“The Scale Game”: Production in the Permian, US LNG to China, ANWR, & Cobalt

Chevron, Exxon Mobil Tighten Their Grip on Fracking
Bradley Olson, Wall Street Journal, March 5, 2019

In the next five years, Chevron expects to more than double its production in the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico to 900,000 barrels of oil and gas a day, the company announced at an investor event Tuesday. That’s a nearly 40% increase from its previous forecast. “The shale game has become a scale game,” Chevron Chief Executive Mike Wirth said in an interview. “The race doesn’t go to the one who gets out of the starting blocks the fastest. The race goes to the one who steadily builds the strongest machine.” Chevron, which now has the lowest debt relative to its size than any of its peers, says it can pay for its new spending and dividends at a price of about $51 a barrel. The company said that is the lowest among the big oil companies, citing data from analytics firm Wood Mackenzie.

Related:

How a ‘Monster’ Texas Oil Field Made the U.S. a Star in the World Market


CHINA TO BUY US LNG IN TRADE DEAL: MEDIA
William Powell, Natural Gas World, March 4, 2019

China is to buy US gas as part of a trade deal expected to be signed late this month, various media reported March 4. China is to commit to buying $18bn of LNG from Cheniere, but no details such as the start date were given, or why Cheniere was selected. According to a Reuters report, Trump administration officials have said they expect the two presidents to “close” a deal at a summit in coming weeks at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

Alaska Senate Backs Development in ANWR
Anchorage Press, Monday, March 4, 2019

“Maintaining progress on the ANWR leasing program shows that Alaska is indeed open for business,” said Sen. Birch. “This resolution will serve as the 31st Legislature’s official comment on the Interior Department’s Draft EIS, which is the first step in a long regulatory process toward an oil and gas leasing program for the ANWR coastal plain.” SJR 7 passed the Senate by a vote of 16-2 and is now on its way to the Alaska House of Representatives for consideration.

Our take: After great discussion, SJR 7 has passed the Senate and moves to the other body for further hearings. We will continue to monitor its progress. A reminder to our readers—the comment period for the BLM’s drafts EIS for coastal leasing expires March 13. To leave a comment, go here, and click “Comment on Document >>” in the righthand column. Alternatively, you can write to: Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program EIS 222 West 7th Avenue, Stop #13 Anchorage, Alaska 99513 -7504.

Billionaires Are On the Hunt for New Underground Cobalt
Jack Farchy, Bloomberg, March 3, 2019

Kobold Metals is betting it will be able to find new sources of the metal using what it calls “machine prospecting.” The company is building a database of geological data that it then feeds into an algorithm, hunting for signals that indicate the likelihood of increased concentration of cobalt. “What we’re building is basically Google Maps for the earth’s crust and below,” said Connie Chan, partner at Andreessen Horowitz.