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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.

 

2010 Archives

Key OCS Meeting Tonight In Anchorage - BP Reveals Gulf Explosion's Investigation Results

08 September 2010 7:48am

CALL TO ACTION: Secretary Ken Salazar (NGP Photo) made a verbal, arbitrary ruling to include Alaska's shallow water OCS inKen Salazar his Gulf ofFRAN ULMER Mexico deep water moratorium.  We know that his decision to lift that misplaced moratorium will be a life or death sentence on Alaska's oil fired economy.  And the decision will be based in large part on advice from two of his appointees meeting in Anchorage tonight to 'listen' to you.  They will not listen if you do not speak.  Here is our report of Chancellor Ulmer's last listening session.  Please come: see instructions below:

Who: William K. Reilly, co-chair of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, and University of Alaska Anchorage Chancellor Fran Ulmer (NGP Photo), a member of the commission.  Steve MacDonald (NGP Photo-below), KTUU's News Director will moderate.

Steve MacDonald

What: Listening session to hear from Alaskans who have experience and/or expertise in oil spill response and recovery and would like to share their ideas. 

When:   5 - 7 p.m., today, September 8, 2010.

Where:  UAA/APU Consortium Library, Room 307, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Why: President Obama's National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling is investigating the causes of the explosion and recommending changes to prevent future disasters.  (By coincidence, we obtained BP's internal report, issued just this morning.  Scroll down.  -dh)

Comment:  Here is our written comment delivered at Chancellor Ulmer's earlier 'listening session'.  Judging from Governor Sean Parnell's (NGP Photo) ongoing resistance to onerous Federal overreach of authority in Alaska (and appearance of DEC Commissioner Larry Hartig with Oil and Gas Director Kevin Banks in the recent BOEM hearing), we hope for the Administration's appearance tonight.  We are equally hopeful for appearance of legislators to show solidarity.  We hope for bi-partisan support.  At the BOEM hearing we noted attendance of a number of republican lawmakers, no democrats.  Tonight, we'd love to see the republicans and democrats turn out in force to face democrat appointed Commissioners.  We hope to see many oil company experts tonight--those whose families have most at stake.

((Reference: Click here, to read our BOEM background story in full: On June 23, Secretary Salazar said in an Appropriations Committee meeting in answer to questioning by Senator Lisa Murkowski that the moratorium does apply to Alaska, even though Alaska's OCS programs involve shallow water activity in less that 200'.  -dh)

Below is a letter a reader sent to us dispatched yesterday by Representative Craig JohnsonCraig Johnson (NGP Photo-r) to Members of the House and Senate.

 

 
Dear Fellow Legislators:
 
I wanted to inform you that there will be a meeting tomorrow evening in Anchorage of potentially great significance to Alaska’s future.   William Reilly, co-chair of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, and University of Alaska Anchorage Chancellor Fran Ulmer, a member of the commission, will hold a panel discussion and “listening session” from 5-7 p.m.  regarding Gulf oil spill recovery and response ideas at the UAA/APU Consortium Library, Room 307, University of Alaska Anchorage.   
 
UAA’s Gunnar Knapp ( ISER) and UAF’s Michael Castellini (School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences) will participate in a  panel moderated by KTUU’s Steve McDonald from 5-5:30 pm.   Following the panel discussion, the public will be allowed to testify regarding spill response and recovery from 5:30-7:00 pm.   Public testimony will be limited to 3-4 minutes.
 
The stated purpose of the Anchorage session will be to hear from Alaskans who have experience or expertise in oil spill response and recovery who would like to share their ideas.
 
I would respectfully suggest that each of us as legislators has experience and expertise on the topic of oil spill response and recovery given our State’s decades of experience with the Trans Alaska Pipeline, Cook Inlet oil and gas exploration and development, and the more recent Shell Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) explorations.  I think it’s important that there be a strong legislative presence at this meeting and encourage all who can to attend and testify.   The importance of Alaska OCS exploration and development to Alaska’s future cannot be overstated.   It’s estimated that fully 1/3 of our Nation’s remaining oil and gas reserves are in Alaska’s OCS – which contains an estimates 27 billion barrels of oil and 130 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.    That’s more than twice the amount of oil that has been produced from the North Slope since it went into production in 1977.
 
Alaska’s proven track record, both on and offshore, has demonstrated that oil and gas exploration and development can be done in an environmentally responsible manner.  This Commission and the Obama Administration needs to hear that message loud and clear.    It is highly unlikely that there will be another opportunity for our voices to be heard by members of this Presidential Commission.
 
Similar to the poorly noticed OCS meeting held in Anchorage Aug 26th by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE); and Secretary of Interior Salazar’s closed and hurried visit to Alaska just last week; this public meeting at UAA has been called on very short notice.   Notice of this meeting appeared in this Saturday’s Anchorage Daily News (Aug 4th):   
 
For more information on the meeting please see : 
 
 
or the ADN story:
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Representative Craig Johnson
Co-Chair, House Resources Committee

 


 

TODAY'S REPORT FROM BP:

Today BP released our internal investigation report regarding the Deepwater Horizon Incident.  If you would like to download the report or watch a short presentation, please go to:  www.bp.com.  For further context, please see below.

Immediately following the tragic accident involving the Deepwater Horizon on April 20, 2010, BP Exploration & Production Inc. commissioned an independent, non-privileged investigation into the accident. 
 
From the beginning, we have made clear that we would share the results of this investigation widely so that everyone could learn from this incident. I am writing to let you know that, consistent with that commitment, today BP has released the full investigation report publicly. The report and its appendices are available at www.bp.com along with an accompanying video. 
   
The four-month investigation was led by Mark Bly, BP Group Head of Safety and Operations.  It was conducted independent of BP’s Gulf of Mexico business and carried out by a team of more than 50 specialists across a variety of fields and from both inside and outside the company. 
 
The report concludes that no single factor caused the tragedy and that decisions made by multiple companies and work teams contributed to the accident, which the report says was the culmination of “a complex and interlinked series of mechanical failures, human judgments, engineering design, operational implementation and team interfaces.”   
     
The report’s key findings on the cause of the accident are (Read more, below):

CALL TO ACTION: Secretary Ken Salazar (NGP Photo) made a verbal, arbitrary ruling to include Alaska's shallow water OCS inKen Salazar his Gulf of Mexico deep water moratorium.  We know that his decision to lift that misplaced moratorium will be a life or death sentence on Alaska's oil fired economy.  And the decision will be based in large part on advice from two of his appointees meeting in Anchorage tonight to 'listen' to you.  They will not listen if you do not speak.  Here is our report of Chancellor Ulmer's last listening session.  Please come: see instructions below:

Who: William K. Reilly, co-chair of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, and University of Alaska Anchorage Chancellor Fran Ulmer (NGP Photo), a member of the commission.  Steve MacDonald (NGP Photo-below), KTUU's News Director will moderate.

 

What: Listening session to hear from Alaskans who have experience and/or expertise in oil spill response and recovery and would like to share their ideas. 

When:   5 - 7 p.m., today, September 8, 2010.

Where:  UAA/APU Consortium Library, Room 307, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Why: President Obama's National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling is investigating the causes of the explosion and recommending changes to prevent future disasters.  (By coincidence, we obtained BP's internal report, issued just this morning.  Scroll down.  -dh)

Comment:  Here is our written comment delivered at Chancellor Ulmer's earlier 'listening session'.  Judging from Governor Sean Parnell's (NGP Photo) ongoing resistance to onerous Federal overreach of authority in Alaska (and appearance of DEC Commissioner Larry Hartig with Oil and Gas Director Kevin Banks in the recent BOEM hearing), we hope for the Administration's appearance tonight.  We are equally hopeful for appearance of legislators to show solidarity.  We hope for bi-partisan support.  At the BOEM hearing we noted attendance of a number of republican lawmakers, no democrats.  Tonight, we'd love to see the republicans and democrats turn out in force to face democrat appointed Commissioners.  We hope to see many oil company experts tonight--those whose families have most at stake.

((Reference: Click here, to read our BOEM background story in full: On June 23, Secretary Salazar said in an Appropriations Committee meeting in answer to questioning by Senator Lisa Murkowski that the moratorium does apply to Alaska, even though Alaska's OCS programs involve shallow water activity in less that 200'.  -dh)

Below is a letter a reader sent to us dispatched yesterday by Representative Craig Johnson (NGP Photo-r) to Members of the House and Senate.

 

 
Dear Fellow Legislators:
 
I wanted to inform you that there will be a meeting tomorrow evening in Anchorage of potentially great significance to Alaska’s future.   William Reilly, co-chair of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, and University of Alaska Anchorage Chancellor Fran Ulmer, a member of the commission, will hold a panel discussion and “listening session” from 5-7 p.m.  regarding Gulf oil spill recovery and response ideas at the UAA/APU Consortium Library, Room 307, University of Alaska Anchorage.   
 
UAA’s Gunnar Knapp ( ISER) and UAF’s Michael Castellini (School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences) will participate in a  panel moderated by KTUU’s Steve McDonald from 5-5:30 pm.   Following the panel discussion, the public will be allowed to testify regarding spill response and recovery from 5:30-7:00 pm.   Public testimony will be limited to 3-4 minutes.
 
The stated purpose of the Anchorage session will be to hear from Alaskans who have experience or expertise in oil spill response and recovery who would like to share their ideas.
 
I would respectfully suggest that each of us as legislators has experience and expertise on the topic of oil spill response and recovery given our State’s decades of experience with the Trans Alaska Pipeline, Cook Inlet oil and gas exploration and development, and the more recent Shell Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) explorations.  I think it’s important that there be a strong legislative presence at this meeting and encourage all who can to attend and testify.   The importance of Alaska OCS exploration and development to Alaska’s future cannot be overstated.   It’s estimated that fully 1/3 of our Nation’s remaining oil and gas reserves are in Alaska’s OCS – which contains an estimates 27 billion barrels of oil and 130 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.    That’s more than twice the amount of oil that has been produced from the North Slope since it went into production in 1977.
 
Alaska’s proven track record, both on and offshore, has demonstrated that oil and gas exploration and development can be done in an environmentally responsible manner.  This Commission and the Obama Administration needs to hear that message loud and clear.    It is highly unlikely that there will be another opportunity for our voices to be heard by members of this Presidential Commission.
 
Similar to the poorly noticed OCS meeting held in Anchorage Aug 26th by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE); and Secretary of Interior Salazar’s closed and hurried visit to Alaska just last week; this public meeting at UAA has been called on very short notice.   Notice of this meeting appeared in this Saturday’s Anchorage Daily News (Aug 4th):   
 
For more information on the meeting please see : 
 
 
or the ADN story:
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Representative Craig Johnson
Co-Chair, House Resources Committee

 


 

TODAY'S REPORT FROM BP:

Today BP released our internal investigation report regarding the Deepwater Horizon Incident.  If you would like to download the report or watch a short presentation, please go to:  www.bp.com.  For further context, please see below.

Immediately following the tragic accident involving the Deepwater Horizon on April 20, 2010, BP Exploration & Production Inc. commissioned an independent, non-privileged investigation into the accident. 
 
From the beginning, we have made clear that we would share the results of this investigation widely so that everyone could learn from this incident. I am writing to let you know that, consistent with that commitment, today BP has released the full investigation report publicly. The report and its appendices are available at www.bp.com along with an accompanying video. 
   
The four-month investigation was led by Mark Bly, BP Group Head of Safety and Operations.  It was conducted independent of BP’s Gulf of Mexico business and carried out by a team of more than 50 specialists across a variety of fields and from both inside and outside the company. 
 
The report concludes that no single factor caused the tragedy and that decisions made by multiple companies and work teams contributed to the accident, which the report says was the culmination of “a complex and interlinked series of mechanical failures, human judgments, engineering design, operational implementation and team interfaces.”   
     
The report’s key findings on the cause of the accident are (Read more, below):
Categories:

What's Wrong With Alaska?

07 September 2010 5:57am

Billions of petroleum related investment dollars are flowing from Asia to Canada.

Q.  What's wrong with Alaska?

A.  It is among the most expensive operating environments in the world (i.e. labor, transportation, climate, transportation, remoteness to the markets).  It is mostly owned by the Federal government, with an Administration openly hostile to natural resource development.  Federal statutory, regulatory, leasing and taxing policies are volatile and threatening.  Alaska state petroleum taxes are the highest in the free world and unpredictable.  Alaska's government spending and income projections are unsustainable, mark of an unreliable partner.   The majority of Alaska's people and leaders are apparently content with the investment climate they have created.  Alaska's children will be unable to criticize a paltry, diminishing inheritance because they will never know -- and could only imagine -- how it might have been.     -dh

Peter Tertzakian's photoCalgary Herald by Peter Tertzakian (CH Photo).  At last count, Korean, Chinese and Japanese interests have contributed or committed at least $13.8 billion into the Canadian oil and gas economy. ... that’s only in the past 12 months, and doesn’t include unannounced deals that probably add another billion investment dollars into Calgary head-office coffers. Equity infusions and joint venture dollars account for $9.7 billion, most of which will be invested into Western Canadian projects over the next few years. The full acquisition of Harvest Energy by the Korean National Oil Company put $4.1 billion into the pockets of Harvest’s shareholders who may not reinvest into Canada’s oil and gas business. However, under the banner of Korea’s state-owned oil company the new Harvest should have no trouble accessing a pipeline to deep-pocketed Asian capital.  ...  Let’s put the $13.8 billion of Asian inflow into perspective. Capital expenditures into Canada’s oil patch are down by 25% since the heyday of 2006-to-2008, but are still running around $40 billion per year right now. Another relevant marker is that companies raise about $10 billion a year from equity markets, dominantly from Western institutions, so in this context too the influx of new Asian money is very significant, even if it’s spread out over a few years. To be sure, reinvestment into Canada’s upstream oil and gas economy would be significantly lower, probably at least 10% less, if access to the Asian capital was absent this year.

Olympian by Mike Dunham.  "Going to Extremes," which came out in 1980, became a best-seller. It presented a portrait of a juvenile society in transition, emerging from wilderness self-reliance into layered modern complexity, driven by the sudden rush of pipeline construction and oil money.

Peninsula Clarion by Brielle Schaeffer.  The Kenai City Council passed a re-zoning ordinance at its meeting Wednesday night that would allow industry on the property planned for the Cook Inlet Natural Gas Storage facility.

Downstream Today by Matthew Dalton.  The European Union will propose new restrictions on how greenhouse gas allowances can be produced from industrial gas projects, European climate change commissioner Connie Hedegaard said Wednesday.  ... The commission will develop a proposal for new rules on gas projects that will apply to the EU's emissions trading system after 2012.  "The international debate has made it quite clear what changes to the CDM are needed...and also what successor mechanisms should be put in place to make the carbon market an even more powerful instrument to reduce emissions," Hedegaard said. (Is this a trend that will float across the pond to Canada and the United States--perhaps via the United Nations?  -dh)

Categories:

Alaska Gas Czar Swaps Pipeline Post For Academia

05 September 2010 11:35am

ADN.  Mark Myers (NGP Photo), a former head of the U.S. Geological Survey, is joining the University of Alaska Fairbanks as vice chancellor of research.  Myers currently leads the state's effort, under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, to encourage construction of a huge natural gas pipeline. He tells the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner that he will keep that job until mid-January to ensure a smooth transition.  The school announced Friday that Myers will replace Buck Sharpton, who was chosen last month to serve as acting chairman of the federal Arctic Research Commission. At the university he will oversee annual research budgets totaling $123 million.  He said his decision to take the $214,000-a-year research post was a personal one and not any reflection on the AGIA.  "I'm a scientist at heart. It'll be like a kid at a candy store," said Myers, who earned his doctorate in geology at UAF in 1994. "And I'm looking forward to the challenges."

Governor Sean Parnell Plays Offense With Federal Government - Secretary Ken Salazar Completes Surprise Trip to Alaska With Morning Press Conference

03 September 2010 1:12am

CALL TO ACTION: LIFT THE OCS MORATORIUM!!!

 CBC.  Mackenzie Pipeline dissention over 'transparency'.


Governor Sean Parnell Challenges Overreaching Federal Government

 
By
 
Dave Harbour
Sean Parnell
 
Yesterday, reporters gathered in Governor Sean Parnell’s (NGP Photo) Anchorage office to hear him describe an Alaska petition to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to remove (“delist”) Steller sea lions from Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections in Southeast Alaska.   In response to questioning, he invited likeminded stakeholders to support the State’s petition. He noted that the action was taken in coordination with Washington and Oregon, also petitioning for a “delisting” of Steller sea lions.
 
Dan SullivanParnell, accompanied by Attorney General Dan Sullivan (NGP Photo-l) and ESA Coordinator Douglas Vincent-Lang (NGP Photo-r), said there is insufficient science to support continued protections and that the State’s petition seeks to “balance protection of the species with protection for Alaska’s citizens.”  He added that,  “We’re working on multiple fronts to ensure that commercial fishing and other important economic activities are not blocked by unwarranted ESA regulations. Removing a recovered species from the list reduces needless bureaucracy and litigation risks.” 
 
Sullivan pointed out that ESA protection for a species that is growing in population and whose survival is not threatened puts into motion a “thicket of regulations” that has negative effects on commercial fishing and other human activities.   “The general point I’d like to make,” Sullivan said, “is to underscore that you have a case of the Federal government addressing an Alaska issue with a sledge hammer, without taking into consideration the interests of the people of Alaska. The agency’s conclusion that additional fishing restrictions are necessary is not supported by the best available scientific information,” he said. “The drastic measures proposed by NMFS are simply not necessary....”
 
Dan SullivanBoth Parnell and Sullivan pointed out that the State had a duty to defend the public interest and that the ESA petition was a first step the State was taking to go on the ‘offense’ with the Federal government. They noted that this contrasted with the usual practice of attempting to ‘defend’ Alaska’s interest against “over reaching” federal actions affecting the state.
 
Vincent-Lang was assigned to be the State’s ESA Coordinator following the Legislature’s appropriation of $1 million to support such legal effort. He pointed out that even with removal of the sea lion endangerment listing, sufficient protections for the species will remain in place. “Washington and Oregon agree with us and have filed similar petitions”, he said. As an example, he cited the Marine Mammals Protection Act which had not been in place decades ago when fishermen hunted sea lions. These 500-600 pound animals can live to 20 or 30 and thrive – depending on Southern or Western Alaska locations – on commercial fish stock like Pollock, Atka mackerel, flounder, herring, salmon, cod and rockfish. He said Alaska populations west of Cape Suckling are stable and the Southeastern populations are growing at an average 3% annual rate. “There is no evidence they are experiencing a lack of prey availability,” he said.
 
Parnell said the State was exploring similar alliances with other states to confront Federal application of the Endangered Species Act. “We’ve seen a lot of angst about the way the ESA has been used and abused,” he said.
 
We asked the Governor if his Administration considered the many detrimental actions of the federal government to be violations of the Statehood compact (i.e. the Constitution and the plebiscite and Statehood Act which enabled it).  “You have to consider the economic impact of the ESA on our citizens and it is a constitutional duty to do so,” he said. “Our state was founded on the principle that natural resources should be developed for the maximum benefit of the people.”  

 

 

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's Surprise Trip (See 9-1 Press Release

1.  Yesterday, as reported by KTUU.  Interior Secretary Ken Salazar (NGP Photo) will be in Anchorage Friday for a pressKen Salazar conference. He held a town hall meeting Thursday afternoon in Barrow, which the Interior Department says is meant to gather information on issues important to the North Slope.  The meeting was open to the public, but the Interior Department denied requests for a teleconference.  Salazar’s press secretary says he will be available for questions during Friday’s press conference.  Contact Ted Land at tland@ktuu.com

 

2.  ANCHORAGE, AK - At the conclusion of his trip to Alaska, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will hold a press conference to discuss issues in the North Slope and summarize his trip through Alaska. Secretary Salazar will be joined by Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes.

 

 
Who: Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar
Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes
What: Press Conference
When: 10:30 a.m. AKDT, Friday, September 3, 2010
Where: U.S. Department of the Interior
1689 C St. /OS Office Conference Room, Suite 100
Anchorage, AK 99501
Media: The press briefing is open to all credentialed news media.
 

 


On April 11, 2009, your author wrote the following letter to the editor of the Anchorage Daily News.  It described the benefits to America and Alaska of maintaining a reasonable OCS oil and gas exploration and development program.  In light of Secretary Salazar's surprise visit this week, it seems appropriate to review.  What say you?  -dh

 

 
Dear Editor:  
 
Americans will benefit more from an enlightened Outer Continental Shelf program than with any single initiative that President Obama and Interior Secretary Salazar could undertake this year.
 
Unshackling OCS oil and natural gas reserves will: 1) support several hundred thousand direct, high-paying positions and millions of support industry and manufacturing jobs; 2) create huge and sustainable royalty and tax cash streams to federal and state governments (especially when the feds share production royalties with all adjacent states that bear the impact of and provide critical support to OCS economic activity); 3) eliminate trillions of dollars from the national debt, over time; 4) reverse the downward pressure on the value of American currency; 5) increase downward pressure on the world and domestic price of energy by increasing supply, and; 6) assure that as more and more electricity is produced from natural gas, we minimize imported LNG fuel for which, otherwise, we will dearly pay.
 
Imagine Gov. Schwarzenegger not issuing IOUs to state workers or increasing taxes that drive citizens closer to insolvency or out of state. Imagine Florida's Gov. Crist with a declining home forfeiture rate. Imagine Gov. Palin, unconcerned with budget cuts that could soon begin to haunt our 7 percent annual decline in trans-Alaska pipeline oil throughput. A good OCS policy could quickly produce those happier realities.
 
-- Dave Harbour

Legislators Examine Cook Inlet Natural Gas Storage and Supply Status - Interior Secretary Visits Alaska After 2 Days' Notice

02 September 2010 7:36am

 

7:32 a.m. ADT.  Rig fire in GOM.  Coast Guard responds.  Check news outlets

White House Press Secretary says (12:28 p.m. EDT) production well not in active production - Thirteen people rescued - 100 miles offshore, federal waters 

 

DOI.  Secretary Ken Salazar appears today in Barrow.  *    DOI.  Secretary Ken Salazar appears tomorrow in Anchorage.

 

Alan BaileyCook Inlet Natural Gas Storage Alaska (CINGSA): for a recent, outstanding summary see Alan Bailey's (NGP Photo-l) Petroleum News Alaska article, here.  Earlier ADN story.  KTUU's story today, by Ted Land.

 

Yesterday, representatives of ENSTAR Natural Gas and state regulators briefed Chairman Charisse Millett (NGP Photo-r) and her colleagues on the Alaska State House of RepresentativesCharisse Millett Special Committee on Energy about the status of the Cook Inlet Natural Gas Storage Alaska (CINGSA) project.  Senate Energy Committee Chairman Lesil McGuire (NGP Photo-lower-r) also participated.  

Mike HawkerMillett, Chairman of the House Special Committee On Energy convened the meeting with acknowledgment of Representative Mike Hawker's (NGP Photo-l) leadership in sponsoring passage of HB 280, providing legislative encouragement and incentives for exploration, development and storage projects that might assist Southcentral Alaska gas and electric utilities in planning for adequate power and heat deliveries during the coldest and darkest days of coming winters.  Decision makers are concerned that receding gas reservoirs and the lack of new discoveries in the most populated part of Alaska could cause severe energy Lesil McGuireshortages in the immediate future.

 

By teleconference, Hawker said that HB 280 was an effort to enable exploration and development of new gas supplies with minimum regulatory interference.

 
Enstar Natural Gas President Colleen Starring (NGP Photo-l)-- assisted by CINGSA Senior Project Manager Rick Gentges (NGP Photo-Lower-l) -- provided a PowerPoint briefing on the project.

Starring pointed out that the combined utility demand on natural gas is five times higher in the winter than in the summer, but that the demand for Enstar's home heating energy is fourteen timesChris Tuck greater in the winter than in the summer months.  She pointed out that the greatest value in having this enhanced storage capability is 'reliability'.  "On the coldest days of winter we will be able to draw from this facility and keep our customers supplied," she said.

 
Gentges (NGP Photo) provided a general history of gas storage and more details on CINGSA.  Legislators learned that the first gas storage facility was operated in Buffalo, N.Y. 95 years ago, that 400 storage facilities span North America with capacity to store about 4 Tcf of gas.  Ninety percent of the storage reservoirs are converted from depleted production reservoirs. The balance are salt caverns and former aquifers (permeable rock water reservoirs).

Representative Chris Tuck (NGP Photo-r) asked about the loss of gas in the storage process.  Gentges said that most former reservoirs, to store gas, would have formerly kept gas reserves protected for millions of years but that a 'real time' SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) would enable operators to accurately monitor the volumes of gas going into and leaving the storage reservoir.

In response to a question from Chairman Millett, Gentges said the project required about two to 2.5 dozen state and federal permits before operations could be sanctioned.  He anticipates permitting will be completed this year, with construction ongoing through 2012 -- followed by Kyle Johansoncommissioning and operations.

Rep. Kyle Johansen (NGP Photo-r) was concerned about obsticles to permitting and Starring noted that when Enstar took the project over from its previous owner (TransCanada), the permit applications were "90% complete".  She talked of her optimism and the 100-200 indirect jobs that would result from the project even though, "only one or two people will be needed on site.  There is a vast amount of work ahead," she said, but we are on schedule and from our perspective we have a very well designed process."

Johanson asked about 'organized opposition', and Starring said there appeared to be none, and that the project goals were 'achievable'; however, we note the intervention of and comments by interested parties in Enstar's certification filing with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.  Initial concerns expressed by some parties about the price of storage could become thorny roadblocks, given the voting record of some Commissioners who, in the past, have elevated the value of "cost" over the value of "secure gas supplies".  Also, the more supporting and opposing parties become involved in a proceeding, the more time is typically required to provide all with 'due process' and adjudicate the additional record involved.

Pete PetersonMillett asked about Enstar's gas supply contracts and learned that within ten years most of those contracts would terminate, even as demand is expected to increase.  "When you reach 2012-14 we may not have sufficient gas under contract to meet our requirements," she said.  "We do have concerns about peak day events beginning as soon as this winter."   

Kevin BanksRepresentative Pete Petersen (NGP Photo-r) expressed concern about the cost of gas.  Starring said that the cost of storage, $180 million, would roughly produce $3 per Mcf to consumers above the cost of the gas itself.  "But if we have storage," she said, "we may be able to buy gas in the summer at cheaper rates than we must now pay during winter months.

Kevin Banks (NGP Photo-l), Director of the State's Oil and Gas Division, briefed Members on the State's interest in the storage project.  "We craft a storage lease," he said, "which will contain a bundle of rights allowing a storage project to go forward."

Craig JohnsonRepresentative Craig Johnson (NGP Photo-r) questioned Banks on the concept of gas loss in storage.  Banks said the jurisdiction of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC) covered issues like the integrity of the storage reservoir.  "My experience in working with the AOGCC," he said, "is that they are the best in the country."

Millett asked about existing storage and Banks described three producer-owned storage facilities Bob Pickettcurrently in operation.  Under further questioning he said of the new state reservoir lease that, "The discussion is nearly complete and we see no problem in supplying final approval to Enstar for a storage lease."

Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) Chairman Bob Pickett (NGP Photo-l) described the regulatory process and timeline for adjudication.  He declined to go into substantive detail since the CINGSA matter lies in an 'open docket' and may only be substantively addressed on the record during commission proceedings. The RCA  is generally responsible for certifying utilities and regulating the rates they may charge customers.

Dan SeamountOn the other hand, the AOGCC's jurisdiction is generally below the ground and assures that an operator can safely extract resources while, "...ensuring conservation practices, and increasing ultimate recovery, while protecting health, safety, the environment, and property rights."  AOGCC Chairman Dan Seamount told the committee that, "HB 280 gives AOGCC the authority to determine storage potential and we make decisions regarding drilling and workover activity.  We make sure wells have integrity and gas doesn't leak into surrounding areas or to the surface".  In response to a question from Peterson, Seamount said that, "We make sure that all wells have integrity and have been properly capped."

Legislators closed the meeting with a discussion about the fairness and effectiveness of state bonding requirements.  They questioned Banks further about his ideas for improving internal approval processes.  

(Note: all parties named in stories or other readers are invited to send in additions or corrections since our goal is to make sure our facts are as accurate as possible.  There is no expiration date by which we will not make necessary changes.  -dh)

 

Our other recent articles....

01 September 2010 10:23am

Ted Stevens 1.  Note the similarities but different levels of concern: Our Alliance Op-ed this year ("Protecting Alaska’s Freedom From Federal and State Governments" p.16, reprinted in the Alaska Journal of Commerce) and last year's Op-ed.

    2.  Our latest tribute to Senator Ted Stevens (NGP Photo) in this week's special edition of Petroleum News Alaska, p. 11 (Also see several NGP Photos).

ALERT: SEPTEMBER 7, HOUSTON MORATORIUM MEETING DESERVES EVEN BIGGER TURNOUT THAN ANCHORAGE!

01 September 2010 6:04am

***BREAKING NEWS...SALAZAR MAKES SURPRISE VISIT TO BARROW AND ANCHORAGE!***

***Alaska Dispatch Story***Barrow Details***Anchorage Media Conference Details***

(This Administration Has Treated Alaska Very Poorly.  Activities Affecting Alaska Are Opaque And An Affront to Both Due Process and Common Courtesy.  -dh)

We Urge Readers to Follow Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) Coverage

Michael BromwichCEA Announcement:  On Tuesday, September 7th, The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) Director Michael R. Bromwich (NGP Photo) and other US Dept of Interior officials will be in Houston to hear expert panelists discuss the Obama Administration’s offshore oil and gas drilling plans -- including views on the current moratorium.  (CommentaryEvery one of our hundreds of Gulf Coast readers -- particularly elected officials -- should consider a drive to Houston for the meeting next Tuesday.  How many realize that this one appointed bureaucrat will advise the appointed Secretary of the Interior on all aspects of OCS moratoria, permitting policy, lease sales and lease sale conditions?  And, how many correctly conclude that this one man has been given the power to change Texas, all the gulf states, and the standard of living for all Americans?  I think I see complacency beginning to retreat in the face of outrage.  I hope so.  Rise up.  See our coverage of last week's Anchorage meeting.  Oh, and watch out for a potential, crafty outcome: removing the formal moratoria but establishing such a weight of new access restrictions and permit requirements that de facto moratoria effectively stop OCS momentum until the national leadership is replaced.  In Anchorage, Bromwich said, "There is no actual or 'de facto' moratorium on shallow water drilling".  On June 23, Secretary Salazar said in an Appropriations Committee meeting in answer to questioning by Senator Lisa Murkowski that the moratorium does apply to Alaska, even though Alaska's OCS programs involve shallow water activity in less that 200'.  Also note that Obama's Corps of Engineers is strangling development within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska; the Obama Administration's EPA has withheld critical OCS permits; Obama's NOAA is using the ESA to shut down access to prospective areas; the Obama White House is creating a way to zone the oceans--which could affect all forms of commerce/use of oceans and even of waterways that feed the oceans.  In short, this is a bigger problem than just the Bromwich moratorium issue.  Surely, the foxes are in the hen house.  The BOEM meeting next week--as critical and life-changing as it could be--is just one small part of a much larger challenge to America's very survival.     -dh)

Coastal communities, affected businesses and local governments have not been given sufficient time to participate in previous public meetings hosted by BOEM and make the Administration aware of public concerns.  It is important for Houstonians to turn-out and show BOEM Director Bromwich that it is time to lift the ban on Gulf development, spur economic opportunity and get this region and the nation moving again.  It is vitally important that Elected-Officials contact the DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to request an opportunity to speak and play a role in the Forum.
 
At a recent Forum in Anchorage, more than 400 concerned citizens attended the BOEM forum and many Elected-Officials asked for an opportunity to speak.   This was the largest turn-out of any of the DOI forums around the country.  And DOI took note.
 
Please tell your colleagues and Elected-Officials (State, Local, Federal) about this Forum and urge their participation.
 
When:  September 7th, 2010
Time:   Doors open at 8:00 a.m.
Where:  Houston Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1700 Smith Street, Houston
 
A copy of the DOI Announcement is provided below.
 
 THE BUREAU OF OCEAN ENERGY MANAGEMENT,
REGULATION AND ENFORCEMENT
Office of Public Affairs
 
Media Advisory
 
 

***BREAKING NEWS...SALAZAR MAKES SURPRISE VISIT TO BARROW AND ANCHORAGE!***

***Alaska Dispatch Story***Barrow Details***Anchorage Media Conference Details***

(This Administration Has Treated Alaska Very Poorly.  Activities Affecting Alaska Are Opaque And An Affront to Both Due Process and Common Courtesy.  -dh)

We Urge Readers to Follow Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) Coverage

CEA Announcement:  On Tuesday, September 7th, The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) Director Michael R. Bromwich (NGP Photo) and other US Dept of Interior officials will be in Houston to hear expert panelists discuss the Obama Administration’s offshore oil and gas drilling plans -- including views on the current moratorium.  (CommentaryEvery one of our hundreds of Gulf Coast readers -- particularly elected officials -- should consider a drive to Houston for the meeting next Tuesday.  How many realize that this one appointed bureaucrat will advise the appointed Secretary of the Interior on all aspects of OCS moratoria, permitting policy, lease sales and lease sale conditions?  And, how many correctly conclude that this one man has been given the power to change Texas, all the gulf states, and the standard of living for all Americans?  I think I see complacency beginning to retreat in the face of outrage.  I hope so.  Rise up.  See our coverage of last week's Anchorage meeting.  Oh, and watch out for a potential, crafty outcome: removing the formal moratoria but establishing such a weight of new access restrictions and permit requirements that de facto moratoria effectively stop OCS momentum until the national leadership is replaced.  In Anchorage, Bromwich said, "There is no actual or 'de facto' moratorium on shallow water drilling".  On June 23, Secretary Salazar said in an Appropriations Committee meeting in answer to questioning by Senator Lisa Murkowski that the moratorium does apply to Alaska, even though Alaska's OCS programs involve shallow water activity in less that 200'.  Also note that Obama's Corps of Engineers is strangling development within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska; the Obama Administration's EPA has withheld critical OCS permits; Obama's NOAA is using the ESA to shut down access to prospective areas; the Obama White House is creating a way to zone the oceans--which could affect all forms of commerce/use of oceans and even of waterways that feed the oceans.  In short, this is a bigger problem than just the Bromwich moratorium issue.  Surely, the foxes are in the hen house.  The BOEM meeting next week--as critical and life-changing as it could be--is just one small part of a much larger challenge to America's very survival.     -dh)

Coastal communities, affected businesses and local governments have not been given sufficient time to participate in previous public meetings hosted by BOEM and make the Administration aware of public concerns.  It is important for Houstonians to turn-out and show BOEM Director Bromwich that it is time to lift the ban on Gulf development, spur economic opportunity and get this region and the nation moving again.  It is vitally important that Elected-Officials contact the DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to request an opportunity to speak and play a role in the Forum.
 
At a recent Forum in Anchorage, more than 400 concerned citizens attended the BOEM forum and many Elected-Officials asked for an opportunity to speak.   This was the largest turn-out of any of the DOI forums around the country.  And DOI took note.
 
Please tell your colleagues and Elected-Officials (State, Local, Federal) about this Forum and urge their participation.
 
When:  September 7th, 2010
Time:   Doors open at 8:00 a.m.
Where:  Houston Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1700 Smith Street, Houston
 
A copy of the DOI Announcement is provided below.
 
 THE BUREAU OF OCEAN ENERGY MANAGEMENT,
REGULATION AND ENFORCEMENT
Office of Public Affairs
 
Media Advisory

 
Office of Public Affairs                                               News Media Contacts: 
For Immediate Release                                                Nicholas Pardi
August 31, 2010                                                          (202) 208-3985    



 
Director Bromwich to Host Forums in Texas and Mississippi to Discuss Deepwater Drilling Safety, Containment and Spill Response
 
Experts from Academia, Industry and Environmental Organizations
to Give Presentations
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) today announced that Director Michael R. Bromwich will hold the next two events in a series of fact-finding forums in Houston, Texas and Biloxi, Miss. the week of September 6, 2010.  The forums are designed to collect information and views about deepwater drilling safety reforms, well containment, and oil spill response, which Director Bromwich will consider in evaluating whether to recommend any modifications to the scope or duration of the deepwater drilling suspensions announced by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on July 12, 2010. 
 
During these forums, Director Bromwich will be briefed by panels of experts from academia, the environmental community, and the oil and gas industry on technical issues related to deepwater drilling and workplace safety, well containment, and oil spill response.  The forums also will provide an opportunity for input from federal, state and local leaders on these same issues.
 
The forums will be open to the public.  Members of the public will be encouraged to submit comments via forms provided at the forums, by mail or online. 
 
The eighth and final additional forum will be held in mid-September in Lafayette, La.
 
What:                          Forums on Offshore Drilling
 
Who:                           Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Director Michael R. Bromwich
 
When/Where:             September 7, 2010: Houston, Texas
                                               The Crowne Plaza Houston- Downtown
                                               1700 Smith St.
                                               Houston, TX 77002
                                  
                                               Doors open at 8 A.M., event begins at 9 A.M.
 
September 10, 2010: Biloxi, Miss.
Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center
2350 Beach Blvd.
Biloxi, Miss. 39531
 
Doors open at 8 A.M., event begins at 9 A.M.
Categories:

Is GTL Alaska's Gas Answer?-Study Confirms Alaska's Economy Poised for a Dive - Governor Sean Parnell Attacks Challenger's Gas Pipeline Proposal - EIA Tests America's Knowledge of Canadian Imports - Activist Sotomayor Will Make Final Energy Law Decisions

31 August 2010 8:31am

Alaska Dispatch.  Because of all the coverage of the as-yet undecided Republican U.S. Senate primary, it may be easy to forgetSean Parnell all the other primary races are settled, including the gubernatorial ones. According to KTVA-TV, Gov. Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) fired back against Democrat gubernatorial candidate Ethan Berkowitz's idea to stimulate the construction of a natural gas pipeline from Alaska's North Slope. Called "The Alaskan Ownership Stake," as Alaska Dispatch reported recently, the plan would ask Alaskans to voluntarily contribute some part of their own Permanent Fund Dividends to an escrow account in order to become shareholders in a big project.  (See our story yesterday.)

Calgary Herald by Dina O'Meara.  ... Energy watchdogs south of the border are testing audience waters to see how much Americans know - or don't - about where their oil comes from.   The Energy Information Administration is asking visitors to its website where they think the United States receives most of their crude imports.  "Based on our site, other energy sites, or just what you know about energy... The largest share of U.S. imported oil comes from ...?," asks the EIA.  ...  The question, number 10, appears on a pop-up quiz when opening the EIA  website,www.eia.doe.gov.  ...  For the record, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers said it wasn't aware of having any influence on the annual EIA survey. Provincial government representatives also said they didn't believe Alberta Energy had a hand in the questionnaire, but were looking into it.

APRN, by Dan Bross.  A study commissioned by a statewide partnership of economic development groups called the Alaska Forward Initiative, tapped consulting companies that looked at things like jobs, income and gross state product.  The organization’s president, Kathryn Dodge, says the data by consultant I.H.S. Global Insights, paints a pretty bleak picture, when Alaska is compared to the rest of the country.  Dodge says Alaska is a victim of its heavy dependence on oil, an industry with production that’s declining at a rate of 6 to 7 percent annually.  She says Alaska’s old image as a state with high incomes is outdated.

 

Has GTL Now Come of Age?

By
Richard Peterson, President
Alaskan Natural Gas To Liquids (ANGTL) & Alaska Natural Resources to Liquids, LLC (ANGRL)
 


A SOUTHCENTRAL BULLET GAS LINE AND A GTL PLANT AS ANCHOR TENANT POSSIBLE WITH THE ADMINISTRATION AND LEGISLATURE WORKING TOGETHER
 
 
I have been Alaska since 1997 when we proposed with Sasol, the world leader in gas to liquids (GTL) to then Governor Knowles that we would develop the North Slope stranded gas with a major GTL program and batch the GTL products down TAPS to Valdez. The one thing we did not plan for was rejection of this idea by Governor Tony Knowles, then Governor Frank Murkowski, then Governor Sarah Palin and now Governor Sean Parnell. They all had one thing in common, a “pipe dream”. They all hoped for a large diameter gas line to the lower 48. Each supported legislation that only favored a gas line or a gas line LNG option but in general specifically excluded a GTL option. So it’s no wonder that GTL technology providers aren’t at Alaska’s door step today.
 
 
On July 14th, I attended the July meeting of the Anchorage Mayors’ Energy Task Force. On the agenda was Mark Neuman, State Representative from Big Lake to discuss GTL as an anchor tenant for the proposed bullet line to Southcentral (or it could be a spur line to the Anchorage area if AGIA or Denali is successful). Many of you know that the State Legislature was concerned that there was no “Plan B” to the big pipeline, and passed HB 369 extending the evaluation of a bullet line but moving the responsibility into a newly created subsidy of the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation. The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) was transferred this responsibility effective July 1. AGDC recently let an RFP to study a GTL option in Southcentral to hopefully increase throughput to 1 bcf/d or more so that the pipeline tariff, reported to be over $10/million Btu would be much lower. Most feel that without a major industrial customer, nothing short of a massive subsidy will save this pipeline program. The question is “where do you want the subsidy to come from”? Alaska or the Federal Government?
 
 
I am glad the Mayors’ Energy Task Force is looking at GTL’s as an option. Today it was evident that Task Force members understand the central issue of a GTL anchor customer– “How do you attract a private commercial GTL developer to Alaska?” This is the question ANGTL has been struggling with since 1997. As a potential GTL co-developer our concern is as an equity owner, not as a project promoter. Our equity investment has to be profitable and the project financeable. There are only two proven commercial scale GTL developers in the world today – Sasol and Shell. Neither licenses its technology. They only bring their Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) technology to a project where they have a major ownership position. They both evaluate their GTL opportunities against other energy opportunities across the globe. If an Alaska GTL program, when all things are considered, isn’t better than another opportunity, they will decline the opportunity. Then it’s on to the second or third-tier F-T technology providers who don’t have a large scale GTL plant operating (actually none have GTL plant beyond a pilot size) who are more than willing to license their technology but you have to give them exclusive access to all of the modifications you do to make their technology actually work efficiently.
 
 
Because banks won’t rely upon these second or third tier F-T providers pilot plant technology, or rather their integration of the three steps in the F-T technology program they are likely to require 50% or more equity investment, which dramatically lowers the IRR for the investor. Having a 500, 1,000 or 5,000 bbl/d F-T plant doesn’t guarantee the ability to scale the project up to a 35,000 or 70,000 bbl/d plant, as Sasol found out in Qatar. It took a year and hundreds of millions of dollars to fix the problems encountered with the scale-up. Today a Sasol 70,000 bbl/d plant works because it’s using two proven 35,000 bbl/d modules. The same can be said with regard to Shell’s 140,000 bbl/d Pearl plant. It has two 70,000 bbl/d modules. ANGTL and its investors can’t stand a one or two year delay in full operation of a GTL plant to fix startup problems, not if we are paying up to 70% of the tariff on the bullet line.
 
 
Today GTL projects around the world usually have an inlet natural gas cost under $1 / mmbtu plus pay the gas owner a % of the market price received for F-T fuels. As a rule of thumb you multiply the inlet cost of natural gas by 10 to get a base outlet cost of the GTL products. In the above example of a $1/mmbtu inlet price the base outlet price of products is $10/bbl. You need to add the cost of debt service, the GTL plant operating cost, taxes and profit for the investor to arrive at a true GTL plant tailgate product cost. A GTL plant built anywhere but Alaska will cost less to build, have a lower operating cost and probably lower taxes. 
 
 
It is possible to have a base cost for natural gas on the North Slope around $1/mmbtu (a North Slope GTL program doesn’t need the massive investment in a gas conditioning plant that a gas pipeline needs). During a meeting at the Alaska Gas Development Corporation’s (AGDC’s) office we were told that we could expect a tariff in the range of $9 to $14/mmbtu plus the cost of natural gas. It’s hard not to laugh at these numbers. No large commercial customer is coming to Alaska to buy $12 to $18 for natural gas, period. We have heard Agrium needs something south of $5 and a GTL plant will be difficult if not impossible to work above this number unless crude oil is in the $150/bbl + range. The current bullet pipeline program just doesn’t make sense or work to attract large commercial customers.
 
 
ANGTL believes the pipeline evaluation got off track when it limited itself to a 24 inch line. Also the producers need to supply pipeline quality gas on the North Slope. In addition, they need to take their liquids and batch pig them down TAPS, which will extend the life of taps or build a products line to Fairbanks and rail them to a market. With that in hand the cost of a gas line will be closer to $6 billion. With 1.1 to 1.3 bcf/d of in-state load, the tariff should be under $2/mmbtu. Now we are talking. Add $2.5 to $3/ mmbtu for the natural gas commodity and it’s possible the industrial customers will be here.
 
 
No matter what anyone says Alasks GTL must compete in a world market. While we may and I mean may receive a small premium for F-T fuels, when the competition is paying 50 cents per mmbtu for gas ($5/bbl of oil equivalent), a Southcentral GTL plant will be paying $5/mmbtu or more ($50/bbl oil equivalent). We also have to offset higher construction and operating costs. 
 
 
ANGTL’s North Slope GTL proposal uses a lower alternative fuels excise tax rate (state and federal) to increase the netback by some 31 cents per gallon or $13/bbl. This lower excise tax is similar to the lower rates for ethanol, biodiesel, LNG and CNG to name a few. This economic uplift pays for the higher cost of a North Slope operation and the cost of converting TAPS into a dual fuel pipeline. For a 4 Bcf/d North Slope GTL program this higher netback is worth over $1.5 billion a year. For a smaller .7 Bcf/d Southcentral GTL plant it’s worth over $300 million per year. 
 
 
But that’s not enough to offset a $5/mmbtu inlet gas price for the Southcentral location.
 
 
Frustrated with lack of support from the various administrations for a GTL program in Alaska, ANGTL pursued a coal to liquids (CTL) option for the Cook Inlet. A CTL plant is two to three times more expensive than a GTL plant and CTL doesn’t qualify for a GTL lower excise tariff – we are not “natural gas”. So, we approached Senator Stevens for help. He introduced legislation that gave Fisher-Tropsch fuels, the generic name for fuels made from biomass, coal and natural gas, a 50 cent per gallon federal energy credit. That’s a $21/bbl economic uplift. Unfortunately we did not include natural gas in the definition. Before he was blindsided by the U.S. Injustice Department, Senator Stevens was working on amending the Legislation to include natural gas. His successor has yet to return our calls to pick up the mantle, and the other Senator is equally elusive; both we believe to be stuck on a gas pipeline dream.
 
 
We believe by some minor changes to existing federal laws we can bring as much as $4.00/ million Btu to the table from the federal level putting the Southcentral GTL program on a similar footing as even a Qatar GTL project. When you look at the higher value end markets we will serve in Alaska and California, it could tip the scales in our favor.
 
 
The military is an important part of Alaska and we certainly want them to not only stay but to grow in size. The military is close to finalizing a new military specification for jet fuel consisting of a 50-50 blend of F-T jet fuel and conventional jet fuel. That said, until aviation fuels have to be Ultra Low Sulfur (ULS), the value of jet fuel is much lower than on-road ULS diesel. Plus, the military is not a tax-paying entity, so a lower excise tax doesn’t apply. That takes away $13/bbl of price support. We have proposed a way where the Defense Energy Support Center can offset this potential lower price and loss of tax rebates through the use of a “call” option. 
 
 
The military has call options on airline seats, air cargo, container, tanker and roll on roll off ship capacity, so why not a call on F-T fuels? We have approached the Pentagon, Senators Akaka, Inouye, Boxer, Feinstein and numerous representatives from western states asking for their support for GTLs and these energy programs. The first thing they ask is “where is the state of Alaska on GTLs”? This brings us back to my first statement. It’s hard to attract GTLs to Alaska when there is no support from the state administration.
 
 
A Southcentral GTL program won’t be easy to pull off. But if the State gets behind the GTL program, the Alaska federal delegation can do some heavy lifting, then the Rail Belt and possibly the western interior will have a reasonable cost clean energy to power Alaska into the next century.
 
 
Unless we figure out how to improve the economics of an Alaska GTL plant there won’t be one. Without a GTL program to anchor the “bullet” gas line the tariff will exceed $12 or more per Mmbtu. That means there won’t be a bullet line, because consumers can’t afford it.
 

-End-                      

 

Activist Sotomayor Will Sit In Judgment Over America's Appealed Energy Policies

Last Tribute to Uncle Ted - "The Peoples' Gas Pipeline" - Are Canadian Airships Coming? - Cook Inlet Gas Prospects Encouraging

30 August 2010 9:09am

Petroleum News Alaska via ADN.  When Armstrong Cook Inlet brings its North Fork oil and gas project into production early next year, it could be the push needed to bring several other prospects in the region into development.  The southern Kenai is one of the more underdeveloped corners of the Cook Inlet basin, which supplies the natural gas that heats and powers more than half the state's population.

Ethan BerkowitzFinancial News.  The state's Democratic nominee for governor said Friday he wants to give residents the chance to invest in a proposed pipeline that could ship natural gas to Lower 48 states.  Ethan Berkowitz (NGP Photo) said he wants to create "Great Alaska Pipeline Inc.," a private-public partnership that could help overcome a hurdle for the proposed multi billion dollar project — financing.  "If we take advantage of this opportunity, we've got a greater chance of making the pipeline become real," he said at a news conference.

 

(Separate email communication from Margaret L. Tovrea: Ethan Berkowitz is running to become Alaska's next Governor, and, among other things, he's fighting to give folks like you and me a chance to own a piece of the pipe.  His plan is simple. "The Alaskan Ownership Stake" allows people like you and me to become  stakeholders in Alaska’s future by letting us choose to invest a portion of our PFD in the pipeline and earn revenue from it!  I hope you'll join me in supporting Ethan and this plan.) 

Calgary Herald by Gordon Knight.  A Canadian company, the IREL Group Ltd., wants to launch its own version of the dirigible, called the Dominion Airship. Its big idea is to use airships to aid victims of drought, earthquakes, floods, volcanoes and war.  ...  The commercial arm of the company will be a major service provider to transport drilling rigs, supplies and heavy equipment for major players in the energy sector (including oilsands producers and pipeline builders), mining companies, and leading global transportation organizations who specialize in delivering materials worldwide. Even the United States and NATO militaries are interested.

Girdwood Tribute To Senator Ted Stevens

by 

Dave Harbour

Ted Stevens

Yesterday, we attended a celebration of Senator Ted Stevens' (NGP Photo-above) life and memorial service sponsored by a Lili Stevens"Girdwood Remembers" group of friends (NGP Photo-l, Lili Stevens).  Retired, Chris vonChris vonlong-time Alyeska Ski Resort manager Chris von Imhof (NGP Photo-r) served as master of ceremonies, providing about 300 Stevens family friends with fond memories and a pledge to keep the  Senator's name familiar to Alaskans for generations to come.  An informal committee, he said, is hard at work following up on Father Norman Elliott's (NGP Photo-l, below) suggestion to name a prominent mountain after "Uncle Ted".  The group is also proposing to develop an 'eternal flame' tribute in Stevens' memory.  Attending the ceremony were leaders from the Girdwood community and friends from throughout Alaska.  Von Imhof presided over a striking color guard ceremony presented by the Alaska National Guard.  Patty Hamre, Win Faulkner and Sami Norman ElliotGraham sang, "Fireweed and Dogwood".  The Venerable Norman Elliott gave a moving, personal tribute.  The formal events culminated in the playing of "Taps" by an Alaska National Guard Honor Guard Bugler, and presentation to Catherine Stevens of an Alaska Flag following a stirring audience singing of, "The Alaska Flag Song".  Later, when guests had assembled on a deck high above the Girdwood Valley, the Honor Guard fired three volleys in honor of Senator Stevens.  Catherine remarked that, "He would like that."  Throughout the ceremonies and photos and interaction with such a huge number of well-wishers, mourning family members seemed to focus on the wonderful legacy passed down by their patriarch.  "Noble, gracious, forward-looking" are adjectives that come to mind as I recall the attitude and outlook of family members on that special afternoon.  At von Imhof's suggestion I had brought a number of framed photos I'd taken of Ted over the years.  We displayed them on the Guestbook table and left them for the family.  Over the weekend Kay Cashman, publisher of Petroleum News Alaska, had issued--with her weekly publication--a wonderful insert: "In Memory of Senator Ted Stevens".  I provided a brief personal testimony and several photos for the insert.  I'll remember Sunday, August 29, 2010 as much for Alaskans gathering together in love, mutual support and comraderie as I will for the honor of once more saying good-bye to an old friend.  

Scroll own to our entries over the last two weeks for our earlier reports and tributes.  Below, we provide event photos.

Our latest tribute to Senator Ted Stevens (NGP Photo) in a special edition of Petroleum News Alaska, p. 11 (Also see several NGP Photos).

 

Girdwood CandleA poignant remembrance of our friend on the way to Alyeska Resort for the Celebration of Life.

 

 

 

 

Alyeska ResortAlyeska Resort Entrance

 

Honor Guard

 

Honor Guard Salute

Honor Guard

 

Honor Guard AK Flag

 

 

Petroleum News Alaska via ADN.  When Armstrong Cook Inlet brings its North Fork oil and gas project into production early next year, it could be the push needed to bring several other prospects in the region into development.  The southern Kenai is one of the more underdeveloped corners of the Cook Inlet basin, which supplies the natural gas that heats and powers more than half the state's population.

Financial News.  The state's Democratic nominee for governor said Friday he wants to give residents the chance to invest in a proposed pipeline that could ship natural gas to Lower 48 states.  Ethan Berkowitz (NGP Photo) said he wants to create "Great Alaska Pipeline Inc.," a private-public partnership that could help overcome a hurdle for the proposed multi billion dollar project — financing.  "If we take advantage of this opportunity, we've got a greater chance of making the pipeline become real," he said at a news conference.

 

(Separate email communication from Margaret L. Tovrea: Ethan Berkowitz is running to become Alaska's next Governor, and, among other things, he's fighting to give folks like you and me a chance to own a piece of the pipe.  His plan is simple. "The Alaskan Ownership Stake" allows people like you and me to become  stakeholders in Alaska’s future by letting us choose to invest a portion of our PFD in the pipeline and earn revenue from it!  I hope you'll join me in supporting Ethan and this plan.) 

Calgary Herald by Gordon Knight.  A Canadian company, the IREL Group Ltd., wants to launch its own version of the dirigible, called the Dominion Airship. Its big idea is to use airships to aid victims of drought, earthquakes, floods, volcanoes and war.  ...  The commercial arm of the company will be a major service provider to transport drilling rigs, supplies and heavy equipment for major players in the energy sector (including oilsands producers and pipeline builders), mining companies, and leading global transportation organizations who specialize in delivering materials worldwide. Even the United States and NATO militaries are interested.