Oil and Gas Titans Underwriting Trump’s Rivals. LNG Is Here to Stay.

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Today’s Key Takeaways:  Getting to know temporary House speaker. LNG is here to stay – another long-term contract signed. Oil industry leaders donating to DeSantis and Haley. Iran’s request for Israeli oil embargo is ignored at OPEC. New technology allows massive recovery of aluminum and lithium from used EV batteries.


What to know about Patrick McHenry, temporary House speaker
Ivana Saric, Axios, October 18, 2023

After two weeks of disagreement and disarray, the House may ultimately decide to empower acting speaker Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) to be temporary speaker.

Why it matters: With McHenry as a short-term speaker, the House could resume passing key legislation as a Nov. 17 deadline to avert a government shutdown approaches.

Catch up quick: The historic ousting of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from the speakership earlier this month kicked off a contentious race for a permanent replacement.

  • House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) dropped out of the race last week after failing to convince holdouts.
  • Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who lost the first speaker nomination to Scalise, is now running again. After losing the first ballot, Jordan is facing a second vote Wednesday but may still lack the necessary support from his partyto secure the gavel.

What is McHenry’s background?

McHenry, 47, is currently serving his 10th term in the House, having first been elected to Congress in 2004.

  • He represents solidly Republican district that covers parts of central and western North Carolina.
  • Born and raised in North Carolina, McHenry graduated from Belmont Abbey College with a bachelor’s in history, according to a biography on his website.
  • Prior to joining Congress, McHenry served in the North Carolina state House of Representatives and worked as a special assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Labor during the Bush administration.
  • His wife, Giulia McHenry, heads the Office of Economics and Analytics at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
  • The couple has three children.



OPEC plans no immediate action after Iran urges Israel oil embargo, sources say
Elwely Elwelly, Ahmad Ghaddar, Reuters, October 18, 2023

OPEC is not planning to hold an extraordinary meeting or take any immediate action after Iran’s foreign minister called on members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to impose an oil embargo and other sanctions on Israel, four sources from the producer group told Reuters.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian on Wednesday called on OIC members to impose an oil embargo and other sanctions on Israel and expel all Israeli ambassadors.



Qatar And Shell Sign 27-Year Deal To Supply LNG To The Netherlands
Tsvetana Paraskova, OilPrice.Com, October 18, 2023

QatarEnergy and Shell have signed two long-term LNG deals to supply LNG from Qatar to the Netherlands for 27 years starting in 2026 when Qatar’s first export expansion projects are expected to come online.

Under the sale and purchase agreements, Qatar and Shell will deliver up to 3.5 million tons per year of LNG to the Gate LNG terminal in the port of Rotterdam, the Qatari state-owned firm said on Wednesday.

Shell is a minority partner in some of Qatar’s huge expansion projects. The UK-based supermajor holds a 6.25% share in the North Field East (NFE) and a 9.375% share in the North Field South (NFS) expansion projects.

These agreements reaffirm Qatar’s commitment to help meeting Europe’s energy demands and bolstering its energy security with a source known for its superior economic and environmental qualities,” said Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Qatari Minister of State for Energy Affairs, who is also president and CEO of QatarEnergy.

The deal with Shell, the world’s top LNG trader, comes a week after QatarEnergy and TotalEnergies signed long-term LNG agreements under which Qatar will supply up to 3.5 million tons per year of LNG to France for 27 years beginning in 2026.

TotalEnergies, another major LNG trader, is a minority partner in Qatar’s huge LNG expansion projects NFE and NFS.

Last week’s deal with TotalEnergies was the first 27-year deal for QatarEnergy to supply LNG to Europe, an agreement that follows similar 27-year deals with Chinese firm Sinopec and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

Earlier this month, Qatar broke ground for the world’s largest LNG project, the North Field expansion project, which will boost the tiny Gulf country’s export capacity by 48 million tons per annum (mmtpa) by 2027.


‘Green’ battery recycling technique allows for massive recovery of aluminum, lithium
Staff Writer, Battery Mining/Metals, Mining.Com, October 18, 2023

A recently developed method allows for the recovery of 100% of the aluminum and 98% of the lithium from spent electric car batteries.

Created by a team of researchers at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology, the technique also minimizes the loss of nickel, cobalt and manganese and doesn’t require the use of expensive or harmful chemicals, instead relying on oxalic acid – an organic compound that can be found in plants like rhubarb and spinach.

In a paper published in the journal Separation and Purification Technology, the researchers explain that the new method starts with pulverizing the contents of spent lithium-ion cells in a fume cupboard. The result is a finely ground black powder dissolved in a transparent liquid – oxalic acid. Both of these elements are produced in something reminiscent of a kitchen mixer.

By fine-tuning temperature, concentration and time, the researchers have come up with a remarkable new recipe for using oxalic acid.

“We need alternatives to inorganic chemicals. One of the biggest bottlenecks in today’s processes is removing residual materials like aluminum. This is an innovative method that can offer the recycling industry new alternatives and help solve problems that hinder development,” head researcher Martina Petranikova said in a media statement. 

This aqueous-based recycling method is called hydrometallurgy. In traditional hydrometallurgy, all the metals in an EV battery cell are dissolved in an inorganic acid. Then, “impurities” such as aluminum and copper are removed. Lastly, valuable metals such as cobalt, nickel, manganese and lithium can be recovered separately. Even though the amount of residual aluminum and copper is small, it requires several purification steps, and each step can cause lithium loss.

With the new method, the researchers reverse the order and recover the lithium and aluminum first. Thus, they can reduce the waste of valuable metals needed to make new batteries.


Oil industry leaders back GOP candidates Haley, DeSantis for 2024 presidential election
Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Bloomberg/World Oil, October 17, 2023

(Bloomberg) – Oil industry leaders contributed top dollar to President Donald Trump in 2020. But now oil and gas titans are underwriting his GOP rivals instead.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley were the biggest beneficiaries of donations from oil and gas representatives in the third quarter, according to a Bloomberg review of new campaign finance disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission. Both Republicans have done fundraising tours through the oil patch, with DeSantis unveiling his energy policy platform in front of a drilling rig in Midland last month.

And while some notable leaders have cut checks to Trump’s main presidential campaign committee — including Continental Resources Corp. founder Harold Hamm and offshore supply veteran Larry Rigdon — others are steering clear.

Take, for instance, Jeff Hildebrand, Chief Executive Officer of Hilcorp Energy Co., and his wife Melinda Hildebrand, who have showered much of the Republican field with cash this year. Together, they sent $3,300 to North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, $3,300 to Haley, $3,300 to DeSantis, and, in late July, $6,600 to former Vice President Mike Pence and $3,300 to South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, disclosures show.

In the White House, Trump was an enthusiastic supporter of the oil and gas industry, who championed domestic production and stripped away federal regulations he said were standing in the way. But Trump’s unpredictability — for instance issuing surprise decrees blocking offshore oil leasing near the southeastern US in the weeks before the 2020 election — poses a hefty challenge to energy companies making investment decisions that can take decades to pay off. Candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination endorse broadly similar energy and environmental policies.

While contributions are lopsided now, donors generally coalesce behind nominees once they are chosen or appear to be a lock. In the third quarter, DeSantis and Haley outraised other GOP presidential candidates, based on a sampling of oil industry and Permian-focused donors.

Donations to presidential campaign committees are capped at $3,300 per candidate per election — or $6,600 for both the primary and the general contest.

Here’s a breakdown of some notable industry donations this year.

Haley has picked up financial support from a swath of oil executives with ties to the prolific Permian basin that stretches across the Texas-New Mexico border. That includes $6,600 from Syed Javaid Anwar, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Midland Energy Inc., and $3,300 from Ben “Bud” Brigham, who founded a string of exploration companies and oilfield logistics provider Atlas Energy Solutions. 

Executives of Pioneer Natural Resources Co. — the Permian powerhouse Exxon Mobil Corp. is buying for $60 billion — also have sent money to Haley, with $3,300 each from president Rich Dealy and Executive Vice President Mark Berg, as well as $6,600 from CEO Scott Sheffield in the second quarter. Sheffield’s son, Bryan Sheffield, the founder of Parsley Energy Inc., and his wife, Sharoll Sheffield, together donated $13,200.

Enterprise Products Partners leaders also threw their support behind Haley, with co-CEO Jim Teague giving $6,600 in March and co-CEO Randy Fowler contributing $3,300 in September.

Other notable Haley donors:

  • Tucker Bridwell, an oil industry veteran and former board member for Concho Resources Inc., Ram Energy Resources Inc., Petrohawk Energy Corp., and other firms, $6,600
  • Richard Kinder, chairman of Kinder Morgan Inc., and his wife Nancy Kinder, $6,600
  • Trevor Rees-Jones, president of Chief Oil & Gas LLC and founder of Rees-Jones Oil & Minerals, $6,600
  • Ray Hunt with Hunt Oil Co., $6,600
  • Hunter Hunt with Hunt Consolidated Inc., $6,600

Ron DeSantis. DeSantis wooed prominent Texans in September and has garnered oil patch donations, including $3,300 each from Allan Bloxsom, President of Fort Apache Energy Inc.; Jonathan Barrett, chairman of the board of Battalion Oil Corp.; and Ken Waits, CEO of Mewbourne Oil Co.

Kelcy Warren, the chairman of pipeline operator Energy Transfer LP, and his wife Amy Warren together contributed $13,200. By contrast, in 2020, Kelcy Warren backed Trump by giving $10 million to America First Action, a super political action committee, and $1 million to Trump Victory, which divided money between the former president’s campaign, the Republican National Committee and state parties. At the time, Amy Warren sent $1.1 million to Trump Victory. Super PACs, which work independently of campaigns, can accept unlimited donations.

Other notable DeSantis donors:

  • Canary LLC CEO Dan Eberhart gave $6,600, while his brother Jacob Eberhart and sister-in-law Kelli Eberhart each contributed $3,300 during the third quarter.
  • Alan Smith, CEO, Rockcliff Energy, $1,000
  • John Garrett with Fair Oil Co., $3,300

Donald Trump. One of Trump’s biggest oil industry supporters historically has been Hamm, the billionaire and Continental Resources founder who’s donated $769,400 to Trump Victory since 2016. Hamm also played an unofficial role as an energy adviser to Trump on the campaign trail in 2016 and spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

But earlier this year, Hamm was instead contributing to other Republican contenders — with DeSantis and Haley each receiving $6,600. Hamm said he didn’t believe Trump could win the White House in 2024.

Hamm pivoted on Aug. 22 when he sent $3,300 to Trump’s campaign. Asked about the contribution, spokeswoman Kristin Thomas said only that “Mr. Hamm has consistently said that he will support anyone he believes will make a good president.”