12-19-14 Chevron Exits 'Economically Uncertain' Arctic OCS - Regulators Question Alaska's Arctic Gas Project
On December 11, 2014, the National Hydrocarbon Commission of Mexico announced the proposed terms for the shallow water bidding round, consisting of the Bid Conditions and the Model Contract. Our friend, Pedro van Meurs (NGP Photo), along with J. Jay Park, Q.C., prepared a joint commentary on both these documents. This report is available for free to interested parties. Click Here to download the document.
BP's Alaska Hire rate continues to exceed 80%, and spending with Alaska companies is 81% of total in-state spending, according to its 2014 Alaska Hire report. BP Publishes Alaska Hire each year to focus on education, training and mentoring programs that are designed to bring more Alaskans into the oil and gas industry. Readers may access Alaska Hire here
Reuters (Reporting by Scott Haggett; Editing by Cynthia Osterman) - Chevron Corp said on Wednesday a plan to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea in Canada's Arctic is on hold indefinitely .... In a letter to Canada's National Energy Board, the company withdrew from a hearing into Arctic drilling rules because.... (More)
REGULATORS QUESTION ALASKA LNG PRELIMINARY PLANS (From Office of the Federal Coordinator)
In their first feedback on Alaska LNG's preliminary construction plans, federal and state agencies raised dozens of questions and issues they want to make sure are covered as the project sponsors progress with design and environmental analysis.
The agencies on Dec. 11 asked the project sponsors for more information about where they plan to get construction gravel, how they plan to lay a pipeline across Cook Inlet and what kind of wear and tear state roads and bridges would endure as tons of materials move across Alaska during construction.
The requests for more information were expected as the sponsors are in the early stages of their design, route selection and construction planning for the LNG export project.
Today's Consumer Energy Alliance Energy Links:
Downstream Today: Keystone XL: Oil, Gas Industry Awaits Fate of the Pipeline's Final Phase.
If oil sands from Canada will make it to the market whether the pipeline is built or not, then moving the product through a pipeline would not only produce fewer emissions than transporting it using other methods, such as rail or truck, but it would also be safer than other methods of transport, according to the President of the Consumer Energy Alliance, David Holt (NGP Photo), during a broadcast of Houston Public Radio.
“Pipelines are an order of magnitude safer and more environmentally responsible than any other mode of transportation for crude and natural gas. Whether or not we permit the Keystone pipeline, the crude oil in Canada is going to be produced. In the State Department’s own report, they said that without Keystone, the emissions impact to ship that [Alberta oil sands] to the east and the west, and to take it to China and elsewhere, could be a 600 percent increase in emissions,” Holt said.
New York Times: Cuomo Bans HF
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration announced on Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State because of concerns over health risks, ending years of debate over a method of extracting natural gas.
Reuters: NY unlikely to face lawsuits over shale ban, experts say
When Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a ban on fracking in New York on Wednesday, he predicted "a ton of lawsuits" against the state. But that is unlikely as the end of a drilling boom has left the industry in no mood for a fight, industry experts and lawyers said.
Associated Press: McConnell Wants to Stop Coal Rules
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pledged on Wednesday to do all he can to stop President Barack Obama's coal plant regulations, saying a White House "crusade" has devastated his state's economy.
SNL: House Republicans slam EPA carbon rule for existing plants as 'unrealistic'
The Republican majority on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee contends the EPA's draft carbon dioxide regulation is illegal under the Clean Air Act and that the proposal's goals are "unrealistic."
Reuters: Chevron cancels Canadian Arctic drilling as oil prices slide
Chevron Corp is putting a plan to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea in Canada's Arctic on hold indefinitely because of what it called "economic uncertainty in the industry" as oil prices fall.
Bloomberg: U.S. Talking Oil Exports Just When World Needs It Least
The U.S. Congress is talking about allowing unfettered oil exports for the first time in almost four decades. Its timing couldn’t be worse.
Bloomberg Businessweek: TransCanada’s Keystone Fight Turns to Exports on Oil Glut
Russ Girling’s Keystone XL saga is taking a new twist with a global glut of cheap oil. Americans, including President Barack Obama, are increasingly questioning whether the pipeline is needed or if it will just be a corridor for Canadian oil-sands crude to reach China. Girling’s answer is that the U.S. isn’t weaning itself off foreign oil anytime soon and that Gulf Coast refineries will be the buyers, not Asia.
The Denver Post: Tilting the Keystone
Being an ardent opponent of the Keystone XL project in rural Colorado isn't a popular position. The vision for this 21st century pipeline has been sold as a necessary component of our energy challenges and a massive job creator. Unfortunately, the pipeline is neither, and would be better characterized through the lens of American rural landscapes as an assault as opposed to an asset.
KMTV: Fight over Keystone XL continues, landowners vow to fight until very end
TransCanada has until mid January to acquire the land needed to build the Keystone XL Pipeline through Nebraska. A new offer from the company is on the table for landowners.
Fresno Bee: Plunging oil prices are good for us, bad for Putin
Plunging gas prices are a gift in more ways than one. They mean more cash in people’s pockets during the holiday shopping season, so hopefully local retail will get a boost. They will soften the blow next month for any price spike when fuels come under California’s cap-and-trade system to combat climate change.
CBS 4 News: Falling Gas Prices Could Harm Colorado’s O&G Industry
While prices at the pump are pleasing to many drivers so far this holiday season, the plummeting prices of oil are a bit concerning for Colorado’s oil and gas industry. Coloradans are paying an average of $2.52 per gallon. That’s 54 cents less than a year ago when it was $3.06. “Colorado has had a significant increase in production. At these prices I’m not sure that will continue,” said Stan Dempsey, president of the Colorado Petroleum Association.
Associated Press: Colorado drillers warn of closures with fines
Colorado oil and gas industry leaders say new fines for rule violations could lead in some cases to companies shutting down or curtailing operations. An attorney for the Colorado Oil and Gas Association industry group told regulators penalties should be waived for minor infractions.
News & Observer: NC Rules Review Commission approves HF standards
North Carolina’s proposed fracking safety standards sailed through a rules reviewWednesday despite a staff attorney’s warning that several rules failed to meet state standards and should be put out for public hearing. The Rules Review Commission’s approval means the fracking rules won’t be delayed by several months for extra reviews and hearings. Instead, the rules, written by the Mining and Energy Commission, are now headed to the state legislature, which is expected to lift North Carolina’s fracking moratorium in a matter of months.
Baltimore Sun: Shale ban in NY prompts calls for MD to follow suit
With New York's governor banning hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in that state, environmental groups are calling on Maryland's lawmakers to follow suit. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ended six years of study in that state and sided with his top advisers in deciding the potential environmental and health risks of "fracking," as it's commonly known, were too great to allow it to go forward there.
Lancaster Online: Home heating costs are down
Lancaster County residents should get some relief on their heating bills this season — unless there’s a repeat of last winter’s deep freeze. The administration estimated in its winter report on winter fuels that the decline in average price for some heating sources also will contribute to savings.
WOAI: Eagle Ford Production Strong--Won’t be Killed by Saudi Moves
The plummeting price of oil has not yet begun affecting drilling in the Eagle Ford shale south of San Antonio, an investigation by News Radio 1200 WOAI's Michael Board has concluded. Benchmark West Texas Crude fell nearly a dollar again on Tuesday to settle at $55.05 a barrel. That's down from $116 in April, and $110 as recently as June.
Dallas Morning News: Lawmaker files bill to discourage cities from passing HF bans
Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, proposed on Wednesday a bill that would require cities to make up for any revenue lost as a result of passing a municipal oil and gas ordinance–a requirement that could dissuade cash-strapped cities from considering or approving some local regulations.
Express-News: 500+ rigs may shut down as oil slides, analysts say
As many as 550 drilling rigs may have to sit on the sidelines of U.S. shale oil patches over the next few months, analysts say, as oil prices have folded nearly in half since this summer. The projections come a few days after Texas drilling rigs led the nation in a 1.4 percent weekly decline in the U.S. active rig count, according to oil-field services firm Baker Hughes.
Petroleum News by Gary Park. Arctic Gateway, a sweeping initiative to explore ways to move oil and natural gas from Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Alaska to markets in the Asia-Pacific region, will likely be an underpinning of a standalone energy strategy being drafted in the NWT, said Industry Minister Dave Ramsay (NGP Photo).
Journal of Commerce by Tim Bradner (NGP Photo). On the Alaska LNG Project, another priority, Walker said: “We have met with — and probably again also in the next 30 days — the AK LNG sponsors. We have met with the ADGC (Alaska Gasline Development Corp.) leadership and some of the board members and some of the outgoing administration and had a debriefing with them,” Walker said in the briefing.
Calgary Herald by Mario Toneguzzi. A new RBC report says slumping oil prices will be a drag on Alberta’s economy in 2015.
Here's a rich source of information on energy regulation: The Cruthirds Report.
NAESB Board of Directors meeting – The North American Energy Standards Board held a Board of Directors meeting in Houston on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. There were 50 +/- folks in the room, as well as a large contingent on the phone. As noted in our last report, I was the featured speaker for the meeting and provided wide-ranging remarks on issues and challenges facing regulators and the industry. Topics ranged from the DOJ’s investigation of Entergy, the Georgia PSC’s $200+ million “gift” to the Southern Company’s shareholders in the Plant McIntosh affiliate abuse case, the sometimes corrosive political influence exerted by some incumbent utilities and the associated ethical challenges for regulators, and the dire need for better gas-electric process harmonization. Presentation.
The following Advanced Energy for Life article highlights the White House's illogical and harmful attack on America's Constitution. Meanwhile, keep our 2012 warning commentary in mind as you consider the nexus joining all of these overreach issues -- which provide pretext and precedent for omnibus federal control. -dh
In his Harvard days, Barack Obama studied under law professor Laurence Tribe. Perhaps the future President spent too much time at the law review and missed the part about limited powers. We say that because Professor Tribe delivered a constitutional rebuke this week to the Obama Administration that is remarkable coming from a titan of the liberal professoriate.
Mr. Tribe joined with the world’s largest private coal company, Peabody Energy, to criticize the “executive overreach” of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants. In joint comments filed with the EPA, the professor accuses the agency of abusing statutory law, violating the Constitution’s Article I, Article II, the separation of powers, the Tenth and Fifth Amendments, and in general displaying contempt for the law.
As Obama Champions Carbon Tax In Low Price Oil Era, Harper Turns Away From Carbon Taxing. (Note that in the same timeframe, the White House is illogically killing the Keystone XL project that would provide economic stimulus to both the U.S. and Canada. -dh)
Calgary Herald, by Stephen Ewart.
Sure it’s “crazy” talk, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper is actually being up front about his assessment of climate policy and the oil industry.
Agree with Harper or not, it’s a change from his government’s long history of over-promising and under-delivering on environmental policies and Canada’s global commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However blunt, the prime minister is being unusually honest.
He’s clearly backing away from earlier — always improbable — climate rhetoric.
With the oil price free fall threatening the $60 US threshold, Harper told the House of Commons this week he has no intention of imposing a carbon tax on a nationally important industry, even as Canada falls further behind GHG commitments and the next round of global climate negotiations kick off.
|Calgary Herald by Dan Healing. Houston-based EOG Resources, Inc. has sold most of its Canadian assets and is closing its Calgary headquarters at the cost of more than 150 employee and contractor jobs, multiple sources say.|
CBC. Several groups in Manitoba voiced opposition Monday to TransCanada'sproposed Energy East pipeline, which would transport crude through the province en route to eastern Canada. TransCanada executives were in Winnipeg for an information session with 20 Manitoba First Nations delegates.
From Office of the Federal Coordinator, Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Project: Today's relevant energy links:
- Petronas says U.S. LNG would be $1 to $2 cheaper than B.C. project
- Petronas will push contractors to move work offshore to save money
- B.C. had warnings that Petronas LNG project could be delayed
- First Nations’ chiefs protest against Prince Rupert-area LNG projects
- B.C. First Nations band together to seek ownership stake in projects
- New Kitimat, B.C., mayor supports LNG but not oil pipeline
- India’s main LNG buyer contracts for U.S. gas
- Gas leak shuts down Norway’s LNG plant
- Spot-LNG prices remain at $9.50 in Asia
- Repsol looks for partners in New Brunswick LNG export plant
- Statoil says Tanzania LNG project not possible before 2022-2023
- Vietnam will need imports, but again delays its first LNG
- Australian companies look at LNG export project for California coast
- Low oil prices likely to keep new projects on hold
- FERC approves new gas line into New York and New England
- Even wood chippers and mulch makers profit from shale gas boom
- No federal or state laws require public notice of oil trains
- North Dakota 2015-17 state budget based on oil at $74 to $82 a barrel
Reader Steve Borell writes: "The video clips at the site below (and above) document the lies and fabrications of a group that attacked Chevron/Texaco in Ecuador. The case initially resulted in a $17 billion judgment against Chevron/Texaco but has now been overturned.
"I attended a luncheon at the AEMA conference last week in Reno, featuring the attorney who won the case against Stratus Consulting and the environmental groups.... https://www.youtube.com/user/
Commentary, (reference): We hope that advocates on both sides of the EPA effort to preemptively stop the Pebble Project in Alaska determine whether the defamed Stratus Consulting and/or its employees are, indeed, some of the "experts" from Ecuador attacking the Pebble project in Alaska.
This is critically important to the natural resource industries throughout North America. If a Stratus-supported or non-Stratus supported effort (to have EPA deny the Pebble sponsors their constitutional due process) were ultimately successful, project opponents would cite the 'precedent' from this day forward. No construction, mining, agricultural, highway, port, commercial fishing, logging, oil and gas or recreational project anywhere would be safe from unconstitutional, governmental, pre-emptive edicts--whether it be private, Native, state or locally sponsored.
In particular, honest citizens who oppose the Pebble Project should realize that big money forces are seeking to establish a precedent that could and will someday rise up to attack their own hopes, dreams, careers, family plans and subsistence lifestyles.
Deciding to support the EPA's pre-emptive, non-constitutional action is a much bigger issue than whether one supports or opposes the Pebble Project in particular. -dh
Gov. Chris Christie says Keystone pipeline scrutiny has "gone way overboard"
James Wood, Calgary Herald More from James Wood, Calgary Herald ... In a joint news conference in Calgary with Premier Jim Prentice, Christie said the ... s $8-billion proposed pipeline — intended to link Alberta's oilsands to ... Are we still the preferred supplier of oil and natural gas to this marketplace ...
|Alaska Journal of Commerce by Tim Bradner (NGP Photo). Even as the state administration changes in Juneau, work is continuing on the state’s backup “Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline,” or ASAP, a plan for a 36-inch natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to Southcentral Alaska.|
Canadian Press/CBC News. A high-profile U.S. politician visited Calgary today to talk about energy and pipelines.
- Jim Prentice says 'nation-building' pipelines crucial to Canada's future
- ANALYSIS | Energy East, Alberta's Jim Prentice goes pipeline wooing
|News Saskatoon. Ontario's concerns about the potential environmental impact of the pipeline narrowed considerably Wednesday following a meeting between Premier Kathleen Wynne and Alberta counterpart Jim Prentice.
Calgary Herald by Dan Healing. Canada’s nascent LNG export industry was rocked Wednesday with news that a final investment decision on the leading $36-billion project led by Petronas would be delayed past its year-end schedule.
Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie met with Alberta Premier Jim Prentice before giving a speech to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.
He moves on to Ottawa Friday for a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Gov. Chris Christie, right, is presented with a gift of Alberta beer by Premier Jim Prentice during a meeting in Calgary Thursday. (Larry MacDougal/Canadian Press)
Institute for Supply Management Speech - December 4, 2014 (We will have this text on Monday....)