Low oil prices – low activity level; 4 state energy fights to watch.

In News by wp_sysadmin


Cook Inlet oil activity slows in response to continuing low prices
Elwood Brehmer, Alaska Journal of Commerce, October 15, 2020

Glacier Oil and Gas leaders are asking state regulators to let them shut in two West Cook Inlet oil projects indefinitely as oil prices continue to hover about 30 percent below pre-pandemic levels. The Anchorage-based independent wants to put facilities in both the West MacArthur and Redoubt into “cold-shutdown and unmanned” status, according to applications filed Sept. 29 with the Division of Oil and Gas for the long-term suspension of operations at the facilities.  Glacier’s plans, if approved, would formalize actions the company took earlier this year in response to once-collapsed oil markets. In early June, Division of Oil and Gas Director Tom Stokes approved Glacier’s plan to suspend production at both units and put the corresponding facilities into “warm-standby” status until oil markets improved.


Is Shell’s $17 Billion Bet On Floating LNG A Flop?
Reuters, October 15, 2020

Royal Dutch Shell  said on Thursday its Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project off Australia, offline since early February, is working on restarting operations but would not resume full production this year.  The troubled Prelude FLNG platform was shut down following an electrical trip and Shell has faced a number of issues over the past few months in trying to restart full production and now does not expect to ship any LNG before next year.

“Full production is not expected to resume before year-end. Prelude is a multi-decade project, and our focus is on delivering sustained performance over the long term,” Shell said in a statement.

The company hopes to resume shipping LNG from Prelude in the first quarter of 2021, a person familiar with the situation said.


A Russian Company Is Opening a Mining Farm in the Arctic
Coin Desk, October 14, 2020

A new mining farm above the Arctic Circle, in the industrial area of Norilsk in the Taymyr Peninsula, will provide 11.2 megawatts of power for mining bitcoin. The farm will be working as a “mining hotel,” meaning that it will be hosting application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) for customers, charging them for electricity consumption.   The farm will occupy the land of the now-closed nickel smelting plant owned by Nornickel, the Russian mining and smelting corporation that has been actively exploring the blockchain and crypto space, and that plans to sell tokens backed by metals in the U.S. and Switzerland. The nickel plant was shut down due to environmental concerns. Nornickel did not respond to CoinDesk’s request for comment by press time.


From oil to renewables: 4 state energy fights to watch
Miranda Wilson & Mike Lee, E & E News, September 29, 2020

Energy may not be an official topic in presidential debates, but it’s on the ballot in several states where policy fights are heating up ahead of the November elections.  Taxes on oil production, a renewable energy mandate and changes to a state regulatory commission are among the energy issues set to go directly before voters this year.

Some measures have spurred costly political battles: In Alaska, oil companies and industry groups have spent millions of dollars campaigning against a proposal to increase certain oil taxes, the campaigns said.

About half of U.S. states permit citizens to propose ballot initiatives or questions. In recent years, high-profile ballot initiatives have touched on renewable energy portfolio standards for utilities, carbon taxes, and limits on horizontal oil and gas drilling, among other energy topics, said Greg Dotson, a law professor at the University of Oregon School of Law and a former aide to retired Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.). These initiatives often reflect voter frustration with lawmakers’ responses to climate change and other environmental issues, according to Dotson.

“They can drive policy responses from states — and I believe that at some point they will make federal policy responses more likely,” Dotson said in an email.

Here are four of the most significant state energy fights to watch in November