Woe unto WOTUS; 5 decades worth of oil from Texas

U.S. Coast Guard chief optimistic about icebreaker ship funding
Timothy Gardner, Reuters, December 7, 2018

The United States may soon get funding for a new heavy icebreaker ship, the head of the U.S. Coast Guard said on Thursday. The United States has two polar-capable operational icebreakers — a heavy one, the Polar Star, which is more than 42 years old and has outlived its life expectancy by a dozen years, and a medium one designed for research, the Healy. By comparison, Russia has about 40 to 50 icebreakers, purpose-built vessels that can rescue other ships, supply bases, and reach oil spills in harsh polar conditions. “I’m guardedly optimistic funding for that first polar security cutter is going to be there,” Commandant Karl Schultz said at a National Press Club event. Icebreakers support scientific missions and operate in the Arctic and Antarctic, which hold vast natural gas, oil, mineral, fish, and freshwater resources, Schultz said.

China to Have 68 LNG Terminals in Five Years
Natural Gas News, December 7, 2018

China is likely to have 68 LNG receiving terminals in the next five years, more than three times the current number, Guo Zonghua, president of leading state-owned think-tank Shaanxi Gas Design Institute said at an event November 30. He said that at present, there are 20 LNG receiving stations in China, with a further 20 are under various stages of construction. There are 28 projects that have been proposed. So, China will probably have 68 LNG receiving stations in the next five years, he said.


                  China becomes world’s largest natural gas importer, overtaking Japan

A Trade Detente Would Fuel The U.S. Energy Sector And China’s Environment
Ken Silverstein, Forbes, December 5, 2018

Donald Trump’s trade war with China is causing uncertainties in both the financial markets and the overall economy. To that end, the U.S. oil and natural gas sectors could get seriously hurt unless both sides can save face or one side folds. Economists agree on almost nothing — except that free and fair trade produces better business and healthier economies. And that axiom especially holds true when it comes to the relationship between the United States and China, considering that the Asian nation is the second biggest economy in the world and that it is a voracious consumer of oil and natural gas. In fact, the two economies are inextricably linked to the import-export markets.

Oil Soars After OPEC And Partners Reach Deal
Tsvetana Paraskova, OilPrice.Com, December 7, 2018

Oil prices shot up on Friday after the stubborn holdout Iran agreed to have OPEC reduce oil production by a total of 800,000 bpd, while non-OPEC nations, led by Russia, are reportedly adding another 400,000 bpd of cuts, for a total of 1.2 million bpd OPEC+ production cut.  At 09:31 a.m. EDT on Friday, WTI Crude was soaring 3.73% at $53.41, while Brent Crude was surging 4.15% at $62.55. As the talks began on Friday, reports emerged that Russia may be ready to cut its oil production by 200,000 bpd as part of a deal with OPEC to reduce oil supply—a higher commitment than 150,000 bpd previously aired.

USGS: Permian’s Wolfcamp is largest potential oil and gas resource ever assessed
Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, December 6, 2018

The Permian Basin’s Wolfcamp and Bone Spring formations in West Texas and New Mexico hold the most potential oil and gas resources ever assessed, the U.S. Interior Department said Thursday. The region in the Permian’s western Delaware Basin holds more than twice as much oil as the largest previous assessment – the Wolfcamp shale in the Permian’s separate Midland Basin southeast of Midland. That study was completed two years ago. To put the new results into perspective, the Delaware Basin’s Wolfcamp and Bone Spring plays would hold almost seven times as much oil as North Dakota’s Bakken shale.

From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

TRUMP’S COMING POWER PLAY ON OBAMA WATER REGS: The Environmental Protection Agency plans to roll out early next week its proposal to weaken landmark Obama-era changes to the regulation of waterways.

“The previous administration’s 2015 rule wasn’t about water quality,” reads a talking points memo obtained by the New York Times ahead of next Tuesday’s announcement. “It was about power — power in the hands of the federal government over farmers, developers and landowners.”

Woe unto WOTUS: The new rule is Trump’s version of the Clean Water Rule, also known as the Waters of the United States rule, which became a GOP target after the previous administration used it to extend the EPA’s enforcement authority over both large and small bodies of water, including small tributaries and drainage ditches.

The Trump rule would shrink Obama EPA’s definition of a waterway to include only larger bodies of water, excluding smaller waterways that feed into them, according to environmental groups tracking the issue.

Environmentalists are gearing up to fight hard against the proposed regulation, which will undergo a public comment period beginning later this month, according to the Times.