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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.




23 April 2014 6:49am

TODAY: Commonwealth North Series Discussion on Alaska's Investment in a Natural Gas Pipeline, noon, in Anchorage.  Register here.

BP, Nana, Kara Dunphy, Fred Elvsaas, Big Lake, module, prudhoe bayIn our continuing effort to document the effect of oil industry investment on the Alaska economy, we provide this information and link from the Prudhoe Bay Gathering Center 2 module, under construction at the NANA Development Corp Big Lake facility; we thank Dawn Patience of BP Alaska for this information.  (Photo left, BP Lead Project Engineer Kara Dunphy and Nana Development Project Manager Fred Elvsaas, son of an old friend from Seldovia, Ak.)  -dh

BP Welder, Dustin Cook, Big Lake, GC2 Module, NANA, Prudhoe Bay, Northern Gas Pipelines Website, Photo Courtesy of Dawn Patience, BP AlaskaPrudhoe Bay GC2 Module: $13.5 million GC2 truckable module, is a debottlenecking module that will improve the gas handling capability of an existing low pressure separator module at Gathering Center 2, which will add about 2,000 bopd (Photo: Welder Dustin Cook working on GCw Module). This is the first fundamental step for increasing capacity of GC2 and a necessary step before additional development can take place. The module, a pressure safety valve (PSV) relief system, is under construction at the NANA Big Lake facility will ship to the Slope in April for installation during summer turnarounds. BP continues to look for opportunities to optimize production through improving operations efficiencies, and planned maintenance. BP’s debottlenecking projects fall into three categories: debottlenecking process fluid changes (like this module), pipeline work, and secondary recovery through improved water management.

Workforce: Construction started in the fall of 2013, employing 79 people, and six subcontractors at the NANA Development Corp. Big Lake facility.
Location: NANA Construction Services
2053 S Mlakar Cir, Big Lake, AK 99652
(907) 892-3389, Fred Elvsaas Project manager

Sean Parnell, Governor, Alaska, Gas Pipeline, Photo by Dave Harbour, AGDCUPI.  Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) said the passage of a bill making the state a partner with the private sector on a gas pipeline was an "historic moment" for the state.  

Natural Gas Intelligence by Joe Fisher.  Alaska lawmakers on Sunday gave their OK for the state to take a 25% ownership interest in a pipeline and liquefied natural gas liquefaction and export project that would commercialize the state's long-stranded North Slope natural gas reserves.

U.S. Energy Information Administration: Annual Energy Outlook 2014, Issues in Focus.  "Implications of lower natural gas prices on industrial production".  This article discusses the projected effect on industrial output under alternative cases using assumptions of higher or lower global oil prices or higher and lower estimates of technically recoverable crude oil and natural gas resources than those in the Reference case. The analysis reviews broader economic impacts of energy price changes, such as trade, and the resulting industry effects.

Energy In Depth, News Roundup.  

Hydrocarbons have made the earth cleaner, not dirtier. Daily Caller. “The inconvenient truth for environmentalists who oppose oil and gas is that, thanks to hydraulic fracturing, U.S. carbon emissions are at their lowest level in 20 years,” Steve Everley, spokesman for Energy In Depth, told TheDCNF. “You cannot credibly argue that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the single greatest challenge facing humankind, and then turn around and oppose the technologies that are actually reducing those emissions.”
Morning Energy. Politico Pro. Energy In Depth has a video out highlighting how the gas boom helps lower U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Check it out here: http://bit.ly/1gObDQm.
The oil and gas industry is just like slavery, didn't you know? Washington Examiner. An anti-fracking activist and former Environmental Protection Agency “whistleblower” compared the fossil fuel industry to slavery during a debate Monday at Colorado Christian University. NOTE: EID’s Simon Lomax was also at this debate. “When the claims of environmental lobby groups are contradicted over and over and over again by authoritative sources from outside of the oil and gas industry,” Lomax said, “it tells you this debate is being driven by political ideology, not the facts.” NOTE: The Daily Caller, The Blaze, and Colorado Peak Politics also report.  
'Shale-abration' coming soon to Guernsey County. Daily Jeffersonian. In addition to OOGEEP, Energy in Depth Ohio, Ohio Oil & Gas Association and the Southeastern Ohio Oil and Gas Association will be there to help celebrate and explain oil and gas development and dispel myths and rumors. Exhibitors will be on hand with informational handouts and company representatives to answer your questions.
U.S. CO2 Emissions at Lowest Level in 20 Years, Thanks to Shale. CNS News. Something to celebrate this Earth Day: carbon dioxide emissions in the United States are at their lowest level in twenty years, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) credits shale development and hydraulic fracturing technologies with this positive development.
Shale will be top revenue driver for oil field services in 2014. Houston Chronicle/Fuel Fix. Oil and natural gas locked in U.S. shale rock will account for most of the revenue flowing to more than half of oil field services firms and 40 percent of independent producers this year, a global survey found this week.
Union Support for Hydraulic Fracturing Enrages Foes. Associated Press. That vocal support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by environmentalists to limit the drilling process. “The shale became a lifesaver and a lifeline for a lot of working families,” said Dennis Martire, the mid-Atlantic regional manager for the Laborers’ International Union, or LIUNA, which represents workers in numerous construction trades.
Temporary Housing Camps Gain Ground. Wall Street Journal. Target Logistics, a Boston-based builder and operator of dormitory-style housing, recently landed a nearly $30 million contract to provide lodging for hundreds of oil-field workers in North Dakota over the next three years.
Energy stocks hit 52-week highs as boom rolls on. CNBC. The domestic oil boom has been well-chronicled—just last week, the Energy Information Administration said the Gulf Coast churned out a record 207.2 million barrels of oil—but the halo effect on related sectors is just being felt.
Next disruptive shale technology will improve recoveries. Platts. Technologies that will increase the low rate of ultimate recoveries in shale plays are the next disruptive forces in US oil and gas production, experts said Tuesday in Washington.


US energy chief on Ukraine: Don't count out its resources, US know-how. Christian Science Monitor. The Ukraine crisis presents the country with an opportunity to boost its domestic energy production with the help of American expertise, says US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, in a Monitor interview. US experts will support Ukraine natural gas production and energy efficiency as part of a crisis support package announced Tuesday.
Ukraine’s Unpaid Gas Bills Dwarf U.S. Aid Offer. Bloomberg. Ukraine’s best hope for keeping furnaces and factories running through next winter is to store as much natural gas as it can after a U.S. aid pledge fell far short of the nation’s needs.
UK Pushing G7 for Shale to Loosen Russia Energy Grip. International Business Times. The British government is going to use the G7 meeting in May to urge ministers to focus on diversifying domestic energy networks, such as through shale gas and nuclear power, to pry away Russia's grip on supplies.
Global Shale Market to Boost to 17,201.6 Billion Cubic Feet by 2019 – Study. RiaNovosti. The global shale gas market is expected to reach 17,201.6 billion cubic feet in 2019, showed a report by Transparency Market Research. The global production of shale gas will go from 10,138.2 billion cubic feet in 2012 to 17,201.6 billion cubic feet by 2019, growing 7,9 percent, the report said.


Mark Zoback: We need good science, good engineering, good regulations. Los Angeles Times, Q&A. Mark Zoback — Stanford geophysicist since 1984, member of the National Academy of Engineering's Deepwater Horizon investigation committee, personal "decarbonizer," hydraulic fracturing expert — sees the problems and the potential for California. Zoback's bumper sticker might read something like this: "Fracking — Do it, but do it right."
Oil and gas industry generates thousands of jobs in California, report finds. Los Angeles Times. The oil and gas industry creates about 49,000 jobs in Los Angeles County and billions of tax revenue in California. That's according to a new report conducted by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. and commissioned by the trade group Western States Petroleum Association.
San Benito activists try to put HF bans on Nov. ballot. KSBW News. San Benito County residents opposed to hydraulic fracturing are trying to place a ban on any kind of oil and natural gas extraction on the November ballot.


Sovereign to sue Broomfield over HF ban. Colorado Daily. Oil and gas company Sovereign plans to sue Broomfield to bypass the city's controversial, voter-approved ban on hydraulic fracturing. Sovereign planned in 2013 to drill new wells in Broomfield but was not able to because voters in November narrowly approved a ban on HF.
Hydraulic fracturing ban could be on the Ballot. KKCO News. Hydraulic fracturing in Colorado has been an ongoing debate for several years but after Longmont passed a ban on HF the debate has heated up once again. This time voters could see a proposal for a Statewide ban on the November ballot.
Shale firms boosted by trespass law change report. Proactive Investors. Shares in UK shale gas explorers rose today as the government indicated the Queen’s Speech would include changes to the trespass law to make exploration easier. According to the BBC, shale firms will be able to drill horizontally without the need for landowner approval, though they will still need to get planning permission while landowners will also get compensation.


Most Americans don't know where their oil comes from, Vox reports. Times-Picayune. Vox reports that most Americans have a skewed perception of where the country's oil imports actually come from. Louisiana is seeing the results of the boom firsthand, with increased oil and gas activity offshore in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico as well as more than $62 billion in planned industrial investments prompted by historic lows in natural gas prices.
LSU professors explain, research hydraulic fracturing. Eyewitness News. Community members in St. Tammany Parish have started an online petition against a proposed drilling project, and several leaders are making moves to publicly object the drilling work, but many are still curious about the process, as well as its risk and benefits.


Dayton says he can’t impose frac sand moratorium. Associated Press. Gov. Mark Dayton says he lacks authority to impose a two-year moratorium on silica sand mining in southeastern Minnesota. Mining opponents delivered a moratorium petition to St. Paul Tuesday as part of an Earth Day rally at the Capitol.

Upstream, oilfield services firms have growing revenue in shale. Pittsburgh Business Times. Shale-related business is becoming an increasingly larger portion of revenue for oilfield services and upstream companies, according to a survey released Monday.
Noble Energy yearlong management transition begins Tuesday. Pittsburgh Business Times. Noble Energy Inc., one of the biggest players in the Marcellus Shale, will start its yearlong management transition beginning Tuesday. That's the day that David L. Stover, Noble's president and chief operating officer, will be elected to the board of directors following Noble's annual meeting.
Opponents of Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project to hold organizational meeting. Lebanon Daily News. Landowners and environmentalists in Lebanon County are organizing to oppose construction of a pipeline that would transport Marcellus Shale gas from the county's northern end to its southern border and beyond.
New York municipalities call for extended moratorium. Albany Business Review. Representatives from Elected Officials to Protect New York, a group of more than 800 local elected officials from across the state, spoke out Tuesday in favor of extending the state's moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing.
Group seeks candidates’ pledge for moratorium. Times-Leader. While many legislators and candidates have said Pennsylvania needs more rules and taxes on natural gas production, environmentalists believe the potential harm associated with extracting natural gas requires a moratorium take place until they are sure it can be done safely.
Hydraulic fracturing fight dominates Earth Day in Albany. Capital New York. Despite a long moratorium, hydraulic fracturing was the dominant topic on Earth Day at the state Capitol, with both sides of the debate citing the environmental holiday. A group of elected officials from around the state held a press conference to highlight the growing number of municipal bans.
Bill to prevent Conn. from taking wastewater should be passed. Daily Campus, Editorial. While Connecticut doesn’t have any shale deposits suitable for natural gas drilling, there is a possibility that the state could house the waste from hydraulic fracturing. We have three companies with plants capable of processing HF waste in Connecticut. Hopefully, the legislature will pass the bill and prevent waste from becoming an issue in our state.

Analysis: Higher Ohio Severance Tax Wouldn’t Slow Producers. Natural Gas Intelligence. An analysis conducted by Ernst & Young LLP (EY) on behalf of a trade group representing top executives from Ohio's leading businesses has concluded that a proposed severance tax increase would leave its effective rate the lowest among the nation's leading oil and gas producing states.
Local Vendors Benefiting From Drilling Boom. Wheeling Intelligencer. Eagle Manufacturing soon will hire about 25 additional employees as it prepares to roll out a new spill containment system for oil and gas drilling rig sites, according to its CEO, Joe Eddy.
Salem prepares drilling measure. Salem Morning Journal News. An ordinance to create a monitoring program related to any drilling and disposal of oil and gas wastes in the city is being forwarded to city council. The Rules and Ordinance Committee chaired by Councilwoman Cyndi Baronzzi Dickey voted 3-0 Tuesday to recommend the proposed ordinance for council's consideration, pending a review by Law Director Brooke Zellers.
Youngstown voters must not jump on anti-HF wagon. Youngstown Vindicator. Nothing has changed on the legal front from last year when proponents of the anti-HF amendment to the Youngstown Home Rule Charter twice failed to win voter approval. And yet, the misnamed Community Bill of Rights is back on the ballot in Youngstown in the May primary.

Hydraulic fracturing fracas. Oklahoma Gazette, Op-Ed. No one can deny the historical and economic importance of the oil and gas industry in Oklahoma. It has created jobs. It has paid taxes that have funded schools and road projects. It has helped fuel the growth of both Tulsa and Oklahoma City. But that doesn’t mean its success doesn’t have a recent growing downside or that Oklahomans should ignore it.


Texas expected to out produce all but one of the OPEC nations this year. San Antonio Business Journal. Benefiting from the booming Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin, Texas likely will best the oil output of every OPEC country but Saudi Arabia by year-end, says a top exploration official at ConocoPhillips, a key acreage holder in both of those oil-and-gas formations. NOTE: The Houston Chronicle also reports.
Eagle Ford touted as ‘greatest energy success story’. Houston Chronicle/Fuel Fix. The Eagle Ford Shale has the greatest potential of all U.S. shale fields — and could help Texas become the world’s second-largest producer of oil, behind Saudi Arabia, according to one of Tuesday’s speakers at the Eagle Ford Consortium conference here.
Magnum Hunter exits Canada to focus on Marcellus, Utica shale plays. Houston Business Journal. Houston-based Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. (NYSE: MHR) will sell the last of its Canadian assets for about $67.5 million to focus on the Marcellus and Utica shale plays in West Virginia and Ohio.
ConocoPhillips cuts truck traffic on Eagle Ford roads. San Antonio Business Journal. ConocoPhillips — one of the largest acreage holders in the Eagle Ford Shale — has slashed by 40 percent the share of oil it ships out of the booming petroleum play via truck, according to a top official.
Annual conference aims to tackle Eagle Ford Shale challenges. KSAT. The third-annual Eagle Ford Consortium continued Tuesday with state and local officials meeting with leaders in the oil and gas industry. Among the topics of discussion were the challenges facing rural communities impacted by the economic growth of the Eagle Ford Shale.
Nuns take on Chevron over drilling concerns. Houston Business Journal. An order of Catholic nuns and other shareholders are calling Chevron Corp. and others to task for their potentially harmful use of hydraulic fracturing and an alleged lack of transparency.
Jury Awards Texas Family $2.9M For Nuisance Claim. Law 360. A Texas jury on Tuesday awarded $2.925 million to a family who alleged they suffered problems because of natural gas wells drilled in the Barnett Shale by Aruba Petroleum Inc. on neighboring property, finding Aruba intentionally created a private nuisance.


4-22-14 Deadline TODAY For NPR Project Comment - Dan Fauske Briefs Sitka Chamber On Alaska Gas Project

22 April 2014 9:26am

BP agrees to sale of interests in four Alaska North Slope assets

Calgary Herald by Dan Healing.  Oilsands company reports 13,400 barrels per day in Q1.  Calgary Herald by Deborah Yedlin.  Will there ever be an end to the largely uninformed commentary and analysis about the oilsands and the evils of the Keystone XL pipeline? ... former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, ..., sent Barack Obama a letter urging rejection of the project.

See comment of one of our readers, submitted today!

Today is the last day to show support for ConocoPhillips' Moose's Tooth draft, supplemental environmental impact statement regarding Unit 1 (GMT1) oil and gas development project in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A).  Please take a moment to comment TODAY before COB.  Thanks to the Resource Development Council for Alaska, here's how....  (Photo with apologies to the book and, in recompense, this link.  -dh)

Register now, before it's too late, for the May 29, 2014 Alaska Oil & Gas Association Annual Luncheon featuring Jack Gerard, President and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute.

APRN by Robert Woolsey.  ("Gas will never replace oil, from a revenue viewpoint.")

Alaska Dispatch by Suzanna Cauldwell.  

The natural gas of Cook Inlet does a lot for the hundreds of thousands of Alaskans who live in Southcentral. 

Dan Fauske, ASAP, Alaska gas pipeline, AGIA, In State Gas Pipeline, AGDC, Photo by Dave Harbour

With an oversupply of natural gas in the country, Alaska is exploring the construction of a relatively small, low-pressure gasline within the state’s borders – while still holding out hope for a much larger project should prices improve.

Dan Fauske (NGP Photo) is the president of the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation – or AGDC. He spoke to Sitka’s Chamber of Commerce last week about when and where Alaskans may see gas.  (More here, including audio....)

Pedro van Meurs, oil and gas tax, world fiscal systems for unconventional oil & gas, nassau, van meurs corporation, Photo by Dave HarbourOur friend, Pedro van Meurs (NGP Photo-L, with author), reminds us that the course, "World Fiscal Systems for Unconventional Oil & Gas" is still accepting registrations for the June program.  

"The course", van Meurs says, "will deal with International and North American fiscal systems for shale oil and shale gas, coal bed methane, oil shales and oil sands." 

We understand that the software used during the course simulates the economics of the unconventional systems of Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada (various provinces), China, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Turkey,  UK and the United States (various states). Participants will be able to keep this advanced software.  (Here is the detailed agenda.)  

Mary Ann Pease, MAP consulting, Mooses Tooth, Photo by Dave HarbourComment of reader, Mary Ann Pease (NGP Photo), in support of Moose's Tooth Development:

Dear Ms. Psarianos,

I am writing to you today in support of the Proposed Greater Mooses Tooth Oil and Gas Development - Alternative A in NPR-A!

This project brings long term Economic Benefits for Alaskans.  Alaska and this nation needs an increase in production (Peak production from GMT1 is estimated at 30,000 BOPD), which would help offset our declining North Slope production.

As with many sustainable economic development opportunities- Development would provide benefits to local, state, and national economies through jobs creation during construction and operations, tax revenues, royalties, and new US sourced resources to help meet U.S. domestic energy demand.

I also support from environmental safety perspective (as proposed in Alternative A, GMT1), the gravel road connection to the main Alpine facilities. The road is necessary to ensure that the operator can respond to any environmental and safety issues in an adequate and timely manner.

It is also relevant to note that Environmental /Subsistence Issues are minimized with a road.

Finally, the time for action is now! This Project Was Previously Approved! We do not need any more delayed actions by the Federal Government to adversely impact economic development opportunities to Alaska.

Mary Ann Pease, Owner, MAP Consulting

Help from RDC on how to comment before the deadline TODAY:

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held public hearings in March to gather comments on the proposed Greater Mooses Tooth Unit 1 (GMT1) oil and gas development project in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A). Hearings were held in Anchorage, Fairbanks and in the NPRA villages.

The BLM released a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) for the proposed project last month, launching a public comment period, which ends on Tuesday, April 22. In July 2013, ConocoPhillips, Alaska, Inc. (CPAI) submitted an application to construct a drill site, pipelines, road and other facilities to support development of petroleum resources within the Greater Mooses Tooth (GMT) Unit. 

The project is approximately 14 miles west of the CPAI-operated Alpine field. The GMT1 drill site would be operated and maintained by Alpine staff and supported by existing Alpine infrastructure. The project would include construction of an 11.8-acre drill pad, an 8-mile access road, above-ground elevated pipelines, and an electric power line connecting the GMT1 drill pad to CPAI’s CD-5 drill pad currently under development. The GMT1 pad would have a capacity for up to 33 production wells, including several injection wells, and be located on a federal oil and gas lease previously issued by BLM.

The project proposes to access federal oil and gas resources, as well as resources owned by the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and Kuukpik Corporation. The proposed development was originally analyzed in the BLM’s 2004 Alpine Satellite Development Plan (ASDP) (then referred to as CD6), and is also subject to the 2012 NPR-A Integrated Activity Plan (IAP).

The BLM has prepared a draft supplement to the ASDP to evaluate any relevant new circumstances and information which have arisen since 2004. The draft plan is available on the BLM website at http://www.blm.gov/ak/GMTU1.

RDC has submitted comments in support of Alternative A, view full letter at http://www.akrdc.org/alerts/2014/gmtnpracomments.html

Action Requested:

RDC members are encouraged to submit written comments by April 22nd.  Public comments can be submitted by any of the following methods:

Email: gmt1comments@slrconsulting.com  

Fax:    (907) 271- 3933
Mail:   GMT1 Draft SEIS Comments, Attn.: Bridget Psarianos, 222 West 7th Avenue, Stop #13, Anchorage, Alaska 99513.

Points to consider in your comments:

Economic Benefits:

  • Peak production from GMT1 is estimated at 30,000 barrels of oil per day and would help offset declining North Slope production.
  • Development would provide benefits to local, state, and national economies through local hire for jobs created during construction and operations, tax revenues, royalties, and new resources to help meet U.S. domestic energy demand.
  • Development will also provide significant economic benefit to Alaska Natives on the North Slope as well as throughout the state through direct payment of royalties and revenue sharing among the Alaska Native Regional Corporations.

 Alternative A is the Preferred Alternative

Road Needed for Emergency Spill and Safety Response

  • As proposed in Alternative A, GMT1 will include a gravel road connection to the main Alpine facilities. The road is necessary to insure that the operator can respond to any environmental and safety issues in an adequate and timely manner. Alternative D, the aircraft and ice road access alternative, would not allow adequate access (on bad weather days, there would be no access) to emergency response resources and creates significant environmental and safety risk.

Environmental/Subsistence Issues are minimized with a road

  • CPAI’s proposed project, Alternative A, has been modified to reduce environmental impacts and lower the overall footprint. In support of subsistence resources and access, the proposed project drill site location was moved out of the Fish Creek buffer to provide additional protection to this area.  Road access will avoid the need for air traffic to the drill site, which is the number one complaint of subsistence hunters.  Additionally, the project will be subject to various lease stipulations and the new Best Management Practices Adopted by BLM in 2013.
  • The overall gravel footprint of Alternative A is the smallest of all the options. Alternative D has a larger gravel footprint than Alternative A because of the need to construct an airstrip and a larger gravel pad to accommodate more production equipment and a camp.
  • Alternative A has the lowest estimated emissions because it requires the least amount of new infrastructure and eliminates the need for airplane support.

This Project Was Previously Approved

  • The currently proposed GMT1 project (formerly CD6) is essentially the same as that approved for permitting in the 2004 ASDP Record of Decision.
  • A review of new data and information shows there are no appreciable changes in the physical, biological, or social resources associated with the project study area. New data includes multi-year studies on hydrology, birds, and caribou.

 Comment Deadline: Tuesday, April 22, 2014


1-25-14 Parnell Introduces Gasline Legislation

25 January 2014 6:08am

ADN.  Gov. Sean Parnell on Friday introduced legislation to move ahead on his proposal to make the state a financial partner with Alaska's oil producers and pipeline company TransCanada in a liquefied natural gas project.

The state already has signed commercial agreements with the industry players, and Senate Bill 138 aims to put that framework into law.

The 49-page measure calls for a new subsidiary of the public Alaska Gasline Development Corporation to own shares in an LNG plant and marine terminal proposed for Nikiski where the liquefied gas would be shipped out on tankers to Asia. But the state may not end up owning a piece of the pipeline itself.



1-24-14 - Governor Parnell's State of the State Speech

24 January 2014 6:03am

Petroleum News, by Kristen Nelson.  Alaska Legislature gaveled in Jan. 22. In Gov. Sean Parnell’s state of the state address Jan. 23, and the Democratic response which followed, gas pipeline issues were highlighted as significant for the session, and party lines on the issue appeared drawn.



18 January 2014 7:42pm

Oil & Gas Journal by Christopher Smith.  ExxonMobil Corp., BP

Christopher E. Smith

PLC, ConocoPhillips, TransCanada Corp., Alaska Gasline Development Corp. (AGDC), and Alaska’s commissioners of natural resources and revenue have signed a heads of agreement (HOA) for the Alaska LNG Project, laying the commercial framework for development of an 800-mile natural gas pipeline to transport production from the Alaska North Slope (ANS) to a 15-18 million tonne/year LNG plant on its south-central coast.


1-14-14 Meet Alaska Part II

14 January 2014 9:45am

Meet Alaska Part II

(Scroll Down For Part I.  Remember that we wish our archives to maintain the highest degree of accuracy.  Accordingly, we solicit reader responses: additions, corrections to anything included herein.)


Dave Harbour


Lisa Murkowski, Keystone XL, crude oil export ban, Obama, Photo by Dave HarbourU.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo) today sent a letter to President Obama urging him to lift the prohibition on exporting crude oil produced in the United States. Doing so, Murkowski wrote, will allow American producers to access global markets, which will boost production, protect jobs, and increase our energy security.

Murkowski called on President Obama to take a leadership role on lifting the export ban and offered her support in Congress.

“Your leadership will be critical to our success in this endeavor,” Murkowski wrote to the president. “In particular, I would draw your attention to the status of our nation’s hydrocarbon trade. While exports of our natural gas and petroleum products have grown, our work is far from finished, and our policies are, in some cases, far from adequate.

“Despite the obvious geopolitical, economic, and environmental benefits of building out our nation’s liquefaction capacity as soon as possible, the Department of Energy continues to slow-walk its approval of export licenses to our allies. The Keystone XL pipeline, which the State Department estimated would support over 42,000 jobs, remains unapproved even after years of delay. I once again urge you to take immediate action on these infrastructure projects, which you have generally promised to champion,” Murkowski continued.

The administration retains the authority to lift the ban on its own. The U.S. Commerce Department can authorize a swap if domestic crude cannot be marketed in the United States. The president can also issue a national interest determination.

“Lifting the prohibition on crude oil exports also presents us with a rare opportunity to work together in a bipartisan fashion to address this situation before it becomes a problem,” Murkowski wrote. “Together, we can send a strong signal to the world that the United States is ready to lead on energy, the environment, and trade. Lifting the ban will help create jobs, boost the economy, and keep our production at record levels.” 

The full text of Murkowski’s letter to the president is available on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee website. Murkowski sent similar letters to the State, Energy, and Commerce departments, and to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which can be found in the documents section under letters.

Murkowski, the energy panel’s top Republican, released a white paper on energy exports last week. The paper, A Signal to the World: Renovating the Architecture of U.S. Energy Exports, is available on the committee’s website, as is supporting analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. 

See our 1-7-14 Story (You read it here first!)

Sean Parnell, Governor, Alaska, SB 21, oil tax, production tax, severance tax, Alaska Support Industry Alliance, Photo by Dave HarbourYesterday we pretty much focused on various aspects of Governor Sean Parnell’s (NGP Photoannouncement at Friday’s Meet Alaska conference, that all major gas pipeline/LNG project parties had reached, “alignment”.

Today, we recognize the people represented at the Alaska Support Industry Alliance’s annual “Meet Alaska” event -- and what they said -- for the benefit of our thousands of Asian, Canadian and US readers who were not present.

ConocoPhillips' Exploration & Production Executive Vice President based much of his presentation on Alaska's competitive positioning in the world oil and gas market.

Matt Fox, ConocoPhillips, Alaska, SB 21, oil tax, production tax, severance tax, Alaska Support Industry Alliance, Photo by Dave HarbourMatt Fox (NGP Photo) told the audience that his company -- the largest oil & gas exploration company in the world -- would be spending most of its available capital on development and on major projects.  (See Fox's slide presentation here.)

While noting his company's interest and investment in the Eagle Ford, Bakken, Permian Basin and other prospective oil & gas areas of the world, Fox also reminded the audience that, "International LNG is a global commodity as well as oil."

He said that the shale phenomenon has provided the United States with a hundred years of supply on a very flat supply curve, "...stabilizing the price range for a long time to come."

While Russian and North Sea gas supply sets prices in Europe, a recent $16 Mcf price in Japan -- still exacerbated by the nuclear accident -- provides Alaska with a window of opportunity.

However, he said, "we have to make sure that we have confidence in Alaska's fiscal regime."

"Competition is incredible," he said, adding that Alaska's recent enactment of production tax reform (SB 21) was already stimulating more investment in the state.

"You have to go back quite a ways to find where we spent more money on Alaska North Slope (ANS) than now, following passage of SB 21."

*     *     *     

The Alliance also represents Alaskan mining support industries and National Mining Association president Hal Quinn (NGP Photo) addressed the state's competitive challenges.  

Quinn emphasized the importance of allowing oil, gas and mining industries to be free to export and engage in the world market, noting that coal not only provides the U.S. with 40% of its electrical supply but coal supplies 40% of world electric supplies as well".  

Maintaining a vibrant world market that supplies reliable energy is critical, he said, noting that India's labor force alone is projected to grow at a rate of 1 million/month.

Minerals provide 15% of America's Gross Domestic Product he said.  (We further observe that reasonably priced energy supplies are the foundation upon which other mineral exploration and development and manufacture is based.  -dh)

After Quinn criticized the EPA for exercising federal overreaching authority that could stop a lawful mining project before it has filed for a permit (See our earlier commentary), he also cautioned the audience about unjustified delays in the federal permitting process.  "No one should ever confuse the rigor of the permitting process with its length," he said.  (See Quinn's presentation here.)

Gina Dickerson, ExxonMobil, Point Thomson, Project Manager, Ice Road, Alaska North Slope, Photo by Dave HarbourExxonMobil's Gina Dickerson (NGP Photo) provided an encouraging update of activities aimed at accessing the ANS gas and gas liquids potential at Point Thomson.  

As project manager, Dickerson briefed the audience on the project's three wells (i.e. two for production and one for injection); the 17" pipeline to Badami facilities; the nearly $2 billion spent on the project to date, 70% of which has been spent in Alaska;  a 48 mile winter ice road to the Endicott's accessible facilities, and the dramatic 2-year progress toward completing an airstrip and support facilities.  (See Dickerson's presentation here.)


(Still in progress; more coming on Thursday....)

Today's Consumer Energy Alliance Clips:

90.5 WESA - NPR: Energy Alliance: Fracking Is Not a 'Four-Letter Word'.  An energy supply and consumption watchdog group is taking its fight against a proposed moratorium on shale drilling in Pennsylvania to the lawmakers sponsoring the bill and to their constituents.  The Consumer Energy Alliance sent a letter to State Sen. Jim Ferlo (D-Allegheny) asking him to pull the legislation from consideration.  SB 1100 was introduced in September and was referred to the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee where it has languished ever since. The bill calls for the state to stop issuing new drilling permits until a full assessment of the environmental, social and economic impacts of shale drilling can be completed.

Capital Soup: Consumer Energy Alliance-Florida Statement on Subcommittee Passage of Hydraulic Fracturing Legislation   The Florida House of Representatives’ House Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Agriculture today passed House Bills 71 and 157, sensible hydraulic fracturing legislation sponsored by Rep. Ray Rodrigues (R – Lee County). Upon passage of the legislation, Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) – Florida Executive Director Kevin Doyle issued the following statement: “Consumer Energy Alliance applauds both Representative Ray Rodrigues for sponsoring legislation that would lay the foundation for a transparent process for hydraulic fracturing in the State of Florida and the Florida House Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Agriculture for its passage today. As we continue to shift our energy reliance toward natural gas, Florida’s business community and consumers can be negatively impacted if we do not have the right policies in place to protect the benefits that our current energy situation is providing to our country.”

Consumer Energy Alliance’s The Energy Voice: Penn. State Senators asked to ‘Keep The Heat On This Winter’  It’s January.  It’s Cold. No surprise there, but why in the middle of the harsh winter months are Pennsylvania State Senators working to advance legislation to put a moratorium on shale gas development in Pennsylvania?  The bill is SB 1100 or the Statewide Natural Gas Drilling Moratorium Act.  If made into law, Pennsylvania’s bustling shale gas economy would come to a halt. Who would be affected? In total 2.6 million people

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