Crowded governor’s race gathers cash, steam before primary
Margaret Kriz Hobson, E&E News Energywire: Friday, August 17, 2018
The Alaska governor’s race comes at a pivotal time for the Last Frontier. After decades of oil production declines, Alaska is on the brink of a new generation of North Slope oil development. Drilling could begin in the coming years at several promising new oil discoveries. And the Trump administration is eager to open new oil leasing on other federal lands in Alaska. The next Alaska governor will also decide whether to advance the Alaska LNG project, a $43 billion state-run venture seeking to commercialize 35 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves now stranded on the North Slope.
Our Take: Headlamp is happy to simplify the situation: a governor can grow government and continually turn to more taxes on the oil industry to pay for it or a governor can reduce the size of government, put more money in the private sector, diversify the economy and maintain a stable tax structure. Make sure you clearly understand what each of the gubernatorial candidates plans to do before you vote.
Board wants proposal: IGU interested in LNG plant near Houston, but needs detailed plan for evaluation
Alan Bailey, Petroleum News, August 19, 2018
During the Aug. 7 meeting of the board of the Interior Gas Utility, several board members expressed concern that they need to see a detailed proposal for a concept being pushed by industrial manufacturing company Siemens and Knikatnu, the Native village corporation for Knik and Wasilla, to build a new liquified natural gas plant next to an Alaska Railroad siding near Houston. The plant would bolster LNG production for increased gas supplies for Fairbanks and its surrounds. Board Chair Pamela Throop told the board that Siemens has committed to present a proposal for the plant during the board’s next meeting on Aug. 21.
Responding to criticisms of AIDEA’s role in Interior Energy Project
Dana Pruhs, Fairbanks Daily News Miner, August 15, 2018
As Chairman of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority Board, I know the commitment it takes to participate on state and local government boards. For this reason, I want to thank Frank Abegg for his past service at the Interior Gas Utility. As a member of the IGU Board, Mr. Abegg was involved in rigorous negotiations over the past 24 months leading to the consolidation of the natural gas supply and distribution systems under IGU ownership. While I appreciate differing and varied points of view in this process, I feel I must address numerous inaccuracies in Mr. Abegg’s departure memo.
Russian oil industry would weather U.S. ‘bill from hell’
Oksana Kobzeva, Dmitry Zhdannikov, Reuters, August 16, 2018
Stiff new U.S. sanctions against Russia would only have a limited impact on its oil industry because it has drastically reduced its reliance on Western funding and foreign partnerships and is lessening its dependence on imported technology. Western sanctions imposed in 2014 over Russia’s annexation of Crimea have already made it extremely hard for many state oil firms such as Rosneft (ROSN.MM) to borrow abroad or use Western technology to develop shale, offshore and Arctic deposits.
Russia’s military lead on Arctic shelf mapping stands trial for fraud
Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer, August 17, 2018
The top official from the Ministry of Defense reportedly stole 90 million rubles earmarked for mapping of the Russian Arctic shelf. The leader of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Department for Navigation and Oceanography Sergey Travin approved a 90 million rubles transfer (€92,000) to Prominvest in 2015. Two years later, that money has got the military official and his two associates into serious trouble. A court in St.Petersburg this week started hearings in a case against Mr. Travin, his deputy Leonid Shalnov and a representative of a state cartographic company. All are charged with large-scale fraud, newspaper Kommersant reports.
Oil Set for Longest Losing Run Since 2015 Amid Economic Fears
Erin Douglas and Grant Smith, Bloomberg, August 16, 2018
Oil has retreated more than 10 percent from the three-year high reached at the end of June as concerns about the global economy grow just as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies revive production. Oil supplies have also appeared more plentiful as U.S. crude inventories expanded by the most since 2017, OPEC raised output in July and Libya recovered some halted production.
From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:
TRUMP-ALLIED ENERGY CEO SAYS HE’S RAISING PRICES BECAUSE OF STEEL TARIFFS: Dan Eberhart, a Trump donor and CEO of America’s largest oilfield services company, plans to tell customers that he is raising prices to cover additional costs resulting from the president’s tariffs on imported steel.
Eberhart, who runs the oil equipment company Canary, provided Josh a copy of a letter he plans to send to customers, warning of impending price hikes because of higher material costs for steel it uses in products, such as wellheads and valves.
‘No other option’: “As a steel-dependent business that is downstream of the tariffs, we have no recourse except to pay the higher prices,” Eberhart said in the letter. “We have no other option other than passing at least some of those costs to our customers.”
His problem is simple: Eberhart said Canary spends millions of dollars per year on imported steel because domestic manufacturers do not produce the niche grade of steel he uses in his products.
And the solution is obvious: He hopes to revisit price increase when “the trade situation changes,” Eberhart said in the letter to customers, and urges the end of Trump’s trade war in order to “continue unleashing America’s energy.”