Website woes for climate change; AGDC sees hope in 90-day tariff freeze.

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.