News of the Day:
‘No bailouts,’ but oil loans may be coming
Mike Lee & Lesley Clark, E & E News, April 27, 2020
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said yesterday that he and Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette are studying the idea of loans to oil companies “very carefully.” Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Mnuchin was pressed on whether the Trump administration would “bail out” oil companies despite critics who say that many of the problems facing the industry are of their own making. “Let me be very clear, the president has said no bailouts to any companies, whether that was airlines or oil companies. We will consider again loans to companies in a proper scenario with strategic importance, but no bailouts. No shareholder bailouts,” Mnuchin said.
From the Washington Examiner’s Daily on Energy:
REPUBLICANS FUME OVER BANKS ‘DISCRIMINATING’ AGAINST ARCTIC DRILLING: Republican oil-state senators are accusing big banks of discriminating against oil and gas companies by refusing to finance fossil fuel projects in the Arctic. And they are taking their case to Trump, even though there seems to be little he can do about it.
“They want the federal government to help support them and then they discriminate against a critical sector of the U.S. economy. I don’t think they should be allowed to do that, sir,” said Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska in comments to Trump in the Oval Office Friday, according to a pool report of an unrelated signing ceremony for a bill providing loans to small businesses.
Trump responded by saying, “I like the idea of looking into that.” He also accused Wall Street of being “pushed by the radical left” into taking green positions at the behest of pressure from activists.
Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota made a similar attack Friday after Morgan Stanley became the latest big bank to say it won’t fund new oil and gas drilling in the Arctic. Several other U.S. banks have changed their policies on Arctic drilling, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup.
Cramer, in a tweet, accused the banks of “picking winners & losers in energy markets,” and warned he would consider “any appropriate action we can take” against the banks as a member of the Senate Banking Committee.
lends US gas producers a big helping hand
Tim Daiss, Asia Times, April 27, 2020
China is offering life support to beleaguered US and other liquefied natural gas (LNG) producers hit by the double whammy of a multi-year supply overhang and the Covid-19 pandemic’s rising economic fallout. China’s procurement of US LNG represents a certain olive branch after a 13-month punitive halt on purchases due to the US-China trade war.
Arabia identifies 54 mineral-mining sites
Bandar Al-Khorayef, Arab News, April 27, 2020
The Saudi minister of industry and mineral resources, Bandar Al-Khorayef, has issued seven decisions relating to the largest allocation process for mining-reserve sites in the Kingdom. They include 54 sites covering an area of approximately 4,000 square kilometers. The decisions are part of the leadership’s goal to develop the mining sector. The sites — which contain a variety of ore, including gold, copper, silver, zinc, lead, iron, quartz and tin — are in the regions of Riyadh, Makkah, Madinah, Asir, Hail and Najran. The identification of the mining sites comes as the ministry aims to offer an attractive environment for local and international businesses to invest in the sector, and provide the data needed to attract the interest of the private sector. The Saudi Geological Survey plans to carry out a thorough study of the mining reserves, the results of which will be used to promote investment opportunities.