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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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11/27/14 Canadian and American Leaders Make Pipelines A Political Issue

27 November 2014 12:51pm

Bill Walker, Governor, Alaska, Gas Pipeline, AGDC, Fauske, Day, AGIA, Hawkins, Chenault, Photo by Dave HarbourAlaska Dispatch by Alex DeMarban.  Gov.-elect Bill Walker (NGP Photo) on Monday began the thorny task of meeting with officials from the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., an entity he targeted during his campaign as ripe for cuts, with its high salaries and the state's dueling gas pipeline projects.

Commentary.  We have long respected the objective reporting and wise commentary that the Calgary Herald provides its fortunate readers.  Today, Editorial Board writer, David Marsden , provides a concise, common sense, pipeline perspective.  In it, he reveals the harmful and illogical pipeline agendas embraced by leftist U.S. and Canadian leaders.  Kudos, Mr. Marsden, your work is another feather in the cap of responsible editorial policy.  -dh

Calgary Herald, by David Marsen.  ... common sense is apparently lost on U.S. President Barack Obama, who has been told repeatedly by his officials that the Keystone XL pipeline wouldn’t increase greenhouse gas emissions in any sizable way. After dithering for six years, it has become evident that politics, not legitimate concern for the environment, is behind Obama’s refusal to green light the pipeline, which ....

Canadians have no choice but to accept Obama’s fuzzy thinking, but sadly, the leaders of Ontario and Quebec have adopted the same approach.... Such talk has gained favour in British Columbia too, where opponents of construction of the Northern Gateway pipeline and expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline have dwelled on climate change. They choose to ignore the fact that pipeline companies aren’t the biggest consumers of fuel — the real culprits are moms and dads who insist on filling up their cars each week so they can get to work, drop the kids off at school and go on holiday from time to time (Our emphasis added).


11-18-14 TransCanada's Energy East Pipeline: "The Medium Is The Message", But All Is Not Lost....

18 November 2014 6:50am

Personal note: en route today from Cuenca, Ecuador to Anchorage....

Globe & Mail.  In Alberta, Jim Prentice, Alberta, Premier, oil sands, environmental, Dave Harbour Photowhere the Conservatives are Progressive, Premier Jim Prentice (NGP Photo) accurately described his province’s biggest challenge in a weekend speech to his party. Alberta, he said, has to find new markets in Asia for its oil, and the only way it can do that is by redefining the province “as an environmental leader.”

CBC.  TransCanada is launching an aggressive campaign to get public support and recruit "advocates" for its Energy East pipeline.  Documents obtained by Greenpeace and shared with CBC News show the energy company is using the U.S. public relations firm Edelman, the largest in the world, to promote the massive oil pipeline project.                  ...

Edelman suggested a "campaign-style approach" and borrowing tactics from opposing environmental groups that "press their advantage" and successfully use online campaigns to leverage "large and passionate audiences that show a propensity to vote and take other political action."  (See our earlier story.)

The Medium Is The Message But All Is Not Lost


Dave Harbour, APR

This CBC story likely resulted from some friend of Greenpeace leaking private company correspondence which revealed an Edleman proposal to TransCanada for a grass roots campaign to bolster support for the Energy East pipeline project.  

Of course, it is like a big fundraising gift for Greenpeace, which can tell its multi-million dollar donors that corporations are engaging in a "sneaky" grass roots program to organize advocates for the Energy East Pipeline.  

The leak gave environmental extremist opponents the excuse/ammunition to say their opponents are trying to manufacture support.  

One can only imagine the hair raising political strategies exchanged by the various environmental advocacies, that could cripple modern society.  

But then, CBC is not investigating those, and that is another story.

Sure, large companies need to organize grass roots programs.  Some of the most effective ones are done with dedicated, 'in house' resources, with little public fanfare.  Others require more extensive and specialized outside resources.  Yes, companies can retain outside strategic and/or tactical support but -- as this instance teaches -- they must anticipate additional security challenges.

Canadian media master Marshall McLuhan had it right when he introduced a novel communication concept, "The medium is the message."

TransCanada and Edleman have unintentionally tripped on this precept.  Instead of being able to quietly and efficiently organize messages and advocates, a leaker in their midst has provided information about a proposal which suggests that, in effect, "We are organizing grass roots advocates by spending a lot of dollars to convince you to politically support us."  

This leak is a case history in - the - making that will be prominently featured in the annals of modern Public Relations challenges.  

It is a classic example of the critical importance of confidentiality in this digital age.

Energy East deserves support on the merits; the merits could convey a good "message" via an effective and voluminous citizen voice "medium".  

In short, TransCanada has a great chance of winning public and regulatory support by quietly and professionally engaging in low key, intense, effective communication efforts from this point on.  

But now, the leak has proclaimed Edleman's relationship with TransCanada and the medium of that relationship is becoming an unhelpful TransCanada message, an unwanted corporate PR crisis.  

Together, Edleman and its client have an unexpected challenge as their opponents will likely try to identify "corporate money" and "PR hacks" as the medium which they hope becomes the message. 

While this leak makes messaging more difficult, a good outcome is still possible, if not likely.  

In the CBC story, TransCanada did the right thing.  Its spokesman, Shawn Howard, affirmed that the company is engaging in a program -- without being defensive.  

Marketing the oil will benefit Canada and the entire free world.  As to emissions, we know the world's consumers will obtain fossil fuels somewhere and we'd rather it come from North America than Russia or the Middle East.

TransCanada should move steadily forward, without missing a step--in spite of the fairly one-sided CBC piece. 

Indeed, TransCanada should know that citizens are aware that this is an age of multi-million dollar environmental and social activism.  

TransCanada should be confident that citizens also know, 1) employers create the jobs and, 2) private income and tax wealth supports civilization, and 3) that companies must defend themselves, and us, against those advocating destruction of our way of life, knowingly or unknowingly.


11-14-14 Can Alaska Avoid A Perfect Economic Storm?

14 November 2014 3:59am

12:15 p.m. EST.  A few minutes ago the Keystone XL approval bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives.  It should be interesting to see what the outgoing Senate leader does with that bill.  See relevant story below.  -dh

Gretta Van Susteren, Senator Dan Sullivan, Alaska, Keystone, Energy, Dave Harbour PhotoCBC alerted us that the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline today.  (Note: Watch Senator-elect Dan Sullivan's interview with Greta Van Susteren (NGP Photo) last night and, in particular, his remarks about Keystone and other energy issues. -dh)

Dianne Blumer, Commissioner, Labor, job projections, Alaska, SB 21, gas pipeline, LNG Project, Dave Harbour PhotoKatie Bender, publisher of Alaskanomics.com, reports today that, "...(Labor and Workforce Development) Department Commissioner Dianne Blumer (NGP Photo) highlights that Alaska is expected to gain more than 36,000 jobs by 2022. This will increase the state’s total job count to more than 370,000. In the projections, health care and mining jobs will have the largest increase with 25 percent and 24.8 percent, respectively.  

(Insert our commentary: "Can Alaska Avoid A Perfect Economic Storm?"  These pleasant job projections are based on history.  

More comment.  Alaska is in the midst of exhaustive vote counting exercises to determine the winner of the November 4 vote for governor.

We would alert NGP readers that Governor Parnell has played key roles nationally in, among other groups, the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission (i.e. IOGCC) and the OCS Governors Coalition.

The IOGCC work, in particular, has placed him in close contact with Canadian provincial premiers whose interests sometimes coincide with Alaska's.

If a new governor should begin representing Alaska in a dramatically different way, national -- and even international -- energy policies will be affected.

We hope that if a close vote finally confirms that Alaska has a new governor, that person will be mindful of not only the big statewide responsibility, but the broader impact of his words and actions as well.


Over the past year and a half, the state's largest investors -- who directly and indirectly propel the majority of non-federal employment -- have based investment decisions on the passage of SB 21 oil tax reform and state support for gas pipeline efforts.  

We have it on good authority that before the election, companies were committed to billions of dollars of new investments in Alaska due to improved state policies.  

With a new administration, critical of both SB 21 and the manner in which the Parnell administration has pursued monetization of Alaska North Slope gas, there is significant risk that investment flows could reverse along with the optimistic job projections Commissioner Blumer has released.  

We also note that Alaska is already using depleting savings accounts to balance a state budget deficit that is based on the assumption of Alaska oil production priced at above $100/barrel.  In recent months, the price of oil has been dropping to new lows -- over 25% lower than the budget requires.   This is due to the prolific new streams of shale oil and gas production, to Middle Eastern oil production policies and to the more efficient use of energy around the world.  

Cutting state spending can reverse positive job projections very quickly.  Oil company spending reductions could combine with state cuts to produce a 'perfect economic storm' for Alaska along with many winters of discontent and out-migration rivaling what we experienced in the late 1980s.  

A new Administration had better approach these issues with a great deal more respect as it governs, than when it was engaged in political campaigning.  -dh)

The projected gain of just over 36,000 jobs by 2022 is a 10.8 percent growth rate for Alaska. This follows the projected population growth of 10 percent during the same period. The health care industry will see the largest increase of jobs due to the increasing age of Alaska residents. Between 2012 and 2022, the number of Alaskans who are 65 or older will increase 79 percent.

The mining industry, minus oil and gas, will be right behind health care in job growth. The expected increase of 24.8 percent will be due to higher-than-average mineral commodity prices and the expansion of existing mines. Many existing mines are expected to grow and there are multiple projects in various stages of permitting and planning. Because of the volatile nature of the mining industry, experts are not able to predict which projects will move forward and there could be significant changes to the forecast depending on mineral prices.

Not only are jobs expected to grow by 36,000 before 2022, there will also be 95,000 jobs that will need to be filled due to employees retiring or changing jobs. As noted earlier, the number of people over 65 will increase significantly in the next 8 years. In comparison, the number of people under 65 will only see a 3.6 percent increase. This will put high demand on healthcare jobs and related services as the population ages.

Alaska Economic Trends gives specifics in a variety of industries and occupations and expands on the forecast through 2022. The full issue can be viewed at http://labor.alaska.gov/trends/oct14.pdf    

Commentary: Note that in the Senator-Elect  Sullivan interview below the question arises as to whether the Keystone XL project will adversely affect marketing of ANS crude carried by the Trans Alaska Oil Pipeline.  In our opinion, the answer is, "no", for a number of reasons.  Crude oil, unlike natural gas/LNG, is a much more fungible, world commodity.  It's like asking, "If I poured a million barrels per day of water in the ocean at Key West, wouldn't that adversely affect coastal structures in Northwest Alaska?"  Also, Alaska's oil has its traditional markets which rely on the particular quality of Alaska crude, which is different than oil sands product from Alberta.  Lastly, if the Alberta oil is not marketed through the gulf coast, it will still find its way into world markets, by rail or pipeline, to Canada's East or West coast.  -dh





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


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