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Northern Gas Pipelines is your public service 1-stop-shop for Alaska and Canadian Arctic energy commentary, news, history, projects and people. It is informal and rich with new information, updated daily. Here is the most timely and complete Arctic gas pipeline and northern energy archive available anywhere—used by media, academia, government and industry officials throughout the world. Northern Gas Pipelines may be the oldest Alaska blog; we invite readers to suggest others existing before 2001.

 

10-22-14

22 October 2014 5:21am

News Alert In Canada
Watch Live Coverage Of Shooting On Parliament Hill
 
 
Premiers united over 'extraordinary' Energy East pipeline project | video.  Calgary Herald
Alberta Premier Jim Prentice and New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant sat down to talk business about the proposed Energy East Pipeline project on ...
 
 
New energy minister tackles pipeline questionsCalgary Herald
By Dan HealingCalgary Herald October 21, 2014 6:58 PM ... in promoting market access for Alberta oil and gas but Premier Jim Prentice is leading ...
 
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10-21-14

21 October 2014 2:20am

 

Premiers united over 'extraordinary' Energy East pipeline projectCalgary Herald

By James Wood, Calgary Herald October 20, 2014 8:24 PM ... and reversal of an existing natural gas pipeline, as well as extensive new construction....
 
 
 
Alberta Premier Jim Prentice says oil industry needs to 'remain competitive'
The Globe and Mail, Alison Redford focused on market access and pipelines without many results. How will a Prentice government be different? What we need as ...

Alaska Governor, Sean Parnell, LNG Project, Alaska Gas, North Slope, Bill Walker, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Debate, Dave Harbour PhotoADN by Alex DeMarban.  (Governor Sean Parnell NGP Photo) "...touted his accomplishments to kick off the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce event, including launching the liquefied natural gas project, overhauling the oil-production tax so it's worth $200 million more than its predecessor at current low prices, and creating an economy since 2009 that has led to more than 2,000 new businesses in Anchorage and 16,000 new jobs in Alaska. 

Bill Walker, Alaska Governor, Sean Parnell, LNG Project, Alaska Gas, North Slope, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Debate, Dave Harbour Photo(Bill Walker, NGP Photo) ...slammed Parnell’s statement about job creation, saying 16,000 new jobs is the worst performance of a full-term governor in 32 years. Walker also said Alaska is the only state in the nation to lose jobs in the last year and provided materials to reporters to back up the claim.



Office Of The Alaska Gasline Federal Inspector Energy Links:

10-20-14

20 October 2014 8:44am

 
 
Land buys, surveys continue at proposed Nikiski LNG siteAlaskajournal.com
The Alaska LNG Project, a group with representatives from the state, ... the state, theAlaska Gasline Development Corporation, TransCanada Alaska ...
 

10-19-14

19 October 2014 12:23pm

Anti-Fossil Fuel Demonstration a Bust... Due to Lack of Fossil Fuel Power

 
Parnell, Walker continue to trade blows over Fairbanks' high energy prices.  Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
Sean Parnell's campaign fired back at independent gubernatorial candidate Bill ... 30 years to deliver on a natural gas pipeline and has utterly failed,” Wright said. ... If he'd taken action, Fairbanks might have been getting gas today.”.
 
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10-18-14 Journal of Commerce's Andrew Jensen Fact Checks State Senator Bill Wielechowski

18 October 2014 4:46pm

Bill Wielechowski, Alaska State Senator, Union lawyer, Alaska Oil Taxes, SB 21, ACES, Andrew Jensen, Alaska Journal of Commerce, Dave Harbour PhotoJournal of Commerce, 8-7-14, by Andrew Jensen.  If there is one thing Anchorage Democrat Sen. Bill Wielechowski (NGP Photo) is good for, it is providing column material with his reactions to ConocoPhillips earnings reports.

This quarter is no different, and he definitely isn’t making the task any more difficult.

• “Yesterday ConocoPhillips announced $627 million in 2nd quarter profits from their Alaska operations or nearly $7 million per day from Alaska alone. On an hourly basis that equates to almost $300,000 in profits each and every hour.”

So? Here Wielechowski is simply trying to appeal to the dark impulse of envy in his audience. According to the report, the company paid an effective tax rate of 50.3 percent in Alaska for the quarter, so the government also made about $7 million per day and $300,000 per hour.

Unlike ConocoPhillips, however, it didn’t have to do anything to make that money other than sit back and collect the checks.  More...

(Note that while this article is about two months old, we provide it this weekend as an addition to our archives since Jensen did such a precise job of researching actual facts and correcting the myths some are trying to perpetuate.  -dh)

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10-17-14 Pipeline Hopes Spring Eternal

17 October 2014 5:30am

Pipeline Hopes Spring Eternal

by

Dave Harbour

CBC News.  Premier Brian Gallant will use a four-day trip to Alberta to meet with business and political leaders to show his new government’s support for the Energy East pipeline.

Gallant and Energy Minister Donald Arseneault will leave for Alberta on Sunday and he will meet with Premier Jim Prentice, TransCanada Corp. officials and spend time drumming up possible investment opportunities

​The Calgary Herald provides a report by the Canadian Press' Ross Marowitz this morning describing opposition in Quebec originating from the province's largest gas distributor, Gaz Metro to TransCanada's Energy East pipeline project. 

U.S. and Canadian energy companies employ best practices in the world for exploration, development transportation and distribution, refining and marketing of oil and gas.  Complex as it is, our companies can easily design, build and operate state-of-art facilities.  Those facilities produce wealth for our countries, our companies, our citizens and an economic platform for the coming generations.

No, building facilities is easy compared with the political and regulatory challenges.  

In the U.S., politics almost 4 decades ago caused the two governments to choose an Alaska Highway route for moving Alaskan and Mackenzie Delta gas to market.  The less politically popular Arctic Gas project, a 27-member consortium at its zenith, would have done the job more efficiently.  TransCanada was one of its principle members.  The politically chosen project was never built.

In mid-1973, Vice President Spiro Agnew provided the final, tie-breaking U.S. Senate vote that allowed construction of the trans Alaska oil pipeline to begin.  Imagine how history would have changed had the politicians erred by one vote--sending that project to the scrap heap.

Now, one witnesses support from the American people, from affected states and even from the U.S. State Department for building TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline, creating thousands of jobs and increasing the North American supply of crude oil.  That which is exported provides valuable foreign exchange and less dependency for crude oil on less friendly regimes.  But the White House refuses to allow the international project to go forward for purely political reasons: his environmental activist friends oppose it. 

Imagine how history without this pipeline will affect the wealth of citizens, companies, states and the national economies of Canada and the United States.  Imagine this being done by an administration presiding over an accumulated deficit now approaching the unfathomable level of $18 trillion, a debt per taxpayer of plus or minus $153,000.  Not to mention national defense implications and an injured relationship between two of the world's greatest friends and trading partners.

While the Keystone XL pipeline proponent, TransCanada, awaits final word from the U.S. on that project it is furiously seeking to create another outlet for prolific Alberta oil sands production and make best use of an underused gas pipeline.

We made reference, yesterday, to the $12 billion Energy East project, designed to convert a natural gas pipeline with spare (i.e. unused) capacity into a fully used oil line.

Marowitz noted in his report that it, "...would be one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Canadian history, crossing six provinces and traversing 4,600 kilometres in total. Roughly two-thirds of it would make use of underused natural gas pipe that's already in the ground, with new pipe being built through Quebec and New Brunswick. The idea is to connect oilsands crude to eastern refineries and to export some of the oil by tanker."

He concludes with a Deloitte study conclusion that the gas to oil pipe conversion, "...will boost the Canadian GDP by $35 billion over 20 years, add $10 billion in taxes, support 10,000 jobs and help eastern refineries.

When TransCanada files its application to proceed with the National Energy Board (i.e. NEB, Canada's counterpart to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC) Gaz Metro is likely to file in opposition to the project, partly on the basis that the underused TransCanada gas line currently provides the extra gas needed during high demand, winter months.  One can envision a protracted, contested TransCanada application that can cause delay, raise costs and reduce value to taxpayers and ratepayers alike.  We would hope Gaz Metro, on behalf of its consumers, would work out a private compromise with TransCanada that would be mutually acceptable.  We would hope, too, that TransCanada would be flexible enough to join in a cooperative effort to resolve differences around a bargaining table rather than before an expensive and unpredictable regulatory, tribunal.  Just look at the NEB's propensity to attach unpredictable and costly "conditions" to application approvals that could cause significant angst and expense for project proponents (e.g. Just 'Google', "conditions NEB pipeline").

TransCanada is also the big-inch gas pipeline member of the Alaska LNG Project consortium attempting to build a pipeline/LNG project designed to transport long-stranded Alaska North Slope Gas to Asian markets.  This is the most feasible concept now that the gas shale phenomenon has precluded the need for Mackenzie Valley and Alaska Highway gas pipelines (i.e. In both projects, TransCanada played a leading role).

One can imagine the tension that must exist in the TransCanada board room with three world class pipeline projects all teetering between approval and rejection amid tumultuous world tensions in a volatile regulatory, political, price, supply and demand environment!

If none of the three projects moves forward, that will be a big problem for shareholders since so much development cost will be written off and/or shared with existing pipeline ratepayers.

If all three projects were to receive market place and political and regulatory approvals, that in and of itself would be a huge challenge for TransCanada to manage in the coming decade.

Management of multiple mega projects poses a huge variety of challenges, including but not limited to: 1) transitioning from a baby boomer, experienced pipeline workforce to a vast generation of new workers; 2) giving existing pipeline maintenance, marketing and construction adequate attention; 3) convincing Alaska partners and other project stakeholders that it has the resources to manage all the projects in a somewhat similar timeframe; 4) conducting three world class stakeholder engagement programs both prior to, during and following construction; and 5) managing state, provincial and federal regulatory filings and disputes in both countries and across many states and provinces; and 6) dealing with limited, worldwide big inch pipe manufacturing and other logistical capabilities.

Having worked with and known TransCanada for a long time, we believe that if any company is capable of absorbing such multiple challenges, it is TransCanada.

That said, one hopes -- for the sake of North American economies -- that all three projects are successful and that TransCanada can successfully and efficiently build and operate them.

One also hopes that these three projects will 1) moderate world tensions in Europe, where new, North American energy might take the edge off of Russian energy blackmail/bribery; 2) free Alaska stranded gas while filling an Asian demand from a secure and diversified, North American source; and 3) enable the United States and Canada to reaffirm their historical relationship as each others' largest trading partner and best friend.

While hope is not a strategy, one cannot resist the belief that hope does, indeed, spring eternal and will win in the end.

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