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      This is your public service 1-stop-shop for Alaskan and Canadian Arctic energy commentary, news, history, projects and people. We update it daily for you. It is the most timely and complete northern energy archive anywhere — used by media, academia, government and industry officials throughout the world. Northern Gas Pipelines may be the oldest Alaska blog; we invite readers to name others existing before 2001.  -dh



12-25-15 Rhetorical Question: Isn't Alberta Alaska's Canary In The Coal Mine?

25 November 2015 8:09am

Isn't Alberta Alaska's Canary In The Coal Mine?

Alaska Headlamp 

"Wrong every step of the way."

Bill Walker, Alaska Governor, Reserves Tax, Failure, Alaska Journal of Commerce, AkHeadlamp, Morning Headlamp, Alliance, Photo by Dave HarbourIn the wake of the latest self-inflicted challenge for the AKLNG project, the Alaska Journal of Commerce published an editorial chronicling Gov. Bill Walker's (NGP Photo) failings and hypocrisies dating back to his time on the campaign trail.


This is a time of low energy prices and severe industry cost cutting, right? 

Why, under these circumstances, would Alberta's new Premier be attacking carbon on her way to the Paris Climate Change Conference?  

*Why would the Governor of Alaska have recently threatened investors interested in monetizing Alaska's vast gas reserves with a 'reserves tax'? 

Indeed, why wouldn't these leaders be taking extra steps to provide an inviting investment climate for those who sustain the very government that attacks them?

Yes, these are rhetorical questions, answers to which diminish one's confidence in one's government.  Alaska's governor has demonstrated a visceral dislike for industry and a desire to take control of the means, allocation and distribution of production.  Alberta's premier is going, "all in" with the global warming agenda whose real objective is to, "destroy capitalism".

*No, we don't give Alaska's governor a 'pass' on this one solely because he later rescinded / postponed the gas reserves tax threat.  First, he's not expressed any remorse for initiating the threat, implying that the threat is ongoing.  Second, the mere threat of a new tax in a low price environment when investors are considering a $45-65 billion investment either pollutes the investment climate intentionally, or stupidly.  

In either case, the result is the same: a governor and a premier -- charged with husbanding vast resource wealth and protecting the public interest -- acting in ways that will increase consumer utility / energy costs, while diminishing investment, employment, economic vitality, and government royalty/tax income.    

Alaska's industry layoffs have not yet taken hold in force.  But absent wiser gubernatorial leadership, an economic recession could be just around the corner.  After all, Alaska's government and economy are much more dependent on oil income than Alberta is, and the ultimate pain in the 49th state could be much worse.   -dh 

Group layoffs in Alberta surge past 18000 workers
“Of the 18,006 employees impacted this year, approximately 78 per cent are related to layoffs by the oil and gas sector 

11-24-15 On Being Positive About Alaska's Investment Climate - Big Pipelines Alberta Carbon Policy "Winners"?

24 November 2015 9:19am

Here is our archive reference to the Resource Development Council's important, 36th ANNUAL


Seeking Alpha:  Enbridge and TransCanada seen as winners from Alberta's carbon policy


Governor Bill Walker's Response To Tesoro Alaska's Announcement

Comment: "On Being Positive"

This ADN piece (Left column) by Nathaniel Herz provides additional insight into the attitude and leadership style of Alaska's governor. 

Al Bolea, gas pipeline, LNG, BP, Governor, Alaska, Photo by Dave HarbourReaders will be interested, as well, in this compelling essay on gubernatorial leadership written by retired BP pipeline executive, Al Bolea (NGP Photo).

At times, we have lamented on how our work these days tends to fall on the negative side.  We are, therefore, delighted that Al has produced such a positive piece, the blueprint for an Alaskan governor desiring to successfully run the large and complex State of Alaska - and provide the necessary leadership that could lead to construction of an Ak-LNG project.

Meanwhile, we continue to look for positive signs that Alaska's investment climate is positively supported by both Alaska's elected leaders and the Washington D.C. players.

While we are forced to note that ours is an investment climate long ignored or abused, and that may seem to some to reflect negativity on our part, there are rays of hope and Bolea has offered one of them.

Tom Brennan, Anchorage Daily Planet, ARCO, Snowflake Rebellion, TAPS, ConocoPhillips, Mooses Tooth, Bears Tooth, Photo by Dave HarbourAnother occurred this weekend when a dear friend and former colleague, Tom Brennan (NGP Photo), described the enormous contribution being made by ConocoPhillips under the leadership of longtime Joe Marushack, ConocoPhillips, Alaska North Slope, LNG, gas pipeline, Photo by Dave HarbourAlaska energy executive Joe Marushack (NGP Photo).

...other rays of hope and light which we are quick to acknowledge.

While we celebrate "hope" in approaching Thanksgiving Day, we are also reminded of the sage advice given by a longtime friend, energy analyst and utility manager Joe Griffith, CEA, MEA, MOA, analyst, US Air Force, Alaska, Photo by Dave HarbourJoe Griffith (NGP Photo) who gently reminds fellow Alaskans that, "Hope is not a strategy", a precept to which we believe Al Bolea and Joe Marushack would also subscribe.

To our American readers: Happy Thanksgiving Wishes for Thursday!  

(And...remember the reason for the season!)


ADN by Nathaniel Herz. Larry Persily, Alaska gas pipeline, LNG, federal coordinator, Dave Harbour Photo ... Larry Persily (NGP Photo), the former federal gas pipeline coordinator who now serves as an oil and gas adviser to the Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor, said that a new executive with more technical expertise and experience seems to match Walker’s vision for an expanded role for Alaska in the pipeline project.

But the shakeup in the corporation’s board and management, he added, is creating turmoil for the project. So are other recent changes made by the Walker administration, including to the positions held by a pair of highly paid consultants who were heading Alaska’s efforts to negotiate the details of the project and sell the state’s gas.

“Markets (and) buyers don’t care for turmoil,” Persily said in a phone interview. “It needs to be settled; the market needs to be reassured that this isn’t going to happen on a frequent basis.”

One other source of uncertainty was a move by the state corporation’s board Saturday to postpone a vote on the pipeline project’s budget for next year.

A key meeting to approve that budget is scheduled with the oil companies for Dec. 4, and the board rescheduled its own vote to Dec. 3.

Walker said at his news conference that he is “very optimistic” that the board will approve the budget at its Dec. 3 meeting. But he said that he views the state’s authority over the budget as leverage to make sure the oil companies sign formal agreements making their gas available to the pipeline project if they decide not to continue as participants.

“By approving the work plan and budget today, there’s no incentive for us to receive those assurances,” he said. “We’ll see what we get. We’ll make that decision when we get to that point.”  (Full story here)


Seeking Alpha: Enbridge, TransCanada seen as winners from Alberta's carbon policy

Analysts are betting that renewable energy developers such as Enbridge (ENB+1.2%) and TransCanada (TRP +1.9%) will be among the best placed to make the shift to Alberta's new carbon policies, Bloomberg reports.

As the government boosts the province’s share of renewable electricity to 30% from 9% by 2030, "renewable power contracts are going to go to the bidder that needs the least amount of government support, developers with most financial flexibility and overall lowest cost of capital” such as ENB and TRP, says National Bank Financial's Patrick Kenny.

The two companies already are among Canada’s largest renewable power operators: ENB owns 2,065 MW of wind power across Canada, enough to power 650K homes, while TRP operates wind, hydro and nuclear plants as part of its 11.8K MW of power generation.



Comment: Honestly, we do keep looking for good news, but in this case must temper the Governor's enthusiasm with a state senator's suspicions.  Investment climates are not hurt when criminal acts are identified and prosecuted.  But when politicians make allegations, stimulating investigations based on a 'desire' for lower prices, honest investors can be hurt and the investment climate is not helped.  -dh     

Bill Wielechowski, Senator, Refinery Prices, investigation, Flint Hills, Tesoro, Photo by Dave HarbourToday (From September 9, 2015), Senator Bill Wielechowski (NGP Photo) sent a letter to Alaska Governor Bill Walker and Attorney General Craig Richards requesting an update of the Attorney General’s report on Alaska Petroleum Products Pricing Investigation to examine the reasons behind the high gas prices in Alaska as compared to the lower 48 states.

“One of the benefits of low oil prices should be a decrease in prices for gasoline and heating fuel. That’s the case around the country,” said Sen. Wielechowski. “With the closing of the Flint Hills refinery, we’ve been seeing a narrowing of the players in the refinery industry in Alaska allowing for less and less competition. Alaskans deserve to know if the near-monopoly in the refining business in Alaska is the cause for their pain at the pump.”

Currently, Alaska has the highest gas prices in the country. These high prices coupled with the high cost of living in Alaska is hampering economic development and taking money out of the pockets of hard-working Alaskans.

Governor Bill Walker's Response To Tesoro Alaska's Announcement


Governor Bill Walker, Tesoro, Refinery, Investigation, Pricing, Photo by Dave Harbour“I congratulate Tesoro on its announcement that the company will be acquiring a portion of Flint Hills Resources’ Alaska-based assets. Tesoro has had a long and successful history working in our state, and this acquisition will allow them to better serve their customers and communities across Alaska. This news further proves that business is alive and well in Alaska, and investors are optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead in our state.” – Governor Bill Walker

 Here is our archive reference to the Resource Development Council for Alaska's 36th Annual

November 18-19, 2015
Dena'ina Civic & Convention Center

Conference Program (pdf)



Eye-Opener Breakfast in Exhibit Area – Sponsored by Wells Fargo

Opening Remarks 
Ralph Samuels, RDC President, Vice President, Government and Community Relations – Alaska, Holland America Group

State of Alaska Update: From Alaska LNG Project to State Fiscal Plan 
Governor Bill Walker (video forthcoming)

Alaska Economic Trends: 2016 Outlook 
Neal Fried, Economist, Alaska Department of Labor video

Alaska Industry 2015 Year in Review and 2016 Outlook 
Oil & Gas: Kara Moriarty, President and CEO, Alaska Oil and Gas Association video
Fisheries: Ricky Gease, Executive Director, Kenai Sportfishing Association pdf video
Forestry: John Sturgeon, President, Koncor Forest Products video
Mining: Karen Matthias, Managing Consultant, Council of Alaska Producers pdf video
Tourism: Scott Habberstad, Director of Sales and Community Marketing, Alaska Airlines pdf video

Gourmet Break – Sponsored by ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc. ConocoPhillips Alaska: Positioning for the Future 
Joe Marushack, President, ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc. pdf video

Global LNG Market Update and Framing the Opportunity for Alaska 
Damian Bilbao, Director, Business Development, Alaska LNG, BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc. pdf video

Networking Break

Keynote Luncheon: Sponsored by Northrim Bank
It’s Still North to the Future: Moving Ahead in the Arctic

Wayne Westlake, President and CEO, NANA Regional Corporation pdf video
Rex Rock Sr., Chairman and President, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation video

Alaska Can’t Quit Now: Why the Arctic Still Matters 
Randall Luthi, President, National Ocean Industries Association video

Marine Freight Transportation: Safety and Environmental Stewardship 
Lynn Muench, Senior Vice President for Regional Advocacy Pacific Region, American Waterways Operators pdf

What Alaskans Need to Know About Federal Overreach 
William Kovacs, Senior Vice President, Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce pdf video

Gourmet Break – Sponsored by Colville, Inc. 

Pebble vs. EPA: Finally Some Real Progress 
Tom Collier, CEO, Pebble Partnership video

Point Thomson: Dawn of a New Era 
Gina Dickerson, Point Thomson Project Manager, ExxonMobil pdf video


Eye-Opener Breakfast in Exhibit Area – Sponsored by BP

Real Solutions to Alaska’s Budget Crunch 
Moderator: Ralph Samuels, RDC President, Vice President, Government and Community Relations – Alaska, Holland America Group 
Cheryl Frasca, Former Director State of Alaska Office of Management and Budget, 2002-2006 pdf video
Mike Navarre, Mayor, Kenai Peninsula Borough pdf video

Give the State Some Credit: How Oil Tax Credits Are Changing Alaska’s Investment Game 
Moderator: Kara Moriarty, RDC Executive Committee, President and CEO, Alaska Oil and Gas Association Benjamin Johnson, President, BlueCrest Energy, Inc. pdf video
Casey Sullivan, Director, State Public Affairs, Caelus Energy Alaska, LLC pdf video 

Hilcorp: Boosting Efficiency and Production in Alaska 
Greg Lalicker, President, Hilcorp pdf video

Gourmet Break – Sponsored by Stoel Rives LLP 

10:30 Communities and Mining: Why it Works 
Moderator: Lorna Shaw, RDC Vice President, External Affairs Manager, Sumitomo Metal Mining Pogo LLC 
Eric Hill, General Manager, Kinross – Fort Knox Mine pdf video
Jan Trigg, Manager, Community Relations and Government Affairs, Coeur Alaska – Kensington Gold Minepdf video
Wayne Hall, Manager, Community and Public Relations, Teck pdf video
Rosie Barr, Vice President, Lands, NANA Regional Corporation pdf video

11:30 Networking Break 

Noon Keynote Luncheon: Sponsored by Holland America Line Navigating Alaska’s Inside Passage and Policy 
Moderator: Ralph Samuels, RDC President, Vice President, Government and Community Relations – Alaska, Holland America Group 
Linda Springmann, Vice President, Deployment and Tour Marketing, Holland America Line pdf video

1:30 p.m. Progress Report on the Alaska LNG Project 
Moderator: Jeanine St. John, RDC Executive Committee, Vice President, Lynden 
Steve Butt, Senior Project Manager, Alaska LNG Project pdf video
Dan Fauske, President, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation pdf video
Mike Navarre, Mayor, Kenai Peninsula Borough video forthcoming

3:00 Grand Raffle Drawing Send-off Champagne Toast – Sponsored by CLIA Alaska


11-24-15 Gas Pipelines and Alaska's History: From Our NGP Video Reference Library

24 November 2015 5:23am

Northern Gas Pipelines: Video References

Someday, we will align Alaska gas pipeline historical events with political, social and other major mileposts in the state's history.  

Included in our sources will be a video produced by the State of Alaska under Governor Wally Hickel's direction (i.e. Broken Promises); and, an important documentary created by legendary, Alaska talk show host and commentator, Dan Fagan (i.e. Alaska Under Seige).  

We must add our own documentary, Pioneering, featuring a number of Alaskan influence leaders from many sectors of our society.

Today, we add our most recent, political documentary reference, Unpredictable Finishes (i.e. shown in box), by a dedicated Alaskan and good friend, Dorene Lorenz.



11-23-15 Can A "Business As Usual" Attitude Overcome Alaska's Financial Crisis?

23 November 2015 4:37am

EIA: U.S. proved oil and natural gas reserves rise in 2014

Comment: Premier Notley, like President Obama is taking actions that can be touted at the upcoming Paris Climate Change Conference where the top UN climate change official has said the true goal of environmental activism is to "destroy capitalism".  -dh

See today's Alaska Headlamp

Today, in the United States Supreme Court, nine Alaska organizations filed an Amicus Brief ....

Calgary Herald by Stephen Ewart. 

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley effectively put the first limits on unchecked growth in the oilsands — through a 100 mega-tonne annual cap on greenhouse gases....


Can A "Business As Usual Attitude" Overcome Alaska's Financial Crisis?

 Can Alaska be known as a place where, "a deal is a deal" and as a state not known to be, "its own worst enemy"?

Commentary by

Dave Harbour


At a time of Alaska state fiscal crisis, maintaining high state and local government employment is counterintuitive if not obvious.  

Additionally, the Governor has brought in a new Medicaid entitlement program whose costs may ultimately be supported by Alaskan businesses and perhaps individuals -- and which will be sure to attract even more "ne'er-do-well" beneficiaries to the state at unknown additional costs.

Additionally, the governor is working with the Obama administration to bring dubiously vetted Syrian immigrants to the state, five year resettlement expenses of which are estimated to cost taxpayers almost $65K each.  For Alaska, because of its remoteness and high costs, that number is probably understated.

"You Can't Make This Stuff Up"

Then, last month, the Governor called the Legislature into special session.  

To deal with an enormous annual operating budget deficit?  No.

To work toward a sustainable annual budget by cutting low priority programs and trimming others?  No.

To pass "fiscal certainty" legislation, providing Constitutional protection to the Ak-LNG project sponsors?  No.


He called legislators into session to have them consider a new tax on those wishing to invest in one of the world's largest ever LNG export projects, then withdrew that proposal.  

And, he had them consider increasing the state's equity stake in a risky pipeline/LNG project whose feasibility is unproven, whose customers are uncommitted and whose cost to the state, conservatively, would ultimately exceed $15 billion.

And, he provided legislators with no packet of information clarifying the purpose of their special session.

And, he neglected to inform them that he had dictated to the 'independent' Alaska Gasline Development Corporation board his desire to form subsidiary corporations.

And, he refused to permit certain state officials to sign acceptable Ak-LNG confidentiality agreements -- a defiant act that could well stop progress on the entire project.

And, this was on top of his earlier 'request' of the patient producer-sponsors that the Ak-LNG project study the option of building a 48" vs. the planned 42" pipeline, an initiative that likely cost the project 6 months of delay and an overall price increase.


Here are the most recent monthly employment statistics posted by the Alaska Department of Labor (AKDOL).

Today we will explore some relationships between responsible / irresponsible state budgeting vs. energy and other investments.

We note in these AKDOL statistics, the familiar, annual Alaska trend of increased school employment as summer ends and decreased commercial fishing, processing, construction and tourism employment as winter begins.

We are not economists, but have absorbed AKDOL stats for many years.

Anyone who has, knows that Alaska is a very seasonal place of employment for "labor intensive industries" like tourism, commercial fishing, construction, etc.

Therefore, to see post-summer season declines in these categories is no great shock though we know that a continuing, gloomy world economy could affect demand for their products and services as well and affect Alaska's economic health in a coming season.  

Oil and gas industries are "capital intensive" and typically have fewer albeit more highly compensated employees filling positions that are not very 'seasonal' at all.

We never forget that those few employees create great wealth for the state and national economies, as well as for their employers.

In fact, these employees' labors pay for most of the infrastructure used by the "labor intensive industries" ... also, the education and local government sectors. 

As world wide commodity demand decreases, Alaska can be hit hard where it hurts.  Fewer, highly paid non seasonal oil and gas jobs affect the year-around economy.  

In a low demand, commodities environment, the investors make less but they also pay less tax and royalty revenue to the state, due to slowing production and lower prices per unit.  

In a state choosing to become 90% dependent on oil and gas taxes and royalties, small changes in the price per barrel of oil can lead to large government deficits (i.e. as now), or unexpected, windfall surpluses.

Elected officials, therefore, need to be particularly concerned about and protective of the health of this oil and gas category--the very source of state wealth. 

Alaska is in a challenging position now with oil prices hovering at below 50% the price levels of 18 months ago.  

Thus, we would have expected responsible state and local government leaders to have begun cutting significant numbers of employees as well as shaving program costs to a sustainable level nine months or a year ago.  Some have said, "You can't cut yourself out of this predicament!"  What we've seen, however, is an increase in government employment from the beginning of the fiscal year to the present time--whose relationship to seasonal employment is not clear.  A minimal effort would be to -- at least -- not add any new programs or employees.

For the most part, this AKDOL report, viewed in isolation, seems to reflect a 'business as usual' attitude on the part of state and local budget policy makers.  They* are confronting a huge budget deficit by spending the last dollars in the State's available savings accounts--and counting for the long term on current, short-term low interest rates to fund debt.  (*We say, "they" because so much of certain local municipal operating and capital projects are funded from the unsustainable state operating and capital budgets.)

Perhaps a budgetary discipline escaping our untrained eyes has already been put into motion and will become more visible in future AKDOL reports.  However, the annual state operating budget shortfall ($3.5 billion, v. 750k population) is so serious and public news releases of government cuts and fiscal discipline are so muted that we fear the worst.

We fear that insufficient steps are being taken to create a balanced, sustainable state budget and at the same time retire a nearly $10 billion unfunded liability of the state employee pension program.  

We fear that this scenario -- if not immediately and decisively corrected -- creates a toxic, anti-investment climate in Alaska that could repel investment of all kinds for decades at a time when government needs to build an investment climate based on logical and not political economic principles.

As to a major Alaska north slope gas monetization project, such as Ak-LNG, one logically concludes: The producer proponents of the Ak-LNG project have demonstrated extraordinary patience, diligence and dedication in dealing with government while trying to evolve the project into feasibility.  We also observe that while the Ak-LNG project, if proven feasible, could someday begin transforming gas reserves into wealth, it could not do so before 2025.  This economic injection would come too little and too late to be of much help in facing the current financial crisis.

As we evaluate State of Alaska actions related to the Ak-LNG project, we believe most of that activity would fall into categories like 'not helpful' and 'self serving' and 'time wasting'.

The best, good faith effort Alaska could now contribute to the Ak-LNG project, would be to get its own financial affairs in order -- and not at industry's expense.

It could also begin cooperating with Ak-LNG sponsors in meaningful ways:

  • conforming to private confidentiality agreement terms
  • eliminating threats of increased taxation 
  • not being the cause of project delays 
  • providing a Constitutionally protected cloak of fiscal certainty to gas and oil producers that invest in the Ak-LNG project.

In short, why wouldn't Alaska want to become a reliable investment climate that transforms its 'Business As Usual Attitude' into a focus on 'Can Do!'

Why wouldn't citizens of the "Last Frontier" want to live in a place where "a deal is a deal" and where their government is not known for being, "its own worst enemy"?


November 23, 2015

U.S. proved oil and natural gas reserves rise in 2014

  • Natural gas proved reserves rose 10% in 2014, setting a new U. S. record of 388.8 trillion cubic feet
  • Oil proved reserves rose 9% in 2014, exceeding a U.S. total of 39 billion barrels for the first time since 1972
  • Sustained lower prices for crude oil and natural gas in 2015 have curtailed oil and natural gas drilling and have reduced operating economics; this is anticipated to reduce end-of-year 2015 oil and natural gas reserves

U.S. crude oil proved reserves increased in 2014 for the sixth year in a row with a net addition of 3.4 billion barrels of proved oil reserves (a 9% increase), according to U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves, 2014, released today by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). U.S. natural gas proved reserves increased 10% in 2014, raising the U.S. total to a record 388.8 trillion cubic feet (Tcf).

  Crude oil and lease condensate
billion barrels
Natural gas
trillion cubic feet
2013 U.S. proved reserves 36.5 354.0
Net additions to U.S. proved reserves +3.4 +34.8
2014 U.S. proved reserves 39.9 388.8
Percentage change 9% 10%

At the state level, Texas had the largest increase in proved reserves, 2,054 million barrels (60% of the nation's total net increase) in 2014. Most of these new oil reserves were added in the Texas portion of the Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford Shale play. North Dakota had the second-largest increase—a net gain of 362 million barrels—most of which were added in the Bakken tight oil play of the Williston Basin.

Pennsylvania added 10.4 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas proved reserves (the largest net increase for any state in 2014) driven by continued development of the Marcellus Shale play. Texas added 8 Tcf of natural gas proved reserves, mostly from the Eagle Ford Shale play and natural gas associated with the state’s gain in oil reserves in the Permian Basin. Natural gas from shale formations was 51% of the U.S. total of natural gas proved reserves in 2014.

U.S. production of both oil and natural gas increased in 2014. Production of crude oil and lease condensate increased about 17% (rising from 7.4 to 8.7 million barrels per day), while U.S. production of natural gas increased 6% (rising from approximately 73 to 77 billion cubic feet per day).

Proved reserves are those volumes of oil and natural gas that geological and engineering data demonstrate with reasonable certainty to be recoverable in future years from known reservoirs under existing economic and operating conditions.

U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves, 2014 is available at: http://www.eia.gov/naturalgas/crudeoilreserves.

The product described in this press release was prepared by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. By law, EIA's data, analysis, and forecasts are independent of approval by any other officer or employee of the United States Government. The views in the product and press release therefore should not be construed as representing those of the Department of Energy or other federal agencies.

EIA Program Contact: Steven G. Grape, 202-586-1868steven.grape@eia.gov

EIA Press Contact: Jonathan Cogan, 202-586-8719jonathan.cogan@eia.gov


U.S. Energy Information Administration
Contact Us | Washington, DC | www.eia.gov

11-17-15 Statoil Leaves Alaska - Murkowski Schedules ANILCA Hearing

17 November 2015 6:19am

TransCanada thrives amid intense challenges.  Read more below.  -dh

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski Responds TODAY TO  Statoil's decision to end its Alaska Arctic offshore exploration program.


Lisa Murkowski, Alaska Senator, Energy & Natural Resources, ANILCA, overreach, Photo by Dave HarbourSchedule now for this hearing of Senator Lisa Murkowski's (NGP Photo) Energy and Natural Resources Committee:   Thursday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m.,  Full committee hearing on implementation of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980, including perspectives on the Act’s impacts in Alaska and suggestions for improvements to the Act. 

Seeking Alpha.  TransCanada says it is sticking with a plan to increase investor payouts by 8%-10% annually through 2020 even after the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Calgary Herald, by Adam Williams & Rebecca Penty.  Days after the U.S. spurned TransCanada Corp.’s proposal to expand its Keystone pipeline network across North America, Mexico opened its arms.   TransCanada won the rights last week for its sixth pipeline in Mexico....

CBC by Paul Haavardsrud.  The fast-paced world of pipeline politics, as it turns out, doesn't take time to dwell on sentiment.

Before U.S. President Barack Obama was even finished putting the spike in one controversial Canadian pipeline project, attention was already turning to the chances that another would get built. 

Due in no small part to Keystone XL's demise, the prospects for Energy East (CP Photo), a 4,600-kilometre length of pipe running between Alberta and New Brunswick, have never looked better.  More....

Calgary Herald by Dan Healing.

More relief for Western Canada gas producers enduring pipeline bottlenecks is on the way with Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. announcing Monday a $570-million proposal to add capacity to cover 2.7 billion cubic feet per day of firm contracts on its Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. system by 2018.

Dozens of Calgary-based oil and gas companies that operate in western Alberta and northeastern British Columbia have reported interrupted production over the summer as natural gas gushing from horizontal, multi-fractured wells overwhelm systems operated by TransCanada and Spectra Energy. The Alliance Pipeline was also shut down for several days after sour gas accidentally entered the system.

Calgary Herald by Darcy Henton.  

A new carbon tax that’s expected to be proposed by the Alberta NDP to combat global warning is a “tax on everything” that will hurt laid-off Albertans, says Wildrose Leader Brian Jean.

The leader of the official Opposition demanded to know why Premier Rachel Notley suggested in a speech in Toronto last week that she plans to introduce a carbon tax while Alberta is in the throes of recession triggered by the massive collapse of oil prices.  More....

Natural Gas Intel by Joe Fisher.  

ConocoPhillips Alaska Natural Gas Corp. (CPANGC) has filed with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to extend exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its terminal at Kenai, AK.

CPANGC is seeking free trade agreement (FTA) and non-FTA export authorization for up to the equivalent of 40 Bcf of LNG for a period of two years beginning Feb. 19, 2016. Its current FTA and non-FTA export authorizations are due to expire soon. The Kenai LNG facility has exported LNG for almost 50 years under multiple export authorizations over that period.  More....

Peninsula Clarion by Elizabeth Earl.  

Managers are concerned that pressure on the Kenai River could increase if the Alaska LNG project goes through.

The project is still tentative and will not receive a final ruling until 2018 at the earliest, but if it does go through, the borough could see an influx of as many as 5,000 workers for the five years it takes to construct the 900-acre plant in Nikiski. Unless the camp is closed, many of them will likely recreate on the Kenai River.

Meanwhile, we see an American President reasserting an opinion this week in Turkey that Global Warming is a "critical issue", while calling the Paris murders, a "setback" in his strategy to fight terrorism.  -dh

Climate Change Comment by Thorpe Watson, NGP Reader.


Do you believe that mankind's emissions of carbon dioxide ("CO2", aka “carbon”) will cause runaway warming?

Do you believe that we can stabilize the planet's ever-changing climate by restricting our generation of COor by paying carbon taxes or by adopting a meat-free diet?

Do you believe that CO2 is “carbon” pollution?

The thousands of delegates, who will attend the Paris climate summit November 30, embrace such beliefs while ignoring facts that clearly demonstrate the delusional, if not pathological, nature of such beliefs. The pertinent facts are:


  • CO2 is not carbon or black soot.

  • CO2 is a colourless, trace gas in our CO2-impoverished atmosphere.

  • CO2 is as important as water and oxygen in sustaining life on the planet.

  • Henry's Law limits mankind's contribution to the total CO2 content of the atmosphere because the oceans are a huge CO2 sink.

  • Consequently, the consumption of all known coal, oil, and gas deposits will not materially replenish our CO2-impoverished atmosphere (less than 15%).

  • Global warming ceased more than 18 years ago in spite of increasing CO2 levels.

  • Most of the CO2 increases are caused by the natural out-gassing of the oceans.

  • The USA's emissions reduction pledge will seriously harm the USA economy and, according to the UN's flawed climate models, the reduction will reduce the world temperature by a pathetic, non-detectable 0.01oC by 2100 under the UN's most extreme and mistaken assumptions.

A more credible alarmist message is provided by scientists who claim that we will be subject to another mini ice age by 2030 (See article below). Solar scientists have been forecasting, for some time, a return of the low temperatures of the Maunder Minimum (1645 to 1715).

Rather than developing strategies to enable Canadians to adapt to inevitable lower temperatures, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will join the Paris delegates in their quixotic attempt to stabilize the planet's climate. Like Trudeau's chief advisor, Gerald Butts, the Paris delegates are eager to implement a worldwide, carbon-free economy; that is, an economy that does not use hydrocarbon fuels (i.e. coal, oil, and gas).

Gerald Butts was a senior adviser to Premier Dalton McGuinty when Ontario started down the carbon-free road to bankruptcy under its so-called 'Green Energy Act'. It is actually an anti-green act because it wrongly vilifies CO2. CO2 is a vital component of the carbon cycle, which is essential in the greening of our planet. At this time, Canada's industrial heartland (i.e. Ontario) is being dismantled under the Act.

How much of our sovereignty will Trudeau surrender to UN bureaucrats in the delusional belief that we can stabilize an ever-changing climate? I am sure the UN will be very willing to accept the payment of “indulgences” should we fail to meet our emission-reduction targets.

Furthermore, I am deeply concerned that the "International Tribunal of Climate Justice", to be resurrected at the Paris summit, could be given sufficiently broad powers to deny our freedom of expression. Specifically, the Tribunal would then have the power to deny our right to challenge the UN's false global-warming/climate-change narrative.

If you think I'm being paranoid, please note what has been said by such prominent figures as Robert Kennedy Jr. and David Suzuki; that is, they view climate realists as felons. Even the lawyers for Michael Mann would like to apply RICO laws against Mark Steyn who challenged Mann’s fraudulent “hockey stick” graph; that is, his bogus global temperature graph.

In reality, the alarmist climate narrative is not about science. Christiana Figueres (Executive Secretary UNFCCC) recently admitted that the primary purpose of the narrative is to gain acceptance for a new economic world order. Needless to say, it would be reasonable to assume that we will then be governed by corrupt, unelected, UN bureaucrats anxious to steal redistribute our wealth.

Will Ottawa follow Ontario down the carbon-free road to bankruptcy? A weak, low-carbon economy will not only move us towards an impoverished, Medieval lifestyle but will also threaten the unity of Canada and make us more vulnerable to the radicals of the world.

In addition to the foregoing man-made disasters, there is the natural threat of global cooling within 15 years. Will our politicians wake up in time to develop a strategy enabling Canadians to adapt to lower temperatures and to cope with the consequential reduction of farm output?

Let us hope that truth and common sense will prevail.




GLOBAL COOLING: Decade long ice age predicted as sun 'hibernates'

SCIENTISTS claim we are in for a decade-long freeze as the sun slows down solar activity by up to 60 per cent.

By Jon Austin

PUBLISHED: 03:07, Thu, Nov 5, 2015


A team of European researchers have unveiled a scientific model showing that the Earth is likely to experience a “mini ice age” from 2030 to 2040 as a result of decreased solar activity.

Their findings will infuriate environmental campaigners who argue by 2030 we could be facing increased sea levels and flooding due to glacial melt at the poles.


11-12-15 IEA Says Oil Prices Loom Low, Longer -- May Extend Alaska & Alberta Fiscal Crises

12 November 2015 5:20am

Log onto Alaska Headlamp for its useful report today!

Our venerable, mid-Atlantic energy analyst friend is worried about overcapacity of gas transportation projects: Alaska and Alberta, are you listening?  Read more....  AND ... our Aussie energy analyst friend relays the story of Anadarko's interest (i.e. subsequently withdrawn) in taking over Apache Corporation.  Read more....   -dh

Low Oil Prices Loom Longer.... CBC.  Oil prices are likely to remain low over the next five years because of plentiful supply and falling demand in developed countries, the International Energy Agency said Tuesday in its annual forecast.  The Paris-based body, which advises developed countries on energy policy, says it expects oil prices to return to $80 per barrel in 2020, with further increases after that.

Fiscal problems "loom" over Alaska & Alberta oil Economies; liberal leaders are hostile to the oil industry but seem pressured into giving it lip service!  -dh

Alaska Journal of Commerce by Tim Bradner.  ...time for the big Resource Development Council annual conference.  ... huge issues loom for Alaskans including the proposed $50-billion plus North Slope gas pipeline and liquefied gas project and the state’s ... $3 billion-plus annual deficits.

If Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is supportive of the oilsands and of "...a strong energy industry...," we wonder what her message will be when she joins the world's other socialist leaders -- including America's -- for the International Climate Change Summit in Paris.     See our earlier Paris Summit commentary, "Killing Capitalism".    -dh

Calgary Herald by Don Braid.  Stand back. Environment Minister Shannon Phillips has something to say about claims that she’s out to shut down the oilsands.

“I categorically reject this charge that I’m somehow against the oilsands,” says Premier Rachel Notley’s most forceful minister, who heads to Paris in two weeks for the international climate change summit.

“It is false. I, like the rest of my cabinet and caucus, know that we are — and will be for the foreseeable future — an energy economy.”

“I’ve said this every single time I speak publicly on the matter . . . we are going to build economic diversification on the back of a strong energy industry. I’ve never felt any differently on the matter.”


From: Our mid-Atlantic energy analyst friend re: potential for gas transportation overcapacity.

We have discussed the deplorable state of natural gas pricing, skating just above $2/Mcf (and much lower, for many Utica / Marcellus producers, down below $1/Mcf). 

Conventional wisdom says prices should stay depressed for perhaps at least two more years, waiting for infrastructure to be completed that will direct the natural gas to waiting markets. All very convenient as an outcome.

But suppose:

·        The amount of pipeline infrastructure brought on line exceeds the demand for the natural gas in several, if not most, of the intended end markets.

·        The amount of natural gas available continues to exceed the end demand on a throughput (daily) basis.

·        Both situations happen.

It has been generally assumed that supply and demand will come into relative balance when the end the incremental end users (including LNG exports, incremental power generation, exports to Canada and Mexico, increased industrial demand, and feedstock uses, among others) get their acts together. It should be lumpy in coming together, but should happen at some point, given the attractiveness of a cheap supply of natural gas.

It has also been generally assumed that the pipelines to accomplish this should not greatly exceed the amount needed to create the eventual balance, i.e. not to greatly exceed demand. But there are so many MLPs and others chasing projects with cheap money, that the possibility of over-construction has never been higher. Why should the gas producers be the only ones to have the fun of driving their industry into the ground through excess competition?

We have seen forecasts of a high possibility that both producers and pipeline companies are traveling parallel paths to sustained over-capacity.

In 2010, we asked several infrastructure companies at a conference to tell us how they avoided building too much capacity. We received some answers as to how a given company measured the need for its projects. But we have never had it satisfactorily answered as to how competitors are kept from acting irrationally.

Bottom Line: We are not predicting that BOTH gas production and infrastructure will get overbuilt. But we will be watching for signs it is happening.

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