88 Energy in Alaska Bolsters Oil Estimate!  Power Issues Slow Red Dog.

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Today’s Key Takeaways: Oil prices post biggest monthly gains in a year.  88 Energy boosts reservoir estimates to 180 million barrels.  Power issues slow down Red Dog output.   First new nuclear plant in 30 years begins commercial operation in Georgia.  


OIL ON TRACK TO SEE BIGGEST MONTHLY GAIN IN MORE THAN A YEAR: Oil prices are set to post their biggest monthly gains in more than a year today, amid expectations that Saudi Arabia will extend its 1 million bpd voluntary supply cuts through September, tightening supplies and outpacing expected demand growth.

Brent crude futures rose above $85 per barrel this morning, while U.S.-based West Texas Intermediate climbed by a dollar to around $81.50 per barrel. Both have seen five straight weeks of gains and are on track to close out July with the largest single-month gain since January 2022 (when Russia was preparing to invade Ukraine), according to Reuters.

“Oil prices are up 18% since mid-June as record high demand and Saudi supply cuts have brought back deficits, and as the market has abandoned its growth pessimism,” Goldman Sachs analysts said in a note yesterday, which they attributed to lower supply from OPEC members, including Saudi Arabia, which extended its voluntary production cuts this summer.

“We still expect the extra 1 million bpd Saudi cut to last through September, and to be halved from October,” they added.

From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy


88 Energy adds new reservoirs for Alaskan oil search
 Andrew Duffy, The West Australian, July 31, 2023

Perth-based 88 Energy has bolstered its 100 per cent-owned Peregrine oil project in Alaska, adding two new reservoir intervals to its Harrier prospect, with 180.1 million barrels of oil as a best-case estimate.

Basin modeling has also revealed that Harrier sits in an area of improved reservoir quality and will be tested by the company with the drill-bit as a priority.

The Peregrine project is onshore on Alaska’s North Slope and encompasses about 126,000 contiguous acres, some 170km west of the Trans Alaska pipeline system. 88 Energy has identified three oil prospects in the area – Merlin, Harrier and Harrier Deep – and has revealed updated prospective oil resources for the former pair, based off well results at Merlin-2 and further 2D seismic interpretation.



Power system issues slow Red Dog output
Shane Lasley, North of 60 Mining News, July 28, 2023

Teck still expects more than 1.2B lb of zinc from mine in 2023 

Teck Resources Ltd. July 26 reported that power system issues at Red Dog impacted second-quarter production at this world-class zinc mine in Northwest Alaska.

Over the three months ending June 30, Red Dog produced 133,700 metric tons (294.8 million pounds) of zinc, which is 7% lower than the 143,800 metric tons (317 million lb) produced during the same period of 2022.

Teck attributes the drop in zinc output primarily to lower zinc grades, which were expected as part of the mine sequencing. A five-day shutdown of the mill due to power system availability, however, was unplanned and also impacted the operation’s second-quarter zinc production. 

Higher lead grades more than offset the shutdown. During the second quarter, Red Dog produced 23,500 metric tons (51.8 million lb) of lead, which is 12% higher than the 21,000 metric tons (46.3 million lb) produced during the same period in 2022.

While Red Dog’s second-quarter zinc output was down compared to a year ago, it is up significantly from the first quarter, which was impacted by severe snowstorms. As a result, Red Dog produced 126,200 metric tons (278.2 million pounds) of zinc and 23,100 metric tons (50.9 million lb) of lead during the first three months of this year.



The first US nuclear reactor built from scratch in decades enters commercial operation in Georgia
Jeff Amy,Yahoo!Finance, July 31, 2023

A new reactor at a nuclear power plant in Georgia has entered commercial operation, becoming the first new American reactor built from scratch in decades.

Georgia Power Co. announced Monday that Unit 3 at Plant Vogtle, southeast of Augusta, has completed testing and is now sending power to the grid reliably.

At its full output of 1,100 megawatts of electricity, Unit 3 can power 500,000 homes and businesses. Utilities in Georgia, Florida and Alabama are receiving the electricity.

Nuclear power now makes up about 25% of the generation of Georgia Power, the largest unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co.

A fourth reactor is also nearing completion at the site, where two earlier reactors have been generating electricity for decades. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Friday said radioactive fuel could be loaded into Unit 4, a step expected to take place before the end of September. Unit 4 is scheduled to enter commercial operation by March.

The third and fourth reactors were originally supposed to cost $14 billion, but are now on track to cost their owners $31 billion. That doesn’t include $3.7 billion that original contractor Westinghouse paid to the owners to walk away from the project. That brings total spending to almost $35 billion.

The third reactor was supposed to start generating power in 2016 when construction began in 2009.

Vogtle is important because government officials and some utilities are again looking to nuclear power to alleviate climate change by generating electricity without burning natural gas, coal and oil.

“This project shows just how new nuclear can and will play a critical role in achieving a clean energy future for the United States,” Southern Co. CEO Chris Womack said in a statement. “Bringing this unit safely into service is a credit to the hard work and dedication of our teams at Southern Company and the thousands of additional workers who have helped build that future at this site.”

In Georgia, almost every electric customer will pay for Vogtle. Georgia Power currently owns 45.7% of the reactors. Smaller shares are owned by Oglethorpe Power Corp., which provides electricity to member-owned cooperatives, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and the city of Dalton. Oglethorpe and MEAG plan to sell power to cooperatives and municipal utilities across Georgia, as well in Jacksonville, Florida, and parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

Georgia Power’s 2.7 million customers are already paying part of the financing cost and elected public service commissioners have approved a monthly rate increase of $3.78 a month for residential customers as soon as the third unit begins generating power. That could hit bills in August, two months after residential customers saw a $16-a-month increase to pay for higher fuel costs.

Commissioners will decide later who pays for the remainder of the costs of Vogtle, including the fourth reactor.