News of the Day:
Shell files plans to return to the Slope;
Elwood Brehmer, Alaska Journal of Commerce, September 16, 2020
A supermajor is looking to advance its position on the North Slope and ConocoPhillips says it will likely wait until the results of the oil tax initiative are known before planning next year’s work. Shell Offshore Inc. has applied to form the West Harrison Bay Unit in state waters just offshore from the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska with plans to drill the area in search of oil in the coming years, according to documents submitted to the state Division of Oil and Gas.
If the Dutch oil industry giant can secure a partner to share in the costs and risks of remote offshore North Slope exploration, it expects to drill exploration wells in the West Harrison Bay Unit with at least one sidetrack each in 2023 and 2024, Shell’s initial unit plan of exploration states.
According the application, Shell has been trying to find a partner to work on the West Harrison Bay leases for at least a year, and the company was making progress towards that end before the coronavirus pandemic hit in late winter. As a result, Shell is asking the state for its exploration plan to be valid for five years, which would allow the company to secure a partner and better analyze the area’s development potential. Shell holds a 100 percent working interest in 18 leases covering more than 78,000 acres in the proposed unit.
Oil Producers’ Best Customers Are in Trouble
Jinjoo Lee, The Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2020
Oil-producing nations have shown remarkable discipline so far in making sure the global supply will be somewhat predictable. Demand, however, is proving much more elusive. After forecasting a global recovery, both the International Energy Agency and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries cut their outlook in August and then even further down in reports released this week. OPEC’s latest projection is the most bearish it has been so far this year: It is expecting 9.5 million barrels a day less compared with last year. What is concerning isn’t just the direction of their latest revisions but where the oil-demand weakness is coming from: Emerging markets—those that aren’t part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development—were responsible for the latest downward revisions.
Global LNG demand to rise for next few decades, COVID a temporary blip – industry
Ekaterina Kravtsova, Jessica Jaganathan, Reuters, September 15, 2020
Demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) is set to increase steadily for several decades helped by economic growth in Asia, industry executives told the Gastech summit this week, with the COVID-19 pandemic seen as only a short-term setback. “While the world continues to grapple with the severe impacts of market demand and the impact of COVID-19, long-term fundamentals remain strong supported by growing population and energy demand,” Irtiza Sayyed, president, ExxonMobil LNG Market Development Inc, said. Global gas demand is forecast to decline by around 3% in 2020 and make a robust recovery after that, according to International Energy Forum.
Precedent setting moon sampling mission
Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News, September 17, 2020
NASA wants to buy Moon rocks from a private space miner able to fly up and grab an up to 1.1-pound lunar sample and deliver it to the space agency by 2024. The space administration is not particular about where the moon rocks are collected, or the content of the samples, as long as the mission is well documented, and the dirt is delivered to NASA on the Moon for payment. This lunar sampling is meant to set the stage for NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to “land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024, using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before.”
From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:
Barrasso takes on Endangered Species Act revisions: Also on Wednesday, Senate Environment Committee Chairman John Barrasso unveiled legislation that would reauthorize the Endangered Species Act for the first time since 1992 and make changes to how species are listed and delisted.
Barrasso and other Republicans have long complained the Endangered Species Act has restricted development of energy and other infrastructure projects. “Species that go on the endangered species list seem to stay there forever and never recover to the point of coming off the list,” Barrasso said. The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing Sept. 23 on Barrasso’s bill, featuring Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon.