Railbelt’s Coal Conquest.  Private Ambler Road.

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Today’s Key Takeaways: Study recommends new coal-fired power plant for Railbelt. Geopolitics and supply chain dominant themes for oil and gas in 2024. US LNG exporters are getting ahead on carbon capture. Resolution from Ambler Access committee to keep road private. $8b in renewable projects in jeopardy.

News of the Day:

UAF study calls for a coal-fired power plant in Southcentral Alaska
Sean Macguire, Amy Bushatz, Anchorage Daily News, March 10, 2024

study from the University of Alaska Fairbanks recommends that a coal-fired power plant be built in Southcentral Alaska to generate electricity for the Railbelt.

State legislators have been considering measures to address a fast approaching shortfall of Cook Inlet natural gas, which provides the vast majority of Southcentral’s heat and power. Large-scale imported natural gas has been touted as a potential solution, but legislators learned last month that it will likely only start being available in 2030. Costs for consumers have been expected to increase substantially.

UAF’s feasibility study, published last week, assumes that a coal power plant would be built off the contentious West Susitna Access Road near proven coal seams. And it assumes the plant would be fitted with carbon capture and storage technology, or CCS, which would allow carbon dioxide emissions to be stored underground.

”This study concludes a new biomass-coal power plant with CCS in Southcentral is attractive and can deliver affordable, reliable, clean, long-term energy security,” the 86-page report says.



GlobalData Says These Themes Will Dictate Oil and Gas Outlook in 2024
Andreas Exarheas, Rigzone, March 11, 2024

Geopolitics and supply chain dynamics will dictate the oil and gas outlook in 2024.

That’s according to GlobalData, which said in a release sent to Rigzone that the oil and gas industry has witnessed a considerable upheaval in its supply chains amid the protracted Russia-Ukraine conflict and renewed tensions in the Middle East.

“Both of these conflicts could potentially disrupt global oil and gas supplies in 2024, and hence, the themes of geopolitics and supply chains are the hot topics for this year,” GlobalData noted in the release.

“It is therefore important for the oil and gas industry to assess the impact of these themes while charting out their growth plans,” the company added.

In its release, GlobalData outlined that a recently released thematic report from the company revealed “the leading themes that could have a significant impact on oil and gas operations in 2024”. The report outlined several “key players,” including BP, Shell, TotalEnergies, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Eni, Equinor, PetroChina, and Saudi Aramco.


LNG Exporters Look to Get Ahead on Carbon Capture
Energy Intelligence Group, March 8, 2024

More North American LNG developers are exploring carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) to reduce their emissions footprints, with several projects in various stages of development along the US Gulf Coast. But it is just a matter of time before such projects become an integral part of the LNG export permitting process, according to one industry advocate.

“There’s no permitting requirement for it. However, the passive aggressive response from the [Environmental Protection Agency] is, ‘Where’s your CCS program and investment strategy?’ On something that’s not even required,” Charles McConnell, executive director at the University of Houston’s Center for Carbon Management in Energy, said at a recent industry event in Houston.

“I think just right now, taking comfort that it’s not a requirement would be a mistake, because it’s coming,” he said.

The Biden administration is taking a harder look at how it evaluates climate impact in the permitting process for LNG export authorizations from the Department of Energy, although it’s not clear whether the effort will bleed into the EPA. The latter agency already reviews environmental impact statements as part of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission process for approving terminal operation and construction.

LNG developers including NextDecade, Sempra and Venture Global have all rolled out plans to develop CCS facilities at their projects in Texas and Louisiana. Cheniere Energy has also said it is making accommodations for CCS at its proposed Sabine Pass Stage 5 expansion.

In addition to pressure from regulators and environmentalists, these companies have a business case for adding CCS to their facilities : many European and Asian buyers have made clear they want greener LNG.



Resolved to build Ambler Road safeguards
Shane Lasley, North of 60 Mining News, March 6, 2024

Ambler Access Project Subsistence Advisory Committee passes resolution for policies to protect fish and wildlife and keep road private.

Leveraging nearly four decades of success when it comes to protecting and managing subsistence resources along the 50-mile road that connects the Red Dog Mine to a port on Alaska’s west coast, the Ambler Access Project Subsistence Advisory Committee (SAC) passed a resolution to establish policies that will protect subsistence resources along the 211-mile road that will connect the Ambler Mining District to Alaska’s highway system to the east.

“We’re not just building a road; we’re forging a legacy for our children, guided by the wisdom of our ancestors,” said Larry Westlake Sr., co-chair of the Ambler Access Project Subsistence Advisory Committee from the village of Kiana. “This is our journey, our responsibility, and our commitment to the well-being of our communities. This subsistence policy resolution does this exactly.”



$8 Billion in Alberta Renewable Projects in Jeopardy
Charles Kennedy, OilPrice.Com, March 11, 2024

  • Over $8 billion in investments in renewable energy are now at risk in the wake of a ban on some renewable projects in Alberta.
  • Pembina Institute: the ban puts 6.3 gigawatts of solar and wind power capacity at risk.
  • The new rules are intended to guide future wind and solar developments and establish a 35-kilometer buffer zone between such projects and protected areas or “pristine landscapes”.