Biden Administration Suspended Oil Leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

ANWR

In August 2020, the Trump Administration opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska to oil drilling for the first time. The U.S. Department of the Interior believes that this area can be drilled in a responsible and sustainable manner only taking up 0.01 percent of the 19 million acres of wildlife refuge. At the time of this decision, nearly 70% of Americans apposed drilling in this protected space. The initial land auction was supposed to take place at the end of 2020, but it was noted that the interest in the sale was quite low as most of the larger oil companies avoided the controversial sale. Read More

Renovating the Nation

There have been consistent whispers during the Trump Campaign of a national infrastructure deal just around the corner.   While the whispers persist, there has not been any strong progression towards improving the national infrastructure. Multiple attempts have been made, but they have all fallen apart due to disagreement on the cost associated, where the cash will come from, and what sectors to prioritize. Typically, the first few years of a presidency are difficult to get alignment on topics. Infrastructure improvement seems to be an agreement on both sides. With the senate now split 50/50, Vice President elect, Kamala Harris’ vote could be the sway necessary to nudge the US infrastructure deal into action. With the American Society of Civil Engineers grading out the United states as a D+ on the current infrastructure, we certainly could use some renovations.

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U.S. Shale Producers Race for Permits

Over the past few months, there has been a drastic increase in U.S. shale producers’ race to acquire drilling permits from the Federal Government. This is due to the upcoming November presidential elections and concerns that a win by Joe Biden could mean a crackdown on oil and gas exploration. According to Reuters, “As of August 24, producers have received 974 permits so far this year for new wells on federal land in the Permian, compared with 1,068 for all last year and 265 in 2018, according to data firm Enverus. In the 90 days up till August 24, producers received 404 permits in the Permian, compared with 225 and 11 in the same period in 2019 and 2018, respectively. The scramble for permits comes despite the weak outlook for oil drilling and prices due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.”

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Oil Prices Taking a Breather

Oil prices are edging lower today to $40.58/barrel as bearish sentiment is continuing to mount over concerns of a possible resurgence of COVID-19 cases over the holiday weekend and paring the pause in the incredible rally in equities.

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Cristobal Update

The U.S. Gulf Coast was hit by Tropical Storm Cristobal yesterday, causing offshore oil production to shut down by almost 24%, equating to more than 430,000 barrels per day. According to the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), this was a 140,000 barrel per day improvement compared to June 9th. Occidental Petroleum, BP, and Shell were some of the companies who evacuated employees ahead of the storm. There were a total of 188 platforms and rigs evacuated by those operators. Since the last update, 61 of the 643 platforms had still been evacuated in the Gulf of Mexico. Cristobal battered southern Mexico and shut down ports over the past week, before moving through the Gulf of Mexico and depositing heavy rainfall from Louisiana to Florida.

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