Miss a day
Miss a lot


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


Federal Coordinator

Mackenzie Valley Oil Pipeline? Cook Inlet Gas For Fairbanks?

09 March 2015 8:03am

Watch live hearing  today @ 1 p.m. ADT re: HB 105, AIDEA BONDS; PROGRAMS; LOANS; Fairbanks LNG PROJECT (Note increased C.I. reserve estimates) ... Friday, Gas Larry Persily, Federal Coordinator, Kenai Peninsula gas pipeline, LNG, Photo by Dave HarbourPipeline Federal Coordinator's Office Closed; Larry Persily (NGP Photo) now Kenai Borough Gas Pipeline Coordinator ... AJOC, Midwest Utility Coming North To Alaska?

Alberta Oil Magazine by Richelle Wiseman.  (Mackenzie Valley Oil Pipeline?  See our earlier stories.  Photo, Invuik Church, Circa. 2002)

Inuvik, NWT, Church, Dome, Dave Harbour PhotoIt took nearly 40 years, one national inquiry and thousands of hours of negotiations, but in 2011 the National Energy Board finally approved the Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline. By then, there was just one problem: nobody really wanted to build it anymore. A massive pipeline that was once described as “the biggest project in the history of free enterprise” had been waylaid, ironically enough, by free enterprise. Gas prices were too low to justify the expense or generate a reasonable return for investors. And yet, there’s a movement afoot, driven by both government and industry officials, to build another major oil project in the North. Who said Canadians weren’t capable of optimism – or irony?  

Wall Street Journal -- Stupidity of Oil Export Ban....

Commentary: As Obama squashes TransCanada's Keystone, an army of Interveners seek to quash TransCanada's Energy East exit for oil sands crude.  And, more recently, Alaska's governor transfers support for the TransCanada/producer/state Alaska LNG project to a 100% government controlled gas pipeline, imperilling the former.  -dh    

Larry Persily, former federal coordinator for Alaska gas line projects, has accepted a position with the Kenai Borough government to include sharing information with the public about the Alaska LNG project and oil and gas issues in general. He will distribute the twice-a-week summaries in his new capacity. The update service will continue free of charge to readers.

Office of the Federal Coordinator is closed

The Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects closed on March 7, 2015, due to lack of funding. Its website, Arcticgas.gov, is being maintained, but not updated, by the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, with assistance of Alaska Resources Library & Information Services (ARLIS) at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Much of the office’s work also can be accessed online at The Pipe Files, a searchable digital library of hundreds of Alaska gas line project documents going back to the 1970s.

Congress created the Office of the Federal Coordinator in 2004 to help expedite and coordinate federal permitting for construction of a pipeline to move Alaska North Slope natural gas to North American markets. The current project under consideration by North Slope oil and gas producers involves piping the gas to a liquefaction plant in southcentral Alaska for export of LNG. More than 20 federal agencies are expected to have jurisdiction over that project.



28 June 2012 10:01am

Globe and Mail by Josh Wingrove.  With high energy royalties and soaring land lease sales, Alberta inched closer to a balanced budget last year.The province’s fourth-quarter report for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, released Thursday, shows a total deficit of just $23-million on its $39-billion budget. It had been forecasting a $3.4-billion deficit.  The changes come as welcome news to Alison Redford’s government, which has been under fire from the official opposition Wildrose Party for not managing to balance the books even as the province is awash in energy wealth.  “We are all very fortunate to be in Alberta. Our economy is strong and our bottom line is healthy,” Finance Minister Doug Horner said in a statement.

Federal Gas Pipeline Coordinator article by Bill White (Photo).  Before the first cargo load of Bill White, Alaska Gas Pipeline, Federal Coordinatorliquefied natural gas could set sail from Alaska for Asia, the project's export paperwork must be in order.  That paperwork would include a federal agency's finding that exporting the gas would not harm the nation's public interest. The Department of Energy already is pondering that question for Lower 48 projects as companies there push to export U.S. LNG.  The paperwork also would involve a step that applies only to exporting Alaska North Slope production as LNG: The president must declare that shipping the gas out of the United States won't hurt U.S. gas supplies or the price U.S. consumers pay for energy.  Other federal and state authorizations would be required, of course.  ....

Today's Federal Gas Pipeline Coordinator Links:


Alaska Oil and Gas Conference Commences - Federal Coordinator Schedules Gasline Forum

20 September 2011 4:30am

Yesterday, we sent an email to our readers alerting them that the EPA had given final approval to Shell's Arctic OCS air quality permits.  And we editorialized.  Here is an Associated Press story appearing today and this is Governor Sean Parnell's (NGP Photo) reaction.  -dh

Today's 7th Annual Oil and Gas Congress at the Marriott Hotel in Anchorage is first welcomed today by Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan (NGP Photo), followed by Governor Sean Parnell's keynote address.  Alyeska Pipeline CEO Tom Barrett will examine declining pipeline throughput issues while Exxon and TransCanada gas pipeline project representatives will offer their latest status report.  We will hear from the gas pipeline Federal Coordinator, Larry Persily and Alaska's stand alone pipeline project CEO Dan Fauske.  Canada's Aboriginal Pipeline Group and Alaska's Arctic Slope Regional Corporation will analyze energy issues from their unique perspectives while Alaska's oil and gas director, Bill Barron and Great Bear Petroleum's Ed Duncan will bring us current on statewide prospects and north slope shale and viscous oil issues.  Finally, we are delighted that the founder of the Alliance Pipeline, John Lagadin, will give the first ever review of how he overcame the challenges leading to construction of one of North America's largest energy projects--and apply that challenges to current Alaska North Slope and Mackenzie valley challenges.

We'll tell you about tomorrow's program, tomorrow!

Jennifer Thompson of the Federal Coordinator's office yesterday alerted us to an upcoming gasline forum.  


The federal coordinator’s office for an Alaska natural gas pipeline is sponsoring a public forum Oct. 18 on what could be done to help the economics of a large pipeline from the North Slope to the Lower 48 states, while also supporting a smaller in-state spur line to serve Alaska’s needs. The forum will be held in Anchorage and streamed live on the Internet.
“Alaskans want a natural gas pipeline for the public revenues it will produce, for the oil and gas development it will promote, for the jobs it will create and for the affordable long-term gas supply it will provide to meet local needs. To get all of that will take a big line moving a lot of gas to make it affordable,” said Federal Coordinator Larry Persily.
The forum is intended to start a discussion to get Alaskans thinking: What could the state do to help gas line economics? How much risk can or should the state take on? Are there benefits and cost savings from working the big pipeline and smaller in-state line together, forming one overall path to a prosperous future for Alaska?
The Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects will bring together panelists knowledgeable about the state’s economy and the economics of large energy projects to discuss the state’s fiscal options for assisting in any gas line development. The panelists will discuss potential financing options and how the two projects could benefit by working together.
“The economics of any large-scale gas pipeline project are daunting. Shippers must commit years in advance by signing binding contracts worth more than $100 billion to move their gas down the line, regardless of the market price in 2020, 2030 and beyond,” Persily said. “The worry of construction cost overruns is real. The timing of production and property taxes is within the state’s control and is a big factor in any investment decision on the pipeline, such as the billion-plus dollars in property taxes payable during pipeline construction. The forum will discuss these issues.”
Panelists will include William Garner, senior counsel at Dewey & LeBoeuf in Houston, who has extensive experience in energy projects worldwide; Gregg Erickson, a longtime Alaska economist; and Dan Fauske, president of the state-run Alaska Gasline Development Corp.
The forum is set for 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the University of Alaska Anchorage Fine Arts Building Recital Hall (Room 150). The forum is open to the public, and there will be time for questions. Seating will be limited, though overflow space will be available in a room down the hall.
The forum also will be available via live Internet streaming Oct. 18 and will be available online after the event, too. Streaming information and other forum details, including biographies of the speakers, supplemental materials and a link to electronically submit questions during the forum, can be found on the federal coordinator’s website www.arcticgas.gov.
Congress established the Federal Coordinator’s office in 2004 to expedite and coordinate federal permitting for a pipeline to deliver natural gas from Alaska’s North Slope to U.S. markets. 



The "Me" Generation?

18 August 2011 7:01am

New York TimesThe Feds today released approval of a final supplemental environmental impact statement for Shell's OCS exploration  that, if finally approved following one last comment period, could result in mobilization of hundreds of workers next year.  Yesterday, a former 'unbiased' Obama appointee to the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling Commission, Frances Beinecke, wrote an Op-Ed for the New York Times criticizing this Alaska exploration.  Beinecke is also President of the Natural Resources Defense Council.  Like Deputy Interior Department Secretary David Hayes, Beinecke has equally strong connections to the enviro-extremist community and the Obama administration.  Below, read the Op-Ed and a fundraising/call to action letter issued simultaneously.  -dh

Alaska Dispatch In yesterday's editorial, we challenged readers to carefully analyze the Alaska constitution's requirement for developing resources for maximum benefit of the people.  We urged readers to define who the "people" are.  Today's parents and grandparents, or tomorrow's children?  We are both grateful and honored that the Alaska Dispatch elected to reprint that editorial.  

 NPG Readers: Prepare to Comment 

Comment Against Federal Government Lockup of ANWR’s 1002 Area

Testify: Fairbanks 10-19-11, Anchorage 10-20-11
Written testimony due: 11-15-11


Dear NRDC Activist,

I'm writing to share some disturbing news: the Obama Administration has given Shell a tentative go-ahead to begin drilling next summer in the Beaufort Sea, off the coast of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. 

Please read my response to this potentially disastrous decision, which appears as an Op-Ed in today's New York Times. (The text of my Op-Ed piece also appears at the bottom of this email message for your convenience.) 

Thanks to your tenacious support, NRDC has staved off one attempt after another by Shell to drill in this sensitive Arctic ecosystem -- home to polar bears, bowhead whales and a stunning array of other vulnerable wildlife. 

I'm sure you agree: in the wake of BP's Deepwater Horizon catastrophe last year -- and Shell's own pipeline spill in the North Sea just last week -- we simply cannot let this oil giant roll the dice with a pristine Arctic environment, where cleaning up a spill would be all but impossible. 

NRDC is now mobilizing to challenge Shell's plan on every front, including in federal court if necessary. I will be in touch with you again soon, as we galvanize our army of activists to lodge a furious protest with the Obama Administration

In the meantime, you can be sure that NRDC will not back down from the next round of this fight with Shell. I know we will have your strong support. 

Frances Beinecke
Natural Resources Defense Council




The New York Times

No to Arctic Drilling
Published: August 17, 2011

ABOUT 55,000 gallons of oil have escaped into the North Sea since last week from a leaky pipeline operated by Royal Dutch Shell, about 100 miles off Scotland. Last year, Americans watched in mounting fury as the oil industry and the federal government struggled for five disastrous months to contain the much larger BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

Now imagine the increased danger and difficulty of trying to cope with a similar debacle off Alaska's northern coast, where waters are sealed by pack ice for eight months of each year, gales roil fog-shrouded seas with waves up to 20 feet high and the temperature, combined with the wind chill, feels like 10 degrees below zero by late September.

That's the nightmare the Obama administration is inviting with its preliminary approval of a plan by Shell to drill four exploratory wells beginning next summer in the harsh and remote frontier of the Beaufort Sea, off the North Slope of Alaska.

The green light to drill now awaits Shell's receiving the necessary permits from various federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement.

The administration should put on the brakes. This is a reckless gamble we cannot afford. We can't prevent an Arctic blowout any more than we can avert disaster in the Gulf of Mexico or the North Sea. We don't have the infrastructure, the knowledge or the experience to cope with one if it occurs. It's irresponsible to drill in these waters unless we have those capabilities.

When the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, appointed by President Obama in May 2010, reported our findings and recommendations earlier this year, we specifically cited the need to address these shortcomings before exposing Arctic waters to this kind of risk.

We need comprehensive research on the vibrant yet little understood Arctic ecosystems, which are home to rich fisheries of salmon, cod and char, and habitat for beluga whales, golden eagles and spotted seals.

We need containment and response plans tailored to the demands of marine operations under some of the most unforgiving conditions anywhere on earth.

And we must be realistic about the kind of backup available in a place 1,000 miles from the nearest United States Coast Guard station.

Shell's latest spill, in the North Sea, reminds us of the peril we court by ignoring these urgent needs.

When BP's Macondo well blew out last year, killing 11 workers aboard the Deepwater Horizon, Americans believed the damage would be quickly contained.

The Gulf of Mexico, after all, is the epicenter of the global offshore oil industry, home to hundreds of companies that specialize in drilling wells beneath the sea. There were plenty of ships in the region, from the shrimping fleet to the Coast Guard, available to help the efforts to cap the well and contain the spill.

And yet, in the five months it took to kill the runaway well, 170 million gallons of toxic crude oil poured into the gulf.

The systems that we were promised would avert catastrophe by preventing or containing a blowout all failed one by one.

And cleanup operations couldn't save the marine life and birds that died, the 650 miles of coastline that was oiled or the deep water habitat now carpeted in crude, despite the efforts of nearly 50,000 workers using nearly 7,000 ships and boats.

Now comes Shell, claiming in its drilling application that its blowout preventers will work. If not, Shell asserts, it can quickly seal the well. And, should oil escape, the company insists, it will have booms, skimmers and helicopters at the ready.

Upon those thin hopes the newly constituted Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement recently gave Shell preliminary approval to attempt this high-wire act in the Arctic.

We have yet to embrace the lessons of the BP blowout, the worst oil spill in our history. While the bureau, formerly known as the Minerals Management Service, has improved drilling rules in helpful ways, Congress has yet to pass legislation to protect our waters, workers and wildlife from the dangers of offshore drilling.

Those dangers are only greater in the harsh and remote Arctic waters. Before we go to the ends of the earth in pursuit of oil, we need deeper knowledge, better technology to prevent blowouts and to clean up after accidents, and greater expertise to protect Alaska's Arctic waters, one of our oceans' last frontiers, from grave and needless risk.

Frances G. Beinecke, the president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, served on the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.


Obama Addresses Alaska Resources as Alaska Leaders Respond Guardedly - Truckers Speak Out - NEB Hosts Inuvik Roundtable And Pays Way For Some Guests

16 May 2011 5:38am

Today's Email Alert

NEB.  Comment:  Canada's National Energy Board (NEB) will host a Roundtable Meeting in Inuvik at the Midnight Sun Recreation Centre from 10 to 16 September 2011 and reimburse certain outsiders up to $300,000 to fly in and sit at the roundtable.    We suspect that most of the subsidized visitors to Inuvik will be non-industry advocates.    We imagine the September event will merit some discussion at the Inuvik Petroleum Show next month.  -dh

Opinion: American Truckers Speak Out On Energy. The trucking industry annually consumes 35 billion gallons of diesel to deliver life’s essentials. Food, clothing, medicine, fuel and virtually all consumer goods are delivered to retail stores by trucks. Each penny increase in the price of diesel fuel costs the trucking industry more than $356 million annually.  ...  While conservation and alternative fuels are two legs of a three-legged stool, our government seems to have turned its back on the third leg of the stool and has failed to aggressively develop our domestic petroleum resources. In fact, domestic petroleum production in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska is under siege. Even natural gas production is coming under attack by environmental groups. 

Scylla and CharybdisComment:  In these pages we have documented that virtually every action taken by the Obama Administration toward Alaska has furthered the Federal attack on the Forty-ninth state's resource-based economy.  Now, caught between the Scylla and Charybdis (Photo) of high gasoline prices and a reelection campaign, one can reasonably suspect Obama of offering lip service to economic activity when all the world knows he has done everything possible to shut down Alaska resource development.

One thing that could keep him 'honest' is his support for Senator Mark Begich's concept of a Federal OCS Coordinator, upon which we have commented.  If Obama's troops continue to block permits, stall and create diversions which have the effect of allowing no or limited Alaska OCS activity, any new OCS Coordinator will have a lot of explaining to do and that could affect the 2012 reelection of both Obama and Begich.

In the sense that hope springs eternal (and, that it is now spring), and that we have little choice, we shall reserve judgment on whether this new message from the Administration is a signal of responsible action to come or not.   -dh

Below is the text of Obama's Saturday message.  Here is the video.  Here is the House Resources Committee comment.    Here is Governor Sean Parnell's response.  Here is Senator Lisa Murkowski's response.  Here is Senator Mark Begich's response.  Here is a NYT response.  Here is Daniel Horowitz' commentary.

 Remarks of President Barack Obama


Persily Promotes Pipeline Perseverance - Point of Personal Privilege: Honoring Ron Miller

09 May 2011 4:21am

Ron Miller, Alaska, Redistricting, AIDEAWe exercise our personal privilege: to honor our friend Ron Miller, who passed away yesterday.  We are grateful for a good ADN story by Lisa Demer that pretty well describes why those who knew Ron, will remember him as a dedicated citizen who gave more than full measure for the good of his fellow man and whose life of professional competence and high integrity ended entirely too soon.   -dh

ADN Compass Piece by Alaska Gas Pipeline Federal Coordinator, Larry Persily (NGP Photo).  It's time to once again show that Alaska can handle the biggest jobs. It's time to push for building a pipeline to move North Slope natural gas to North American customers.  Anyone who has been following the market knows the nation doesn't need Alaska natural gas for the next several years. Supplies are up, prices are down, and customers generally are content.  But as the U.S. economy recovers, as demand for gas builds and our nation grows, there is no guarantee that easily accessible Lower 48 gas supplies will meet all of the needs into the next decade and beyond -- and that is Alaska's opportunity. As the nation's electrical utilities increasingly turn to clean-burning natural gas, they need to know that gas will be there for decades to come -- at affordable prices.

Syndicate content