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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.  -dh

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Arctic Policy


03 July 2015 8:21am

Petroleum News.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a letter of authorization, allowing the minor, unintended disturbance of walrus and polar bears during Shell’s planned exploration drilling in the Chukchi Sea this year. Shell has been moving its drilling fleet north in preparation for its drilling progr....



11 June 2015 8:51am

Polar Bear, Photo, Copyright by Dave Harbour





Commentator Thorpe Watson advises us to get ready for a medieval lifestyle.  This morning he emails us that:

The G7 countries have declared war on hydrocarbon fuels (aka “fossil fuels”). 
They have pledged to end the production and use of coal, oil, and gas by 2100. (The Telegraph  9 June 2015 G7 pledges to end fossil fuel use this century”).
In other words, it is a pledge to commit economic suicide and to make us more vulnerable to natural climate change. It is a bleak future as depicted in this cartoon.
Does this mean that Prime Minister Harper has finally succumbed to the wishes of the opposition parties and the radical, foreign-funded, protest organizations; that is, to decarbonize Canada’s economy?
It should be noted that the anti-fossil-fuel narrative is driven by the unproven anthropogenic (CO2 induced), global-warming hypothesis.Please be assured that there is no scientific basis to relate climate changes to our emissions of carbon dioxide ("CO2"). The planet's climate has always been changing and is characterized by four major climate cycles.
Furthermore, our emissions are insignificant compared to natural emissions and, unfortunately, will never be sufficient to double the CO2 content of the atmosphere. Such a doubling (or more) would be highly desirable for crop production. The store of CO2 that supports life on this planet is at a record low level, having been seriously depleted by natural processes. It is delusional to believe that restricting the generation of this trace gas gives us the power to stabilize the planet's climate.
However, I strongly believe that denying the world's poor access to affordable, reliable energy is immoral. It not only condemns them to perpetual poverty but it also makes them more vulnerable to the four natural climate cycles.
The G7 needs to take a hard, independent look at climate science and wake up to the reality that the warming campaign's case is collapsing on its merits.  Climate computer models have failed to predict the current 18-year pause in global warming. More important, the weather is well within natural variability.  The proposed solutions would enrich an elite few, impoverish the masses, and do nothing meaningful to alter the climate.
It is tragic that this scientific fraud continues to be endorsed by politicians. For example, Ontario is accelerating down the green road to bankruptcy under its so-called Green Energy Act.
Any person, who rejects the evidence and supports the anti-fossil-fuel policy, should be prepared to immediately adopt a Medieval life style, which is devoid of modern conveniences and the many products provided by the petrochemical industry (e.g. polyester clothes, computers).
We must demand that our politicians stop this anti-fossil-fuel insanity!

Today's Energy Links From Consumer Energy Alliance:

Town Hall: Follow the Trend: Support Energy Development 
A new trio of polls shows what’ll be at the top of Americans’ minds when they hit the voting booths next year to elect a new commander-in-chief – energy production. Surveys administered recently by Consumer Energy Alliance show that more than 80 percent of voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina – the first three primary states – said that candidates’ energy policy would be a key decision point on how they vote next year. This resonated not only with Republicans but also with Democrats and the much-coveted Independents.
MarketWatchPoll: Energy and Infrastructure Will Play a Key Role in 2016 Election 
Recent polling conducted for Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) continues to examine what role the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Keystone XL Pipeline, offshore production and other energy issues could play in the 2016 presidential election. And as echoed in recent poll results from Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, voters in Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia reinforced that energy policy will be an important issue when they cast their votes for president next fall.
Hot AirAtlantic Coast Pipeline pretty much as popular with voters as Arctic drilling When you think of pipelines making news, Keystone is usually the first one to come to mind. But you may not be aware of another project on the eastern seaboard which is on the way and generating its own share of controversy among domestic energy opponents. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a project being undertaken by a coalition of energy companies consisting of Dominion Resources, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources.

E&E NewsEnergy issues will be key for Mid-Atlantic voters -- poll 
Mid-Atlantic voters in a trio of states reported that energy issues will play a key role in how they cast their ballots in the 2016 presidential election cycle, while also endorsing a variety of measures to expand domestic energy production, according to a survey released yesterday.
The pro-drilling Consumer Energy Alliance has a new poll showing a majority or plurality of voters in Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia want construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline feeding natural gas into the region, more offshore energy exploration, keeping coal power plants running and expanding shale production through hydraulic fracturing. The poll also showed energy policy being a major issue in the upcoming election, along with a tightly packed Republican presidential field and Hillary Clinton leading big among Democrats in all three states.
FierceEnergy: Energy policy top of mind among voters 
The results of a new poll by the Consumer Energy Alliance suggests that voters in Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia strongly support the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the development of energy infrastructure.  The poll takes the pulse of how these issues could play in the 2016 presidential election.
WHSV-TV3Poll: Virginia Voters Support Atlantic Coast Pipeline 
A new poll conducted by the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) has found that a majority of voters in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia have heard about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and support it.
Augusta Free PressPoll: Voters in Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia support pipeline 
Recent polling conducted for Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) continues to examine what role the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Keystone XL Pipeline, offshore production and other energy issues could play in the 2016 presidential election. And as echoed in recent poll results from Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, voters in Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia reinforced that energy policy will be an important issue when they cast their votes for president next fall.
Rapid News NetworkAppeals court tosses suits challenging climate change plan 
“I wouldn’t put high odds on it, either”, Anderson said, because EPA has been “very careful from the outset in trying to cover their legal bases”. The lawsuits from a coalition of 15 states and the nation’s largest privately held coal mining company claim the EPA exceeded its authority past year when it proposed new curbs on pollution from the nation’s coal-fired power plants.
EnergyBizCourt throws out challenges to EPA power plant rule 
In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit tossed out lawsuits filed by Ohio -based coal producer Murray Energy Corp. and a group of 15 states. They claimed the Environmental Protection Agency exceeded its authority last year by proposing a 30-percent national cut in emissions from existing plants through plans that individual states must design.
Consumer Energy AlliancePoll: Energy and Infrastructure Will Play a Key Role in 2016 Election
Recent polling conducted for Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) continues to examine what role the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Keystone XL Pipeline, offshore production and other energy issues could play in the 2016 presidential election. And as echoed in recent poll results from Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, voters in Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia reinforced that energy policy will be an important issue when they cast their votes for president next fall.
New York TimesE.P.A. Takes Step to Cut Emissions From Planes
The Obama administration said on Wednesday that it would take the first step toward regulating greenhouse gas emissions from airplanes, but it acknowledged it would most likely take years before stringent standards are enacted.
ReutersIn twist, Obama emissions plan satisfies industry, worries greens
For two years, President Barack Obama has used his executive power to impose new rules to cut carbon emissions, targeting cars and power plants, buoying environmentalists and infuriating industry. His latest foray - regulating commercial aviation - had the opposite effect.
BloombergU.S. Ousts Russia as Top World Oil, Gas Producer in BP Data
The U.S. has taken Russia’s crown as the biggest oil and natural-gas producer in a demonstration of the seismic shifts in the world energy landscape emanating from America’s shale fields. U.S. oil production rose to a record last year, gaining 1.6 million barrels a day, according to BP Plc’s Statistical Review of World Energy released on Wednesday. Gas output also climbed, putting America ahead of Russia as a producer of the hydrocarbons combined.
MarketWatchWhy shale producers are happy with this EPA fracking study
The energy industry agrees with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — at least when it comes to the findings of an EPA study on hydraulic fracturing. Michael Krancer, partner and chair of the energy industry team at law firm Blank Rome LLP said a draft report on the EPA study shows that fracking is “safe,” with “no widespread issues.”
Fox BusinessAre the EPA and Anti-Frackers Drinking the Same Water?
The EPA says that fracking does not cause “widespread” harm to drinking water, but some anti-frackers claim to have found evidence that proves it does.  “Anti-frackers are just being clever,” FrackNation Producer Phelim McAleer told FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney.
International Business TimesUS Coal Production Will Decline Significantly If Obama EPA's Clean Power Plan Takes Effect: Report
The Obama administration’s signature plan to slash carbon emissions from power plants will deal a hefty blow to U.S. coal miners. America’s coal production could plunge to levels not seen since the 1970s if the proposed power plant rule takes effect, federal energy analysts said Wednesday. The dire forecast comes as major U.S. coal companies already are struggling with fierce competition from cheap natural gas, rising coal prices and waning demand from overseas customers like China.
Wall Street JournalExxon Tells Texas Regulators Its Wells Didn’t Cause Earthquakes
Exxon Mobil Corp. rejected any role in a string of recent earthquakes hitting the Dallas-Fort Worth area, saying geological data points to natural causes, not its operations.
BreitbartObama Expands Refuge to Stop Oil Drilling – Where No Oil Exists
To buy peace with climate change activists after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that oil fracking does not poison water, President Obama has signed an executive order tripling the size of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, just north of San Francisco. The order bans oil drilling in the area Obama renamed the “Greater” Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. The move is merely symbolic, since there are no oil reserves in the area.
NPRAmerica's Next Economic Boom Could Be Lying Underground
There's a serious problem in the American economy right now: Big corporations are doing well, but real household income for average Americans has been falling over the past decade — down 9 percent, according to census data. "That's not good for America," says Harvard economist Michael Porter. "That's not good for America's standard of living. That's not good for our vitality as a nation."
Business WireCalifornia Dreaming: Water, Energy and Reality
California doesn't have a water crisis - it has an energy problem, according to Joe Petrowski, the managing partner of energy investment firm Mercantor Partners. Petrowski explains that the issues surrounding water are the foundation for the state's energy woes, and are destroying the underpinnings of the agriculture industry and limiting economic growth. As water rates rise and rationing takes hold, he warns that California's economy will take a hit.
ReutersU.S. should ditch 'outdated' oil export ban -Harvard
The United States must lift an "outdated" ban on oil exports to take full economic and geopolitical advantage of its hydraulic fracturing boom, according to a study by Harvard Business School and Boston Consulting Group released on Wednesday.
Associated PressCalifornia oil spill cleanup costs $62 million
The cost of cleaning up last month’s oil spill on the California coast has reached $62 million so far. An official with Plains All American Pipeline told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the costs are running at $3 million a day, and there’s no timetable for when the cleanup will be complete.
Associated PressCourt strikes down rules aiming to cut pollution from Talen Energy's Montana coal plants
A federal appeals court has struck down pollution rules intended to reduce haze from coal that is burned in Montana to provide electricity for people in the Pacific Northwest. Haze reduces visibility and is caused by tiny particles of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide.
San Antonio Business JournalWhat does the Eagle Ford Shale need more of? ... And less of?
They say that two heads are better than one but the University of Texas at San Antonio's Eagle Ford Community Development Program brought nearly 100 business and community leaders together at an Wednesday conference to decide what the region needs.
InforumFracking rule would hurt ND income, jobs, state says
North Dakota stands to lose $300 million a year in oil income and 1,900 jobs if a federal rule on hydraulic fracturing takes effect later this month, state officials argue in court documents.
KERA NewsWhy Advocates Who Helped Pass Denton's Fracking Ban Now Want to See It Repealed
When voters in Denton banned the oil drilling technique called fracking there last year, the North Texas city took center stage in a national debate over oil and gas, property rights and the environment. But now some of the same people who pushed for the ban are calling to repeal it.
Eagle Ford TexasTexas oil fighting an unfair fight, claims David Porter
This means war! So says newly appointed Railroad Commission of Texas chairman David Porter of the oil output levels established by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Victoria AdvocateDespite slowing production, shale's economic impact continues
While the Eagle Ford Shale's oil production has slowed down, drilling - and in turn, economic impacts in Victoria County - are expected to continue through the next decade.
Times-PicayuneSmall players -- not Big Oil -- drive Gulf of Mexico drilling amid downturn
Low oil prices have prompted major companies to slash drilling budgets and delay projects in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico this year. Oil and gas service companies are now looking to Big Oil's smaller, more nimble competitors to prop up activity in the region.
New Orleans AdvocateStagnant oil prices create opening for smaller firms, conference is told
Stagnant oil prices have led some major energy companies to delay new offshore drilling projects while creating an opening for smaller independent oil and gas firms to take advantage of lower equipment costs, industry leaders said Wednesday during the opening day of the Louisiana Energy Conference in New Orleans.
Washington TimesNuclear energy may have big future in Virginia: study
Virginia could supply virtually all of its future energy needs from nuclear power and even become a player in the global market to supply power from nuclear sources, according to a new think tank report released Wednesday. The case for the Old Dominion’s potential nuclear future was outlined in a new analysis from the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy, which argued that with the proper investments, Virginia could emerge as the newest contender in the international nuclear power market.
York Daily RecordYork County to receive more than $420,000 in natural gas revenue
York County will receive more than $420,000 in natural gas drilling impact fee revenue from activity in the Marcellus Shale starting in early July.
Observer-ReporterWashington County top recipient of gas impact fees for 2014
Washington County and its municipalities led the state in reimbursements from impact fees paid by drillers in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale in 2014, with the county receiving $6.5 million and its municipalities garnering $11.1 million for a total of $17.63 million, according to a list provided Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
Casper Star-TribuneNorth Dakota joins Wyoming and Colorado, oil and gas groups to urge delay in new federal drilling rules
North Dakota joined two other states and two oil and gas industry groups in asking a judge to postpone new rules for drilling on federal land while their lawsuit contesting the regulations moves ahead.
Albany Times UnionNew York fracking supporters pin hopes on EPA study
Supporters of the currently banned practice of hydraulic fracturing — or hydrofracking — for gas in New York state haven't given up hope entirely despite a decision by the Cuomo administration in December to continue the ban, which has been in place for more than five years.
Canton RepositoryIndustry executives say Utica Shale remains full of promise
Fewer permits are being issued and the number of rigs has dropped, but executives of companies that ship oil and natural gas said the changes shouldn’t be viewed as a sign that folks are backing out of the Utica Shale.
The Columbus DispatchFracking tax won’t be part of final budget deal, Ohio House insists
House leaders are largely holding their tongues on the sweeping Senate changes to their two-year, $71.3 billion budget, but they continue to make one thing clear: They will not pass a severance tax as part of the budget.
Winston-Salem JournalOpposition to test drilling for fracking faces entrenched power
There is no nice way to say it. The neighborhood where crews are drilling a 1,750-foot hole on public land to look for signs of natural gas isn’t pretty. Walnut Tree isn’t Buena Vista, Brookberry Farm Bermuda Run. Many of the homes along Crestview and Middlefork drives are two- and three-bedroom, one-bath jobs that sit on slabs of concrete.


6-9-15 Alaska has a new Arctic oil competitor (i.e. NWT shale plays with estimated gross reserve POTENTIAL of 190 billion barrels of oil in place)

09 June 2015 9:59am

A new competitor for the Alaska oil patch: A Bakken-sized NWT shale play?   More....

The Hill's Energy Links

NOTE: NEXT WEEK, the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will have an Oversight Hearing on Arctic Resources and American Competitiveness.  Our readers may watch, live.  Here's more....     -dh

US Senator Lisa Murkowski, Lift oil ban, File Photo by Dave Harbour at Brookings InstituteU.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo), today advanced her efforts to end the current prohibition on most U.S. crude oil exports in a report entitled “Rendering Vital Assistance: Allowing Oil Shipments to U.S. Allies.”  More....

BP in Alaska is a biannual publication listing the latest facts and figures around BP's field data, hiring, community investment, special projects, and more.  Our readers interested in Arctic production and related information will find it extremely timely and useful.   Our readers may access the publication, here.  -dh


OIL PRICE, BY Andrew Topf
Posted on Mon, 08 June 2015 21:38 | (NOTE: "...read a more subdued story in Bloomberg News, titled “Drop in oil prices means no drilling in Canada's biggest shale reserves.”)

The financial pages of Canadian newspapers have been full of headlines lately announcing the potential of two large shale oil fields in the Northwest Territories said to contain enough oil to rival the Bakken Formation of North Dakota and Montana.

The report by Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) evaluated, for the first time, the volume of oil in place for the Canol and Bluefish shale formations, located in the territory’s Mackenzie Plain. It found the “thick and geographically extensive” Canol formation is expected to contain 145 billion barrels of oil, while the “much thinner” Bluefish shale contains 46 billion barrels.

Related: More OPEC Oil Coming When Iranian Sanctions Removed

The report did not estimate the amount of recoverable oil, but points out that even if one percent of the Canol resource could be recovered, that represents 1.45 billion barrels. The calculation immediately had reporters comparing Canol and Bluefish to the Bakken, where the latest USGS estimate shows 7.4 billion barrels of ....   (More)


Tuesday, June 9, 2015


CONTACT: Julia Bell


Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Announces Oversight Hearing on Arctic Resources and American Competitiveness


WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, June 16, 2015, at 10:30 AM, in Room 1334 Longworth House Office Building, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing on “Arctic Resources and American Competitiveness.”


Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will convene an oversight hearing titled, "Arctic Resources and American Competitiveness”  


Tuesday, June 16
10:30 AM  


1334 Hearing Room in the Longworth House Office Building

Visit the Committee Calendar for additional information, once it is made available. The meeting is open to the public and a live video stream will be broadcast at House Committee on Natural Resources.    


G-7 AGREES TO 2 DEGREE GOAL: Leaders of seven of the world's largest economies agreed Monday to do what it takes to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, setting the stage for high-level international climate talks later this year.

The 2-degree goal meets the level many scientists say would prevent the worst of global warming. 

Leaders of the G-7 countries -- the United States, Germany, France, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan -- made the announcement Monday in Germany during their annual meeting. The United Nations is set to host a climate conference later this year calling on world governments to take steps that would keep the ills of global warming at bay. 

"The agreement should enhance transparency and accountability including through binding rules at its core to track progress towards achieving targets, which should promote increased ambition over time," the G-7 declaration said.

To meet the goal, leaders said they need to greatly reduce their carbon dioxide emissions and reduce the use of fossil fuels. 

Read more here

ON TAP TUESDAY I: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on more than three dozen bills as members continue to build their energy reform package. Lynn Orr, the undersecretary for science and energy at the Department of Energy, will testify.

ON TAP TUESDAY II: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will kick off its two-day Fuel Cycle Information Exchange conference.


The Energy Information Administration estimates that the shale oil boom is slowing, Bloomberg reports.

Weeks after a transformer failure that has put new skepticism on the Indian Point Energy Center nuclear plant in New York, the Nuclear Energy Institute prepared a report Monday saying that the plant puts $1.3 billion into the area's economy, the Journal News reports.

Midnight Monday is the deadline to submit claims to BP's settlement program from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Associated Press reports.


Check out Monday's stories ... 

-Coal giant to cut 250 jobs
-Nuclear regulators to downsize agency
-Feds, electricity utilities to focus on plug-in vehicles
-May sets new US rain record
-Congress will vote on chemical law reform this summer, McConnell says
-G-7 aims to limit global warming to 2 degrees
-California issues new air quality rules after cancer study
-Nuclear industry pushing for renewal of U.S.-China agreement



08 June 2015 10:07am

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Committee on Natural Resources has scheduled a markup beginning on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 4:00 PM in 1324 Longworth House Office Building. The Committee will consider the following bill, among others:

  • H.R. 2295 (Rep. Thomas MacArthur), To amend the Mineral Leasing Act to require the Secretary of the Interior to identify and designate National Energy Security Corridors for the construction of natural gas pipelines on Federal land, and for other purposes. “National Energy Security Corridors Act”


Andrew Browning, Consumer Energy Alliance, Hobbs, Denver, Photo by Dave HarboourKZOR FM 94.1 – Hobbs, New Mexico: Media Interview. This week on Media Meeting, Dawn Morgan sits down with (1) the organizers of the upcoming Keep Kids Safe event. (2) Then, Andrew Browning (NGP Photo) of the Consumer Energy Alliance comes in to discuss the oil and gas industry.​

Petroleum News: Explorers 2015: Shell pressing ahead in Chukchi after setbacks - 06/07/2015 (Full story) After a tiny step forward and many large leaps backward, Royal Dutch Shell plc is once again planning to explore its Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea this summer. “We have retained a very significant capability to be ready this year to go ahead,” CEO Ben van Beurden said during a January earnings....

A record-breaking energy resurgence has catapulted the U.S. to No. 1 in the world in oil and natural gas production. But our workforce has not adapted to this new reality. Hundreds of thousands of jobs remain unfilled, and the pipeline of future workers isn’t nearly what we need to meet future energy needs.​  Improved U.S. Arctic Energy Development Starts in the Classroom
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Still not fully viable 
I was encouraged to see the Trib reporting beyond industry talking points in the Business story “Wind energy muscled out of state market”. While it's important to diversify the domestic energy portfolio, the fact is that wind and solar, while much-needed parts of our diverse energy future, are not yet fully viable replacements for fossil fuels.
New York TimesOPEC, Keeping Quotas Intact, Adjusts to Oil’s New Normal
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to keep the oil pumping, with no change in its production quotas, at the group’s meeting here on Friday. Even though oil prices are about 40 percent lower than a year ago, OPEC decided to keep its output target at 30 million barrels a day in an effort to maintain market share and respond to robust production in the United States.
ReutersOil slips after OPEC keeps output high, China slowdown
Oil prices slipped on Monday after China's fuel imports dropped sharply and as markets digested an OPEC decision to keep its production target unchanged, a move analysts said would keep the market oversupplied for the rest of the year.
NewsweekMiddle East Turmoil Favors U.S. Shale over OPEC Oil
Political instability in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is discouraging capital investment in local oil and gas projects, and shifting interest to North American shale—despite MENA’s cheap, abundant and easy-to-extract hydrocarbon resources.
The National: High-cost production up for bit cuts as oil prices remain low
At the OPEC meeting on Friday in Vienna, the 12-member group announced that it would keep its oil output levels of 30 million barrels per day (bpd) despite the saturation driving market prices down. Brent crude stood around US$63 at close on Friday, still down from the highs experienced last June at $115 a barrel.
E&E News: OPEC's waning power puts economic influence out of its reach
There's widespread acknowledgement that OPEC's decision to leave its production target unchanged may underscore weaker cohesion and a waning of influence for the oil cartel on the global stage. Yet OPEC's influence may be waning in another important way: its ability to stimulate the global economy through lower oil prices.
Associated Press: Pipeline firm said California oil spill ‘extremely unlikely’
A Houston company whose ruptured pipeline created the largest coastal oil spill in California in 25 years had assured the government that a break in the line while possible was “extremely unlikely” and state-of-the-art monitoring could quickly detect possible leaks and alert operators, documents show.
Associated Press: Crews Say 44 Percent of California Coast Oil Spill Cleaned
Cleanup teams have determined that 44 percent of 96.5 miles of California coastline is clear of oil from the Refugio Oil Spill, a state official said Sunday. The 44 percent includes mostly sandy beaches, which only have trace amounts, or less than 1 percent of oil, said California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Alexia Retallack.
Associated Press: Jury finds former BP exec not guilty in oil spill case
A federal jury has acquitted former BP America Vice President of Gulf of Mexico Exploration David Rainey of making false statements about the volume of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill to government inspectors. Defense attorneys had argued that prosecutors lacked a basis for accusing Rainey of lying. U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt had also dismissed a charge of congressional inquiry obstruction against Rainey.
Associated Press: Judge merges suits contesting new federal drilling rules
A federal judge is merging two similar lawsuits that oppose upcoming new rules for oil and gas drilling on federal lands. Wyoming U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl on Thursdaygranted a consolidation request filed by both sides in one of the cases.
ReutersHF licenses to be issued before eco impact assessment
The department of minerals is going ahead with plans to issue exploration licences before the release of results of a two-year strategic environmental assessment (SEA) into fracking‚ the Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG) said on Monday.
The Hill: HF divides red, blue states
Fracking is creating a new dividing line between the nation’s red and blue states. While liberal-leaning states such as New York and Maryland have opted to ban hydraulic fracturing, despite the potential revenue from natural gas, conservative strongholds such as Texas and Oklahoma have gone the opposite route, moving to ensure that local towns and cities cannot outlaw the practice in their communities.
Forbes: EPA HF Study: Drilling Wins
EPA’s new study, in conclusion, confirms that fracking is a technology that belongs among the ranks of computers and iPhones. It is changing the nation for the better without causing widespread harm to underground aquifers and drinking water. It is producing energy to make America stronger and safer. And nearly single-handedly, it pulled the United States out of the depths of the Great Recession by creating jobs and boosting the economy.
Shale Energy InsiderHF does not have a “widespread” effect on US drinking water
The Independent Petroleum Association of America reacted to the publication, stating: “With this new report, it couldn’t be clearer that shale development is occurring in conjunction with environmental protection and the claims by anti-fracking activists have been thoroughly debunked.”
Mining Weekly: Anti-HF group slams DMR for ‘inadequate’ regulations
Despite an ongoing two-year strategic environmental assessment (SEA) into domestic hydraulic fracturing (fracking) by the Department of Environmental Affairs and claims from the environmental community that the consultation process around the formulation of fracking legislation was indequate, the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has released the final Regulations for Petroleum Exploration and Production.
New York Daily NewsN.Y. will still ban fracking despite federal report, spokesman says
A federal report that disproves the impact of hydraulic fracturing on water resources will not hamper New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision to ban the activity, said Tom Mailey, director of media relations at the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Compared with the federal report, the state review was broader as it focused on "impacts to air, water, public health, ecosystems, wildlife and community character," he said. Karen Moreau, executive director of the New York State Petroleum Council, said, "What is systemic and widespread is the suffering of thousands of families in New York's Southern Tier who had their hopes dashed by the governor's decision."
Forbes: Why New York's Fracking Ban For Natural Gas Is "Unsustainable"
A recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report that once again validated the safety of fracking (water pollution fears are completely overblown) has The Wall Street Journal claiming that Governor Cuomo’s ban has been “exposed as a fraud.
WTAJ News: Gov. Wolf reacts to Maryland HF ban
"I want to do it, I want to it right. I think modest, my goal is to have a modest severance tax that would be, certainly not the highest not the lowest, but somewhere in middle of the pack that would help us realize all of Pennsylvania is benefiting from a robust gas industry." Gov. Wolf said the gas industry can be a game-changer for the economy, if it's done the right way.
The Southern Illinoisan: Amid EPA verdict, HF is on the horizon
Fracking is, by and large, safe -- at least on the drinking water front. That, in a nutshell, is the conclusion of the most exhaustive analysis of the controversial technique for natural gas extraction, released last week by the Environmental Protection Agency. It's a potential death blow for the region's anti-fracking movement that's been so loud in recent years in Southern Illinois, which must now pivot to a watchdog role.
Daily NewsEPA report on HF is 'great news,' says NM Oil and Gas Assoc.
A spokesman for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association says a new study that found hydraulic fracturing has caused minimal harm to drinking water is vindication for the industry. “It's great news for New Mexico and great for our country," said Wally Drangmeister of the draft assessment released by the Environmental Protection Agency late last week.
Colorado Springs GazetteEPA says fracking OK for H2O
It seemed like common sense to say fracking posed no substantial threat to lakes, rivers, streams and underground water. After all, no major water contamination catastrophes had occurred in more than four decades of the practice. Besides, fracking fluid is 99.5 percent water and sand. The remaining 0.5 percent consists of scary-sounding chemicals mostly found on food labels. The stuff is so nontoxic, Colorado's Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper drank a glass of it for show.
Orange County Register: Pollution warnings about HF don't hold water
But Gov. Brown hardly has sold his soul to the state’s oil and gas industry. He simply thinks it unwise to climb aboard an “ideological bandwagon” that views the industry as the destroyer of worlds and fracking as its chosen weapon.
Lompo Record: No evidence HF causes earthquakes
These days fracking gets blamed for almost anything that happens out of the ordinary. However, independent scientific studies have been unable to detect a connection between fracking and earthquakes. The evidence for a connection is generally limited to anecdotal assertions.
Washington TimesFoes poised to declare victory in 'war on coal' as investors, utilities flee energy source
After powering the Industrial Revolution and helping to turn the U.S. into the world’s top economic power, coal now seems to be drowning in what environmentalists call a “deadly cocktail” — a rabid, politically potent anti-fossil fuels movement, the rise of cheap, abundant, relatively clean domestic natural gas and an Obama administration that freely admits it wants to decrease coal use in America through a host of new rules.
FuelFixAbundance and Affordability: Overlooked Characteristics
Although energy is just one input in the wealth production process, it is generally recognized as a critical one. Labor, capital equipment, technology, investment are combined with energy to produce goods and services, with energy being the catalyst.
Breaking Energy: Clean Air and Health to Co-benefit from More Stringent US Power Plant Carbon Standards, Study Suggests
A new study sheds light on looming key policy choices to be made by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in finalizing the Clean Power Plan this summer.
Petroleum News: Explorers 2015: Shell pressing ahead in Chukchi after setbacks
After a tiny step forward and many large leaps backward, Royal Dutch Shell plc is once again planning to explore its Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea this summer.
Gas & Oil Magazine: Small turn-out for protest against drilling
About 25 people held signs, listened to protest music and otherwise voiced their opinions after visiting legislators and urging them to vote against House Bill 8.
E&E NewsCompanies dispute energy-quake link
An oil company Friday questioned the results of a study that linked its operations to earthquakes in Texas. State regulators, who will hold hearings starting this week to determine if they should take action against two oil companies that operate near the site of the earthquakes, remained skeptical of the connection between the energy industry and seismic activity, even while they asked what data could be collected to better understand the events.



03 June 2015 6:30am

TODAYThe Environmental Protection Agency released the final version of a new rule that will dramatically increase the agency’s power, and will devastate Americans’ ability to use their own property and their own water."

Pedro van Meurs Mexico Meeting This Summer 

National Energy Board Staffing

Dan Joling, AP, Shell Oil, lawsuit, Arctic, Photo by Dave HarbourAP/ADN by Dan Joling (NGP Photo).  Ten environmental groups Tuesday sued a federal agency over its approval of a plan by Royal Dutch Shell PLC for exploratory petroleum drilling off Alaska's northwest coast.

Comment on Arctic exploration.  We have the highest regard for Shell, its employees and its dedication to the Arctic drilling project.  

The company has spent now over $7 billion on leases, permitting, community relations, technology and logistics, etc. and labored against continuous obstruction by the EPA and environmental groups, among others.  

In our heart of hearts, we believed that when the Federal government gave one of several required go-ahead to the project this year, it was true to its philosophy and strategy of 'damning Arctic energy work by faint praise."  That is, we believe that this duplicitous administration that would preemptively stop a state mining project on state lands (i.e. Pebble); and delay or kill the eminently reasonable and economically important Keystone XL pipeline; or lock up half of the nation's Alaska petroleum reserve; or manage the 1002 ANWR area as wilderness without Congressional approval; or use financial resources from over a dozen state agencies to implement a non-Congressionally approved 'oceans policy would not give up opposition to Shell's Arctic project without a strategy.  

We believe that the recent, highly organized enviro spectacle connected with Shell's use of the Port of Seattle and another lawsuit attack (AP story above) could be giving the administration comfort that they can claim, "We support an all-of-the-above energy program", knowing that plans are in progress for stopping or delaying the project yet again.  Even the U.S. Senate democrats are organizing against Shell's investment and plans.   Would they do this without the administration's acquiescence?  

While we have sometimes been wrong in connecting the dots, in the case of this administration we have documented a pattern of violations of due process (i.e. rule of law) which threatens our economy, our national defense, our civilization and our childrens' futures.  

We hope we are wrong this time.  We hope that Shell's ongoing challenges are merely gnats that can easily be swatted away.  

We hope that, contrary to evidence, the administration is not -- in this case -- working behind the scenes with enviro-extremists to cripple due process and America's reliance on the rule of law embedded in our Constitution.  

But EPA's WOTUS rule, subject of today's news, gives us -- not cause for confidence in our government -- but reason for a heightened state of alarm.  -dh  



Pedro van Meurs, Mexico, leasing terms, Alaska, Photo by Dave HarbourThe subject is not Northern, but this Mexico opportunity will surely interest many of our North American readers.  Furthermore, Pedro van Meur's (NGP Photo) workshops always produce insight into how the various jurisdictions approach leasing, regulatory and taxation issues.  This is why we monitor his meeting schedule....  -dh


On May 29, 2015, CNH unveiled further significant modifications to the shallow water terms.  

On May 12, 2015, the initial terms for onshore blocks were also announced.

At the same time, the terms for the areas allocated to PEMEX are also known.  

This means that we now have considerable information about Mexican petroleum terms. 

On June 15 – 16, 2015 in Mexico City we will have a work shop providing an independent analysis and evaluation of these offshore and onshore terms.  This work shop will be beneficial for all those interested in investing in Mexico’s petroleum industry.

Click here  for more information about this work shop.

Best regards,
Pedro van Meurs
President, Van Meurs Corporation
PO Box CR-56766 # 1261
Nassau, Bahamas




For Immediate Release:                            Contact: Emily Schillinger ~202.224.6441

June 3, 2015                                              Emily_Schillinger@Barrasso.Senate.Gov


Barrasso Highlights How the Final

WOTUS Rule is Even Worse Than Draft Rule

Calls for Passage of Bipartisan Federal Water Quality Protection Act


Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s speech.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent release of the final “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule.


Barrasso also highlighted his bipartisan legislation, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S. 1140). The bill would direct the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to issue a revised “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule that protects traditional navigable water from water pollution, while also protecting farmers, ranchers and private landowners.


Excerpts of his remarks:


“Last week, our nation observed Memorial Day –we paid tribute to the sacrifices that so many Americans have made to preserve our freedoms.


“Also last week, while members of Congress were back home, the Obama administration snuck out a new rule that takes away freedom—it takes away freedom from Americans all across the country.


“The Environmental Protection Agency released the final version of a new rule that will dramatically increase the agency’s power, and will devastate Americans’ ability to use their own property and their own water.


“With this rule, President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency overreaches and ignores the American people.


“The rule is an attempt—an attempt to change the definition of what the Clean Water Act calls ‘waters of the United States.’


“There is bipartisan agreement that Washington bureaucrats have gone way beyond their authority with this new regulation.


“They’ve written this rule so broadly – and with so much uncertainty – that it’s not clear if there are any limits on this agency’s power.


“Now I agree with what the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee has to say—he wrote it in an op-ed that appeared yesterday.


“The Senator from Oklahoma, Senator Inhofe, Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee wrote: ‘Not only does this final rule break promises EPA has made, but it claims federal powers even beyond what EPA originally proposed a year ago. This will drastically affect – for the worse – the ability of many Americans to use and enjoy their property.’ 


“Then it defines tributaries to include any place where you can see an ‘ordinary high water mark’ or what looks like it was once the bank of a creek, a creek body of water. What looks like—not what is—but what looks like.


“Under the rule, the Environmental Protection Agency can regulate something as ‘waters of the United States’ if it falls within a 100-year floodplain of a navigable water. Not navigable water today, but anything within a 100-year floodplain of a navigable water.


“The rule says the agency has to find a ‘significant nexus’ to navigable water.


“So what’s a significant nexus to the EPA? Well, the agency gets to make up its own definition.


“They say it includes something as simple as finding that the water provides ‘life cycle dependent aquatic habitat’ for a species that spends part of its time in a navigable water. 


“All of these terms are things that Washington bureaucrats are defining for themselves.


“They decide for themselves that they have the authority.


“So let’s say your property is within 4,000 feet of anything the Environmental Protection Agency decides is a tributary, and your property has a natural pond – or some standing water after heavy rain.


“And let’s say a bird that spends part of its life on the Colorado River decides to hang out near that natural pond, or that standing water that occurred on your property after it rained. 


“Under this new regulation, the Environmental Protection Agency now has the power to regulate what you do on that land.


“It’s bad enough that this administration has taken this extraordinary step. It’s bad enough that it tried to sneak out its rule hoping that nobody was paying attention over the Memorial Day time at home.


“There are now reports that the Obama administration may have broken the law. 


“Here’s what the New York Times reported on May 18, under the headline, front page of the New York Times, ‘Critics Hear E.P.A.’s Voice in Public Comments.’


“This was an article, front page New York Times, about the public comments that government agencies have to collect when they propose new regulations like this one they’ve done on the waters of the U.S.


“The comment period is supposed to be an opportunity for people who might be harmed by the rules to have their say.


“Well, according to this front page article in the New York Times, the Environmental Protection Agency has twisted the public comments requirement into its own private government funded spin machine.


“The article says: ‘In a campaign that tests the limits of federal lobbying law, the agency orchestrated a drive to counter political opposition from Republicans and enlist public support in concert with liberal environmental groups and a grass-roots organization aligned with President Obama.’


“This government agency ignored negative comments by Americans who were concerned about the law, who were hurt by the law.


“Then it used taxpayer dollars to lobby liberal groups ‘to flood the agency with positive comments,’ that’s not me, that’s what’s written in the New York Times.


“These were the same phony, ginned up comments it used to justify the dramatic overreach of its new regulations.


“It’s incredible, it’s unacceptable, and I believe, it’s illegal.


“The Environmental Protection Agency would rather skew public comments in its favor, than acknowledge the real concerns that Americans and members of Congress have with this destructive rule.


“These are the concerns of farmers, of ranchers, of hard working families, small businesses across the country.


“There was an interesting column in U.S. News and World Report last Friday.


“The headline was ‘Stop Terrorizing Main Street.’


“The column talked about the damage that all this red tape can do to small businesses.


“It says: ‘when the EPA jumps up and yells ‘boo,’ entrepreneurs cringe. They withdraw. They feel anxious and reconsider plans to start or expand a business. This is bad for our economy.’


“Well, I believe they’re exactly right.


“That’s what Washington does with the uncertainty and the overreach of rules like this one.


“It’s bad for the economy –it does nothing to improve the quality of our water, or the quality of our life.


“There is universal agreement in this country that we should protect America’s navigable waters.


“There is also bipartisan agreement on the best ways for Washington to help do that.


“This isn’t just Republicans against President Obama.


“This is Republicans and Democrats working to protect America’s waterways – and President Obama working instead to expand the power of unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats.


“Here’s how the newspaper The Hill reported it last Thursday, with an article headlined ‘Democrats buck Obama on water rule.’


“The article says: ‘Dozens of congressional Democrats are joining Republicans to back legislation blocking the Obama administration’s new rule to redefine its jurisdiction over the nation’s waterways.’


“It’s talking about my bill, a bill called the Federal Water Quality Protection Act.


“The bill has 30 co-sponsors in the Senate – Democrats and Republicans alike.


“A similar bill in the House actually passed with the support of 24 Democrats and every Republican.


“So what does the administration have to say to the dozens of Democrats in Congress – the 24 Democrats who voted against the administration? To the millions of Americans – who are concerned about this new regulation?


“According to the article in The Hill, President Obama’s top environmental adviser said, this is of the Democrats who voted for this, ‘The only people with reason to oppose the rule are polluters...’


“So the president believes that the 24 Democrats that voted to support, and the Democrats in the Senate who voted to cosponsor my legislation, are polluters who want to threaten our clean water.


“That’s what the White House thinks of these Democrats in Congress.


“That’s what the White House thinks of anyone who dares to suggest that this rule is bureaucratic overreach. Such arrogance.


“Well, there are a lot of Americans – Democrats and Republicans – who are not going to be intimidated by the Obama administration’s power grab, or its name-calling.


“The Obama administration has ignored the strong bipartisan consensus against this rule – and it’s once again, taking its own, radical approach.


“Instead of moving forward with a rule that fails to represent the interests of many Americans, we should act immediately to pass this bipartisan Federal Water Quality Protection Act.


“This legislation says Yes to clean water – and No to extreme bureaucracy.


“It will protect America’s waterways, while keeping Washington’s hands off of things that it has no business regulating.


“The Environmental Protection Agency would have to consult with the states –to make sure that we’ve got the approach that works best everywhere, not just the approach that Washington likes best.


“They would not be able to just listen to the echo chamber of phony comments concocted by their own lobbying campaign.


“Now this bill gives certainty and clarity to farmers, to hardworking ranchers, to small business owners and their families.


“It makes sure that people can continue to enjoy the beautiful rivers and the lakes that should be preserved and protected.


“This bipartisan bill protects Americans from runaway bureaucracy—unaccountable, unelected.


“It restores Washington’s attention to the traditional waters that were always the focus before.


“The American people don’t need more bureaucratic overreach. We don’t need more red tape.


“Congress should act immediately to stop this outrageous regulation before it goes into effect.


“The Senate should take up and pass this bipartisan Federal Water Quality Protection Act.”



National Energy Board can't afford the calibre of staff it needs,pipeline group warns
CEPA represents natural gas and oil pipeline companies across Canada, while the NEB is 90 percent funded by levies on the industry.

5-28-15 Murkowski Cheers LNG Export Approval ... Urges Repeal of Oil Export Ban

28 May 2015 8:43am

Comment: We remind our Canadian and U.S. readers that with so much North American oil and gas existing and potential production and with so many more LNG export projects than the market can accommodate, any major news such as the Alaska LNG export approval today affects investors, jobs, treasuries and economies in both countries.  -dh

US SENATOR LISA MURKOWSKI, Approve Alaska LNG Exports, Approve Repeal of Oil Export Ban, Photo by Dave HarbourBREAKING NEWS TODAY!  U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today cheered the Department of Energy’s approval of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export license for Alaska’s massive North Slope natural gas resources.  READ ENTIRE STATEMENT HERE.... 

Robert Dillon, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, lift crude oil export ban, Lisa Murkowski, Photo by Dave HarbourOur friend, Robert Dillon (NGP Photo), of Senator Lisa Murkowski's Energy and Natural Resources Committee writes this morning of the article below: "From this morning’s edition of The Hill: “Ending the export ban creates a global market for U.S. oil that will increase production and stabilize prices. The U.S. once dominated the energy markets, with the right policies it can do so again.” 

The Hill by Dr. Merrill Matthews.  Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), along with 10 other Senate cosponsors, have introduced the Energy Supply Distribution Act (S. 1312), whose primary purpose is to end the 40-year ban on exporting U.S. crude oil.

Congress passed a crude oil export ban in 1975 as an understandable, if ineffective, response to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ efforts to use access to crude oil as a political weapon.

OPEC’s decision to cut back oil production left the U.S. with higher gas prices and often long gas lines.  For one of the first times Americans felt the helplessness that comes when foreign countries had us at their mercy.

U.S. oil production had already been declining, having reached its peak in 1970 with an average of 9,637 million barrels of oil per day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.  By 1975 production had declined by 1.3 million barrels a day.  (Read entire article here....)                                          

Washington, D.C.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today cheered the Department of Energy’s approval of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export license for Alaska’s massive North Slope natural gas resources. 

“Receiving the conditional license to export LNG to non-free trade agreement countries is a major milestone for the Alaska LNG project and great news for Alaska,” Murkowski said. “With federal permission in place, those working on the project have the ability to begin selling Alaska gas in the Asian markets. With this project comes good jobs and a stronger economy and I’m excited to see Alaska at the forefront of LNG exports.”

Department of Energy (DOE) officials announced the license approval Thursday morning in Anchorage at a roundtable on the federal permitting process hosted by Murkowski.

The license, which would allow exports of up to 2.55 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day for 30 years, is conditional on final regulatory approval of the project by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The Alaska LNG Project is currently in the pre-filing process at FERC.

The Alaska LNG Project is a partnership between the state of Alaska, the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., BP, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and the pipeline company TransCanada.

Murkowski noted that DOE’s 30-year authorization – a full decade longer than typical – was justified by the size and scope of the Alaska LNG Project, which could cost as much as $60 billion.

“The volume of 2.55 BCF a day and the length of this authorization are necessary to support a project of this size and scope,” Murkowski said.

Alaska has 35 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves on the North Slope, and the potential for 200 trillion cubic feet more both onshore and offshore of Alaska’s northern coast. Alaska also has a 44-year history of shipping LNG from Cook Inlet to Asia from Nikiski.

“I have always indicated that coordination at the federal level will be key to the success of an Alaska LNG project. When the prospects for Alaska gas changed from an overland pipeline to an LNG project, the federal tools changed.” Murkowski said. “FERC has the ability to be the lead agency for permitting and play a coordinating role for federal agencies. Further, the Department of the Interior leads an interagency working group established through executive order to support major Alaska projects and can supplement FERC’s lead on an Alaska LNG Project.”

As chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Interior and Environmental Appropriations Subcommittee, Murkowski has oversight authority over the federal agencies involved in permitting an export project, including DOE and FERC, and is well positioned to ensure the project continues to advance.



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