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      This is your public service 1-stop-shop for Alaskan and Canadian Arctic energy commentary, news, history, projects and people. We update it daily for you. It is the most timely and complete northern energy archive 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 name others existing before 2001.  -dh


2012 Archives


23 November 2012 5:47am

Access Important Industry Presentations and Videos of  RDC's Annual Conference Last Week In Anchorage.     *     Edmonton Journal/CH, by Dave Cooper.  Atco Pipelines announced Wednesday it is proposing to spend up to $700 million to replace 260 kilometres of high-pressure natural gas pipelines in Calgary and Edmonton, with the cost to homeowners spread over five years.

CEA President David Holt Describes Next Steps Consumer Group Anticipates for The Keystone XL Pipeline:

Cook Inlet Gas Supply: From Whence Does It Come?  Utilities Work the Realities.  Political Leaders Opine.   (See your author's commentary here which involved his 2006 Dissents (1) and (2) that predict and describe the regulatory origin of current natural gas supply and deliverability challenges)  -dh

 Alaska Journal of Commerce by Molly Dischner.  Where Southcentral will get its Anchorage, Mayor, Dan Sullivan, Cook Inlet Gas Shortage, Energy, IncentivesSean Parnell, Alaska Governor, Cook Inlet gas supply, Enstar, exploration incentives, bullet line, ASAP, AGDC, north slope gasenergy in the near future was up for debate between the Anchorage mayor and the governor at the Resource Development Council’s annual conference.

“Everyone needs affordable energy,” said Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan (NGP Archive Photo-R) during his opening remarks November 14, and added it was almost a given that Southcentral would be importing natural gas in the near future to bridge supply shortages projected for the 2014-15 winter.

Speaking a few minutes later during the same opening session, Gov. Sean Parnell (NGP Archive Photo-L) disagreed.  “Mayor Sullivan, importing gas, I don’t think so,” Parnell said. “We have got to do better than that. And I will work my tail off, to make sure that we don’t have to do that. My hope is that these incentives will work in Cook Inlet so that’s not necessary. Not when our resources here are so vast.  “Importing has got to be a last option, or a last resort.”

Southcentral utilities told the Regulatory Commission of Alaska in October that they’ve reached the time to explore the last resort option of importing either liquefied natural gas or compressed natural gas. Natural gas heats many Southcentral homes, and fuels power plants throughout the region. But a shortfall is predicted for 2014 without a major new source of gas coming online before then. And such a source is unlikely, given lead times for development and the fact that any in-state pipeline project would not be finished by then.





21 November 2012 2:31am

Dan Fauske, AGDC, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, Kenai, AGC, bullet line, ASAP, Photo by Dave HarbourKenai Peninsula Clarion by Elwood Behmer.  Alaska Gasline Development Corp. CEO Dan Fauske (NGP Photo) provided figures estimating a major impact to Alaska if the proposed in-state gas pipeline is built.  “It will be the largest project in North America. It will supply 8,000 direct and 15,000 indirect jobs,” Fauske said Nov. 9 in a presentation to the Associated General Contractors of Alaska annual conference.  The numbers expand on those in the final environmental impact statement released Oct. 26. The estimated $7.52 billion construction cost will involve moving 10 million cubic yards of soil, assembling 335,000 tons of pipe and 4 million miles of truck travel to transport equipment and supplies, according to ADGC statistics.

11-20-12 - Will Canada Begin Using the TAPS Terminal by 2018?

20 November 2012 1:45am

 Celebrate its 30th Anniversary with the Alaska Support Industry Alliance!

North Dakota Sets New Record; take that, Alaska!

Our American Readers Celebrate Their Thanksgiving.

Our RDC Friends Have Posted Energy Conference Presentations Here.

From the Huffington Post:

Diane Francis, CH Photo, Alaska rail, oil sandsWe continue to admire Financial Post's columnist Diane Francis (CH Photo), for her probing work.  -dh


A group of Canadian businessmen has obtained the blessing of Alaskan tribes and Canadian First Nations to build a railroad through their lands that could carry up to five million barrels per day from the oil sands to the super tanker port in Valdez, Alaska.

This is truly a nation-building project that must be seriously evaluated by all governments and the oil industry. Preliminary feelers have been placed and it’s clear that the concept is the most viable and pragmatic solution for Canada’s logistical problems.

The proposed 2,400-kilometre railway would link Fort McMurray, Alta., with the Alaska oil pipeline system then on to the Valdez for export.

 (CBC News Follow-up)


A plucky video posted on YouTube Monday spoofs comments by a Chinese oil researcher that compared the oil sands to single women.
"Call the Tar Sands Love Line" is a satirical dating service video like the ones that play on late night cable. The video takes images of oil platforms and overlays them with a voiceover that portrays the oil sands as a lover hoping for a mate.

Petroleum News by Alan Bailey.   Two companies, both new to the Cook Inlet basin, are taking the next steps in their ventures to find and develop new oil and gas in the basin, company executives told the Resource Development Council’s annual Alaska Resources Conference on Nov. 14.
Apache Alaska Inc., the company that has been conducting a major 3-D seismic survey program across broad areas of the basin, has spud its first exploration well in the basin, near Tyonek, on the west side of the inlet, John Hendrix (NGP Photo), general manager of Apache Alaska, told the conference.
“We spud our first well this morning at 7:44 in the morning — our first Apache Alaska drilling operation,” Hendrix said. Apache is primarily looking for oil in the basin, although the company also expects to find natural gas in the course of its exploration drilling.                   ....
Mark Landt, vice president, land and business development for Buccaneer Alaska, a subsidiary of Australian independent Buccaneer Energy, said that this winter Buccaneer is going to use the Endeavour jack-up rig that it has brought to the inlet to drill at Cosmopolitan, a known oil pool offshore Anchor Point in the southern Kenai Peninsula.
There are estimated to be around 90 billion cubic feet of natural gas at Cosmopolitan, in addition to an estimated 44 million barrels of oil, Landt said.  ....
Petroleum News by Gary Park.  The next 23 years will see Canadian oil production rise steadily as oil sands volumes grow by 250 percent to 4.3 million barrels per day, more than enough to offset shrinkage in conventional output, the International Energy Agency predicts.



11-19-12 - Notes From the Road

19 November 2012 2:59am

Petroleum News Alaska by Kristen Nelson: BP Exploration (Alaska) and ConocoPhillips Alaska, the North Slope’s major operators, delivered similar messages to the Resource Development Council’s annual conference Nov. 14 in Anchorage: The state’s oil and gas tax system needs to be changed.

Brad Keithley, ACES, AGIA, Alaska Spending Policy, Taxes, Photo by Dave HarbourBrad Keithley's Blog (NGP Photo): "in order to achieve what many call their first priority — oil reform — the Governor and legislature now are first going to need to relearn what they should have already been practicing all along — fiscal restraint."

Commentary: Today's report features news from Canada's great think tank, the Frasier Institute.  The news reminds one of Alaska's economic condition and America's economic condition.  It may be that due to the relative weakness of the U.S. dollar, the Canadian dollar has shown strength.  However, with more reliance on deficit spending, as in Alaska (i.e. 'deficit in the sense of 'unsustainable') and the U.S., Canadian politicians  are finding the pressure to spend and counteracting environmental pressures both erode the energy industry's ability to support economies and its ability to usher large energy projects through complex political and regulatory gauntlets.  We hope those involved in America's newer shale plays from North Dakota to Texas to New York do not replicate and then relive the political misjudgments made by other more mature energy cousins in Alaska and Canada.  -dh

Frasier Institute: November edition of Fraser Update, where you can catch up on our latest research studiesnewspaper commentaries, and events.

Earlier this week, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced that his government will continue running deficits until 2016-17. That's one year later than the finance minister predicted in the 2012 budget and the third time he has extended the government's balanced-budget projection since 2009.

Not only is the federal government failing to conservatively forecast GDP growth and revenues, or to put forth realistic spending projections, it is not dealing with the root cause of the deficit: excessive spending.
The Fraser Institute's team of economists correctly identified the flaws in the government's budget plans as far back as 2011, writing op-eds highlighting this issue in March 2011November 2011, and March 2012.
Read the latest column from Niels Veldhuis, Fraser Institute president, in which he dissects the Tories' spending problem.
Lifting the Moratorium: The Costs and Benefits of Offshore Oil Drilling in British ColumbiaNEW STUDIES:

Lifting the Moratorium: The Costs and Benefits of Offshore Oil Drilling in British Columbia
BC and Canada could see billions of dollars in economic benefits if the federal government lifted the moratorium on offshore oil exploration off the province’s coast. This report shows how other jurisdictions such as Norway, the United Kingdom, and Newfoundland & Labrador have developed offshore oil resources and enjoyed tremendous economic benefits through increased energy-related investment and government revenue, all without causing significant environmental damage.
Read a summary | Read the news release

Laying the Groundwork for BC LNG Exports to Asia
The BC government's dream of creating jobs and investment by exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Asia could be at risk unless the cumbersome and overlapping regulatory process and environmental reviews can be streamlined. This report examines the barriers and obstacles that could delay or inhibit the construction of natural gas pipelines, gas liquefaction facilities, and marine terminals critical to building an LNG export industry.
Read a summary | Read the news release


Free markets are not the property of the Anglosphere 
by Mark Milke (Calgary HeraldVancouver Sun, November 3)

In the debate over whether China's partially state-owned energy company CNOOC should be given the go-ahead by Ottawa to take over Calgary-based Nexen, there is the danger that the discussion will be cast in an adversarial east-west context. Read on

Rogues Gallery 
by Alan Dowd (American Legion Magazine, November 1)

Examining the autocrats who generate the most news and/or the most worries for the international community. Read on

Cities thrive when governments focus on parks, not mega-projects 
by Mark Milke (National PostCalgary Herald, October 26)

Mayors and councillors across North America regularly spend taxpayer cash trying to revitalize neighbourhoods or entire cities. They often do so in expensive and ineffective ways: grand schemes that wipe away existing neighbourhoods or street markets, only to be replaced with massive convention centres (mostly unused by locals) or costly new arenas for professional sports teams. Read on






11-18-12 Notes From the Road

18 November 2012 2:46am


Dear Readers:

We continue our photo, writing and other assignments as we explore more of Ecuador, this time the many micro climates leading gradually down from Cuenca to Loja and Vilcabamba.  

Cuenca, Ecuador, Dancers, Photo by Dave HarbourWe cannot speak too highly of the City of Cuenca, Ecuador, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Photo by Dave Harbourdelectable, organic food and the sweetness of the indigenous people and courtesy of Spanish descendants--from children to shopkeepers to executives.  The cultural offerings challenge any accomplishments in the performing and visual arts of which we are aware and the scenery, wildlife and consistently moderate climate make visiting here a true joy.  

Yesterday I had the additional honor, as a former Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Chairman to provide photographic services for the Chamber's annual celebration of visitors (NGP Photo).  

Guests could walk down the stairs from the Cathedral Todos Los Santos to El Puente Roto (Broken Bridge).  There, a Saturday Market-like setting greeted visitors who enjoyed indigenous music and dancing in the 70 degree setting, complete with complimentary local foods and booths describing telecommunications, senior assisted living, finance, TravelMed surgeries, job hunting and local outdoor and indoor events galore.  One Ex-Pat local couple was sitting on a big rock by the River Cuenca, Ecuador, Ex-Pat, Lovers, Photo by Dave Harbourenjoying the music and magic of the day Consuelo Jimbo, Homero Ortega, Panama Hat, Iconic model, Photo by Dave Harbour(NGP Photo).  I was happy to again encounter -- following an earlier trip in July to the factory -- Consuelo Jimbo (NGP Photo) of the Homero Ortega Company.  Consuelo is an iconic model for the company, seen in magazines and posters around the world.  Here, without having to watch her fingers work their magic, she weaves a 'Panama Hat', made famous by many films but actually originated and still made today in Ecuador.

Today comes a new adventure and departure from the business of Cuenca--a road trip from the higher ground here through some of the most beautiful mountains and valleys anywhere to the Valley of Longevity I have long wanted to photograph.

Few citizens here speak English forcing me to seek greater mastery of a language of my youth.  Though I miss my family every minute, the adventure itself is fulfilling: poignant and full of new and colorful sights, nomadic challenges, and a very important quest for understanding at this special time of my life.

If readers have questions about this trip or wish to make comments, please feel free to do so though it might be sometime before you have a response.

Meanwhile, never fear, the energy reporting continues tomorrow, in these Notes From the Road.

Your interest means much.  Be well.






16 November 2012 10:34am

Ewart: U.S. energy self-sufficiency not doomsday for Canada - Calgary Herald - By Stephen Ewart, Calgary Herald November 15, 2012 10:32 AM. Tweet. Comment. 0 ... The IEA also predicted the U.S. would overtake Russia as the leading natural gas producer in 2015 and be all but self-sufficient in energy by 2035. Apparently, the ...

Oilsands will be a definining showdown in battle between forms of ... - Jim Prentice, calgary MP, harper cabinet, canada, photo by dave harbourNational Post - Jim Prentice (NGP Photo), the former Calgary MP who who served in the Harper cabinet as minister ...investment in Canada – in particular as it pertains to oil and gas.

Braid: Latest obstacle to oilsands product pure nonsense  -  Calgary Herald.  B.C.'s politically unstable premier, Christy Clark, has already unilaterally categorized an Alberta product as different — and bad — to justify her opposition to the proposed Northern Gatewaypipeline. We're now having trouble sending the stuff to ...

Redford wants 'dialogue' with Quebec about roadblocks to Alberta oil - Calgary Herald
The spat comes as Calgary-based pipeline companies are looking for new ways to move additional crude into Eastern Canada. Enbridge is planning a significant expansion of its pipelines that carry crude from the oilsands and Bakken shale oilfield to ...


15 November 2012 2:41am

Michael Whatley, Consumer Energy Alliance, Intangible Drilling Cost, Tax Credit, Oil and gas drilling incentive, Photo by Dave HarbourHouston Chronicle: Energy alliance official: Keystone approval likely soon.  “I think there’s no doubt the Keystone pipeline will be approved in fairly short order and generate economic growth,” John Northington, counsel to the alliance, said. But Northington and former Bush campaign official Michael Whatley (NGP Photo), executive vice president of the alliance, agreed looming talks about tax reform threaten to hurt independent drilling companies if the tax credit for intangible drilling costs is cut or eliminated. “If you take away those intangible drilling costs (for) independent producers, 25 percent of their drilling budget is going to come off the table,” Whatley said.  **Houston Business Journal and Yahoo! News also report.  

Charlotte Observer by Bruce Henderson.  Piedmont Natural Gas has invested $180 million in a pipeline project that will ship natural gas from the massive Marcellus Shale deposits in northern Pennsylvania to markets in New York and New England.

Politico by Byron Tau.  Interior Secretary Ken Salazar (NGP Archive Photo) threatened Ken Salazar, punch you out, wild horses, colorado, Photo by Dave Harbourto punch a reporter on a recent trip to Colorado, according to witnesses.  Dave Philipps, a reporter for the Colorado Springs Gazette, tried to ask Salazar about his appointments to the Bureau of Land Management and the wild horse population in the state. Specifically, Philipps had questions about the government's relationship with a wild horse buyer who allegedly sold more than 1,700 horses to Mexican slaughterhouses.  Ginger Kathrens, executive director of the Cloud Foundation, witnessed the exchange between Salazar and a reporter. Her organization put out a release cataloging the exchange and blasting Salazar for his treatment of the press. The group captured video of some of the exchange, but stopped recording before the threat itself.  According to Kathrens, Salazar took two questions from Philipps before disagreeing with his line of questioning.  "Don't you ever ... You know what, you do that again... I'll punch you out," Salazar reportedly told Philipps before ending the interview and walking off.




14 November 2012 9:33am

Deborah Yedlin, Photo courtesy Calgary HeraldCalgary Herald by Deborah Yedlin (Photo).  For years, energy scarcity is what has driven government energy policy.  Nowhere more so than Alberta.  But that changed, for real, on Monday when the International Energy Agency released its latest forecast for production and consumption.

Homer Tribune, by Naomi Klouda.  Buccaneer Energy Limited intends to move forward with drilling plans three miles offshore from Anchor Point this winter, the company announced on Tuesday. 
In a press from the company’s Houston headquarters, the company did not commit to a date for when the Endeavour jack-up rig would move from the Homer Deep Water Dock, however.

Oil Price: Fracking to be Gutted in Obama's 2nd Term?  -  The U.S. energy companies, having heavily backed Obama’s opponent, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, are now nervously contemplating their future on many levels, as they massively supported his opponent. Romney promised to get the federal government, most notably the Environmental Protection Agency (ironically, established by a Republican President, Richard Milhous Nixon, in 1970)  to back off their practices, as well as opening up to their interests both federal lands and offshore areas to energy companies in a search for U.S. energy autonomy.

11-13-12 - "Alaska Under Siege"

13 November 2012 2:37am


Video Production
Dan Fagan
Our Commentary.  Dan Fagan's (NGP Photo) world class video documentary Dan Fagan, Alaska Under Siege, Federal overreach, NPR-A, Alaska Statehood Compact, Lisa Murkowski, Commissioner Dan Sullivan, Sean Parnell, Wally Hickel, Clem Tillion, John Binkley, Charisse Millett, Irene Ryan, Mead Treadwell, EPA, Salazar Ken, Interior Department, BLM, Alaska Statehood Act, Photo by Dave Harbour, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Alaska Native, Alaska jobs, Last Frontier, 49th State, Chukchi Sea, OCS, Shell Oil, leasing policy, oil leases, timber industry, tongassshould be required viewing for every Alaska citizen, member of Congress, every federal official dealing with Alaska energy and natural resource issues and our Canadian readers desiring to better understand their westerly, Northern cousin.
Part one of the series introduces the concept of federal overreaching jurisdiction in Alaska, the application of the federal ‘iron fist’ and how it is successfully clouding the potential, bright future of Alaska (and America).   This part begins with the 1959 ‘Statehood Compact’, the promises made and broken, and concludes by documenting the Interior Department’s effort in late 2012 to close off half of America’s National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska to petroleum production.   
For a more complete understanding of Alaska's suffering under the heavy hand of the Federal Government, see the historical, Broken Promises, Part I, Part II, and Part III.

Part two deals with the malfeasance, economic damage to the country and hypocrisy of federal government agencies. 

Part three deals with EPA’s overreaching grab for jurisdiction of state land mining activity, and the environmental-governmental cabal that terminated Alaska’s vibrant, responsible timber industry and the 20,000 jobs and economic activity that accompanied it.  
Interviews and video clips feature the EPA Administrator, Alaska’s Governors, Lieutenant Governor, State Legislators, U.S. Senators, Commissioner of Natural Resources, Alaska Native leaders, environmental advocates and business representatives.  
"The Dan Fagan Show" was televised throughout Alaska from 6AM to 9AM  on Fox-4 KTBY, Channel 645 in high definition, and video streamed globally on the Dan Fagan Show Facebook page.  Regrettably, Fagan left the state shortly after this production was released.    -dh 2-14-14