Today’s Key Takeaways: Africa calls for the end of demonization of oil and gas. UK ready to mandate oil and gas licensing in North Sea. U.S. LNG becomes more vital with sanctions, war. If it can’t be grown, it must be mined – Alaska has what the world needs. “Loss & damage” fund headed for COP28 on shaky ground.
NEWS OF THE DAY:
Guyana deserves to develop oil, gas discoveries, and so does Africa
African Energy Chamber, November 5, 2023
At a time when both African and Caribbean nations are making great strides towards developing recently discovered oil and gas reserves, countries whose development was driven by hydrocarbons are accelerating efforts to transition to a renewable energy future. This transition has seen wealthy nations establish a “green agenda,” one which does not take into consideration Africa’s economic needs. The African Energy Chamber, therefore, strongly calls for an end to the demonization of oil and gas, encouraging African and Caribbean nations to collaborate towards a common and fair energy agenda.
Africa and Guyana are just starting to uncover the true potential of their oil and gas resources. More than 30 discoveries were made in Guyana since 2015, with one block alone – operated by ExxonMobil – expected to hold as much as 11 Bboe. The same can be said for countries in Africa such as Namibia, with five major discoveries since 2022; Mozambique, with its major gas projects; Angola, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and many more. The green agenda fails to recognize the substantial potential resources such as natural gas – abundant in both Africa and the Caribbean – offer. Africa, for its part, holds over 600 Tcf of natural gas reserves, and yet continues to be told to leave these resources in the ground.
Unfortunately, climate panic and fear mongering are alive and well, and for some reason, Africa is public enemy number one. A continent that emits a negligible amount of carbon dioxide – at most, 3% of the world’s total emissions – is being disproportionately pegged as a threat to the planet by developed nations. In particular, the West is vilifying Africa’s energy industry because it is based on fossil fuels, even though the proportion of renewables is growing. There’s no question that much of this anti-African oil and gas sentiment is based in fear of climate change, which is intertwined with the sheer terror that a fossil fuel boom in Africa, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname and other Caribbean nations could be devastating to the world at large.
UK Seeks To Mandate Annual Oil And Gas Licensing Rounds In The North Sea
Irina Slav, OilPrice.Com, November 6, 2023
The UK government is working on legislation that would make annual oil and gas licensing rounds for the North Sea mandatory. Under the plans, a licensing round would take place if the country was set to import more oil and gas from abroad than it produces.
Per Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, this would give the energy industry certainty during the transition to low-carbon energy, Reuters reports.
“Domestic energy will play a crucial role in the transition to net zero,” Sunak said, echoing earlier remarks that local production of oil and gas was a better option than having to import these commodities from often unfriendly jurisdictions.
Sanctions and War Make US LNG Even More Vital in 2024
Stephen Stapczynski, Bloomberg, November 6, 2023
Conflicts from Russia to Gaza are elevating America’s role in supplying the fuel as the global market tightens.
The US is solidifying its position as the world’s top supplier of gas in a market upended by war.
The nation slapped sanctions last week on a soon-to-start Russian liquefied natural gas project over the invasion of Ukraine. Traders are still dissecting the specifics, but the measures against the Arctic LNG 2 facility could curb deliveries to its foreign owners, which include the Japanese government and France’s TotalEnergies SE.
On top of that, a widening of the Israel-Hamas war threatens to disrupt shipments through the Strait of Hormuz, a key waterway for fuel transports. It has already affected Egyptian LNG exports to Europe, and another conflict in Mozambique has kept a massive project led by TotalEnergies in limbo.
That’s increasing the significance of a slate of new US LNG facilities set to come online next year, which will play an even larger role in feeding import terminals in Europe and provide fuel for rapidly expanding economies in Asia.
It’s mining convention season again
J.P. Tangen, Mining News, November 3, 2023
We need to mine our minerals for cellphones and amenities, but in a war-torn world, there are other factors on the table.
Somehow, for those of us who follow the mining industry in Alaska, the first full week of November marks not the end but the beginning of the mining New Year.
AMA conventions have occurred in this window for at least the last 45 years, and every year, although always different, in a larger sense, it is always the same.
Miners and support industry entities gather in Anchorage to compare notes and make deals that will govern their activities for the ensuing year. It is a hugely positive event which every year surpasses all that has gone on before.
Of course, there will be many familiar experiences, short courses, technical presentations, interaction with governmental officials, an awesome trade show, and a wonderful banquet.
Kevin Adler has been the driving support for the convention since memory of man runneth not to the contrary, and Deantha Skibinski, together with the entire AMA crew, countless volunteers, speakers, sponsors, and contributors, are all lending their shoulder to the wheel to make this convention even better than any before.
Although there probably won’t be any presentations about the world situation at the convention, undoubtedly, given the fact that there are wars going on in Ukraine and the Levant, it seems likely that how America responds to those horrific affairs will be a side conversation at many coffee tables.
What makes that background factor relevant to the Alaska mining industry is the fact that, like so many other commodities that are a part of our life, all the armor and all the munitions that are consumed in those war efforts are derived from mined products.
As America empties its warehouses of dusty and obsolete armaments, they will have to be replaced. To the extent that Alaska is a repository for many of the source mineral products, the war effort may redound to the benefit of the state.
Mining in Alaska has long struggled with the heavy hand of remote bureaucrats who have used our industry as the whipping boy for innumerable environmental and sociological political objectives.
A laundry list of statutes and regulations, interpreted by an overlay of judicial decisions, have caused the delay or derailment of massive projects in the state. The nickel project in Glacier Bay and the molybdenum project in Misty Fjords are just a taste of what lies beneath our feet. There are many more.
But having said that, the fact remains that many more Alaska projects are still in the offing.
None of us are given the vision. Whether Pebble will arise out of the ashes is still an open question. When Donlin completes its permitting process, it will be a great mine. The debate over the Ambler Road is ongoing, but hopefully will reach a conclusion sometime soon.
Many more elephants are waiting in the wings for America to wake up to the fact that we need more mines and fewer off-limits areas in Alaska.
The armed conflicts around the world are not a pleasant justification for recovering critical minerals, but they do point up the reality that what we cannot develop for peaceful reasons, we may be forced to exploit for the defense of our allies.
Alaska has the gold and the silver, the copper and the zinc, the rare earths, and the graphite that the nation needs. And, looking around at the participants in the AMA convention, it is clear that we have the skills and expertise necessary to recover and deliver those minerals to the American marketplace.
Whether we are talking about wind turbines or attack weapons, if it can’t be grown, it must be mined.
Climate “loss and damage” fund makes its way to COP28
Andrew Freeman, Axios, November 6, 2023
The big picture: The “loss and damage” fund ranks high atop the topics that deeply divide countries as the next United Nations climate summit nears in Dubai in late November.
- The fund, first approved at COP27 in Egypt last year, seeks to enable nations to move money from wealthier countries most responsible for global warming to those that are already suffering the worst consequences.
- Developing countries, along with many industrialized countries, view the issue of loss and damage through a climate justice lens.
- The Abu Dhabi confab — itself a last-ditch, emergency session after a similar meeting ended without resolution late last month — accomplished a key objective. A consensus of countries agreed on where to house such a climate bank account and certain provisions that would put it to work.
Zoom in: The incoming presidency of the climate talks, chaired by the United Arab Emirates, has a working fund as one of its top goals for the climate summit, also known as COP28.
The intrigue: The committee meeting was not without its drama. On the first day, developing countries made a key concession by being willing to stand up the fund within the World Bank — where the U.S. and other wealthy nations have more influence — rather than construct a new, standalone entity.
- In an unusual move, after the agreement was gaveled through, the U.S. noted its disagreement with the consensus outcome.
- From the U.S. point of view, industrialized countries have no obligation to put money into the fund, nor do they need to add more (or less) compared with other countries.
Yes, but: There is no language in the agreement that puts binding spending requirements on the U.S. or any other nation.
What they’re saying: “We regret that the text does not reflect consensus concerning the need for clarity on the voluntary nature of contributions,” a State Department official said in a statement.
- The U.S. also seeks to have multiple sources of money available to tap for the fund, from grants and concessional loans to money from carbon pricing and markets, the official stated.
What’s next: Some observers noted the tumultuous talks on loss and damage could set the stage for a potentially rough COP28.
- Rachel Cleetus of the environmental group Union of Concerned Scientists told Axios there is a “lack of goodwill” after developing countries relented on the World Bank issue at the loss and damage talks, only to have the U.S. (the world’s biggest historical emitter of greenhouse gases) object at the end.
- “This was an unnecessary blow, to undermine trust, undermine goodwill by making these negotiations reach such a bitter finish at the end there,” she told Axios in an interview.