US says “no” to North Korean Oil Smuggling. China fueling the fire with more coal.

China Is Adding More Coal Capacity
Jing Yang, Bloomberg, September 23, 2018

For all its talk about cutting coal mining capacity, China actually plans to add more. The world’s biggest producer and user of the fuel may see net annual capacity additions of as much as 400 million tons by 2020, according to estimates from analysts including Wood Mackenzie Ltd. That’s about 10 percent of its current capacity and almost as much as Indonesia, the world’s biggest exporter, sells each year.

Shardul Sharma, Natural Gas News, September 24, 2018

The impact of 10% tariff imposed by Beijing on US LNG on Chinese LNG demand in the short-term is likely to be less than previously indicated, Wood Mackenzie said September 24. The trade war between the US and China escalated overnight September 17-18, with US president Donald Trump imposing, effective September 24, 2018, a 10% tariff on $200bn of imports from China and Beijing responding September 18 with tariffs on $60bn of US goods, including LNG imports. “The impact on the short-term market, is likely to be less than we previously indicated. This is partly because the level of the tariff is lower than initially proposed, 10% now vs 25% in August, but also because we think China has already completed the majority of its procurement for winter,” WoodMac said.

Creating Policy Calling Cards to Attract Business to Ontario
Ben Eisen, Senior Fellow the Fraser Institute, September 19, 2018

Weak business investment has been one cause of Ontario’s comparatively weak economic performance over the past decade. A topical Fraser Institute report described Ontario as having experienced a “lost economic decade” from 2008–2017, as the province ranked near the bottom of the Canadian pack on a variety of economic measures. Reversing these outcomes and getting Ontario back on track towards robust, long-term economic growth will require the province to attract more business investment. Achieving this objective will likely require substantial policy change across several different areas of provincial public management.

Our Take:   A new governor in Alaska could re-energize Alaska’s Oil and Gas Competitiveness Review Board to make policy recommendations about how to attract more investment. Alaska doesn’t need to “lose an economic decade” like Ontario did.

From the Washington Examiner’s Daily on Energy:

U.S. TO BEGIN ‘DISRUPTING’ NORTH KOREA OIL SMUGGLING: An international coalition of American allies will start “detecting and disrupting” North Korean oil smuggling operations at sea, a top U.S. diplomat announced Saturday.

“The United States has deployed aircraft and surface vessels to detect and disrupt these activities,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a news release.

That comes on the heels of a pledge by three U.S. allies to enhance the surveillance of North Korean oil tankers. Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, announced Friday they would aid “monitoring and surveillance activities against illicit maritime activities,” with a particular focus on ship-to-ship transfers of oil.

That sets the stage for a confrontation with Russia and China, who persist in selling oil to North Korea despite western assessments that they’ve breached an annual cap imposed by the United Nations Security Council.