Ballot Measure 1 goes down, drill rig starts up, jobs come back! A House Divided.

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ConocoPhillips says it will resume drilling in December on Alaska’s North Slope
Alex DeMarban, November 18, 2020

ConocoPhillips Alaska on Wednesday said it will resume Alaska drilling projects using four rigs starting in mid-December, bringing back several hundred jobs amid reductions that began as the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to a drop in oil prices this spring.  The company said the North Slope projects include:

• A new extended-reach drilling rig working in the Alpine oil field. It’s nicknamed “The Beast.”

• Two rigs working in the Kuparuk River Unit.

• A rig working in the Greater Mooses Tooth 2 Unit.

ConocoPhillips Alaska president Joe Marushack had previously warned that another factor, the potential for Alaska voters to approve a citizen-led oil tax increase on Nov. 3, could force the oil company to keep most of its drill rigs idle.  On Wednesday Marushack spoke at the Resource Development Council’s annual meeting, which is being held virtually this year. He cited the defeat of Ballot Measure 1 as the primary factor for the resumption of the drilling plans.


Natural Gas Heads Into Winter Looking Bloated
JinJoo Lee, The Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2020

Oil is the commodity with a cartel, but in the U.S., natural-gas producers are the ones showing cartel-like discipline this year. That firmness will be key as the country enters the winter with unusually high levels of natural gas in storage.  At the end of October, the end of the injection season when natural-gas storage builds up in preparation for winter, the U.S. saw natural-gas inventories rise above 3.9 trillion cubic feet, close to the all-time record seen that time of year in 2016.

Colder weather typically starts to draw natural gas out of storage as more homes start requiring heating, but milder temperatures have tempered that demand. Reflecting that oversupply, Henry Hub prices have been falling since the start of November, edging below $2.60 per million British thermal units Thursday morning after the U.S. Energy Information Administration published storage data, down from their late October peak of $3.35.

In the most recent week ended Nov. 13, natural gas in underground storage rose by 31 billion cubic feet, exceeding the build of 22 billion cubic feet that analysts polled by S&P Global Platts expected. Forecaster Bespoke Weather Services had expected a buildup of 17 bcf, noting in a Tuesday report that “weather remains decidedly bearish.”


Trilogy Metals, South32 JV announce $27m for Alaska project
Bruno Venditti, Mining.Com, November 19, 2020

Ambler Metals, the joint venture operating company equally owned by Trilogy Metals (TSX/NYSE: TMQ) and South32 Limited (LSE: S32) approved the 2021 program and budget of approximately $27 million for the advancement of the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects (UKMP) in Northwestern Alaska.

According to the company, activities will focus on an additional 7,600 meters of drilling which will have the dual purpose of extracting additional material for metallurgical work and for the conversion of mineral resources into the measured category.

“The proposed budget is expected to have a twofold positive impact for the company in that we will continue to de-risk the Arctic project and we will also move forward in unlocking the mineral potential within the 100-km-long VMS mineral belt, as well as around the Bornite copper/cobalt deposit,” said Trilogy president and CEO Tony Giardini.


32nd Legislature Outlook
Ed King, King Economics, November 18, 2020

The government’s actions  have a major impact on our economy. The decisions on how much to spend, tax, and distribute to the people all ripple through the rest of the system. Now that the election results are in, we can start to speculate on what the legislature will look like during the 2021 session.


What Joe Biden can Learn from George W. Bush on Climate
Drew Bond, C3 Solutions, November 17, 2020

As we approach weeks of Senate hearings for top nominees, including hundreds of questions about how to solve new and existing problems, it’s worth looking at how past administrations handled their central challenge of helping the United States remain a world leader in production while simultaneously slashing pollution.

Here’s how Bush laid out his program more than a decade ago:

“Climate change involves complicated science and generates vigorous debate. Many are concerned about the effect of climate change on our environment. Many are concerned about the effect of climate change policies on our economy. I share these concerns, and I believe they can be sensibly reconciled.”

“The right way is to adopt policies that spur investment in the new technologies needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions more cost-effectively in the longer term without placing unreasonable burdens on American consumers and workers in the short term.”

“The wrong way is to raise taxes, duplicate mandates, or demand sudden and drastic emissions cuts that have no chance of being realized and every chance of hurting our economy.”

“The right way is to set realistic goals for reducing emissions consistent with advances in technology, while increasing our energy security and ensuring our economy can continue to prosper and grow.”

“The wrong way is to unilaterally impose regulatory costs that put American businesses at a disadvantage with their competitors abroad — which would simply drive American jobs overseas and increase emissions there.”

You can access the full op-ed here and President Bush’s full speech here.