BP selling some Alaskan stakes to Hilcorp - “BP is selling off stakes in four Alaskan oil fields near the gigantic Prudhoe Bay, a move that would cut about 15 percent of its crude production in the state, the company said late Tuesday. The British oil company did not disclose the price it would get from Hilcorp, a private Houston-based oil producer that has been jockeying for Alaska’s natural gas basins. In the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the year, Hilcorp would receive all of BP’s interest in the offshore Endicott and Northstar fields and half of its stakes in the Milne Point and Liberty oil fields.” FUEL FIX
PTTEP to buy Hess Corp’s Thailand assets – “Thailand’s PTT Exploration & Production PCL, the country’s flagship petroleum explorer, will buy the Thai assets of Hess Corp for around $1 billion, in the latest of a string of sales by U.S. energy companies as they switch focus to unconventional oil and gas projects in North America. The Hess properties being bought by PTTET comprise minority shares in one onshore and one offshore Thailand natural gas and condensate field, whose stakes together produce around 17,000 barrels a day of oil equivalent, PTTET said Wednesday. One of the deals has already closed, and the other will be completed in May, said PTTEP’s president and chief executive, Tevin Vongvanich.” WSJ
Tom Steyer’s billions are morally superior to the Koch billions – “Liberal billionaire Tom Steyer insisted Tuesday that he’s not the left’s version of the Koch brothers. “That is not something I embrace. I think there are real distinctions between the Koch brothers and us,” Steyer said…. “Charles and David Koch’s priorities “line up perfectly with their pocketbooks — and that’s not true for us,” Steyer said…. “If you said to me, how much am I willing to spend to make this … the most important issue in the minds of Americans, then I would think $100 million bucks would be very low honestly,” he said, declining to commit to a specific figure.” POLITICO
EPA unwinds fines for refiners not using non-existent biofuels – “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday retroactively lowered the volume of cellulosic biofuel that refiners must blend into traditional fuels, aligning the 2013 mandated volume to the actual amount of fuels produced. EPA’s original mandate for 2013 was based on a projection that producers would make 6 million ethanol-equivalent gallons of cellulosic biofuel, but just over 800,000 gallons of the fuels were actually produced that year, the agency said. Tuesday’s action sets the cellulosic biofuel blend level at 0.0005 percent, reflecting the amount of fuel produced.” THE HILL
Sen. Mary Landrieu continues to dominate the Houston Money - ”The political arms of large corporations have given nearly five times as much money to Sen. Mary Landrieu as to her Republican opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy, according to fundraising data compiled by The Wall Street Journal. Industry groups have run television advertisements supporting her re-election. And several big Washington trade associations that normally back Republicans, led by energy groups, are throwing their support behind the incumbent. No other Democratic senator has been as reliable a supporter of legislation backed by business interests as Ms. Landrieu. According to a vote scorecard from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, she votes more often for pro-business legislation than Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.” WSJ
… so in comes the Americans for Prosperity Super-PAC - ”Later today, conservative group Americans for Prosperity will launch a multi-million dollar ad campaign against Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La, in which Marine veteran Christopher Schiff blames her for the disruption of his family’s health insurance. The ad will hit airwaves in Louisiana this afternoon, and features only Schiff speaking to the camera from what appears to be his home.” FOX NEWS
The DOE still picking winners and losers – “Developers of a Georgia nuclear project didn’t have to pay millions of dollars in fees designed to prevent risk for taxpayers when it secured $6.5 billion in loan guarantees from the Energy Department in February, the agency confirmed Tuesday to the Washington Examiner. The DOE calculated a zero dollar “credit subsidy fee,” which protects taxpayers if developers default, for electric utility Georgia Power — a subsidiary of Southern Co. — and Oglethorpe Power Corp. to spur completion of two large, next-generation nuclear reactors at the Vogtle power plant in Waynesboro, Ga. Energy & Environment Publishing’s Greenwire firstreported the story.” WASHINGTON EX
US crude supply highest since 1930′s - “The U.S. is stockpiling the most crude in more than eight decades, thanks to the shale boom. Inventories rose 3.52 million barrels last week to 397.7 million barrels, the highest level since 1931, according to the Energy Information Administration.” BLOOMBERG
Something you don’t hear every day…. Paul Pillar: The need for Iranian Oil and Gas
BLM seizes rancher’s land in TEXAS - ”The Bureau of Land Management seized 140 acres from Texas Rancher Teddy Henderson. Henderson says the government did not pay him a dime for it. Henderson told Greta Van Susteren he was ordered to continue to make monthly payments on the land, even though he no longer owned it.” GATEWAY PUNDIT
… Greg Abbot waives the revolutionary flag - “I am deeply concerned about the notion that the Bureau of Land Management believes the federal government has the authority to swoop in and take land that has been owned and cultivated by Texas landowners for generations,” General Abbott wrote. “The BLM’s newly asserted claims to land along the Red River threaten to upset long-settled private property rights and undermine fundamental principles—including the rule of law—that form the foundation of our democracy. Yet, the BLM has failed to disclose either its full intentions or the legal justification for its proposed actions. Decisions of this magnitude must not be made inside a bureaucratic black box.” BREITBART
David Axelrod doubts Jeb will run in 2016 - “I have some real doubts as to whether he’s going to run,” the former senior adviser to President Barack Obama said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday morning. “Running in the Republican Party today is a hard thing to do, and I don’t think Jeb Bush wants to run for president and have to subjugate his principles like the last two nominees did,” Axelrod said, referring to Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.” POLITICO
FDA wants to regulate beer-brewers as “animal feed manufacturers” - ”The crux of the issue is this: a by-product of the brewing process is a large quantity of “spent grain” which is, funny enough, exactly what it sounds like. This leftover grain is often sold or traded to farmers for use as supplemental feed for livestock. The farmers love it. The brewers love it. Cows definitely love it. But according to reports, the FDA is seeking to reclassify companies who distribute this product as “animal feed manufacturers,” a move that would require breweries to invest in expensive drying and packaging equipment in order to sell the grain to farmers. This imperils a mutually beneficial business arrangement.” PFoL
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle still has the Texans taking Clowney with the 1st over-all pick, and playing Johnny Football twice a year for the foreseeable future.
Flour made from grape skins may combat the oilman’s diet - ”Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released the report, announcing that USDA discoveries in the last fiscal year led to 180 new inventions — one of which is a new type of flour made of chardonnay grape seeds that may prevent weight gain. “Grape seeds, a waste byproduct of the wine-making process, are a disposal issue for producers,” the report reads. “[Agricultural Research Service ] scientists in Albany, California, found that flour made from chardonnay grape seeds, but not red grapes or grape skins, prevented increases in plasma cholesterol and weight gain in hamsters fed a high-fat diet.” DC
READING ASSIGNMENTS… Keystone Uncensored: a labor leader calls the Administration “gutless” “dirty” and more… Insiders: The presidents cynical KXL strategy… Noah Rothman: Elizabeth Warren seizes democratic hearts; will Hillary risk another embarrassment?