ADN/AP. Three independent oil and gas companies are drilling new wells and another independent submitted more than 90 bids in a near-record Cook Inlet lease sale in June, the Peninsula Clarion reported Friday. The increased exploration is creating business for the companies that support the oil and gas explorers. Those businesses do everything from drill wells to dispose of waste. Al Hull, from Petroleum Equipment & Services, Inc., said his outfit has felt the increased demand. "This is the busiest I've seen it in a long time," he said.
Fairbanks News Miner, by Dorthy Chomicz. A state panel has determined the value of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline to be $8.6 billion for 2011, up from a previous figure of $7.9 billion. The increased assessment will mean more money from the pipeline for the Fairbanks North Star Borough (NGP Photo, 10-5-11, Fairbanks Pick-up. Comment: We use this photo to remind ourselves that the way to sustain the TAPS economic lifeline is to bring on new production from ANWR, NPR-A, Arctic OCS and from less oppressive tax treatment of legacy fields. -dh), but the exact amount is uncertain at this time. “Our area has historically been in the vicinity of 7.5 percent of the value of the pipeline,” borough assessor Patrick Carlson said. Carlson estimated the valuation should increase the value of the total taxable revenue in the borough by $55 million, based on the portion of the pipeline that passes through the borough.
AP: Federal judge blocks California low-carbon fuels rule, saying it favors in-state producers - A federal judge moved Thursday to block California from enforcing its first-in-the-nation mandate for cleaner, low-carbon fuels, saying the rules favor biofuels produced in the state. The lawsuit challenging the state regulations, which were adopted as part of California's landmark 2006 global warming law, was filed in federal court last year by a coalition that includes the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association and the Consumer Energy Alliance.
The White House-delayed Keystone XL pipeline proves Canada’s government trumps America’s, says The Donald. Contacted by the Sun, colorful U.S. billionaire Donald Trump bemoaned what he calls his country’s lack of leadership on a vital economic lifeline. “It’s an outrage our president isn’t approving the Keystone pipeline,” he said through a spokeswoman who reached Trump in Florida.
Do you think Iowans will support Newt “Mr. Ethanol” Gingrich in four days? It looks like he can also be “Mr. Wind” Politico (12/29/11) reports: Ethanol and wind are getting the bum's rush in the Iowa primary…Energy issues — historically ethanol but increasingly wind — used to be a centerpiece of the first-in-the-nation caucuses, providing a national platform for a state that prides itself on excelling in renewable energy…But the vast cornfields and wind-swept plains of the Hawkeye State, while important to the local economy, have taken a back seat this year…In the past, ethanol was a hot topic in the Iowa caucuses, but in 2011, most of the GOP field came out against ethanol subsidies and greater numbers of Iowans seem to agree with them as larger, more pressing issues such as the economy and the budget take over.
You say you want an energy revolution? North Dakota is still looking ripe The Globe and Mail (12/29/11) reports: Kim Lindsay looks up at the gleaming steel of Precision Drilling Corp.’s (PD-T10.550.141.34%) Rig 560, dusted in snow and towering above the North Dakota prairie, and smiles…“This is hot off the press – been out a month,” said Mr. Lindsay, a U.S. manager with the company. The yellow paint on the rig’s Caterpillar engines is unsullied. The technology is state of the art, with a driller operating a joystick in front of rows of flat-panel monitors that look like something out of NASA mission control. Built in Canada, the rig was trucked across the border to drill for oil.
Canada surpassed the U.S. in economic freedom, but will they also surpass the U.S. in energy production? If they do, will greenies still threaten to move there? Pro Reublica (12/29/11) reports: Early last year, deep in the forests of northern British Columbia, workers for Apache Corp. performed what the company proclaimed was the biggest hydraulic fracturing operation ever…The project used 259 million gallons of water and 50,000 tons of sand to frack 16 gas wells side by side. It was "nearly four times larger than any project of its nature in North America," Apache boasted… The record didn't stand for long. By the end of the year, Apache and its partner, Encana, topped it by half at a neighboring site.
Energy crises: SNGPL shuts gas supply to Punjab industry indefinitely. The Express Tribune. Fertiliser sector not to be affected, but APTMA threatens street protests if gas not resumed. SNGPL blames CNG stations for aggravating the gas load shedding problem for domestic consumers. LAHORE: The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) issued ...
If you cut off the head, two will grow in its place Chicago Tribune (12/28/11) reports: A resurgent green movement is launching a multi-pronged counter-attack against the shale oil and gas boom in the United States that could slow, though ultimately not stop, development…Building upon their unexpected success in the battle against the Keystone XL pipeline, a renewed onslaught from environmentalists is putting the shale industry on the defensive while adding to costs, limiting expansion and potentially scuttling major projects…"I think it's the totality of what's going on all at once, that's the biggest concern," said Barclay Nicholson, a lawyer for the Washington-based Fulbright & Jaworski law firm, which has represented companies involved in shale development.
The only thing new about natural gas production in New York is the debate on natural gas production. In other words, we’ve been producing natural gas for a long time New York Times (12/28/11) reports: In the heated debate over fracking in New York, it is often forgotten that conventional natural gas drilling has been taking place in the state for decades…hemung County, a place I write about in Wednesday’s Times, has been a leader in gas production in the state and is now poised to become a leader in exploration of the Marcellus Shale.
Calgary Herald by Dan Healing. (Canada is safe haven for oil investment.) U.S. State Department regulatory delays to the Keystone XL pipeline designed to take oilsands crude to Texas refineries and a lengthening regulatory process for the Northern Gateway pipeline to the B.C. West Coast represent a risk that could hurt oilsands growth....
Calgary Herald by Dina O'Meara. The pace of development of vast shale gas reserves in northeast-ern British Columbia accelerated Tuesday after Quick-silver Resources closed a $125-million US deal with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. to build up infrastructure in the Horn River basin.
Smart Planet by Chris Nelder. The questionable economics of shale gas.
Anchorage Daily Planet by Tom Brennan (NGP Photo-l). I was just wondering what Santa Claus might have put under the Christmas tree for Senate President Gary Stevens (NGP Photo), the Kodiak Republican who became mightily miffed when the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce and the Resource Development Council gave him an “F” on their annual report card for legislative performance.
Alaska Dispatch. AGIA's arbitration out-clause too unlikely to consider
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner says the $430,000 grant will pay for having Northern Economics Inc. study the costs of building a distribution system. The study also will identify who is best suited to build and run a system. The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly said the study comes out of concern that plenty of attention has been spent on getting natural gas to the borough but too little on how to get natural gas into homes. Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2011/12/26/2234368/fairbanks-borough-oks-gas-study.ht...
From the Anchorage Daily Planet. Each Christmas over the years, veteran Alaska newsman Bill Tobin (NGP Photo, formerly Editor of the Anchorage Times) offered his own Christmas tree to readers. In his memory, we offer it today, below:
We Once Again
Decorate A Little
Tree To Say Thanks To
All Of You Who have Blessed
Us With Your Friendship Over
More years Than We Care To Count.
More And More We
Have Come To Realize
That The World Is Filled
More By Goodness Than It
Is By Evil, And That A Smile
Goes Much Farther Than A Frown.
It's Better To Light
One Little Candle Than
It Is To Curse The Darkness,
And That Mostly Has Been The
Mission Of This Little Corner Of The
Times For All These Years That We Have
Been Enriched By The Opportunity To Be
With Faithful Readers, Week After Week.
We Have Offered Here
The Holy Prayer Of St. Francis
Of Assisi, And With Joy We Do So
Again, In Hopes It Reflects Simple Ways
We Each Could Help Build A Better World:
An Instrument Of
Your Peace. Where There
Is Hatred, Let Me Sow Love;
Where There Is Injury, Pardon;
Where There Is Doubt, Faith; Where
There Is Despair, Hope; Where There Is
Darkness, Light; And Where There Is Sadness,
That I May Not So
Much Seek To Be Consoled
As To Console; To Be Understood
As To Understand; To Be Loved As To
Love; For It Is In Giving That We Receive;
It Is In Pardoning That We Are Pardoned, And
It Is In Dying That
We Are Born
- William J. Tobin
The Houston Chronicle: Gasoline may rise above $4 as plants shut down. Gasoline prices may rise above $4 a gallon next summer as refineries along the U.S. East Coast close, reducing fuel supply, said Edward Morse, New York-based head of commodities research at Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
Today we resume our active role in publishing this webpage. Faithful readers will note that over the past two months, NGP has presented daily weblinks generally following issues affecting northern energy projects in Canada and Alaska. Having completed his most recent government assignment, the publisher now returns to his other pursuits, including news and editorial writing for this and other media outlets. Good to 'see' you again! -dh (P.S. Yesterday we documented Winter Solstice with a hundred photos from a number of Anchorage venues. We posted one here with the Alaska Dispatch, another here with the Anchorage Daily News and shall post others here.
E&E Publishing. More than 20 years after sinking its first exploratory well in the Chukchi, only to later abandon the project, Shell is seeking to reopen drilling in the nation's northern-most federal waters. The campaign has already had a colossal price tag. So far, Shell officials say they have sunk $4 billion in the project, including $350 million to build two of their own ice-breaking ships. If exploration is successful, it will take 10-12 years before Shell can begin producing oil. During that time, the company would have to build a new ice-resistant drilling facility, install 100 miles of subsea pipeline from the pumping rig to the tiny community of Wainwright and construct a 500-mile pipeline from the shoreline to the beginning of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in Prudhoe Bay.In preparation for that project, the company is already gathering information for what Shell Alaska spokesman Curtis Smith (NGP Photo) described as "probably the largest environmental impact statement in the history of North America."
ADN/PNA by Eric Lidji (NGP Photo). Buccaneer Alaska would like to drill as many as eight wells around Cook Inlet next year, if it can get the necessary financing, the company said recently.
News Miner by Matt Buxton. At its meeting last Thursday, the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly approved a $430,000 state grant to pay for the feasibility study of a natural gas distribution network in the borough. The grant to Alaska-based Northern Economics, Inc., will go to studying the costs of building a distribution system and will identify who is best-suited to build and run a system, whether it’s private, public or some mixture of the two. The study comes out of the concern that, while plenty of attention has been spent on getting natural gas to the borough, not much — if any — has been spent on how to get natural gas into homes, said Borough Assembly Presiding Officer Diane Hutchison.