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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.

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Post Election Day Highs and Lows

05 November 2014 5:03am


Brief Post-election Comment: We believe our opinion piece yesterday regarding the struggle between socialism and constitutionalism remains valid.  

In Alaska there is a twist.

Bill Walker, Governor, Alaska, Candidate, Populist, gas pipeline, port authority, election, Dave Harbour PhotoSean Parnell, Governor, Alaska, ACES, gas pipeline, AGIA, election, Dave Harbour PhotoVoters chose to have an all-Republican Congressional Delegation.  This helps create a Republican led Congress that has the potential but not the guarantee of reversing much if not all of the effort to 'fundamentally transform America' into a socialized society.

But on the Alaska scene the tension between socialists (Democrats) and constitutionalists (many but not all Republicans) continues.

The Republican governor is in danger of being replaced by a Republican-turned-Democrat.  If this happens, Alaska will have a populist governor who accrued votes from dedicated Democrat voters, rural voters and others.  The 'others' consisted in part of conservatives who believed in -- or dismissed -- the anti-oil company rhetoric (See video above).  Then, there were the other initiatives that legalized marijuana, supported environmental activist blocking of natural resource projects and increased the minimum wage.

The successful initiatives will contribute to the socializing of Alaska and create new disincentives for investment in mining and oil and gas projects.

There is a chance that a large number of uncounted absentee ballots could help Republican Governor Sean Parnell (NGP Photo-R) overcome Democrat challenger Bill Walker's (NGP Photo-L) current one percent lead. 

Dan Sullivan, US Senate, AG, DNR, Commissioner, Mark Begich, Photo by Dave HarbourPost election 'Highs' include election of Dan Sullivan (NGP Photo) to the U.S. Senate and many Republicans to the state legislature.  The 'Lows' include the possibility of a left-leaning governor and the certainty of voter initiatives that challenge investment, economic prosperity and traditional morality.



11-4-14 Election Day USA: Socialism vs. The U.S. Constitution

04 November 2014 6:42am

AltaGas Plans Expansion: Good Omen For Alaska Gas Commercialization Or More Competition?

Today's Relevant Consumer Energy Alliance Energy Links

Election Day USA: Socialism vs. The U.S. Constitution

Yes, it is that simple and that obvious!


Dave Harbour

Today, November 4, 2014, is Election Day USA.  The way we see it, a voter has three choices:  


    For the reasons articulated herein, we voted early and we voted a straight Republican ticket.  We believe the handwriting is on the wall: the country will fall if its path toward socialist dictatorship remains unchanged. 

    The Democrat party is the carrier of socialist principles designed to accumulate power at the expense of freedom.

    If Americans value their way of life, they must forcefully reject and then reverse the dangerous array of values created over the last several decades by politicians of both parties, but primarily the Democrats.  (Note: we were disgusted by President Bush's failure to enforce immigration law and close a porous border, by his failure to veto uncontrolled spending and by his lack of support for opening ANWR when he had the chance -- all being Democrat objectives.)

    There is no more time.  This election will be critical.  The Senate could continue to block the proper, legislative process and refuse to consider House bills, refuse to properly debate the national budget, refuse to curtail the administration's overreaching jurisdiction.  The Senate could ratify bad treaties and socialist appointments to the Judiciary.

    The person elected president in two years will determine whether the Constitutional principles developed and defended by the blood of our founders and so many following generations will sustain a formerly great nation that -- for some unfathomable reason -- seems drawn toward debating the value of its heritage.

    Democrats elected locally become national leaders later.  They are able to socialize education policy.  They support local tax increases, regulatory controls and the growth of local and state governments.

    In Alaska's case, a Republican-turned-Democrat Governor could have a chilling effect on investment in Alaska's future and usher in an irrational and damaging fervor of provincialism / nationalism.

    So what will be the result of this election today?

    We explore exactly that question in this commentary. 

    Read on, if you will....


    One can vote for Democrat candidates whose party is now co-opted by socialists (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10).  Or,

  2. one can vote for Republican candidates the majority of whom -- but not all -- we now believe to be Constitutionalists.  Or,
  3. one can vote for 3rd party candidates.  Note that conservative independent and Libertarian candidates generally support Democrat campaigns indirectly by taking votes from Republicans.  Equally ironically, liberal independent candidates lend indirect support to Republican campaigns.  These ironies arise when an independent's ego tells him/her, "I can win in spite of the odds."  But few will, other than the Bernie Sanders of the world who actually admit to being socialists and who will, naturally, vote with the Democrats (i.e. whose views are nearly identical) anyway.

The conclusion of our commentary, we believe, is factual and not political.  Our conclusion is, since: 

  • we love and have defended the values represented by America's Constitution; and, since
  • that Constitution is based on the rule of law, the broadest array of freedoms and divine guidance from a loving God; and, since
  • as Thanksgiving approaches we recognize our traditional, American values have both prospered and protected the country since its founding; we, therefore,
  • believe that departing from those values will lead to the destruction of America's way of life and the absence of hope and prosperity for her newest and coming generations of children.

Question: What does this all have to do with this webpage, with natural resource industries and -- more specifically -- energy and gas pipelines?  Why should oil companies, mining firms, farmers, commercial fishermen, oil and gas pipeline advocates care?

Answer: Socialism, like communism, requires dictatorial control of the means of production, of human endeavor and freedom.  Communists and socialists obtain control by force or by seducing the majority of voters to support a regime that takes from the few and redistributes to that majority, under auspices of a dictatorial government.

American socialism materialized from voter preference (i.e. or ignorance) but is, more and more, being cultivated by force.  But however socialism gained a toehold here, it eschews freedom to maintain control and has already done much damage to erode America's rule of law.  It has intimidated citizens from exercising their former freedoms and gradually evaporated those constitutional freedoms.  

We provide many examples herein but recall a few, here, including:

  • Case in point: 

    CBC.  The price tag for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline has risen by half to $8 billion US, TransCanada Corp. said Tuesday as the U.S. regulatory process drags into its seventh year.

    Thank to former Alaska Mining Association Executive Steve Borell for bringing this National Journal article by Clare Foran to our attention (Scroll down to see this Brigham McCown ​ comment)  

    "Approving new, state-of-the-art infrastructure must be a top administration priority in order for our Nation to remain competitive. Transportation bottlenecks rob us all of both safety and efficiency, and should not be tolerated.

    "Opposition to KXL simply undermines our national security, threatens our environment, decreases safety, and burdens us all with higher prices."

    More and more autocratic use of the Executive Order (i.e. nearly identical to dictatorial fiat) to accrue power; and, reluctance of the other two branches to rein in Executive powers.

  • Illegal use of the IRS to intimidate and eliminate political opposition.
  • Unconstitutional and precedent-setting use of the EPA to pre-preemptively stop a development project on state lands before that project presents a development plan or applies for state and federal permits.
  • Establishing laws by judicial precedent via the unconscionable use of 'sue and settle' wink-wink understandings between environmental and social activist plaintiffs and agency defendants recruited from and/or aligned with those constituencies.
  • Aggressive use by multiple agencies of the ESA (Endangered Species Act), CWA (Clean Water Act) and CAA (Clean Air Act) to stop or stall, rather than honestly regulate, free enterprises in energy, mining and other industries.
  • Subverting the will and role of Congress by creating a fiat "Ocean Policy Task Force" and subsequent programs without authorized funding -- by "relocating" (i.e. embezzling) Congressionally authorized funds reserved for other purposes.
  • Not enforcing existing laws of immigration and those protecting voters at the polls from intimidation and vote fraud.
  • Attacking border states attempting to defend their sovereign territory against illegal immigration that puts burdens on social services, threatens life and limb of citizens and introduces disease and chaos into American society.
  • Giving to Muslim terrorist enemies the due process rights accorded to American citizens under the Constitution.

Almost without exception, the Democrat controlled U.S. Senate has supported or acquiesced to the Administration's socializing of America and dismantling of Constitutional guarantees (i.e. and enforcement thereof) known as the 'rule of law'.  As bad, the socialist controlled Senate has failed to even consider the majority of bills passed by the House and presented to the Senate for consideration.

Dear readers: this commentary is not intended to influence votes at this late date.  In any case, our readers are among the most knowledgeable and sophisticated anywhere -- and, we believe -- are immune to being influenced.

This commentary is written at this hour to make the point that these are not the good old days.  Some of us coming of age in Alaska during the 70s worked with Republicans and Democrats.

Some of the Democrats 40 years ago may have been very liberal, early socialists (Note: back then, we called them the ad hoc Democrats, to distinguish them from their older, more conservative Democrat colleagues like Senator Bob Ziegler, Senator Bettye Fahrenkamp, Representatives Bette Cato, Joyce MunsonPappy Moss and others.)

Some Democrats/socialists may wistfully call themselves "conservative" today though we don't hear the term used much now, come to think of it.  Almost without exception, the socialists vote as a block now under Democrat leadership.  

In general, the socialist Democrats oppose natural resource development; support higher taxes on others; strive to redistribute tax money to their constituencies; demonize free enterprise; subsidize uneconomic and 'alternate' industries and social programs that support them; oppose proper enforcement of immigration and voter laws, etc.; value free cell phones for constituents over balancing budgets or winning wars to protect American security; advocate much higher utility and general energy bills for consumers in the name of 'human caused global warming'; generally oppose America's Christian heritage while protecting secular, anti-Christian values and activity; refuse to control government growth while ignoring the public debt burden that irresponsible spending forces on their children's generation.

Therefore, make no mistake.  When this day is over and the votes are counted here's what we can expect:

  • A majority of Democrat and liberal Republicans would escalate America's departure from constitutional principles making domestic natural resource wealth creation more difficult.  Nationalization, as Venezuela and Argentina have shown, is the next step which strengthens the rulers at the expense of the consumers and free enterprise.
  • A majority of Republicans could reverse much of what the current national administration has wrought in 6 years.  However, since some of that majority is liberal one cannot expect the same degree of vigor mobilized to dismantle socialized government as that employed to create it.  
  • Therefore, one could be safe in giving odds in favor of a continuing and debilitating national debt, erosion of the rule of law and a dangerously weak national defense.  Sadly, this reality could survive today's election no matter who has the majority; the difference might well be "a matter of degree not of kind".  
  • But "hope does spring eternal".  Since it does, we continue to hold out hope for a sliver of a chance that a Republican leadership could reverse the attack on America's constitutional government and its unique guarantees.  One holds out hope for leaders that will be so courageous, so charismatic, so brilliant, so determined that all of the internal attacks on America's way of life can be repealed and our freedoms reinstated.  

Yes, we hope.  And though "hope is not a strategy", it does spring eternal to those who still nurture the flickering light of freedom.

AltaGas Plans Expansion: Good Omen For Alaska Gas Commercialization Or More Competition?

Calgary Herald by Dan Healing.  Prospective LNG exporter AltaGas Ltd. of Calgary said Monday it plans to double its asset base from $7.5 billion to $15 billion by 2019.

At an investor day webcast from Toronto, executives said AltaGas plans to expand its utility and power operations but most of the growth will be in its ability to handle and export western Canadian natural gas from prolific shale plays in northeastern B.C. and northwestern Alberta.

“This natural gas boom in terms of volume and price will dramatically change the energy market around the world and we’re already seeing that,” said AltaGas chairman and chief executive David Cornhill at the event.

Today's Relevant Consumer Energy Alliance Energy Clips:

The Energy VoiceFederal Gov’t Must Move Forward with Arctic Exploration

Last week, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issued a Draft Supplemental Environmental Statement (SEIS) for Chukchi Offshore Oil & Gas Lease Sale 193, north of Alaska. The new draft, which will be open for public comment throughDecember 22, 2014, re-evaluates the potential environmental impact of oil & gas development in the resource-abundant waters north of Alaska.


BuildKXLNow.orgIf Only Keystone Were on the Ballot in November…

If Keystone XL were on the ballot this Election Day the Associated Press would call the race before hearing from even the slowest counting county.


The Globe and Mail: Marathon’s pipeline reversal would reduce need for Keystone XL

Marathon Petroleum Corp. is considering a potential reversal of a major U.S. pipeline that could dramatically boost exports of Alberta’s heavy oil to the Louisiana Gulf Coast, as the energy industry moves beyond the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline project.


International Business Times: Alberta Premier: Canadian Oil Sands Crude Will Reach US Gulf Coast With Or Without Keystone XL Pipeline

Canadian oil companies don’t need the Keystone XL pipeline to get crude to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries, says the head of Canada’s largest oil-producing province. Developers in Canada’s oil sands region can take a handful of alternative routes if President Barack Obama rejects the Texas-bound project, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice told Bloomberg News.


Edmond Sun: Senate stumbles again on Keystone XL

Yet again, policymakers have undermined America’s energy renaissance. The Obama administration just announced that it will continue to delay its decision on the Keystone pipeline until after the mid-term elections. The pipeline would connect Canadian oil sources to American refineries and create thousands of new American jobs in the process.


USA Today: GOP power shift unlikely to alter economy's path

A GOP takeover of Congress next year would still mean a divided government and is unlikely to have a significant impact on an economy that's gaining momentum, economists say.


Forbes: Energy Compromises With A Republican Senate

The idea that Republicans would be more to compromise if in power in the Senate is a legitimate one. First, being in the driver seat, they should be more interested in getting some done. Second, the power balance will be much clearer and they should feel more relaxed about letting measures move forward that give them gains, but aren’t perceived as giving in to “the enemy”.


Edmonton Journal: Lamphier: Oil sinks below $79 US per barrel as Saudis cut prices

Suddenly, the prospect of $70 US a barrel oil — or even lower — doesn’t seem completely remote. Crude oil futures plunged more than two per cent Monday to close at just $78.78 US a barrel in New York.


Bloomberg: Halliburton CEO Expects Shale to Reverse Price Slump

“Despite what people are thinking, demand is creeping up, albeit at a lower rate than it has been,” he said. The downward pressure on prices is mostly due to an oversupply, and Lesar said that will quickly prove self-correcting, especially when it comes to U.S. shale production.


Oil & Gas Journal: New well-productivity data provide US shale potential insights

The US has 13 shale plays with major oil and gas resources. Two of them-Bakken and Eagle Ford-account for about 75% of the country's shale oil output. Four plays-Barnett, Fayetteville, Haynesville, and Marcellus-make up 83% of shale gas output, according to the US Enerrgy Information Administration (EIA).


New York Times: U.S. Oil Prices Fall Below $80 a Barrel

The benchmark American oil price fell below the symbolic $80-a-barrel threshold on Monday, swooning to two-year lows, after Saudi Arabia aimed to shore up its dwindling exports to the United States by cutting its selling price for the American market.


Fuel Fix: Moody’s: Refineries face flat demand, new competition

The U.S. shale boom unleashed vast supplies of crude that pushed North American refineries to full throttle, but flat global demand and a surge of new refinery expansions in the Middle East could put the squeeze on their profits.


Associated Press: Low oil prices send chills through oil patch

Marcus Jundt moved to Williston from Minnesota almost four years ago and has opened four restaurants there since. Food isn't propelling his business, though. It's oil.


Wall Street Journal: Quinn Stalls Drilling in Illinois

The boom in shale drilling has led to jobs and income gains in North Dakota, Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Illinois could be another gusher, but not if Governor Pat Quinn keeps interfering.


Bloomberg: HF questions go before state voters

Forty-five years after the blowout of an oil rig off Santa Barbara, California, helped galvanize environmentalists, the bucolic bit of Pacific Coast is again at the center of a battle with the oil industry. A measure before Santa Barbara County voters would bar oil companies from using hydraulic fracturing and other high-intensity methods to tap hard-to-get reserves. Similar measures, backed by groups worried about the environmental toll, are on ballots in Denton as well as in California's Mendocino and San Benito counties.


Wall Street Journal: Texas, an Unlikely Battleground Over HF

In Denton, a fast-growing city of about 123,000 people that sits on top of the Barnett Shale, the battle isn’t over global warming and energy independence. Instead, voters are wrestling with the very practical inconveniences of having natural-gas drilling sites nearby: noise, fumes, truck traffic, accidents, health concerns and anxiety over property values. Both sides say the vote could be close.


The Hill: Oil, gas industries fight local anti-shale measures

Hydraulic fracturing is on some local ballots in California and Texas, and the oil and gas industries are fighting against the potential restrictions.


KSBY: Anti-shale initiative Measure P in the polls

On November 4, the Lompoc homeowner and other Santa Barbara County residents will go to the polls to vote on one of the most hotly contested ballot measures: Measure P, the ban on hydraulic fracturing and other onshore oil extraction techniques such as cyclic steaming and acidizing.


Scientific American: Shale Threatens to Crack Politics

The city of Boulder wants to block fracking in the Rocky Mountain state. The liberal enclave has banned the combination of directional drilling and cracking subterranean rock with high-pressure fluids known as fracking within its city limits.


Bismarck Tribune: Low oil prices send chills through oil patch

That oil has averaged $96 a barrel over the past four years, fueling more drilling, more hiring, and bigger appetites in North Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma and elsewhere. Now oil has hit a rough patch, plunging to $79 from $107 in June on fears of a global glut. Many expect these lower prices are to stick around for a while. Lower oil prices, while good for the broader U.S. economy, are a threat to what has been a surprising and dramatic surge in oil production in the U.S., and to drilling communities that have come to depend on oil money.


Associated Press: Mineral rights, royalties flow to PA charities, universities

Some universities and charities don't need a gas well in their backyards to be enriched by the Marcellus shale frenzy. Contributions of mineral rights and royalty checks are flowing in from landowners who are sitting on fortunes because of the gas boom.


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Rising gas production should ease storage deficit

Erica Bowman, vice president of research and policy analysis for Washington, D.C., trade group America’s Natural Gas Alliance, noted that natural gas production, largely from U.S. shale plays, is about 4 percent higher than last year. “Add that to the storage level, actually we have more combined gas available than last year,” Ms. Bowman said.


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Acid mine drainage: Could it be used for shale?

From the road, it looks like any other waste water treatment plant tucked into a remote hillside in southeastern Butler County. But a closer look reveals it’s bringing in not sewage but bright-orange groundwater from an abandoned coal mine nearby. With fracking as an impetus, it could be the next step in solving one of the state’s biggest contamination problems.


Tribune-Review: Upper Burrell residents take sides on drilling

Upper Burrell residents Monday told supervisors they're worried how the board might change the township's regulations regarding where Marcellus shale natural gas drilling can occur.


Oil Price: Ohio governor promises more taxes

With U.S. midterm elections just days away, one Republican state governor is coasting to re-election despite promising to aggressively push for higher taxes on the oil and gas industry.


Columbus Business First: HF on ballot in 4 Ohio cities on Tuesday

Four Ohio cities are looking to votes to help them clamp down on fracking. Athens, Gates Mills, Kent and Youngstown make up half of the U.S. communities petitioning voters with proposals to ban oil and gas drilling within their borders. That number is the highest ever, Inside Climate News reports.


Houston Business Journal: Five things you need to know in Texas energy this week

The oil and gas world has its eyes on Denton this week as the city's residents vote to decide whether to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the area. The success or failure of the vote, which has attracted nearly $1 million in campaigns and advertisements, could determine whether other Texas cities consider similar fracking bans.


The Rural Blog: Texas, Ohio towns, California counties to vote on fracking bans duringTuesday's election

Voters in five towns in Texas and Ohio and three counties in California will have the opportunity to voice their support or opposition to hydraulic fracturing during Tuesday'selections, reports Zahra Hirji for InsideClimate News. Fracking initiatives are on the ballot in Denton, Texas; in Ohio in Athens, Gates Mills, Kent and Youngstown; and in California counties Santa Barbara, San Benito and Mendocino.


WFAA: If adopted, Denton fracking ban would face legal tests

Denton Mayor Chris Watts says that if his city adopts a fracking ban Tuesday, it won't be the end of the story, but the beginning.


Texas Public Radio: Falling Oil Prices Make HF Less Lucrative

Oil prices are down than more than 25 percent since June and are staying low for now. Drivers may appreciate that, but for oil companies, it's making some of the most controversial methods of producing oil less profitable — and in a few cases, unprofitable.


10-30-14 NPR-A Comment Period Over Today; PLEASE COMMENT

30 October 2014 5:59am

NGP Reader Comment Here: Bob Hoffman;  Reed Christensen; Brian Benson, et. al.  (Read our commentary: "Has Commentary Gone Crazy?"

Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senate, Energy and Natural Resources, NPR-A, Moose's Tooth, Dave Harbour PhotoComment: While our loyal readers are suspect about Federal Comment Periods -- with good reason -- we cannot afford to let any record of comment be overbalanced with armies of environmental activists.  NGP Readers everywhere: Please Comment Before Today's Deadline On National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska Permit Application.  Full background here.

Please pay special attention to this statement on the issue by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo) as you're not likely to read about her concern in local or national newspapers today.  In part, she said: "I am concerned about the critical project decisions that are being left for the record of decision, which could impact whether this project moves forward or not,” Murkowski said. “Federal leaseholders need to have a permitting process that is timely and predictable in order to invest the billions of dollars it takes to develop America’s energy resources.”     

-dh  (Reference: more on federal comment periods....)

Calgary Herald by Dan Healing.  The long-term gain of increased pipeline capacity led to short-term financial pain as oilsands producer MEG Energy Corp. reported another quarter of record production on Wednesday.

Bill McCaffrey, president and chief executive, said on a conference call MEG took a $27-million cash flow hit in the three months ended Sept. 30 as it produced nearly 76,500 barrels per day but sold only 69,800 bpd.

Bill Walker, Port Authority, Alaska Gas Pipeline, Governor, Candidate, Dave Harbour PhotoAlaska Native News by Jason Mayrand.  Community members around Alaska who are advocating for a pipeline that will deliver gas to Alaskans and address high in-state energy costs, are voicing disappointment in comments made by gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker (NGP Photo). 

NGP Reader Comment Re: NPR-A Deadline

From Bob Hoffman.  

Mr. Harry A. Baij

“BLM-Alaska manages 22.8 million acres of surface and subsurface estate in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) on Alaska's North Slope. It is nearly the size of Indiana and is the largest single block of federally managed land in the United States.”  Source: http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/prog/NPR-A.html

This permit is for 72.7 acres.

Resource development on the North Slope of Alaska has proven results to both a benefit to our country and to provide for the protection of the Arctic environment.

I support the applicants intended use and urge the Army Corp of engineers to approve the application.


Bob Hoffman

Anchorage, Alaska 

Mr. Harry A. Baij

Reed Christensen, Alaska Support Industry Alliance, NPR-A, Corps of Engineers Gravel Permit, ConocoPhillips, Moose's Tooth, Dave Harbour PhotoI am sending you this email as my official “comment” on the application to discharge gravel fill in wetlands from ConocoPhillips Alaska (CPAI) to support the development of the Greater Mooses Tooth Unit 1 (GMT1) drill site in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A).

As mentioned by the use of the acronym above – NPR-A – National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska, this area was set aside specifically for petroleum development. I find it interesting that many folks seem to prefer the acronym over the official title because the title sums it up so well. This is an area designated for petroleum development and as such I fully support the application and request the project be allowed to proceed post haste. Our state and our nation can very much benefit from greater energy independence through such projects as this. The political, economic, and security rewards far and away surpass the minor land impacts required for responsible resource development.

Reed Christensen (NGP Photo)

President, General Manager

Dowland-Bach Corp

Mr. Harry A Baij:

Please review and accept ​these comment​s​ regarding the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska. 

The NPR-A is a vital and strategic component of our national energy security and should be developed in accordance to the BLM’s 2004 Alpine Satellite Development Plan.

Understanding, advancing our knowledge​,  and development of the resources of this important petroleum reservation is critical that plan.  Alaskans have the knowledge and determination to make sure that development is done safely and ​at a low risk to the environment.

I fully support ConocoPhillips' application to place fill and build the necessary road, bridges and abutments to develop the Greater Moose’s Tooth Unit 1 west as requested in Alternative A, Ref# POA-2013-461.  This alternative has the least infrastructure development and impact to wetlands, while promising eventually up to 30,000 barrels production and continuing economic development to the state and local and even national economy.

The benefits to the state and the nation are manyfold.



Brian Benson

Air Liquide America, LP



10-28-14 What Do Dandelions and Energy Have In Common? - National Petroleum Reserve Comment Due Tommorrow!

28 October 2014 8:02am

Consumer Energy Alliance Says "Alaska Is Key To American Energy Success!"

NGP Readers Everywhere: Please Comment Before Thursday's Deadline On National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska Permit Application.

Dandelion, invasive species, Alaska, bureaucrats, conference, Dave Harbour Photo

Today, at great cost to state and local governments, bureaucrats gather in Anchorage to 'discuss' how to deal with invasive species.  Meanwhile, government managers coddle and cultivate the biggest invasive weed, the ubiquitous dandelion, which grows and multiplies under their noses, infesting northern forests and city landscapes alike.  We observe -- and have given ample proof here -- that national energy policies, in the hands of bureaucracies, are similarly managed.  -dh

Inuvik, NWT, Church, Dome, Silver, Oil and Gas Conference, Dave Harbour PhotoYour author once chaired a pipeline portion of the Inuvik Oil and Gas Conference.  We reported a week ago (i.e. You read it here first) that the conference would be postponed from this coming summer to 2016. 

Today, the CBC provides more background, here.

Ribbon cutting for new Alaska Geologic Materials Center Tomorrow, Oct. 29

Could This Website And Other Alaskan Blogs Become Regulated?

Power Grab: Dems Want Regulation Of Internet Speech
Published on DickMorris.com on October 27, 2014

Not content with the total bias and domination of the news networks, CNN, and the nation's leading newspapers, the Democrats on the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) have moved to assert federal control over Internet political speech.  Claiming the authority to regulate political postings and blogs as independent campaign expenditures, they want to apply federal campaign finance laws to online voices.   More here....

Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Spokeswoman Elizabeth Bluemink alerts our readers to the ribbon-cutting and open house for the new Geologic Materials Center (GMC) at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 29. The center is located at 3651 Penland Parkway in Anchorage. 

The GMC houses the State of Alaska’s collection of geological materials, which are cataloged, preserved and available for use by the public, industry, researchers and educators. The open house on Wednesday will include a tour of the new center.

“The new Geologic Materials Center is an outstanding example of the State saving money and improving its services to the public by undertaking a public-private building purchase agreement. We significantly reduced the cost and duration of this project and will deliver an enhanced facility that provides excellent access to our state’s geologic information,” said Department of Administration Commissioner Curtis Thayer.

New construction was sought to replace the aging GMC located in Eagle River, which had grown out of its available space and was in poor condition. The original building project concept was estimated to cost roughly $45 million and take eight to nine years to complete.

By purchasing the former Sam’s Club building in East Anchorage for $16.1 million and investing in renovations instead of new construction, the State spent closer to $24.5 million and is enabling the staff and the public to use the new GMC in under two years. The State also benefited from Walmart’s generous contribution of $2.5 million to support enhanced educational opportunities, including viewing rooms and space for classroom instruction. In addition, the building occupied by the GMC will house the State Pipeline Coordinator’s Office, currently located on 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage, resulting in additional cost saving for the state.

“With the new GMC, Alaska now has a state-of-the-art facility to house our geologic materials for the maximum benefit of the public, industry and our educational system,” DNR Commissioner Joe Balash said.

“Maintaining and protecting this collection will result in tremendous benefits to future generations of Alaskans, supporting both an educated workforce and new resource discoveries,” Balash said.

Among the geologic materials that will be housed in the 100,000 square-foot, heated building are thin sections, core and cuttings representing over 13 million feet of oil and gas drilling, 300,000 feet of core drilling from mineral projects, 115,000 surface rock samples, and 96,000 pulps. 

The new GMC has significantly expanded and improved core viewing facilities, including large private viewing rooms, conference rooms, new microscopes, new sampling equipment and wireless internet access. 2-D and 3-D seismic data will also be available from the new facility as they are made available. 

Relocation of the geologic collection will begin following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, with the new facility fully functional and open for business by next spring.


10-27-14 The Oil Supply - Demand Pendulum Is Forever Swinging To and Fro

27 October 2014 7:01am

Murkowski: Global Oil Outages Can Provide “Strategic Warning” of Threats to Stability

Top Energy Committee Republican Warns of Petroleum Production Losses in Libya, Yemen, and Elsewhere

Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senate, Energy & Natural Resources, oil supply, study, Alaska, Dave Harbour PhotoU.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo), today released a report surveying petroleum production outages around the world, data which could be used to provide strategic warning of threats to international security.

“Losses in oil production often reflect instability,” Murkowski said. “Energy reporting clearly pointed to Iraq’s deteriorating security years before the current collapse and provides us strategic warning of violence in other countries and regions.”

Russia To Invest In Alaska: Not Likely (Read Below).

ADNAtle Staalesen, Barents Observer: ... Rosneft has asked the Russian government for renegotiated terms in all its offshore oil licenses.  Russian Minister of Natural Resources Sergey Donskoy confirms that the oil giant has requested new terms in a total of 60 licenses....

 ADN by Pat Forgey.  Russia's Rosneft oil company, facing U.S. sanctions following Russia's seizure of part of neighboring Ukraine, won't be buying part of the huge Point Thomson natural gas field on Alaska's North Slope, Exxon Mobil said Wednesday.

Rosneft, one of the world's top oil producers along with Exxon, received the option last year as part of an agreement the two companies signed to expand their strategic cooperation in the Arctic.

But now, Exxon says Rosneft won't be part of the development of Point Thomson.

"Rosneft had evaluated the opportunity, and elected not to participate," said Kimberly Jordan, an Exxon spokeswoman for the company segment that includes Point Thomson and other Alaska operations.

The report, entitled Oil Production Outages & Strategic Warning, is available here. Highlights include:

·      Recent violence in Yemen, Libya, and South Sudan has caused sustained losses in oil production;

·      Petroleum outages clearly illustrate the effectof sanctions against Syria and Iran;

·      Iraq saw significant and rapid increases in petroleum outages concurrent with the rise of ISIS; and

·      Colombia and Nigeria have also seen oil production losses as a result of pipeline sabotage.

The report concludes:

“Sustained levels of such outages in other countries may constitute a degree of strategic warning to policymakers that attention is required, and ultimately are a reminder that record-breaking increases in North American oil production can enhance national security and stabilize global markets.”

Earlier this fall, Sen. Murkowski released staff reports that called attention to the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, as documented by public energy-related reporting, and that analyze ISIS black market oil sales and the possibility of Coalition strikes against ISIS oil.

Our Comment: We are grateful to Chester Carlson of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for circulating the timely information above.  It could be valuable to American and Canadian oil producing state/provincial fiscal planning efforts.  

The study could be useful to those concerned with the national economies and national defense and, of course, to energy regulators, marketers, producers, contractors, consumers and investors.  

However, the study generally deals with history -- from whence comes data.  While history is interesting it cannot enable one to predict future events with precision, since new developments are constantly affecting and changing assumptions and what would otherwise have been future outcomes.  

Our dear professor, Peter Drucker, always reminded us that trying to predict the future is foolish; that, the purpose of strategy is to take the 'right risks', not to eliminate risk.  

Certainly, this EIA supported study might assist decision makers in identifying the 'right risks' but only in the degree to which the historical data remains relevant.  For example, "...petroleum production outages," could be offset to greater or smaller degrees, either by economic malaise and demand decline or by new discoveries and technologies or a combination of factors.

We believe that Senator Murkowski made appropriate use of conditional statements (i.e. "...can provide strategic...; and, “Losses in oil production often reflect instability....”) and that the study could provide planners with a useful perspective.  -dh

TransCanada Flaring Gas Today

CBC.  TransGas, the pipeline subsidiary of SaskEnergy, is doing a controlled flare of natural gas at its Regina storage cavern southwest of the city this morning. The flare is set to start at 8:30 a.m. CST.

It will last for about three hours.

The location is roughly 1.6 kilometres west and 1.6 kilometres south of the Lewvan overpass, in Regina's southwest corner.

"Flaring is necessary to help TransGas perform operational upgrades to the pipeline system," the company said in a statement.



10-17-14 Pipeline Hopes Spring Eternal

17 October 2014 5:30am

Pipeline Hopes Spring Eternal


Dave Harbour

CBC News.  Premier Brian Gallant will use a four-day trip to Alberta to meet with business and political leaders to show his new government’s support for the Energy East pipeline.

Gallant and Energy Minister Donald Arseneault will leave for Alberta on Sunday and he will meet with Premier Jim Prentice, TransCanada Corp. officials and spend time drumming up possible investment opportunities

​The Calgary Herald provides a report by the Canadian Press' Ross Marowitz this morning describing opposition in Quebec originating from the province's largest gas distributor, Gaz Metro to TransCanada's Energy East pipeline project. 

U.S. and Canadian energy companies employ best practices in the world for exploration, development transportation and distribution, refining and marketing of oil and gas.  Complex as it is, our companies can easily design, build and operate state-of-art facilities.  Those facilities produce wealth for our countries, our companies, our citizens and an economic platform for the coming generations.

No, building facilities is easy compared with the political and regulatory challenges.  

In the U.S., politics almost 4 decades ago caused the two governments to choose an Alaska Highway route for moving Alaskan and Mackenzie Delta gas to market.  The less politically popular Arctic Gas project, a 27-member consortium at its zenith, would have done the job more efficiently.  TransCanada was one of its principle members.  The politically chosen project was never built.

In mid-1973, Vice President Spiro Agnew provided the final, tie-breaking U.S. Senate vote that allowed construction of the trans Alaska oil pipeline to begin.  Imagine how history would have changed had the politicians erred by one vote--sending that project to the scrap heap.

Now, one witnesses support from the American people, from affected states and even from the U.S. State Department for building TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline, creating thousands of jobs and increasing the North American supply of crude oil.  That which is exported provides valuable foreign exchange and less dependency for crude oil on less friendly regimes.  But the White House refuses to allow the international project to go forward for purely political reasons: his environmental activist friends oppose it. 

Imagine how history without this pipeline will affect the wealth of citizens, companies, states and the national economies of Canada and the United States.  Imagine this being done by an administration presiding over an accumulated deficit now approaching the unfathomable level of $18 trillion, a debt per taxpayer of plus or minus $153,000.  Not to mention national defense implications and an injured relationship between two of the world's greatest friends and trading partners.

While the Keystone XL pipeline proponent, TransCanada, awaits final word from the U.S. on that project it is furiously seeking to create another outlet for prolific Alberta oil sands production and make best use of an underused gas pipeline.

We made reference, yesterday, to the $12 billion Energy East project, designed to convert a natural gas pipeline with spare (i.e. unused) capacity into a fully used oil line.

Marowitz noted in his report that it, "...would be one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Canadian history, crossing six provinces and traversing 4,600 kilometres in total. Roughly two-thirds of it would make use of underused natural gas pipe that's already in the ground, with new pipe being built through Quebec and New Brunswick. The idea is to connect oilsands crude to eastern refineries and to export some of the oil by tanker."

He concludes with a Deloitte study conclusion that the gas to oil pipe conversion, "...will boost the Canadian GDP by $35 billion over 20 years, add $10 billion in taxes, support 10,000 jobs and help eastern refineries.

When TransCanada files its application to proceed with the National Energy Board (i.e. NEB, Canada's counterpart to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC) Gaz Metro is likely to file in opposition to the project, partly on the basis that the underused TransCanada gas line currently provides the extra gas needed during high demand, winter months.  One can envision a protracted, contested TransCanada application that can cause delay, raise costs and reduce value to taxpayers and ratepayers alike.  We would hope Gaz Metro, on behalf of its consumers, would work out a private compromise with TransCanada that would be mutually acceptable.  We would hope, too, that TransCanada would be flexible enough to join in a cooperative effort to resolve differences around a bargaining table rather than before an expensive and unpredictable regulatory, tribunal.  Just look at the NEB's propensity to attach unpredictable and costly "conditions" to application approvals that could cause significant angst and expense for project proponents (e.g. Just 'Google', "conditions NEB pipeline").

TransCanada is also the big-inch gas pipeline member of the Alaska LNG Project consortium attempting to build a pipeline/LNG project designed to transport long-stranded Alaska North Slope Gas to Asian markets.  This is the most feasible concept now that the gas shale phenomenon has precluded the need for Mackenzie Valley and Alaska Highway gas pipelines (i.e. In both projects, TransCanada played a leading role).

One can imagine the tension that must exist in the TransCanada board room with three world class pipeline projects all teetering between approval and rejection amid tumultuous world tensions in a volatile regulatory, political, price, supply and demand environment!

If none of the three projects moves forward, that will be a big problem for shareholders since so much development cost will be written off and/or shared with existing pipeline ratepayers.

If all three projects were to receive market place and political and regulatory approvals, that in and of itself would be a huge challenge for TransCanada to manage in the coming decade.

Management of multiple mega projects poses a huge variety of challenges, including but not limited to: 1) transitioning from a baby boomer, experienced pipeline workforce to a vast generation of new workers; 2) giving existing pipeline maintenance, marketing and construction adequate attention; 3) convincing Alaska partners and other project stakeholders that it has the resources to manage all the projects in a somewhat similar timeframe; 4) conducting three world class stakeholder engagement programs both prior to, during and following construction; and 5) managing state, provincial and federal regulatory filings and disputes in both countries and across many states and provinces; and 6) dealing with limited, worldwide big inch pipe manufacturing and other logistical capabilities.

Having worked with and known TransCanada for a long time, we believe that if any company is capable of absorbing such multiple challenges, it is TransCanada.

That said, one hopes -- for the sake of North American economies -- that all three projects are successful and that TransCanada can successfully and efficiently build and operate them.

One also hopes that these three projects will 1) moderate world tensions in Europe, where new, North American energy might take the edge off of Russian energy blackmail/bribery; 2) free Alaska stranded gas while filling an Asian demand from a secure and diversified, North American source; and 3) enable the United States and Canada to reaffirm their historical relationship as each others' largest trading partner and best friend.

While hope is not a strategy, one cannot resist the belief that hope does, indeed, spring eternal and will win in the end.

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