News of the Day:
Alaska court to hear challenge to Arctic refuge oil leases
Associated Press, January 4, 2021
The hearing will take place by videoconference at 1 p.m. in Virtual Courtroom 3, with both sides allowed 20 minutes. The public can listen in at (877) 402-9757, with access code 1461160#, according to the court.
State of Alaska issues conditional easement to Oil Search Alaska for seawater treatment plant.
Kay Cashman, Petroleum News, January 3, 2021
On Dec. 18, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil and Gas approved a “conditional private exclusive easement” for Oil Search Alaska to build a seawater treatment plant “in support of the Pikka development project” on state tidelands adjacent to Oliktok Point west of the central North Slope/
“OSA’s project is a temporary 6-acre structure adjacent to other oil and gas infrastructure on Oliktok Point” in Simpson Lagoon in the Kuparuk River unit.
Southeast of the east channel of the Colville River Delta and west of the ConocoPhillips Alaska-operated Kuparuk River unit, the purpose of the seawater treatment plant in Simpson Lagoon “is to provide a reliable and predictable supply of make-up water of sufficient quantity and quality for improved hydrocarbon extraction efficiency” from the Nanushuk and other reservoirs in the Pikka unit, the division said.
Gas Line, Q4 2020
Nikos Tsafos, CSIS Energy, January 4, 2021
Gas Line is a quarterly publication that looks at major news stories in global gas—ranging from project development to markets and geopolitics. My goal is not to cover every story but to draw connections between stories across time and space in order to shed light on the major themes that will drive global gas markets in the years ahead. My main takeaways from this quarter:
An Unprecedented Rally in Gas Prices
The bottom line: When prices hit record lows, they have nowhere to go but up. But the rebound in prices has been remarkable, helping to offset a year in which most prices reached low points for extended periods of time. This rally, however durable, will provide some support for companies looking to make investment decisions in long-term supply, muting some of the fears expressed in this piece that the spread between U.S. gas prices and those overseas might never return to their previous extreme levels. At a bare minimum, this is a reminder that volatility is ever present, and that a few “good” months of high prices can compensate for many months of low prices. More importantly, these prices might provide the signal needed that gas demand is still robust enough to justify a long-term investment.
Turning the Page on European Energy Security
The bottom line: Opening up a new gas corridor into Europe has been a long-term goal of both the European Union and the United States for decades. Now that the infrastructure to deliver this corridor is complete, the event is passing almost without mention. In fact, the European Union has proposed to stop financing gas projects under its flagship support system for gas infrastructure, the Trans European Network for Energy (TEN-E). These events signal a profound shift in how Europe thinks about energy security—and the disparity between that view and how European energy security is perceived in Washington and in some capitals in Eastern Europe. Over time, these divergent perspectives could produce more clashes within Europe and between Europe and the United States.
Gas Increasingly Confronts Net Zero
The bottom line: In a world where more governments are committing to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, gas is coming under increased pressure, with more forecasts making clear that such a move could hit gas use in the medium to long term. But the energy transition is still playing out differently around the world—and there are several instances where recent policy moves are favorable to natural gas.
How Will Biden Deal with Gas Overseas?
The bottom line: The president-elect’s climate agenda will affect gas, which provided over 38 percent of the country’s electricity in 2019 and the president-elect is committed to carbon neutrality by 2035 for the power sector. But gas also presents difficult choices overseas from countries with different climate agendas—some looking to import U.S. gas or secure financing from U.S. institutions to enable their energy transition. How much will the new administration support U.S. gas exports through regulation, diplomacy, or money?
Developing the exciting Ambler District
Shane Lasley, North of 60 Mining News, December 30, 2020
North of 60 Mining News recently spoke with Ramzi Fawaz, president and CEO of Ambler Metals LLC, a 50-50 joint venture between South32 Ltd. and Trilogy Metals Inc. to develop the rich mineral resources at the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects in Alaska.
In a candid conversation, Fawaz talks about what attracted him to Ambler Metals; the company’s Alaska-based team and partnerships; the strategy for developing Arctic Mine and the other rich metals deposits at the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects; and details on the objectives of Ambler Metals’ budgeted US$27 million program to advance this strategy during 2021.
Alaska Rep. Young calls for bipartisan effort as he gives oath to Pelosi
Anchorage Daily News, January 3, 2021
Alaska U.S. Rep. Don Young called for members of Congress to work together across party lines on Sunday as he gave the oath of office to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Young, a Republican, is the longest serving member of the House, and as the dean of the chamber, administered the oath of office to the speaker after Pelosi, a California Democrat, was reelected speaker on Sunday.
“I’ve been in this House longer than anybody else,” Young said. “I’ve served with you longer than anybody else that served with you. I love this institution. I will be honest, I do not like what I see. It’s time we hold hands and talk to one another.”
Members of the House from both parties stood and applauded.
“You will be the speaker of the House. Not of a party. That may hurt some of you,” he said, looking around the House chamber. “The job of our nation is for the House of Representatives to govern this nation. It was never meant to be the executive branch. It was never meant to be the judicial branch. It’s this House that raises the money and dedicates how it shall be spent and we are representing the people as we are elected.
“And I say this with all sincerity, Madam Speaker, that when you do have a problem or if there’s something so contentious, let’s sit down and have a drink. And solve those problems for the good of this nation, for this institution, and, as you said, for the future children of this great nation. We can do it as a body. I ask you that, as the dean to the new speaker. I ask you to try to attempt to do that with our leader. We can do it together.”
CLIMATE CHANGE CONVERSATIONS:
The 5 Most Influential People In New Energy
Alex Kimani, OilPrice.Com, January 1, 2021
The global energy sector is undergoing a seismic shift. The transition away from traditional fossil fuels to renewable energy is in full swing as the fight against climate change continues to gain serious momentum. The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 2020 Outlook points to the highest-ever share of newly built generation capacity for renewables.
According to the energy watchdog, 200 gigawatts of renewable power have been added in the current year, with renewables expected to account for 95% of the net increase in global power capacity through 2025. The agency has projected that installed wind and solar capacity will surpass natural gas and coal in 2023 and 2024, respectively. That said, every revolution requires leaders at its helm, setting the tone and guiding the way–and the renewable revolution is no different.
The sector is blessed with some of the best brains in energy, including scientists, innovators, and even politicians. Here are some of the most powerful and influential people driving the clean energy revolution.