New Standards for Tailings Storage; Biden vows to sidestep law on permitting.

In News by wp_sysadmin


Russell Karas and Dan Brusstar, Open Markets, August 6, 2020


  • The crude oil hub in Oklahoma provides the physical delivery mechanism for the benchmark WTI futures contract
  • As global economies reopen, oil stocks in Cushing have been drawn down to 51 million barrels in storage since the peak of 65.4 million barrels on May 1, 2020
  • Pipelines at Cushing have 3.7 million barrels per day of inflow capacity and 3 million barrels of outflow capacity

The oil market has begun to adjust to the “new normal” in the global economy, with significantly lower fuel demand and decreased oil production.  In the wake of the demand collapse and lower refinery utilization rates, storage levels for crude oil have finally peaked and are starting to decline as the economic recovery from COVID-19 begins.


Global Gas Report 2020
International Gas Union

The Global Gas Report 2020, published by the International Gas Union (IGU), research company BloombergNEF (BNEF) and Snam, the Italian-headquartered international gas infrastructure company reviews key global gas industry developments over the last year, provides a high-level outlook for future gas market developments, and examines the potential of hydrogen as a clean fuel to help meet climate goals.  After growing by more than 2% in 2019, global gas use is set to fall by around 4% in 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic reduces energy consumption across the global economies. However, the resulting low gas prices, as well as clean air and climate policies, will promote further switching to gas from other more polluting energy sources, such as oil and coal. This trend was already underway before the pandemic, thanks to cost-competitive gas in key sectors including power, industry and transport, and major regions including Europe, North America and Asia.


New standards raise tailings storage bar
Shane Lasley, North of 60 Mining News, August 6, 2020

The International Council on Mining and Minerals (ICMM) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) have introduced standards for the safe management of new and existing mine tailings facilities around the globe, no matter where they are located or who operates them.  Tailings facilities, structures constructed to store material that is finely ground to extract the sought-after minerals, are used at most mining operations.  “These dams are some of the largest human-made structures on the planet and require careful ongoing management,” said Elaine Baker, a UNESCO professor of marine science at the University of Sydney and member of the international advisory panel that oversaw the development of the new protocols. “While large-scale failures of tailings dams are uncommon, when they do occur, they can be catastrophic for downstream communities and the environment.”


Biden vows to block Pebble mine project if elected
Associated Press, August 9, 2020

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said on Sunday that if he’s elected, his administration would stop a proposed copper and gold mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region.

“It’s election season, and people are going to posture and say things, I totally understand that,” said Tom  Collier,  CEO for the Pebble Project. “But when it comes down to brass tacks, to the law, there can be no federal action at Pebble that is inconsistent with the Final (Environmental Impact Statement), period.”  Any future efforts by a Democratic presidential administration to revive and rely on the “woefully inadequate” review done under the Obama administration would be rejected by the courts, he said.