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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“North Slope oil cavalry is NOT on the way to help us win budget battle.”

November 27, 2018 | Posted in : News

 

A good read by Ed King of the King Economics Group on potential new revenue to the state from the North Slope renaissance:

Sorry, the Cavalry is Not Coming

 

 

 

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Budget Brilliance or Budget Boondoggle?

November 26, 2018 | Posted in : News

Today, outgoing Governor Walker will introduce his FY 2020 budget. Headlamp questions the wisdom of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce in giving him a platform to present his budget policies that were overwhelmingly rejected in the November general election. His words with our commentary are below:

“Alaska LNG is in the home stretch: our administration gave the project the leadership it needed to put it on the international stage”.

Our Take:   Alaska LNG has made progress with FERC and other technical detail under the Walker administration. It is NOT in the home stretch. Even those working intimately on the project know that they must have the private sector companies involved for it to progress.

“We need to kick-start our economy, protect our assets, and create jobs and job training by tackling our deferred maintenance responsibilities and making sure that Alaska’s workforce is prepared to benefit from the many opportunities on our horizon.”

Our Take: Government doesn’t create permanent, high-paying jobs. They often subsidize temporary jobs through a capital budget. Government also shouldn’t be in the business of workforce development, using government funds to compete against private sector companies and union training programs.

“We need to invest in growing our sustainable industries, including tourism, fisheries infrastructure, and critical research that helps us adapt to changing fisheries.”

Our Take: Governments grow industries by providing a stable fiscal climate, reasonable regulations and building necessary infrastructure.

“That and more is what you’ll find in the Walker-Davidson budget. We’ve crafted it as a tool to show what comparison, to show what a responsible vision for Alaska’s future looks like.”

Our Take: Governor Walker’s “vision for Alaska” led him to be one of the most unpopular Governors in the nation. His ideology was soundly defeated by the voters.   Headlamp looks forward to a new Governor who appreciate the roles of government and respects the private sector.

 

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“We have a lot to be happy about.”   Lease Sale Success.

November 16, 2018 | Posted in : News

State nets $28.1 million in Slope, Beaufort Sea lease sales
Elwood Brehmer, Alaska Journal of Commerce, November 15, 2018

Exploration interest remained high in the state’s North Slope and Beaufort Sea annual lease sales held Thursday morning, which netted $28.1 million for the state treasury. Winning bids for the North Slope portion of the sale totaled about $27.3 million, the third highest amount since 1998, according to Division of Oil and Gas Director Chantal Walsh. Successful bidders spent about $848,000 for near shore Beaufort Sea leases, which is in line with historical averages, Walsh said. The state received bids on 133 tracts covering 223,680 onshore North Slope acres and eight Beaufort Sea tracts totaling 20,270 acres garnered bids, according to division officials. “We have a lot to be happy about — a very good lease sale,” Walsh said.

Alaska LNG:

With the election over, what’s next for the gas line?
Tim Bradner, Anchorage Daily News, November 15, 2018

Meyer: Alaska LNG project poised to meet future Asia demand
Steve Quinn, KTVA, November 15, 2018

From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

INTERIOR PREPARES MASSIVE ARCTIC OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS LEASE SALE: The Interior Department said Thursday it was beginning an environmental review for an oil and gas drilling lease sale next year in 65 million acres of federal Arctic waters.

Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said it was preparing an environmental impact statement for a proposed lease sale in the Beaufort Sea, off Alaska’s northern coast.

“We especially need to hear from residents of the Beaufort Sea communities, letting us know how the proposed leasing area is currently being used and what specific areas need extra attention,” said James Kendall, director of BOEM’s Alaska Region. “To address these issues, we will use rigorous science together with traditional knowledge and other input we receive from this early step in the leasing process.”

Alaska oil and gas push: The move is the latest example of the Trump administration aiming to boost Alaskan oil output, despite uncertain industry interest because of high costs and opposition from environmentalists.

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When helping hurts – Walker to continue as “champion” of resource development.

November 15, 2018 | Posted in : News

Dunleavy taps Feige to be Alaska Natural Resources head
Becky Bohrer, Associated Pres, November 15, 2018

Gov.-elect Mike Dunleavy on Wednesday named a former director of Alaska’s Division of Oil and Gas to be his Natural Resources commissioner. Dunleavy announced his selection of Corri Feige during a Resource Development Council conference in Anchorage in which he repeated that Alaska would be “open for business” under his administration. Dunleavy said he would ask Gov. Bill Walker’s administration to halt the creation of any new regulations until the new administration is in place. Walker spokesman Austin Baird said late Wednesday afternoon that the administration had not yet received any direct request from Dunleavy or his team. But he said Walker has no plans to implement new regulations that would restrict resource development. Through the remainder of his term, Walker “will continue to champion responsible resource development of Alaska’s vast natural resources, from oil and gas to minerals to timber,” Baird wrote in an email. “Because there was never any plan to implement new regulations restricting resource development, the Governor-elect is effectively asking the Walker Administration to continue the work we’ve been doing for the past four years,” Baird wrote.

Our Take: Congratulations to Commissioner Feige! Baird’s response to Governor-elect Dunleavy’s request highlights one of the major problems with government. The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. Some of Governor Walker’s commissioners are currently taking actions that hurt not only resource development, but businesses in general in Alaska.   Headlamp is looking forward to a governor who will direct his entire team to help, not hurt, Alaska business.

AGDC project schedule calls for work to begin first-quarter 2020
Larry Persily, Alaska Journal of Commerce, November 15, 2018

The Alaska Gasline Development Corp. told federal regulators Nov. 6 that it plans to start building construction camps and access roads at the natural gas liquefaction plant site in Nikiski in the first quarter of 2020 and along the 807-mile pipeline route by the second quarter. The state-led project’s latest timeline still shows first liquefied gas production by fall 2024. Sticking to that schedule assumes the state corporation can sign LNG customers to binding long-term contracts, complete the deals to buy gas from North Slope producers, find investors and financing for the estimated $43 billion project, acquire the rights to about 900 acres of land in Nikiski, secure any state legislative approvals that may be needed, work through all the required federal and state regulatory authorizations, and reach terms with contractors and suppliers for one of the most expensive energy projects in U.S. history.

Our Take: Securing funding to keep on this timeline is critical for AGDC. Their options aren’t, nor should be, limited to money from the state to proceed.

UAE says energy executives should embrace A.I. to improve profits
Sam Meredith, CNBC, November 13, 2018

Big Oil should do all it can to embrace fast-improving Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the energy industry, according to the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) first minister dedicated to fostering the technology. Speaking at the ADIPEC oil summit in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, the UAE’s minister of state for AI technology said: “Data is the new oil.” “Any company, any government that merges data and oil is going to get yields that we have never seen before. We are going to see lower costs, with profits that cannot be found elsewhere.” The oil and gas market represents around 50 percent of the world’s energy demand at present, Al Olama said, before adding data, blockchain, AI, the internet of things and other emerging technologies would radically change the industry over the coming years.

Zinke gave rare attention to Alaska: The next secretary of the Interior should do likewise
Fairbanks Daily News Miner Editorial, November 14, 2018

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has taken a great deal of action in Alaska compared to his predecessors, which is why ongoing investigations into alleged ethics violations should grab your attention. Secretary Zinke has been criticized for breaking government travel rules before. What’s new is the Justice Department is investigating a land deal in his hometown of Whitefish, Montana. A foundation that Secretary Zinke started, and has remained involved with, has ties to this land deal. The problem is that the development is backed by the chairman of the Halliburton oil company and there’s potential for Secretary Zinke to benefit from this. In a word, Secretary Zinke has been polarizing for Alaskans. But he has given rare attention to Alaska.

China Outlines Possible Concessions to U.S. Ahead of G-20 Talks, Sources Say
Shawn Donnan, Saleha Mohsin, Jenny Leonard, Bloomberg, November 14, 2018

Chinese officials have outlined a series of potential concessions to the Trump administration for the first time since the summer as they continue to try to resolve a trade war, according to three people familiar with the discussions. The commitments for now fall short of the type of major structural reforms that President Donald Trump has been demanding, two of the people said, cautioning that a long road lies ahead in negotiations. One person said that talks between the world’s two largest economies are continuing and constructive.

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New governor, new strategy for Alaska LNG? Is the worst over for oil? Fisher says yes!

November 14, 2018 | Posted in : News

New governor offers hints at Alaska megaproject’s future
Margaret Kriz Hobson, E & E News, November 14, 2018

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.

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