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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.

 

Alaska Taxes

6-9-14 Young Republicans Sponsor Nonpartisan Oil Tax Forum

19 June 2014 6:20am

Calgary Herald by Stephen Ewart: Two pipelines, two countries: A waiting game without end


Young Republicans Sponsor Open Meeting To Hear Experts Discuss Oil Tax Reform

Report and Commentary

(We remind our readers that since accuracy of our archives is of primary concern, we solicit factual additions/corrections and will quickly make necessary changes.  -dh)

by

Dave Harbour

Michelle Hart, Young Republicans, oil tax reform, SB 21, No On One, Photo by Dave HarbourLast night at Anchorage's Loussac Library, Young Republicans had assembled a VIP Panel to brief the general public on an oil tax reform issue scheduled for a vote on Alaska's upcoming primary election ballot (NGP Photo: Young Republican President Michelle Hart).

Panel members.... (Scroll down for more or click here.)


Murkowski Holds FERC's Bay at Bay

Washington, D.C.--U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, (NGP Photo), Lisa Murkowski, Norman Bay, FERC, Cheryl LaFleur, nomination, Senate, Photo by Dave Harbouryesterday voted against appointing Norman Bay to be the next chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Murkowski said Bay lacks the experience and the background in energy policy to lead the independent regulatory agency. 

“Bay’s responses to my questions on any number of important policy issues facing FERC did not provide the level of clarity needed to win my support,” Murkowski said. “Whether it’s where he stands on recusals, the cumulative impact of the EPA’s recent environmental regulations, or FERC’s current and future course his responses were not forthcoming or worse.”

It’s official: 1 million barrels a day. Williston Herald. North Dakota crude oil production officially surpassed the 1 million barrels per day milestone. North Dakota became the fifth state to hit the million barrel mark, according to the North Dakota Petroleum Council. Alaska, California, Louisiana and Texas have previously hit the mark.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday marked up the nominations of Bay and current FERC chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur, approving Bay 13-9 and LaFleur 21-1.

Murkowski has repeatedly voiced support for LaFleur’s nomination to a second term on the commission. She has also questioned why the president would demote LaFleur, the commission’s current chairwoman with more than 20 years of experience in the utility industry, to make Bay chairman.  

“I am not interested in the chairman of the FERC doing on-the-job training, particularly when we have a woman – the only woman on the commission – who has been at the helm as the acting chairwoman, and by all reports from both Democrats and Republicans alike, she’s been doing a good job. She has been fair. She has been balanced. She has the temperament that we need. She has the personal qualities of leadership that we look for. She has the experience.”


Young Republicans Sponsor Open Meeting To Hear Experts Discuss Oil Tax Reform

(More event photos here)

Report and Commentary

by

Dave Harbour

Michelle Hart, Young Republicans, oil tax reform, SB 21, No On One, Photo by Dave Harbour​​Last night at Anchorage's Loussac Library, Young Republicans had assembled a VIP Panel to brief the general public on an oil tax reform issue scheduled for a vote on Alaska's upcoming primary election ballot (NGP Photo: Young Republican President Michelle Hart).

Panel members included:

  • SB 21, oil tax reform, Doug Smith, Alaska Support Industry Alliance, Young Republicans, Andrew Halcro, Senator Cathy Giessel, Mayor Rick Mystrom, Dr Scott Goldsmith, ISER, Little Red Services, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Northern Gas Pipelines, Photo by Dave HarbourPanel moderator, Andrew Halcro​ (NGP Photo-Middle), Anchorage Chamber of Commerce President
  • Alaska State Senator Cathy Giessel (NGP Photo)​
  • Former Anchorage Mayor Rick Mystrom (NGP Photo-Middle-R)
  • Dr. Scott Goldsmith (NGP Photo-Middle-L)​, University of Alaska Anchorage Professor Emeritus of Economics
  • Doug Smith (NGP Photo-L)​, the President and CEO of Little Red Services, an oilfield support services company is a former President of the Alaska Support Industry Alliance.

Former Mayor Mystrom (NGP Photo) attracted and kept the audience's attention by first saying that he'd been following Alaskan issues for four decades and that, "this is the single most important issue I have seen in my Alaska life."

He said that if Alaskans vote to repeal their oil tax reform law (SB 21), oil production will continue declining.  While oil companies have too much invested in the state to just "walk away", he said that reverting to the higher tax burden would deflect investments to other oil producing states and countries.  

Dan Fauske, SB 21, AGDC, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, Photo by Dave HarbourMystrom quoted the President of the State-owned Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, Dan Fauske (NGP Photo), as saying that if SB 21 is repealed in August, "the Alaska gas pipeline is toast."

All of our knowledgeable sources concur with Fauske's assessment because returning to a predatory tax structure in a world awash in rising oil and gas production creates huge barriers to what is, potentially, the most expensive construction project in history (i.e. $40 - 60 billion).

Dr Scott Goldsmith, University of Alaska, ISER, oil taxes, ACES, Photo by Dave HarbourGoldsmith (NGP Photo) refuted claims of some critics that the new tax reform bill is a "$2 billion giveaway" to oil companies, pointing out that the state was in deficit mode before passage of SB 21.  If the long run is not taken into consideration, including enhanced employment, exploration and development arising from SB 21, one could only claim that the state is reaping $88 million less under SB 21 than under ACES.

Doug Smith, Little Red Services, SB 21, ASRC, Oil Tax Reform, Alaska Support Industry Alliance, Photo by Dave HarbourSmith pointed out that the decision to keep or repeal Alaska's year-old oil tax reform law is one of the biggest decisions in Alaska's history, "...and we need to get it right".  Using his own small business as an example, Smith said that work had dramatically increased following passage of SB 21 a year ago.  He said that his company was doing more work and producing more jobs than in his company's entire history.  

He said that new oil and gas field work has now risen to about twice the level (i.e. about 14 drilling rigs) than existed before passage of SB 21 (i.e. about 6 drilling rigs).

Smith also noted that due to increased Alaska North Slope work, the decline rate in oil production is at its lowest level in six years.

Cathy Giessel, SB 21, Tax Reform, Photo by Dave HarbourSenator Giessel (NGP Photo) addressed the argument of some that, "it's our oil" (NGP It's Our Oil, David Gottstein, Photo by Dave HarbourPhoto), resulting in a mindset to tax that commodity to the hilt.  

But when Alaska provides leases on oil producing tracts in return for cash bonus bids, for example, and lease holders find oil, the majority of the oil, she said, becomes "their oil" by virtue of lease agreements which only preserve about an eighth of the oil as a state royalty.  

Of course, Alaska then adds to the producer's burden an income tax (in addition to federal income tax), a property tax and a production tax--the latter one of which is the subject of SB 21 tax reform.

Giessel traced the history of recent oil tax laws, pointing out that with lower taxes come a higher number of drill rigs exploring for oil.  She compared the almost 30 rigs at work in Alaska today -- following tax reform -- with the dozen rigs operating in 2011.  

She said that according to a recent study by the McDowell Group, the oil industry was responsible for over 110 thousand direct and indirect jobs in the state (i.e. 33% of total jobs), along with over $6.4 billion in wages (i.e. 38% of total wages) and billions in royalties and taxes.

Sarah Palin, Governor, Alaska, ACES, AGIA, Photo by Dave HarbourACES (Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share) was the production tax law created by Governor Sarah Palin (NGP photo) and a bipartisan majority of the Legislature, in late 2006.  The tax increase was enormous and created hastily, in the wake of a scandal involving several legislators and an oil industry support company a decade ago.

SB 21 is the oil tax reform production tax bill at issue this summer, enacted last Spring after four years of committee hearings and debate on how to improve ACES.

Andrew Halcro, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, SB 21, Oil Tax Reform, ACES, Photo by Dave HarbourHalcro pointed out that, "under ACES, it just didn't make sense for companies to expand."  Expansion is the best way to produce oil, he said, not simply trimming expense.  He reminded the audience that when oil companies make more money in a state dependent on oil jobs and income, everyone does better.  He gave as an example, ExxonMobil, which is the single largest holding in the Alaska Permanent Fund.

Halcro also documented how the State Revenue Department overstated prospects for future oil production before the full, economic effects of ACES materialized into a disappointing and dangerous trend downward.  

During a question and answer period following the presentations, Smith said in response to the hurried way ACES was created, "We can't make decisions like ACES on emotion."  The crowd applauded.

Ralph Samuels, Alaska, ACES, Production Tax Law, Photo by Dave HarbourResponding to a question about why ACES passed in the first place, Halcro said it was a combination of lawmakers who didn't like oil companies and lawmakers who were afraid to vote against a popular governor (i.e. Palin).  He noted that Representative Ralph Samuels (NGP Photo) was a courageous exception to the rule," another comment resulting in applause.

Halcro also noted that ACES included tax and investment incentives for small companies.  But after two years and many millions in incentives had been dedicated to these companies, they told the state that though they could discover new commercial reserves, they could not afford to produce them under the tax burden imposed by ACES.  

Halcro added that since the passage of ACES in 2006, Alaska's spending has risen 50% but its income has dropped 30%.

Halcro pointed out that the state is home to some 6,000 non profit corporations.  (i.e. This is a higher per capita density of non governmental organizations (NGOs) than anywhere in the country if not the free world.)  As government grants decline, Halcro said, these NGOs become more dependent on business and individual giving.  As the saying goes, he said, "when the oil industry catches a cold, everyone else sneezes.

Earlier this year we editorialized on this issue and provided these statistics, concluding that, "We continue to be surprised at how few non profit organization leaders testify to the Legislature in support of oil companies, how few write letters to the editor.  Yes, Non profits are professional, profligate writers of corporate and foundation grant requests, but how many stand up to support oil company investment -- which directly and indirectly affects their own prosperity?

*     *     *

In another recent presentation, Dr. Goldsmith opined on various strategic alternatives for Alaska's economic future:

1. Natural Resource Development
2. Value Added Processing
3. Federal Spending
4. Infrastructure Investments
5. Renewable Energy
6. Footloose Industry
7. Other Economic Development Ideas
8. PETROLEUM
 
Of these, Goldsmith was quick to add that, he believed Strategy #8, "trumps the rest".

-30-

*   *   *

(See KTUU Television Video)


Additional Event Photo:

Young Republicans, College Republicans, Alaska, Photo by Dave HarbourYoung Republicans 

with 6-18-14 SB 21

Panel Members

Categories:

6-17-14 Alaska Is Dead Last In Gross Domestic Product Gain In 2013 - Obama Moves To Zone Oceans

17 June 2014 7:10am

Doc Hastings, Congressman, Ocean Zoning, Obama, Overreaching Executive Action, Photo by Dave HarbourToday, Congressman Doc Hastings (NGP Photo) said, "...the Obama Administration has threatened to impose ocean zoning to shut down our oceans, and today the President is making good on that threat." 

(We began updating readers on this threat of Executive Overreach years ago.  Scroll down to 'Current Event #4' , on this page.   Also see Washington Post News Alert which mentions involvement of White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, a leading player in the Enviro-Industrial-Governmental Cabal.  -dh)


Globe & Mail by Peter Tertzakian.  Rising instability may make $100-a-barrel oil seem cheap.


The one state out of 50 with real gross domestic product loss in 2013 was Alaska....  With declining oil production, and high governmental, climactic, geographic, marketing and logistical costs Alaskans are justified about being very concerned for the future of their children.  This is why voting to repeal oil tax reform in the August primary election is a vote for continuing economic decline.   The Department of Commerce is also documenting with this report that poor Federal natural resource policy in Alaska (i.e. and elsewhere) results in economic weakness.  -dh

US Department of Commerce.  Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in 49 states in 2013, according to new statistics released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).  (Our thanks to Dan Kish, Institute for Energy Research's SVP, for bringing this report to our readers' attention.  -dh)


Alaska Dispatch.  A group fighting to repeal Alaska’s new oil-Tony Knowles, No On 1, Alaska Governor, Oil taxes, ACES, Photo by Dave Harbourproduction tax cut publicly issued an apology on Monday days after a volunteer sent out a caustic statement that, among other things, accused former Gov. Tony Knowles (NGP Photo) of being a “paid shill” for the other side.

In fact, the group, Vote Yes! Repeal the Giveaway, has no evidence showing that Knowles is paid by the opposition and should have never have sent the email, said the group’s campaign manager, T.J. Presley.


From the Alaskanomic's Blog:

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 11:11 AM PDT

The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce commissioned a study on Cook Inlet Oil and Gas by Northern Economics. The report that resulted from this study was published this spring. For your convenience, we have included a link to the report in the Resources section of Alaskanomics. 

It should be no surprise that the Cook Inlet oil and gas industry is extremely important to Southcentral Alaska and the rest of the state. In Anchorage, 82 percent of homes are heated by natural gas. The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce has made energy security a top priority. In a recent survey, over 40 percent of members noted that energy was a concern and the biggest concern in relation to energy was the high price due to deficient supply.

The study finds that the impact of Cook Inlet oil and gas is significant. There is a $2.8 billion economic output from the industry in Cook Inlet. $350 million of this is in payroll with 1,300 direct jobs on the Kenai Peninsula. There is a $423 million benefit from using local, Cook Inlet Gas, rather than using other fuel sources. The total worth of Cook Inlet oil and gas is $4.7 billion. This is over 10 percent of the Alaska economy and with new investment pouring into the State; Cook Inlet appears to be rebounding.

The view the full report, please use this link.

Categories:

6-16-14 Brooks Range Petroleum's Alaska North Slope Progress!

16 June 2014 9:41am

Globe & Mail: The Harper government is set to announce a key decision on Enbridge Inc.’s politically charged Northern Gateway project.... (Shawn McCarthy)

Leader-Post: "...high capital costs of building liquefied natural gas plants on British Columbia’s coast...." (Derrick Penner)


Tim Bradner, GTL, Plan B, Plan A, Alaska North Slope, Gas Pipeline, Photo by Dave HarbourADN Commentary by Tim Bradner (NGP Photo):  "...the 'GTL' option may be another way to commercialize stranded gas on the North Slope."


Today's Consumer Energy Alliance News Links


Brooks Range Plans Mustang Development Production Within Two Years 

by

Dave Harbour

​Since accuracy of our archives has been our constant goal for over a decade, we invite factual additions/corrections to any of our reports or commentaries.  -dh

AAron Weddle, Commonwealth North, Mustang, Brooks Range Oil, Photo By Dave HarbourOur friend, Aaron Weddle (NGP Photo), of Commonwealth North (CWN) provided this audio link to last Friday's "Mustang Development Update", by Brooks Range Petroleum's COO, Bart Armfield.  Here is the slide pack that our readers can use to follow through the entire presentation.  Armfield was addressing CWN members and guests at the weekly Energy Action Coalition meeting in Anchorage. 

Common use of ConocoPhillips' infrastructure for Brooks Range development and Repsol exploration facilities, Armfield said, "...is a demonstration of super majors, mid majors and small independents having an infrastructure that is strategic to all...."  

It shows how the companies, in spite of their competitive natures, can work together, he said.  

It is, "...an acknowledgement that there is a need for cooperation and collaboration to allow everybody to achieve their independent goals."

Armfield began by stating his goal was to discuss only the short term plans of the company, primarily the Mustang development at the Southwest corner of the Kuparuk development area.  

He hinted that the company has in mind other large projects, to follow.

Jack Laasch, Canadian Gals, NSB, Mustang, Brooks Range, ARCO, Alaska Support Industry Alliance, Photo by Dave Harbour, Canadian Gala, Anchorage, Alaska(Note:  Armfield also introduced Jack Laasch {NGP Photo}, a longtime industry consultant, Alaska North Slope project veteran and member of the Alaska Support Industry Alliance who has assisted the company in developing the project.)

Armfield said the overall investment and project plan are based on internal and third party studies.

Development drilling will continue during fourth quarter, this year, followed by continuing design, engineering, fabrication and then, construction.  The company plans to install facilities at the end of 2015 with production beginning in early 2016, at initial production rates of 8-10 thousand Barrels of oil per day.

Mary Ann Pease, Commonwealth North, Oil Tax, Gas Pipeline, Alaska, Photo by Dave Harbour, MAPCommonwealth North Energy Committee Chairman, Mary Ann Pease (NGP Photo) asked Armfield to comment on the upcoming August referendum that will determine whether Alaska's recent oil tax reform bill will be repealed.  

Readers can listen to the dialogue here, but, in general, he opposed passage of Proposition 1, the repeal referendum.  He also noted that the issue affected different explorers and producers differently.

"When you are in a loss position, it means one thing.  When you in a revenue position and a growth mode it means a totally different position," he said.

Company and third party engineering reports, including one by former Arco executive, Dr. David Hite, verify proven gross oil reserves of over 24 million barrels, with much larger probable and possible estimates of oil in place.

The Mustang development cost will rise to nearly $700 million by the 2016 start up date, including a $70 million facilities investment by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) in addition to general facility financing and investment by Working Interest Owners.

Mustang project modules will be constructed in Anchorage and moved up the haul road to the North Slope.

Readers interested in a more granular timeline of budgets, local employment and investment targets will find them in the PowerPoint presentation.


TODAY'S Energy In Depth Headlines:

  • EID-Michigan: Survey: Support for HF highest in communities where development occurs (6/14)

NATIONAL

HF can help curb emissions. Asheville Citizen-Times, EID’s Steve Everley. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently concluded that the “rapid deployment of hydraulic fracturing” — and the subsequent increase in natural gas supplies — “is an important reason for a reduction of GHG emissions in the United States.”
 
David Blackmon, Energy In Depth, Consumer Energy Alliance, El Paso Natural Gas, hydraulic Fracturing, Photo by Dave Harbour, Gas ImportsThe Weekly Oil & Gas Follies. Forbes, EID’s David Blackmon (NGP Photo). The facts are easy to summarize. Thanks to a rapid expansion of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the United States in 2009 again became the world’s top producer of natural gas. Gas imports (mainly by pipelines from Canada) peaked as recently as 2007 at nearly 20 percent of the total supply; in 2013 they were just 11 percent.
 
Survey: “Gasland” ranks dead-last in list of credible info sources on HF. E&E News. In terms of where Marcellus residents were obtaining their information about hydraulic fracturing, newspapers scored the highest in the survey. "Gasland" scored last as a source of information on hydraulic fracturing for those living in counties hosting Marcellus Shale activity.
 
US petroleum production hits 44-year high. Financial Times. The US is already the world’s largest producer of oil and gas, taken together, and is one of the top three in terms of oil alone, alongside Russia and Saudi Arabia. The US boom is in sharp contrast to oil production elsewhere in the world, which is constrained by decline in mature areas such as the North Sea and political and security issues in countries such as Iraq and Syria.  (Click below for more....)

Categories:

6-10-14 Alaska Natives Support Oil Tax Reform

10 June 2014 10:13am

2:24 PM, ADT: You Read It Here First.  From Julie Hasquet BP, UAS, Prudhoe Bay, FAA, Julie Hasquet, BP Photoat BP comes this breaking news:  

"BP and AeroVironment are deploying an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS, BP Photo) technology at Prudhoe Bay, marking the first time (i.e. our emphasis added) the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted permission for UAS routine commercial services over land in the United States.

"The UAS technology has potential to improve safety, efficiency and the reliability of BP’s Alaska North Slope infrastructure and maintenance programs.

"BP’s vendor, AeroVironment, is performing high-accuracy land surveying and LIDAR mapping in Greater Prudhoe Bay. The UAS flight operation will survey and map Alaska North Slope gravel roads and pads using LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) 3D technology. This marks the first time UAS technology has been used over land in compliance with FAA regulations."

Check out this technology on the BP You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05t-dg6nFpE&feature=youtu.be   FAA press release: http://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=16354


 

Sean Parnell, SB 21, Alaska Oil Production Tax Reform, Photo by Dave Harbour, Keep Alaska Competitive, Vote No on 1Comment:  Our readers know that over a year ago the AlaskaLegislature passed and Governor  Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) signed into law, SB 21, which reformed one of the most predatory, onerous oil production tax laws in the free world.  

From Keep Alaska Competitive:

Six Alaska Native regional corporations formed their own ballot measure group called No One On One. “It is our concern for the future of the state and economy that we stand before you today and ask you to vote no on 1,” said Rex Rock (NGP Photo), president and CEO of Arctic Slope Regional Corp.

“Our board unanimously voted to join the coalition because of how important the oil industry is to our state,” said Laura Edmondson, chief financial officer for Bering Strait.

Jason Metrokin, president of Bristol Bay Native Corp., said his company’s oil subsidiaries helped the Alaska Native regional corporation reach its goal of doubling shareholder hire and wages.

Sophie Minich, CIRI, SB 21, oil tax, Photo by Dave HarbourWe’ve witnessed the industry’s commitment to new investment and have seen for ourselves the rebound in jobs and activity in the oil and gas industry and we want to see that trend continue,” said Sophie Minich, president of Cook Inlet Region Inc.

Aaron Schutt, Doyon, SB 21, Photo by Dave HarbourDoyon, Ltd., owns seven rigs on the North Slope. “We saw two of our rigs go down right away” when ACES passed, said Aaron Schutt, Doyon president. “Each rig has about 80 employees, and 95 percent of our employees are Alaskans, and about half are Doyon shareholders.”

Helvi Sandvik, NANA, SB 21, oil tax reform, Photo by Dave HarbourNANA has worked on the North Slope for 35 years and has 4,000 employees supporting the oil industry, including 1,000 shareholders, said Helvi Sandvik, president of NANA Development Corp. 

While the state still reaps huge rewards from the oil production tax, the oil income tax, oil and gas royalties, and oil industry property taxes, SB 21 improved the climate of investment.  More projects are now being undertaken or planned than before passage of the Act.  

In August, a citizens referendum supported by legislators voting against SB 21, environmental activists and a few other special interests, will determine whether the SB 21 reforms will live on or be repealed.  

Thoughtful Alaskans, like our readers, are mostly concluding that the initiative should be voted down.  Others, who believe the former tax structure has no effect on investment, will be voting for the Proposition 1 repeal.

Groups all over Alaska are lining up, for or against repeal.  In the sidebar, is a report from the "Keep Alaska Competitive" group, reflecting the position of some of Alaska's major Native corporations.  -dh


Houston Chronicle.  “It’s the new way to come to the United States illegally,” said Congressman Ted Poe. “This administration will not enforce the rule of law on the border.”  (Note: We provide this link to demonstrate that the Administration is not only crippling the rule of law with respect to overreaching energy policies, but also in the area of national security.   -dh)


The Hill.  Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday harshly criticized the swap of five Taliban detainees for one U.S. soldier, saying the U.S. would “pay” for President Obama’s decision to negotiate with terrorists.  

(Note: We provide this link because the US has now signaled to terrorists that we will 'negotiate for hostages'...and this affects our readers directly.

This ends another important American tradition of not encouraging the proliferation of kidnappings.  

Accordingly, since natural resource companies have the reputation for 'deep pockets' we know our American and Canadian readers will be especially vigilant in the future about their own safety as a result of America's having traded an alleged deserter for five of the most deadly, Taliban terrorists.  

Though largely unreported, this Obama Administration act has a disproportionatly larger impact on oil, gas, mining, support companies and other multi-national corporations than on tourists in general or even on government employees.   -dh)


 

Categories:

5-14-14

14 May 2014 9:32am

Courtesy of Alaskanomics, we have the following Alaska North Slope project update:

North Slope Project Update

Alaska Economics, oil and gas, state budget, Northrim BankPosted: 13 May 2014 10:01 AM PDT

There have been numerous announcements from the oil and gas industry regarding new projects since the passage of SB21, the More Alaska Production Act (Note in our report last week the support for this oil and gas reform act from the mining industry  -dh). Announcements have come from the major producers, as well as smaller, independent companies. Information compiled by the Bradner Alaska Economic Report shows that $8.6 billion in new projects have been announced since the passage of SB21. This is on top of the $4 billion that was in the works at Point Thomson and $1 billion for  ConocoPhillip’s CD-5 near Alpine field.

Oil industry leaders have been quick to point out that SB21 helped spur the increase in projects and new production and these projects could change depending on the outcome of the August 19 primary election. The announced projects and their expected production include:

BP

  • West end of Prudhoe Bay- $3 billion project; 40,000 barrels per day (b/d) beginning in 2018
  • Prudhoe Bay Drilling- $1 billion; 2 rigs added in 2015 and 2016

Brooks Range Petroleum

  • Mustang Field- $600 million; 15,000 b/d by 2017

Cealus Energy

  • Nuna Project- $2 billion; 15,000-20,000 b/d

ConocoPhillips

  • GMT-1, Kuparuk drill site, and Kuparuk River site- $2 billion; 49,900 b/d
  • CD-5- $1 billion; 16,000 b/d to begin production in late 2015

Pt. Thomson Project

  • Field east of Prudhoe Bay- $4 billion; 10,000 b/d of liquid condensates in 2016

$13.6 billion and an increase of 145,900 to 150,900 b/d by 2018

These projects not only represent increased investment in Alaska and increased oil production, but they also represent more jobs for Alaskans. Oil industry leaders are optimistic that new development can continue with the help of SB21 and that the new tax reform is encouraging new projects throughout the State of Alaska.

 

Categories:

5-13-14 Hanging In There Together

13 May 2014 6:46am

 “Let’s Hang In There Together”

by

Dave Harbour

At the signing of the Declaration of Independence – in the face of political oppression -- founding father Benjamin Franklin urged his fellow countrymen to, “…all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

See last week's report and photos: Alaska Mining Day!

Today, the enemy of freedom and economic stability – as we have demonstrated – is a dedicated enviro-industrial-governmental cabal perhaps more menacing than King George’s foot guards, fusiliers  and lancers

Why is this so?

Today's Wall Street Journal Joins Us In Documenting The Lawless EPA.  -dh

A basic precept of American democracy is that petitioners before their government receive a full and fair hearing. The Obama Environmental Protection Agency is in urgent need of that remedial civics lesson.

The EPA inspector general's office last week announced it will investigate the agency's February decision to commence a pre-emptive veto of the Pebble Mine project, a jobs-rich proposal to develop America's largest U.S. copper and gold mine in southwest Alaska. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says her decision to strike down Pebble before it received a hearing shouldn't worry other developers because Pebble is a "unique" threat. She needs to say this because the truth might chill billions of dollars in investment in the U.S.

The IG is looking into internal EPA documents that we've also obtained that show agency officials were maneuvering to kill Pebble more than five years ago, and that EPA's main concern was building a façade of science and procedure to justify it.

...

EPA's decision to initiate a veto process before Pebble had even received an Army Corps review is a disturbing first—and a flouting of the law.

...

Emails show that EPA biologist Phillip North, based in Alaska and working on Pebble, was in 2008 advocating that his agency bring down the 404c hammer. "The 404 program has a major role" with Pebble, wrote Mr. North to Patricia McGrath, EPA's regional mining coordinator for Alaska, in August 2008.

...

By early 2010 EPA staff made a Power Point presentation for former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson about Pebble that lists a "pre-emptive" veto under "future options." Emails also show that Mr. North was actively engaging outside critics of Pebble. When the Bristol Bay Native Corp. filed a veto request in August 2010, Mr. North responded in an email to the group's lawyer: "Hi Peter, We have been discussing 404c quite a bit internally at all levels of EPA. The letter will certainly stoke the fire."

(Read the entire column)

America’s current enemies of the free market, economic sustainability, capitalism and constitutional principles are, indeed, enemies from within.  They are narrowly focused on redistributing political power from a fair and balanced, democratic vote and due process, to themselves.

Their weapons are federal government overreach, erosion of the Rule of Law, regulatory abuse and creating alternative business/industrial allies through economic seduction: transferring taxpayer wealth via subsidies to favored enterprises. 

Sadly but truly, it is much easier to summon resources to fight a foreign belligerent than a domestic anarchist with networks of fellow citizen supporters.

Until recently, citizens have been more or less consumed with day-to-day pursuits: getting, spending, caring for families, reveling in recreation. 

But to thinking Americans, crises in the mid-East, Asia and Europe along with a failing US economy and deteriorating national defense capability are creating a new focus on reality.  The new reality: ideals upon which our founders created America’s great Petri dish of freedom are under attack—jeopardizing the entire experiment in freedom.

In Alaska and Northern Canada alike, environmental activists -- with billionaire / governmental / grass roots support -- seek every opportunity to work against, not with, the industries that enable the country to provide the amenities upon which everyone depends, including activists.

Focusing for the moment on Alaska, we hearken back to Franklin’s admonition and apply it to our current circumstances.

Alaska’s constitution and Congress’ statehood vote nearly 55 years ago rested on the principle that the 49th state could survive only through development of its natural resources. 

Plural.

That is, Alaska’s founders knew that all of Alaska’s resources were included in the bargain.  Since 1959, however, Alaska’s ability to both survive and provide critical natural resource wealth to the country has been threatened by both overreaching federal and state statutory and regulatory policies.  The first sign of a bureaucratic attack on our resource base occurred against Alaska’s forestry industry, made virtually extinct 30 years ago.

The most critical of current issues include both state and federal threats to the sustainability of Alaska’s economic lifeline, the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS).  TAPS survival is critical since over 90% of the state’s operating budget and almost half of its economy depends on the Alaska North Slope oil production that it transports.

Alaska oil and gas supports the financial strength of Alaska – and a third of all jobs -- with TAPS oil responsible for the lion’s share.  But the tourism and commercial and Sport Fishing industries provide thousands of jobs throughout urban and rural Alaska.  Alaska non-profits per capita may be the most abundant in the country.  And educational institutions employ tens of thousands directly and indirectly as do labor unions.  All are dependent on oil production.

And yet:  a majority of the legislature passed an exorbitant oil tax bill during the Palin administration which the Alaska legislature finally reformed a year ago.  Oil investment is again increasing but another voters’ initiative to be decided this coming August proposes to dump the legislature's reform bill.  Thankfully, many other industries are working to defeat the initiative.

Still, the fact that Alaska’s constitution gives life to the referendum process makes the prospect of investing in Alaska less attractive.

So what is to be done?

Keeping Alaska economically viable and TAPS providing economic wealth requires an outpouring of support from consumers as well as fellow producers of wealth.  Indeed, to capture the long term loyalty and votes of the electorate requires the activism of leaders of education, labor, tourism, retail services, fishing and more.

We therefore urge our friends in the nonprofit, education, retail, labor and related industries to ask producing industries to talk to their boards of directors, their members.  Interview producers for articles in nonprofit newsletters.  Give them awards and accolades – not just for the many contributions of money they give directly to these activities!

Education is the key.  A truly informed electorate will overcome the loud harangues, harassments and fundraising bases of activist groups which thrive on the economic discontent of the majority of citizens.

Energy is life.   Trucks bring us virtually everything in our homes, schools and businesses—and trucks run on fossil fuel.  Aircraft fly business, education, government, environmental, media and nonprofit leaders and employees here and elsewhere—but only when affordable energy is available.  Ships bring Alaska toilet paper, food, manicure supplies, milk, fruit, frozen fish, fishing lures and winter clothes -- all dependent on fossil fuel, mines and mineral production and resource harvesting of one kind or another.

To ignore the reality is to separate ourselves into shadowy little silos of self interest.

If more and more citizens secret themselves into solitary silos, our ability to hang together as a state and nation weakens. 

President Lincoln (NGP Photo), before the other great war within, spoke to us through the ages with the ageless wisdom that, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  Then, after half of America dominated the other half, he observed that, “It has long been a grave question whether any government, not too strong for the liberties of its people, can be strong enough to maintain its own existence in great emergencies.” 

In our time, as in Franklin’s, if we don’t hang in there together we shall certainly hang separately as dedicated enemies from within continue to – almost imperceptibly -- unravel the fabric of freedom so dearly won and held, little by little.

God save us from reaching a point of no return.

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