.”

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Mainstream Media shows their bias – again.  Usibelli coal selling lots to Healy residents

October 30, 2018 | Posted in : News

Answering the Call: Lt. Gov. candidate wants focus on rural Alaska
Steve Quinn, KTVA, October 29, 2018

Hers may be among the most unfamiliar names on next month’s ballot, but Democrat Debra Call says she’s not just along for the ride as Mark Begich’s running mate in the gubernatorial race. A Dena’ina Athabascan, Call filed for the office on June 1, the last day to formally declare intent to run for office. She sailed through the Aug. 21 primary unopposed and a Begich-Call ticket became official a few weeks later. Call has never held political office and she added she’s still a bit surprised to suddenly be “front and center.” “It’s not what I planned,” she said. “But it’s something I’m glad I did because I’m now seeing I have a lot contribute, and I have many contacts throughout rural Alaska.”

Our Take: Headlamp appreciates that KTVA provided a brief look at who Debra Call is. With one week to go the election, Alaskans should have much more information about the person who could be one heartbeat away from the Governor’s office. Unfortunately, the AP, AK Public Media, ADN, the Daily News Miner, the Juneau Empire, KTUU and with the exception of this piece, KTVA – have decided that a handshake in a debate and a story attacking a pro-Dunleavy third party expenditure are more important. Where is the investigative reporting on Candidate Call? Where is the investigative reporting on the Walker/Mallot administration and the events that led to their demise? P.S. – Debra Call supports the Stand for Salmon initiative and opposes the Sturgeon case that is pending before the US Supreme Court.

League of Women Voters holds Prop 1 forum
Victoria Petersen, Peninsula Clarion, October 29, 2018

The League of Women Voters hosted a forum last week to help inform voters on Alaska Ballot Measure 1. Kaitlin Vadla and Laura Rhyne from Cook Inletkeeper spoke in support of the Stand for Salmon campaign. Owen Phillips from Stand for Alaska and Linda Hutchings from Stand for the Kenai Peninsula spoke in opposition of Alaska Ballot Measure 1.

Alaska coal mine to sell lots to Healy subdivision residents
Associated Press, October 30, 2018

A coal mining company is planning to sell land to residents who have subleased lots in a neighborhood southwest of Fairbanks. Usibelli Coal Mine announced Friday that it had purchased the 464-acre (188-hectare) Tri-Valley subdivision in Healy and plans to begin offering residents the option to buy the land, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Monday. Usibelli purchased the property from the Alaska Railroad Corp. in a deal authorized by the state Legislature earlier this year. The 75-year-old company had leased the land from the railroad and began subleasing individual parcels to provide employee housing in 1977. Before that year, the company provided housing at a camp next to the mine.

Trump says he expects a ‘great deal’ with China, but warned more tariffs are coming if he doesn’t get it
Reuters, October 30, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump said he thinks there will be “a great deal” with China on trade but warned that he has billions of dollars’ worth of new tariffs ready to go if a deal isn’t possible. “I think that we will make a great deal with China and it has to be great, because they’ve drained our country,” Trump told FOX News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle” on Monday. Trump said in the interview he would like to make a deal now, but that China was not ready. He did not elaborate.

Related:

U.S. leads world equities higher on hopes of U.S.-China trade deal
David Randall, Reuters, October 30, 2018

 

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Magnolia LNG FID casualty of trade tensions: Alaska adds to the weekly rig count!!

October 29, 2018 | Posted in : News

North Dakota, Alaska lead rig count growth as Texas dips
Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, October 26, 2018

Both North Dakota and Alaska tacked on multiple drilling rigs last week to account for a small hike in the nation’s rig count. The number of active drilling rigs nationwide only grew by one overall, but the increases in Alaska and North Dakota helped offset declines in Texas and Louisiana. Texas lost three active rigs last week, but that comes one week after Texas gained eight rigs, according to weekly data collected by Baker Hughes, a GE company. There are now 1,068 active rigs across the country with more than half of them operating in Texas.

Our Take: It’s been a long time since Alaska has added to the rig count. Feels GREAT!

Trump’s sanctions on Iran tested by oil-thirsty China, India
Timothy Gardner, Humeyra Pamuk, Henning Gloystein, Reuters, October 28, 2018

Shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump announced in May he would reimpose sanctions on Iran, the State Department began telling countries around the world the clock was ticking for them to cut oil purchases from the Islamic Republic to zero. The strategy is meant to cripple Iran’s oil-dependent economy and force Tehran to quash not only its nuclear ambitions, but this time, its ballistic missile program and its influence in Syria. With just days to go before renewed sanctions take effect Nov. 5, the reality is setting in: three of Iran’s top five customers – India, China, and Turkey – are resisting Washington’s call to end purchases outright, arguing there are not sufficient supplies worldwide to replace them, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Quarterly Highlights: A Message from the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

The first quarter of LNG Limited’s fiscal year was dominated by our focused efforts to sign long-term contracts for Magnolia LNG. While trade issues with the Chinese market impact our discussions, our negotiations with customers in other parts of the world remain strong. Earlier this year, we stated our target to make a final investment decision by the end of the 2018 calendar year. We made that statement prior to the trade tensions that have manifested over the past months, which have caused headwinds for LNG transactions. We remain hopeful in our ability to bring a final investment decision for Magnolia LNG to the Board of Directors in the first part of 2019. There are varying opinions on how and when the trade issues with China will be resolved. Considering that, our communications with potential Chinese off takers remain robust with the intent to complete agreements if trade tensions abate before Magnolia is fully sold out.

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What have we really cut from Alaska’s budget?

October 26, 2018 | Posted in : News

AKHEADLAMP is a big fan of Ed King with King Economics Group. His recent series on the budget is top notch!

A key theme in the gubernatorial debate has been Alaska’s budget. Senator Dunleavy has been attacked for talking about a spending problem and the desire to reduce the size of the budget. Critics claim it has already been reduced greatly and there is no more room to “cut”.

The critics are wrong. Senator Dunleavy is on the right track.   We offer you part 4 of Ed King’s series. We begin at the end.

“When you look closely at the $3 billion of budget reductions, almost none of them can truly be called reductions to the size of government. Most of the “cuts” came from things that shouldn’t really have been called “growth” in the first place. And most of the real cuts were offset by growth in non-UGF spending.

  • The major “cuts” happened in the capital budget. But resisting the urge to buy new things is not the same as a reducing government.
  • Neither is refusing to pay the bill on something that is owed. That just moves the money into a different time period. (tax credits)
  • Paying the state retirement contributions in advance did just the opposite. It just moved the payments into a different time period.
  • Trying to hit a budget “target” is a fundamentally bad approach to the problem; one that lends itself to moving around the numbers to give the appearance of success but doesn’t actually accomplish anything. We can do better.”

You can read the full article here: Exploring Alaska’s Budget: Part 4 – What Did We Cut?

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Hip Hip Hooray for Hilcorp! Anti-Energy Activists to blame for $92b loss to economy.

October 25, 2018 | Posted in : News

Arctic offshore production wells approved off Alaska’s coast
Dan Joling, Associated Press, October 24, 2018

The first oil and gas production wells in federal Arctic waters have been approved by U.S. regulators. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Wednesday announced it issued a conditional permit for the Liberty Project, a proposal by a subsidiary of Houston-based Hilcorp for production wells on an artificial island in the Beaufort Sea. The approval follows through on President Donald Trump’s promise of American energy dominance, said Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. “Responsibly developing our resources, in Alaska especially, will allow us to use our energy diplomatically to aid our allies and check our adversaries,” he said in the announcement.

Our Take: 200 construction jobs and a $1 billion investment. What a great way to start the day! Congratulations Hilcorp, and congratulations Alaska!

AGDC Meets With FERC On AK LNG Project Timeline
Jennifer Williams, KSRM, October 24, 2018

The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation met with federal regulators last week to discuss the timeline for the AK LNG project. This meeting comes after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission submitted additional data requests to the AGDC on October 2. AGDC submitted several hundred pages of answers and data on October 22, with another round expected by November 19. The AGDC asked FERC during the meeting if the project was still on track for the proposed timeline of the environmental impact statement (EIS). FERC responded that it will depend on whether the answers are complete or if they prompt substantial follow-up questions.

Related:

Trump switches out energy commission chairman
Timothy Kama, The Hill, October 24, 2018

EPA to Eliminate Letter Grades for Some Project Reviews
Timothy Puko, The Wall Street Journal, October 24, 2018

The Environmental Protection Agency will stop using letter grades on some of its environmental-permitting reviews, calling the process antiquated. The move is the latest step by the Trump-era EPA to simplify the federal permitting process, especially for highways, bridges and other infrastructure projects.   Since the Reagan administration, the agency has used letter grades on preliminary environmental-impact statements on infrastructure projects it reviewed for other agencies. But Trump officials determined those agencies didn’t need the grades and found that at times they had focused more on targeting a better grade than on doing a substantive review.

Our Take: A common-sense move. Streamlining the process AND focusing on a more substantive review.  

From the Washington Examiner’s Daily on Energy:

CHAMBER BLAMES ANTI-ENERGY ACTIVISTS FOR $92B IN LOST COMMERCE: The Chamber of Commerce, together with labor unions, is lashing out at anti-energy activists that they argue are to blame for a $92 billion loss to the economy.

A new report released Thursday by the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute and the Laborers’ International Union of North America blame “anti-energy activism” for preventing tens of billions of dollars in economic activity in the U.S., eliminating 745,000 job opportunities, and undermining $58.4 billion in project investment costs. “To top it all off, we estimate that these cancelled or delayed projects have cost us nearly $20.4 billion in lost tax revenue,” the report says.

The report is taking aim at the so-called “Keep it in the Ground” activist movement, or KIITG, which is most recognized for its actions ahead of the 2016 presidential election in mounting a campaign to block the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota. One of President Trump’s first actions was to order the pipeline’s approval be expedited.

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Teach your children well-don’t sue when case has no legal merit. Calista backs Dunleavy.

October 24, 2018 | Posted in : News

Calista Switches Endorsement To Dunleavy After Walker Drops Out Of Governor’s Race
Anna Rose MacArthur, KYUK, October 24, 2018

Calista Regional Native Corporation has endorsed Republican Mike Dunleavy’s bid for governor, and his support for Calista’s proposed Donlin Gold mine was key to earning the corporation’s backing. The Calista Public Advocacy and Engagement Committee had initially endorsed Independent Gov. Bill Walker for re-election. On Friday, Gov. Walker announced that he was dropping out of the competition to prevent a three-way race and to keep Republican Mike Dunleavy from power.   The next day, the Calista committee switched its endorsement to Dunleavy. The committee largely based its decision on the candidate’s opposition to Ballot Measure 1 and his support for developing the proposed Donlin Gold mine.

Oil Majors Win Big In New NAFTA Deal
Vanand Meliksetian, OilPrice.Com, October 23, 2018

President Donald Trump’s election shook the foundations of America’s alliance with two of its most important allies and trading partners: Canada and Mexico. His campaign promise to build a wall on the southern border of the U.S. and his tense relationship with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, made renegotiating NAFTA a particularly difficult task. The U.S. had a clear advantage in negotiations due to its economic and political significance on the global stage. Trump’s preference for bilateral instead of multilateral deals increased pressure on the NAFTA signatories. Therefore, when Mexico signed a revised NAFTA or USMCA, Canada had no choice but to follow suit. Big oil, however, seems to be the real winner in this geopolitical battle.

Saudi Arabia Ready to Invest $5bn in Arctic LNG 2: Report
Shardul Sharma, Natural Gas News, October 24, 2018

Saudi Arabia is ready to invest $5bn in Novatek’s Arctic LNG 2 project, the head of Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Kirill Dmitriev, said at the Saudi Arabian investment forum October 23, according to RT. Earlier this month Novatek CFO and deputy chairman, Mark Gyetvay, told the Oil & Money conference in London that Saudi Aramco was among those companies that have visited the data room for the planned Arctic LNG 2 project. Eight months ago Saudi Aramco and Novatek signed a memorandum of understanding that included possible LNG co-operation. Last week Saudi energy minister, Khalid Al-Falih, who was speaking at the India Energy Forum hosted by CERAWeek in Delhi, said that Saudi Aramco is open to the idea of marketing some LNG from the proposed Arctic project into India and other markets.

The Future of Arctic Shipping
Yaryana Serkez, Renee Rigdon and Costas Paris, The Wall Street Journal, October 24, 2018

As Arctic ice melts, the Northern Sea Route will stay navigable for longer periods, a result that could drastically change international trade and shipping. In February, China announced its “Polar Silk Road” plan that encourages Chinese companies to build infrastructure and conduct commercial trial voyages in the Arctic. By 2030, Russia plans to invest billions of dollars to develop infrastructure along the Northern Sea Route to facilitate ships traveling from Asia to Europe. The Northern Sea Route cuts sailing time by an average of 10 days compared with travel via the Suez Canal, but it is still a risky endeavor because of shallow waters, the unpredictability of ice coverage and high costs.

From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

KIDS FACE ‘LONG SHOT’ IN CLIMATE LAWSUIT AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT: By pausing a landmark lawsuit filed by children who want to force the federal government to act against climate change this past weekend, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts signaled that it’s a long shot to succeed.

Roberts’ decision is a sign that the high court doesn’t want the judiciary used for “show trials,” said Jeff Holmstead, a former deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in the George W. Bush administration who is now an energy industry attorney at Bracewell.

“Climate change is a serious issue, but this case has no legal merit,” Holmstead told Josh.

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Never cry wolf about polar bears; Can China learn from US about oil addiction?

October 23, 2018 | Posted in : News

How the narrative on polar bears has become a problem for Arctic environmental groups
Martin Breum, Arctic Today, October 21, 2018

Our fear that the polar bear is going extinct is perhaps the world’s most powerful symbol of climate change in the Arctic and its global ramifications. Our tremendous attention to the polar bear’s apparently imminent and irrevocable disappearance has continued to grow and grow for years — not the least due to the effective campaigns of global environmental organizations. However, for at least one of these large groups, the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the story about the upcoming extinction of the polar bear has become somewhat of a dilemma. According to the most authoritative scientific assessments, the polar bear does not face imminent extinction, and the widespread belief that it does now stands in the way of more nuanced communication about the dramatic effects of climate change in the Arctic.

Our Take: Climate change common ground exists. Accurate information is critical. National Geographic did no favors for the climate change campaign when they made false claims about a starving polar bear, got caught, and had to apologize to the world.

US seeking to boost LNG exports to Japan, rest of Asia
Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press, October 22, 2018

A top U.S. energy official said Monday that Asia is the center of growth in energy demand and offers a great opportunity to expand American liquefied natural gas exports. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette told reporters in Tokyo that the U.S. is working with Japan and others to build facilities for U.S. LNG exports and improve their energy security. Japan is the world’s biggest importer of LNG. “The world is right here in Asia,” Brouillette said. “Demand for LNG is very, very high here. There is an enormous amount of opportunities not only for U.S. businesses but also for Japanese businesses as well as other Asian businesses.”

Related:                

China’s September LNG Imports Spike
Natural Gas News, October 23, 2018

China’s Oil Addiction Is Its Main Weakness As A Superpower
Tim Daiss, OilPrice.Com, October 22, 2018

Trump and China’s Xi to meet at G-20: Kudlow
Liz Moyer, CNBC, October 23, 2018

Exclusive: Exxon, Rosneft to build LNG plant with Japanese, Indian partners – sources
Oleysa Astakhova, Denis Pinchuk, Reuters, October 23, 2018

Russia’s Rosneft (ROSN.MM) and U.S. ExxonMobil (XOM.N) plan to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in a consortium with Indian and Japanese partners, spreading the estimated $15 billion cost, two sources familiar with the talks said. The four companies – Rosneft, Exxon, Japan’s SODECO and India’s ONGC Videsh (ONGC.NS)(ONVI.NS) – are partners in the Sakhalin-1 group of fields that will supply the gas, but Exxon and Rosneft had initially planned to build the LNG plant without the other consortium members. As well as spreading the costs among more stakeholders, the broader involvement of the participants may mitigate sanctions risk.

From the Washington Examiner’s Daily on Energy:

NATURAL GAS GROUP GETS NEW CHAIRMAN TO PUSH INFRASTRUCTURE AGENDA: The Interstate Natural Gas Association of America on Tuesday elected William Yardley of pipeline giant Enbridge to serve a one-year term as chairman.

“Bill’s decades of management experience and his expert knowledge of the industry and the market make him perfectly suited to be INGAA’s leader in communicating to policymakers the economic and environmental benefits made possible by our nation’s safe, resilient natural gas pipeline network,” said the large pipeline group’s president and CEO Don Santa.

Yardley comes to the role as natural gas pipelines continue to face pushback from activists’ groups and others looking to oppose fossil fuel development.

Yardley said the industry “must ensure that policymakers and regulators support the steady growth of our industry, so that the U.S. continues to realize the economic and environmental benefits of its

abundant natural gas supply.”

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High stakes elections for oil and gas in Nigeria, Libya and….Alaska

October 22, 2018 | Posted in : News

Governors Update: Democrats Suddenly Have A Real Chance In Alaska
Perry Bacon, FiveThirtyEight, October 22, 2018

The governor’s news this weekend was good for the Democrats in two races — although nothing happened to dramatically alter our forecast, which already projected major gains by Democrats at the statehouse level. We estimated that Democrats were on pace to govern 194 million people when we launched our forecast last week — vs. 135 million for Republicans; that’s up to 197 million now. The big actual news — not just fresh polls — happened in Alaska. On Friday night, Gov. Bill Walker, an independent, suspended his reelection campaign and endorsed the Democratic candidate, former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, who has said he will continue the expansion of Medicaid in Alaska through Obamacare, a hallmark of Walker’s tenure. Republican Mike Dunleavy has been non-committal about continuing the program. All that said, the “Classic” version of our forecast now suggests Dunleavy has a 2 in 3 chance of winning, or 65 percent; Begich is a 1 in 3 underdog. That’s a huge shift: The model gave Dunleavy a 5 in 6 chance at launch and had him winning by about 12 percentage points on average. He’s up just 3 points now.

Our Take:   Mike Dunleavy is a “NO!” on Ballot Measure 1. Mark Begich is a “YES!”.   Nuff said.

New report compares Alaska’s recession to other energy-dependent states
Abbey Collins, Alaska Public Media, October 19, 2018

When oil prices sank three years ago, Alaska’s economy went in the same direction, falling into recession. And, while recessions in other energy-dependent states have come and gone, Alaska’s economy has yet to recover. In a new report, he found that, out of 13 historically energy-dependent states, six experienced economy-wide job loss as a result of oil price declines, starting in 2014. Out of those, Guettabi says North Dakota and Alaska are the only two that continue to be in recession. According to Guettabi, Alaska lost ground for 34 straight months — the longest recession in the state’s history. In that time, the state has lost between 12,000 and 13,000 jobs.

Mat-Su, Kenai boroughs continue sparring over LNG plant site
Larry Persily, The Alaska Journal of Commerce, October 20, 2018

The Matanuska-Susitna and Kenai Peninsula boroughs continue to file comments with federal regulators as they each defend their own community as the best site for the proposed Alaska LNG project’s gas liquefaction plant and marine terminal. The Mat-Su Borough on Oct. 16 asked that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) request additional information from the state team leading the development, the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. (AGDC), “so that the commission can perform an adequate alternatives analysis related to the proposed liquefaction facility.”

Alaska Federation of Natives Passes Resolution in Support of Gasline

Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN), Alaska’s largest statewide Native organization, today unanimously passed a resolution supporting an Alaska gasline project being led by the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC). The resolution, sponsored by the ASRC, CIRI, Doyon, and AHTNA Native Corporations, calls for AFN to work with AGDC “to ensure cooperation between Alaska Natives and their respective economic interests to provide to AGDC subject matter expertise and support services to advance” an Alaska gasline project. To read the full text of the resolution, click here.

Why Libya and Nigeria may decide whether oil takes another run at $100 a barrel
Tom DiChristopher, CNBC, October 22, 2018

Two OPEC members could soon determine whether oil prices spike back towards $100 a barrel — and those countries are not Saudi Arabia and Iran. With U.S. sanctions choking off Iran’s exports and Saudi Arabia hiking output to fill the gap, it’s crucial for other major producers to keep crude flowing in the coming months. That’s why many analysts are paying close attention to Nigeria and Libya, two nations heading into high stakes elections and where output has swung wildly in recent years. In Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, a change of leadership threatens to unsettle the current government’s arrangement with militants who wreaked havoc on the country’s oil output two years ago. In Libya, it’s uncertain whether elections meant to resolve a long-running dispute between rival governments will bring an end to more than four years of civil conflict that has frequently disrupted the nation’s crude exports.

From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

SUPREME COURT PAUSES KIDS’ CLIMATE CHANGE SUIT BEFORE TRIAL: The Supreme Court on Friday night temporarily halted an upcoming trial on a climate change lawsuit brought by children against the U.S. government, after the Trump administration had sought to dismiss the case.

Chief Justice John Robert’s one-page order halted discovery and the upcoming district court trial in the case, scheduled for Oct. 29. He asked for a response from the plaintiffs in the case by Wednesday. The case involves 21 children who allege that government policy has exacerbated global warming and climate change.

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