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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.

 

Interstate Gas

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.


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.

Thanks.

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.

 

Regards,

Brian Benson

Air Liquide America, LP


 

Categories:

10-29-14 Stick With Both Pipeline Projects For The Time Being

29 October 2014 6:43am

 

ADN by Dermot Cole.  Gov. Sean Parnell argues that the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline is a priceless insurance policy against the possibility that the oil companies will decide by 2019 that they do not want to build a larger pipeline.

Challenger Bill Walker counters that it is a pricey plan that would ensure energy costs in Anchorage would go up. He wants to stop spending money on ASAP as soon as possible.

Parnell said the two gas lines should be pursued for the same reason that the proposed Susitna-Watana dam should remain in the mix for Alaska’s energy future -- it’s not clear yet which one is the best bet.

The list of mega-projects should not be trimmed "until we have something in hand for Alaskans," Parnell said.

“Yes, everything has to be on the table, yes you have to prioritize spending,” he said in a recent Anchorage Chamber of Commerce debate.

ADN Op-Ed (Currently appearing in other publications as well), by John Burns.  This political season is generating much debate about Alaska’s public investment in developing a North Slope natural gas pipeline. As chairman of the board for the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, I’ve been intimately involved in both alternatives currently being advanced -- the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline (ASAP) and the Alaska LNG project. I can assure you that we are progressing both options in the most prudent and cost-efficient manner. The ultimate goal is to select the project that is in our state’s best long-term interests. Now is not the time to abandon either. 


Today's Consumer Energy Alliance Energy Links: 

National Journal: Do Falling Oil Prices Change the Math on Keystone? *David Holt Op-ed
EIA.gov consistently releases reports that show the U.S. economy will continue to need crude oil for the foreseeable future. EIA.gov data also shows that the price of a barrel of oil fluctuates over time. In 2008, crude oil sold for $96.94 a barrel, four years later the price rose to $108.56. What we do know is the price of a barrel of oil will rise and fall and the U.S. economy will continue to buy crude oil. Which brings us back to Keystone XL. Pipelines, such as the Trans-Alaska Pipeline or the Colonial Pipeline which runs from Houston, TX to Linden, NJ, are vital to powering the U.S. economy. Just as an airline or rental car company is vital for a business traveler, pipelines are critically important for an economy.
 
National Journal’s Energy Edge: EPA Announces New Steps in Clean-Power Plan*David Holt Quoted
"A farmer may not grow as much corn next season because speculation is driving down prices, but that doesn't mean that he will walk away from the crop, that fertilizer companies will stop producing fertilizer or that manufacturers will stop building tractors. Apply the same logic to Keystone XL versus lower oil prices and you quickly dismiss any argument against pipeline construction." —David Holt, president, Consumer Energy Alliance
 
The Energy Voice: How Affordable Energy Helps Keep Healthcare Affordable
Hospitals hum with energy from nurses, doctors and a cast of support staff who provide care and treatment to help the sick heal. Healthcare professionals rely on their skills as well as facilities and equipment to provide care, all of which requires dependable sources of energy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, healthcare facilities consume close to 10 percent of the total energy used in commercial buildings in the United States.  A cost the federal government estimates to be more than $8 billion a year.
 
The Hill: Offshore drilling — the Keystone pipeline of the sea
While half a million people marched in New York and across the nation for climate action this fall and the U.S. launched a new air war in the oil-rich Middle East, President Obama moved forward on one of his least noted but potentially highest impact energy decisions.
 
Fuel Fix: Oil companies want more time for Arctic drilling
Three oil companies with billions invested in Arctic drilling leases are pleading with the Obama administration for extra time to hunt for crude under waters north of Alaska, but so far, federal regulators have been skeptical.
 
CNBC: Could shale help US beat Saudi Arabia as top oil producer?
The fracking revolution could open the way for the U.S. to overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's number one oil producer, energy research provider Platts said in a report on Tuesday.
 
The Wall Street Journal: Obama’s Post-Election Policy Blowout
Decisions on immigration, Iran and other hot issues that were delayed for political reasons will be coming soon.
 
Reuters: Kerry wants Keystone pipeline decision 'sooner rather than later'
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday during a visit to Canada that he would like to make a decision soon on TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL crude oil pipeline.
 
Bloomberg Businessweek: TransCanada Keystone Decision May Come Soon, Kerry Says
A decision on TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline, designed to ship growing Canadian oil sands supplies to Gulf Coast refineries, may come soon, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry saidThe 
 
The Wall Street Journal: Planned TransCanada Pipeline Would Allow Gulf Access, CEO Says
A planned Trans- Canada Corp. oil pipeline designed to ship crude from Western Canada to Eastern Canadian refineries could also be used to access the Gulf Coast, creating an end-run around U.S. permitting delays for the Keystone XL pipeline, according to the company’s chief executive.

Globe and Mail: Keystone foes energized as tumbling crude prices pinch oil sands
Falling oil prices have energized opponents of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
 
UPI: Canada 'impressed' with Keystone XL vetting
The Canadian government is "impressed" with the State Department's vetting of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said.
 
Bloomberg BNA: Sustained Lobbying Push on EPA Standards For Power Plants Continues, Records Show
At least 120 groups, varying from public health advocacy associations to large publicly traded companies, reported lobbying Congress during the third quarter of 2014 to express their views on the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed carbon pollution standards for power plants, public records show.
 
The Wall Street Journal: The American Solution to Europe’s Energy Woes
Extending the network of interconnectors within the EU and its neighbors, adopting energy-efficient technologies and exploiting renewable-energy resources may all eventually play a part in that process. But there is another, more immediate solution at hand: expediting the import of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, from the U.S.
 
Daily Caller: Shale Development Reaffirms American Exceptionalism
The energy boom unleashed by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling couldn’t have happened anywhere but America, says author and journalist Gregory Zuckerman. Zuckerman say America’s entrepreneurial spirit, knowledge and property rights make fracking a uniquely American story.
 
Houston Chronicle: Vast generation gap on energy issues
There's also a generation gap on hydraulic fracturing, with twice as many older people knowing the term and the majority supporting the technique. But among the young people familiar with fracking, the majority opposed it.
 
Bloomberg: Mercedes drivers stung by quirks at the pump
The shale oil boom is proving far less kind to Mercedes-Benz drivers than it is to those sitting behind the wheel of a Toyota Camry or Chevrolet Impala. While regular gasoline-chugging drivers are paying just $3.04 a gallon in the U.S., the lowest in four years, those cruising around in luxury cars and demanding only the finest of grades, known as premium, have seen smaller declines.
 
Kansas City Star: Future of natural gas industry keeps improving, survey says
The U.S. natural gas industry is gathering steam amid changes and challenges that are remaking the business, according to a new report from Black & Veatch. Last year the Overland Park firm’s annual report on the industry described a cautious optimism about likely growth because of the trove of natural gas being recovered from shale formations in the United States.
 
KQED: Should Shale Be Banned?
On Tuesday, November 4, 2014 three counties in California will decide by ballot whether or not to ban hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as “fracking.”
 
KVNF: Colorado Gov Candidates Make Their Last Pitch
Hickenlooper said he's confident his oil and gas task force will come up with recommendations that give lawmakers guidance on ways to reduce public concern over fracking.
 
News Tribune: In silica valley, the sand is moving
In silica valley, the sand is moving. Mining of silica sand has ramped up in the Illinois Valley, especially in La Salle County, to feed the growing fracking industry.
 
News & Observer: Vote to put state Senate on a better course
Crawford is challenging Republican Sen. Chad Barefoot, a 31-year-old conservative who has been in lockstep with the Senate’s leadership. He wants to smooth the path for fracking in North Carolina and insists tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy are the best way to lift working class North Carolinians out of the post-recession rut.
 
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Oman oil and gas minister praises shale
Even as his home region captures headlines for the ongoing conflict in Syria and Iraq, a long-serving energy minister in the Middle East said Tuesday that he wants U.S. businesses to know that his country has a “competitive advantage” of peace and stability.
 
Morning Call: Natural gas price outlook: still cheap
Last winter, at the height of the polar vortex, skyrocketing demand sent the spot market price of natural gas in the Northeast through the roof.
 
New Castle News: Governor’s candidates fractured over how to tax shale
Drillers seriously started fracking in Pennsylvania seven years ago, launching a swell in natural gas production that also tapped new sources of cash for the state.
 
Morning Call: Shale severance tax opposition explored
Here are three basic themes to opposing a severance tax on Pennsylvania's shale gas production, such as the one currently being proposed by gubernatorial hopeful Tom Wolf and vehemently opposed by incumbent Tom Corbett.
 
Columbus Dispatch: Kasich: tax is unfair to Ohioans
A week before he’s expected to easily win a second term, a combative Gov. John Kasich voiced readiness to increase taxes and regulations on Ohio’s oil and gas industry.
 
San Antonio Business Journal: Energy industry continues to help boost Texas’ job market
Texas ranked third in the nation in terms of non-agricultural job growth for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2014. The Lone Star State's employment rose 3.3 percent between January and September and the comparable period a year ago, according to the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, utilizing data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 
WFFA: Outside money flows into Denton shale debate
Close to $80,000 has gone to the "Pass the Ban" committee, with more than half of that coming from the Washington D.C.-based environmental group Earthworks.
 
Associated Press: Texas amends waste disposal rules
The Texas Railroad Commission has amended rules for disposal well operators amid concerns that high-pressure injections can trigger earthquakes. As of Nov. 17, disposal well operators must research U.S. Geological Survey data for a history of earthquakes within 100 square miles of a proposed well site before applying for a permit. 
 

Categories:

10-24-14 White House "Conspires" With Enviro Activists

23 October 2014 9:09pm

White House "Conspires" With Enviro Activists (i.e. as if we didn't know.  And, here's a playful, yet serious, video example.  -dh)

Mike Chenault, Alaska, Speaker of the House, gas pipeline, Dave Harbour PhotoPeninsula Clarion OpEd by Mike Chenault (NGP Photo) .  I’ve been involved in state politics for 14 years, and I have to say, the progress the Legislature and Governor Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) have made together in the last 2 years is a real highlight.   We’re farther than ever getting a big gasline built. I’ve never seen all the necessary parties aligned like they are today. They’re spending money, committing hundreds of millions more, signing agreements, running field programs, and applying for federal permits. Alaska, this is real work, not just a pipe dream. This is reliable, affordable gas to Alaskans — and gas to overseas markets, putting revenue into our state treasury.

ANNOUNCEMENT: The Town of Inuvik is preparing to host the first annual Arctic Energy & Emerging Technologies Conference and tradeshow June 13-16. 2016. This relevant and timely event will replace the Inuvik Petroleum Show which has been welcoming delegates and attendees to the Beaufort Delta for more than a decade.  The first Inuvik Petroleum Show (IPS) was held in the year 2000. The original purpose of the conference and tradeshow was to bring together industry, businesses, and communities that would be involved in the Mackenzie Gas Pipeline. The intent was to build capacity of local people and businesses as well as establish relationships between stakeholders that would be necessary through the duration of this project.  Since the year 2000, the Inuvik Petroleum Show has been a marquee event for the oil and gas industry and has played a significant role in the local economy. It has also been a core operational mandate of the Economic 
Development & Tourism Department at the Town of Inuvik for the last decade. Significant contributions from various 
departments within the Town of Inuvik including staffing, labour, and show management have been attributed to the 
realization of this event.
 
ADN Op-Ed by Joe Balash (NGP Photo).  Bill Walker left a few things out of the story during his stroll down memory lane.  In a recent opinion piece in these pages, he contrasted his own approach to LNG development with Governor (Sean) Parnell’s. Despite conceding his long history of failure in attempting to commercialize North Slope gas, Walker claims he’d do better than Parnell by bringing transparency and collaboration to the table -- this from the man whose Alaska Gasline Port Authority keeps its agreements secret and whose approach to business centers more around the courtroom than the bargaining table.
 
Today's Consumer Energy Alliance Energy Links:
Albuquerque Business First: Energy sales require a lot of wheels *CEA Mention
As the production of oil and gas in New Mexico continues to grow, finding a way of getting those resources to market is a major question for the industry. Johnny R. Johnson, managing director of the New Mexico Trucking Association, is also a member of the Consumer Energy Alliance and deals with that issue on a daily basis.
Circulation/Audience: 4,217
 
KWGS-FM (Public Radio Tulsa): News Radio * Natalie Joubert Interview 
Tulsa, Oklahoma’s National Public Radio station runs story on low gas prices in the metro area and across the nation, interviewing Natalie Joubert regarding the trend and when she believes it may change.
 
Natural Gas Now: Energy Day in Houston, Education in Pennsylvania *CEA Mention
A trip to Houston to participate in “Energy Day” fills attendees with ideas for building a foundation for expanded energy education in Pennsylvania.
 
New York Times: Economists See Limited Gains in GOP Plan
Anticipating a takeover of Congress, Republicans have assembled an economic agenda that reflects their small-government, antiregulation philosophy, but also suggests internal divisions that could hinder a united front against President Obama — much as happened in the 1990s, when a Republican-led Congress confronted President Bill Clinton. The proposals would mainly benefit energy industries, reduce taxes and regulations for businesses generally, and continue the attack on the Affordable Care Act. It is a mix that leaves many economists, including several conservatives, underwhelmed.
 
Investor’s Business Daily: If GOP Wins Congress, What Are Its 2015 Priorities?
There is no Republican Contract with America in 2014 or plan for the first 100 days if the party can regain control of Congress. For the most part, the GOP has been content to turn the battle for the Senate into a referendum on President Obama, while Democratic candidates have tried their best to distance themselves from the White House
 
Great Falls Tribune: There's hope: Just 11 days 'til Election Day
Congressional debates are done, and it’s only 11 days until the Nov. 4 general election in Montana. But it makes for a strange election when ballots go out nearly a month before Election Day. Is this really the best way to run an election?
 
One News Now: On campaign trail, can Keystone controversy at least get lip service?
The Keystone XL pipeline is not seen as having an impact on this year's mid-term elections, and depending on the people you ask, that's okay.
 
Fuel Fix: Oil producers unite to lobby for crude exports
The nation’s largest independent oil companies are banding together to lobby for the right to export crude around the world.
 
Bloomberg: U.S. Oil Seen as Buffer for Global Prices and Supply
U.S. oil output is buffering global crude prices and critical to the world’s supply balance amid the threat of disruptions, even as a ban on domestic exports remains in place, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said.
 
Washington Times: Shale booming despite liberal protestations
The U.S. oil and gas industry is thriving despite efforts by the Obama administration and liberal environmental groups to undermine fossil fuel development and production, according to a Senate report released Thursday.
 
The Hil More shale oil means lower gasoline prices
Naysayers said it was almost impossible to produce enough U.S. oil to significantly lower gasoline prices. But surging oil production from the shale oil formations of Texas, North Dakota and now Ohio have put that argument to bed.
 
Wall Street Journal: The Oil Price Swoon Won’t Stop the Shale Boom
With oil prices sliding, energy investors are worried, while Saudi Arabia and Russia no doubt hope, that low prices will cap America’s boom in shale-oil production. Green-energy types sit by, happy to see turmoil in the fossil-fuel sector. True enough, sellers of any product prefer high prices to low; but the current slump sets the stage for what I call America’s shale boom 2.0.
 
Daily Caller: Report Details How WH, Enviros Conspiring to Stop Energy Boom
President Obama has long been touting the U.S. oil and natural gas boom as the product of his administration’s “all of the above” energy plan. But a new report from Senate Republicans claims the White House supports oil and gas drilling publicly while partnering behind the scenes with eco-activists to regulate it out of existence.
 
Washington Post: Gas prices are tumbling, that’s not necessarily a good thing
This growth in U.S. tight oil — a light crude that is trapped in dense, hard-to-reach rock — has come on fast. It only really got going around 2008, launched by advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — the same technology that created the shale gas boom.
 
Reuters: California getting more Bakken crude by barge than rail
Shipments of Bakken crude oil from North Dakota to California by barge have quietly overtaken those by train for the first time, showing how the state's isolated refiners are using any means necessary to tap into the nation's shale oil boom.
 
Bloomberg: U.S. Energy Exports to Top Imports by 2025, WoodMac Says
U.S. companies will export more energy than they import by 2025 as shale oil and gas production keeps climbing and the transportation sector becomes more efficient, Wood Mackenzie Ltd. said in a note today.
 
The Washington Times: Fracking industry booming despite liberal protestations
The U.S. oil and gas industry is thriving despite efforts by the Obama administration and liberal environmental groups to undermine fossil fuel development and production, according to a Senate report released Thursday.
 
National Review Online: Not Just a Fracking Ban
Under the guise of an anti-fracking initiative, environmental groups in two California counties have sneaked into a ballot measure language that would impose sweeping restrictions on the entire energy sector, banning even conventional oil- and gas-production methods that do not involve fracking and have been safely used for decades.
 
Wall Street Journal: The ‘Colorado Model’ Goes Thud
Mr. Udall ran as an independent yet says he’d vote for ObamaCare again. He claims to be a “best of the above” energy guy, but he refused to endorse the popular Keystone XL pipeline and only belatedly came out against anti-fracking ballot initiatives that have crippled a new mainstay of the Colorado economy.
 
Boulder Weekly: Is the way the State handles oil & gas complaints criminal?
Among the pieces of information she was given, she says, was that all of the ingredients for fracking fluid can be found in a grocery store, which, given ammonia and rat poison can be found at the grocery store, she calls a ridiculous argument.
 
ABC Denver: Hickenlooper, Beauprez trade barbs in gubernatorial debate
After a late arrival on-stage for Governor Hickenlooper, both men shook hands and began with the topic of fracking and related ballot initiatives that were killed this past summer.
 
Innovation Trail: Cuomo says fracking study will be out by year's end
During Wednesday’s only gubernatorial debate, Governor Cuomo said that the long awaited health review on potential dangers of hydrofracking will be completed by the end of the year.
 
Pittsburgh Business Times: Corbett signs bill requiring House, Senate OKs on carbon emissions plan
Gov. Tom Corbett has signed into law a bill requiring both the state House and Senate approve Pennsylvania's forthcoming plan for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
 
Tribune Review: Penn Twp. board OKs HF regulations
Under new regulations that now are in effect in Penn Township, Marcellus shale drilling rigs and fracking ponds are banned from residential and commercial areas — but companies are allowed to conduct horizontal drilling across almost all of the township.
 
Meadville Tribune: Shale key issue in race for governor
Drillers seriously started fracking in Pennsylvania seven years ago, launching a swell in natural gas production that also tapped new sources of cash for the state.
 
WV Gazette: Marcellus jobs report needs work, state researcher says
A legislatively mandated survey meant to measure whether West Virginia residents are getting the jobs created by the Marcellus Shale natural gas boom needs a lot of work if it’s going to give a solid answer on the issue, according to the state researcher who does the study.
 
Bloomberg BNA: Opponents Plan to File Lawsuits If Texas City Passes Measure to Ban Fracking
The residents of Denton, Texas, will vote on a ballot measure Nov. 4 that would ban hydraulic fracturing within the city limits, but the debate on the oil and gas drilling practice probably won't end on election night.
 
Dallas Morning News: Hydraulic fracturing as technological game changer?
When combined with the technique of drilling wells horizontally – not vertically – fracking as it is known has revolutionized the U.S. oil and gas sector. But does it count as a technological breakthrough on the order of the microchip or the refrigerator?
 
Alaska Dispatch News: Begich, Sullivan spar over natural resources in US Senate debate
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and Republican opponent Dan Sullivan took their typical campaign themes to a new venue on Thursday, as the two squared off at a natural resources-focused debate sponsored by groups representing the mining, timber and oil industries, among others.
 
Politico Pro: EPA Asks Court to Toss Murry Lawsuit Over Climate Regs
EPA has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to toss a case over its proposed greenhouse gas rule for existing power plants, arguing that the rule won't be ripe for judicial review until the final regulation is issued next year. EPA is taking public comment on every issue that coal company Murray Energy raised in the case and hasn't yet had an opportunity to respond, the agency wrote. If the court reviewed the rule now, it would deprive others the opportunity to weigh in on the rule, EPA said. The agency also pointed to two recent court decisions to dismiss cases brought against EPA's proposed greenhouse gas rule for new power plants.
 
Georgetown University: EPA Head Gina McCarthy to Speak at Georgetown Friday
Administrator Gina McCarthy will speak on the future of energy and the environment at Georgetown’s 2014 LEAD Conference Oct. 24.
Categories:

10-19-14

19 October 2014 12:23pm

Anti-Fossil Fuel Demonstration a Bust... Due to Lack of Fossil Fuel Power

 
Parnell, Walker continue to trade blows over Fairbanks' high energy prices.  Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
Sean Parnell's campaign fired back at independent gubernatorial candidate Bill ... 30 years to deliver on a natural gas pipeline and has utterly failed,” Wright said. ... If he'd taken action, Fairbanks might have been getting gas today.”.
 
Categories:

10-17-14 Pipeline Hopes Spring Eternal

17 October 2014 5:30am

Pipeline Hopes Spring Eternal

by

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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10-12-14

12 October 2014 12:11pm

Governor Sean Parnell, Gas Pipeline, Sb 138, SB 21, AGIA, Dave Harbour photoIn an Alaska Dispatch interview, Governor Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) said, "With the passage of SB 138 earlier this year, we are taking steps toward construction of a natural gas pipeline.

"Federal applications have been submitted, and my administration is now working with potential buyers in Japan. My administration continues to identify various financing mechanisms for the state's portion of this project; thanks to our solid credit rating, we have options."  Read more here.

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