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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


12 November 2012 4:37am

Petroleum News Alaska by Eric Lidji (NGP Photo).  The public corporation of the state is currently conducting due diligence to determine whether it should build, own and operate a 4.5-mile access road connecting the existing Tarn road to the Mustang field, as well as a production pad at the development site.   After announcing a 40 million barrel discovery earlier this year, the small independent Brooks Range Petroleum Corp. is working to bring the Mustang field online by 2014.

 Consumer Energy Alliance Weekly Report

Your Alaska Link hosts Doreen Lorenz and Mark Colveccio interview Dan Fauske (NGP Photo), CEO of the Alaska Gasline Development Authority (AGDC), Dan Fauske, AGDC, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, AGIA, Photo by Dave Harbouralso referred to as the As Soon As Possible (ASAP) project.  See video: 

Petroleum News Alaska by Eric Lidji.  Almost a decade after regulators gave the utility permission to set its rates at will, an economist representing the state Attorney General’s office believes state regulators should once again subject Fairbanks Natural Gas LLC to traditional rate regulation.  “The rationale for FNG’s economic exemption is negated by its pricing behavior,” economist Christina Klein wrote in testimony to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.  






10 November 2012 4:21am

Yesterday, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska commented on the peer review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s assessment of theBristol Bay watershed. The document summarizes the three-day peer review meeting in Anchorage in August.

“The peer review panel’s recommendations make it clear that the EPA has a lot of work left to do if the goal is to issue a scientifically-sound document,” Murkowski said. “I remain concerned that the agency has chosen to evaluate a hypothetical mine that does not reflect modern mining practices.”
An independent contractor facilitated the peer review, which was based on 14 “charge questions” put forth by the EPA. The report contains a number of recommendations, including asking the EPA to clarify the geographic scope and coverage of the assessment, consider adopting a broader range of mine scenarios, and incorporate mitigation measures.
“I’ve always believed that this assessment was seriously flawed. I appreciate the work done by the reviewers, but unless the EPA fixes the fundamental flaw of evaluating an unrealistic, straw-man argument instead of waiting for an actual application to be submitted, problems will remain,” Murkowski said. “Alaskans deserve a fair and unbiased environmental review of the Pebble project once a project description has been submitted. A preemptive veto by the EPA would make no more sense than a preemptive approval.”


09 November 2012 7:33am

Canadian Press.  As Kinder Morgan launches a series of information sessions in the Metro Vancouver area about the proposed expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline, city officials are exploring whether Vancouver can force the Texas-based company to increase its liability coverage in kind.

The Alaska House of Representatives announced its new organization: The Alaska House Majority Mike Chenault, Alaska, Speaker of the House, ACES, AGIA, AGDC, Photo by Dave HarbourCaucus has organized for the 28th Alaska Legislature. Representative Mike Chenault (NGP Photo) , R-Nikiski, returns for a third term as House Speaker. Representative Lance Pruitt, R-Anchorage is the new Majority Leader, and Representative Craig Johnson, R-Anchorage, returns as Rules Chair. Representatives Bill Stoltze, R-Mat-Su/Chugiak, & Alan Austerman, R-Kodiak, are the co-chairs of the House Finance Committee.  "I am grateful for the opportunity to return as Speaker," Chenault said. "The gavel comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility, and I am confident we will continue to respect and uphold the tradition and powers of the Speaker's Office and Alaska State House."  "We welcome five new members to caucus, and are eager to continue relationship building and educating each other prior to the start of session," Pruitt said. "We will continue focusing on key issues – oil tax reform, affordable energy, quality education, public safety, and responsible investments – and are looking forward to working with the new Senate leadership and Governor to finally push Alaska forward."

Alaska Journal of Commerce by Becky Bohrer, AP.  Republicans on Wednesday wasted no time in claiming control of the Alaska Senate, one day after winning a majority of seats in the chamber.   ...   The majority's three areas of concern will be increasing oil production, getting affordable energy to Alaskans and developing sustainable capital and operating budgets for "current and future generations."

The Telegraph by Sean Cockerham and Kyle Hopkins.  President Barack Obama lost the Alaska vote Tuesday in a landslide and Gov. Sean Parnell has been openly hostile toward him, but now the state’s leaders have no choice than to accept that a majority of the rest of the nation wants Obama as president.  More than 60 percent of Alaska is federal land, and the decisions Obama makes over the next four years are going to shape the development of the state.




08 November 2012 9:20am

Calgary Herald, by James Wood.  As Canadian political and business leaders expressed optimism the proposed Keystone XL pipeline will win approval under a re-elected President Barack Obama, environmental opponents and the U.S. ambassador to Canada cautioned the energy megaproject isn’t a slam dunk.

Bill Barron, Oil and Gas, Alaska, Lease Sale, OCS, On shore, Photo by Dave HarbourADN?AP by Dan Joling.  The state of Alaska's annual North Slope petroleum lease sale earned $14.2 million Wednesday.  That was down from $21 million last year, but Division of Oil and Gas Director Bill Barron (NGP Photo) saw reason for optimism. The sale was the fourth largest by dollar amount since the state began area-wide lease sales in 1998, covering tracts on the North Slope, in near-shore waters of the Beaufort Sea, and in the North Slope Foothills. The sale attracted interest from major oil companies, independents and new faces.   "Any activity, especially from the major players and some of the minor players, is good for the state," Barron said after opening bids. 



07 November 2012 6:36am

Alaska Support 

Industry Alliance




Thursday, November 8

Time: Doors open at 6:00 a.m. Program begins at 7:00 a.m.
City: Anchorage, Alaska
Location: The Petroleum Club, 3301 C Street
"2012 Election Wrap-Up"
Register Now
Speaker: House Speaker Mike Chenault & Senator Cathy Giessel, Alaska State Legislature

11-6-12 --- AMERICANS: Vote Today!

06 November 2012 7:46am

To assist voting Alaskans, here is a Prosperity Alaska candidate evaluation which is a good guide.

Colleen Starring, Enstar Natural Gas, Cook Inlet Energy, Alaska, bullet line, CINGSA, Photo by Dave HarbourFrom Josh Wilson (NGP Photo), Commonwealth North.  Thank you againJosh Wilson, Commonwealth North, Alaska, Energy, Photo by Dave Harbour to Colleen Starring (NGP Photo) for her excellent presentation at our meeting last week. Her PowerPoint presentation is now available on the Commonwealth North website

Our next meeting will be this Friday, November 9 from 12-1 at CIRI located at 2525 C Street with Larry Persily, Federal Coordinator, Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects, who will give an update on the viability of a large diameter gas pipeline in Alaska. 
Margie Brown, Cook Inlet Region, Alaska Native, Energy, Wind Farm, ANCSA, Photo by Dave HarbourCome to Commonwealth North’s upcoming Forum, ANCSA Corps - An Economic Growth Engine for Alaska, with Margie Brown (NGP Photo). For more information or to register please visit our website at www.commonwealthnorth.org.
ANCSA Corps - An Economic Growth Engine for Alaska
Wednesday, November 7
12-1pm, Dena'ina Center
Click here to Register
Upcoming Meeting Schedule and Speakers
Friday, November 9 – Larry Persily, Federal Coordinator, Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects (NGP Photo, below L)
Friday, December 7 - John Barnes, Senior Vice President, Exploration & Production, Hilcorp 
Alaska, LLCFriday, December 14 – John Hendrix, General Manager, Apache Alaska Corporation  (NGP Photo, below R)



05 November 2012 2:09am

Calgary Herald.  Mexican authorities have awarded TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) another natural gas pipeline contract.  The Calgary-based company said Monday that it will invest about US$400 million in a 413-kilometre pipeline between El Oro and Mazatlan, near Mexico's west coast.

Thoughts on Alaska Oil and Gas, by Brad Keithley.  Rare unanimity of opinion: Vote No on Bonding Proposition A | "Think about it. When have the editorial pages of the Anchorage Daily News and the Anchorage Daily Planet, not to mention Dermot Cole and the Anchorage Daily Planet, ever agreed on anything. The fact that they have on this issue is meaningful. The Fairbanks News Miner seals the deal. Vote No on Bonding Proposition A.

Alan Bailey (NGP Photo) of Petroleum News provided a thorough summary of the current Colleen Starring, Cook Inlet Storage, Enstar Natural Gas, Alaska, AGIA, ACES, RCA, CINGSA, Photo by Dave HarbourSouthcentral Alaska gas Alan Bailey, Petroleum News, Southcentral Alaska gas supply, Cook Inlet Gas, Alaska, Bakkan, ACES, AGIA, Photo by Dave Harboursupply outlook--and the outlook is daunting.  We predicted this situation in 2006 while there was a wonderful window of opportunity for securing all necessary firm gas supplies through 2016.  

As to the current status, Bailey quotes a number of experts in his article, including Enstar's Colleen Starring (NGO Photo).  -dh

Enstar Natural Gas Co., the main Southcentral gas utility, now depends on CINGSA gas to meet its winter needs. Colleen Starring, president of Enstar, told the commission that with 91 million cubic feet per day of deliverability contracted with CINGSA, on top of the some 248 million cubic feet per day under contract with gas producers, Enstar anticipates having sufficient gas to meet demand during the coldest weather in the coming winter.  

 “With the addition of CINGSA … we’ll be able to meet all of the requirements,” Starring said.

But with a gas supply contract with Marathon ending on Dec. 31 and the guaranteed volume of supplies from a contract with Hilcorp lowering at the same time, Enstar is short of gas under contract in 2013.
“So in 2013 we’re about 4.5 to 5 billion cubic feet short of our overall volumetric requirements of right around 34.2 (bcf) … and then that gap continues to grow,” Starring said. “We have been in perpetual negotiation with any and all comers to replace that gas.”   (Read more)



04 November 2012 2:07am


The second annual Strategic and Critical Minerals Summit is scheduled for Friday, November 30 at the Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge. Similar to last year, the summit will be a day-long event with an evening reception at the Museum of the North. Registration will be available next week, and a flyer is available at: http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/priorities/2012_mineralsummitflyer.pdf 



03 November 2012 12:48pm

For our Oil & Gas Journal subscribers: 

ALASKA IN-STATE PIPELINE—1: STUDY CONFIRMS FEASIBILITY OF IN-STATE ALASKAN GAS PIPELINE ...   Zhenhua Rui Independent Project Analysis Inc. USA Ashburn, Va. Construction of an Alaska in-state natural gas pipeline is feasible at any of three flow rate scenarios: 500 MMcfd, 750 MMcfd, and 1,000 MMcfd. Selection of a particular rate depends on specific conditions and perspectives, but the results of the study underlying this article show that building an Alaska in-state gas pipeline is reasonable for all three, assuming a 30-year operating life. This first in a two-part series of articles examines the factors influencing construction of an Alaskan in-state gas pipeline and the form such a project might eventually take. The second part will assess capital costs before discussing the m...




11-2-12 - Alaska Economist Publishes Trans Alaska Pipeline Property Tax Analysis: "Double Taxation"

02 November 2012 6:29am

Roger Marks, Journal of Legal Issues and Cases in Business, Alaska economist, Trans Alaska Pipeline, Ad Valorem Tax, property tax, cost approach, income approach, straight-line depreciation, Photo by Dave Harbour

Calgary Herald by Kelly Cryderman.  The public is still in the dark when it comes to the progress made and dollars spent on Alberta’s homegrown strategy to curb greenhouse gas emissions....

Alaska is engaging in double taxation of the Trans Alaska Pipeline (TAPS) via a property tax that causes assets to be depreciated more than once.  In an analysis now appearing in the Journal of Legal Issues and Cases in Business, well known Alaska Economist Roger Marks (NGP Photo) noted that the current TAPS property tax burden results from a 2005 change in assessment methodology from an income to a cost approach.  The cost approach produces a calculation of TAPS value based on "replacement cost"....(Read the analysis.)  -dh

Alaska Dispatch by Suzanna Caldwell.  Despite reports that Cook Inlet may be awash in natural gas, leading to a surge of interest by smaller oil-and-gas companies, utilities are now looking elsewhere to ensure supply meets Southcentral Alaska’s growing demand in the Cathy Giessel, Peninsula Clarion, Opinion, Alaska State Senate, Photo by Dave Harbourface of aging fields whose output has dwindled precipitously. As a result, the state with the biggest supply of natural gas of any in the union will, within two years, find itself importing the very quantity of gas it has for decades intended to ship overseas or to the Lower 48 to secure its economic future.

Peninsula Clarion Op-Ed by Cathy Giessel (NGP Photo).  We urge our readers to review this Commentary by a person we regard as one of the most exceptional individuals to have ever served in the Alaska State Senate.  -dh

House Speaker Mike Chenault & Senator Cathy Giessel
Alaska State Legislature
"2012 Election Wrap-Up"
When: Thursday, November 8th
Doors open at 6 a.m., program at 7 a.m.
$20 per person
Where: Petroleum Club, 3301 C Street

Colleen Starring, Cook Inlet Storage, Enstar Natural Gas, Alaska, AGIA, ACES, RCA, CINGSA, Photo by Dave HarbourCommonwealth North's (CWN) Energy Action Coalition will meet Today in Anchorage with Colleen Starring (NG Photo), President, ENSTAR, who will speak about the CINGSA project status and the benefits to the utility customers that will be realized this winter.  The goal of this group is to continue discussion on CWN's most recent energy reports Energy for a Sustainable Alaska: The Railbelt Predicament Josh Wilson, CWN, Commonwealth North, Energy, Photo by Dave Harbour, Enstar Natural Gas, Colleen Starring&The Rural Conundrum and highlight and identify challenges and opportunities in Alaska's energy environment in order to bring informed Alaskans to the table and come to solutions that will benefit all Alaskans and ensure these complex energy issues are understood. If you would like to be added to this distribution list please contact Joshua Wilson (NGP Photo) at:

Commentary: Yesterday, you read here first the combined position on the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska issued by the North Slope Borough (NSB) and the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation.  We mention it again today, adding our appreciation to NSB Mayor's Special Assistant David (DJ) Fauske (NGP Photo).  We are confident that the statement is not only the most concise, balanced and decisive energy policy comment from Arctic leaders in recent decades, but that it is also a courageous act of leadership benefitting NSB residents and all Alaska citizens.   -dh