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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.


Intrastate Gas

12-2-14 Kendall's Successful Lease Sale 193 Hearing - Prentice Persevers - Governor Walker Is "Pro Oil"

02 December 2014 10:14am

CBC.  Jim Prentice says 'nation-building' pipelines crucial to Canada's future  ***  Waterloo Record.  'We can do business:' Prentice to discuss Energy East with Ontario and Quebec

E&E Publishing by Kriz Hobson.  In late November, incoming Alaska Governor Bill Walker (NGP Photo) gave a short speech to a packed resource industry meeting filled with some of his most hard-line critics.

Walker, who won the Alaska governor's race by a scant 6,000 votes and takes office today, assured the group that he'll fight for increased oil and gas extraction in the state.

"You can't be anything but pro-oil development in this state to be a successful governor," he told the Resource Development Council's annual conference in Anchorage.

Walker also vowed to support construction of Alaska's long-awaited multibillion-dollar natural gas pipeline project, which would bring North Slope fuel to state residents and to a liquefied natural gas export terminal on Alaska's southern shores (E&ENews PM, July 21).

Last Night's Alaska OCS Hearing


Dave Harbour

Jim, James, Kendall, Dr., BOEM, Alaska OCS, Arctic, Lease Sale 193, public hearing, Photo by Dave HarbourLast night at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Anchorage, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held a public hearing on its Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for Chukchi Sea Lease Sale 193.

BOEM's Alaska Region OCS Director, Dr. James Kendall (NGP Photo) organized and moderated the event.  In our opinion, it was the best organized BOEM hearing in recent memory.  The witnesses were fairly chosen by lottery and Kendall succeeded in limiting testimony so that the long list of those wishing to testify was efficiently processed.

We observed that those who turned out on a snowy, cold, December night were divided into two groups: 1) those who wished that the Department of Interior would affirm the long debated Lease Sale 193 and proceed with future stages of exploration and production, and 2) those asking BOEM to support vacating the Lease Sale.  We observed that of almost 40 witnesses, a few more than half were opposed to Arctic development than those who supported it.  We also observed a large number of oil and gas industry and general business employees who supported development but who did not testify.

Yesterday, we invited readers to provide us with their testimony to BOEM on this subject.  Following are several of the comments we received, including our own:

(Note: completing of editing in progress....)

Alaska State Senator Cathy Giessel

Anne Seneca

Carl Portman

Dave Harbour

Marleanna Hall 

Mary Ann Pease (Who did not attend but sent this testimony directly to BOEM.  Here's how).

Matthew A. Cronin, Research Professor

Maynard Tapp

Rick Rogers

Tom Maloney


Here are this week's suggested energy links from the Office of the Federal Inspector, Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects Office: 

Senator Cathy Giessel, BOEM, Shell, Chuckchi, testimony, hearing, Photo by Dave HarbourSenator Cathy Giessel:  (NGP File Photo)  December 1, 2014

Public comment to BOEM Re: Draft Supplemental Impact Statement for Lease Sale 193

I am State Senator Cathy Giessel.  I chair the Senate Resources Committee and am a member of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission.  I am a lifelong Alaskan.

Lease Sale 193 has undergone exhaustive environmental review, and BOEM has once again recognized that exploration can be done with minimal environmental impact to the ecosystem of the Arctic. Oil and gas development in the Chukchi Sea can be done safely, and it is past time for the government to affirm Lease Sale 193.

Offshore oil and gas development is strongly supported by the people of Alaska and increased production will strengthen our nation’s overall energy security. It will also be a boon for job creation both in Alaska and across the country, and production will generate significant government revenue at a time of continued economic uncertainty at home and turmoil abroad. Energy production on Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is critical to our nation’s long-term energy supply,

Steps must be taken now to ensure we have access to energy resources in the long term so all Americans will benefit from the security of a stable supply of domestic fuel for decades to come. For that reason, I strongly support affirmation of Lease Sale 193.   

Upon conclusion of this public comment period, I respectfully request that BOEM quickly finalize the SEIS and allow leaseholders to move forward with planned exploration and production activities.  I appreciate BOEM’s attention to this important matter and look forward to safe and responsible energy production in the Chukchi Sea.


Anne Seneca, Consumer Energy Alliance - Alaska

Before the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

December 1, 2014

Anchorage, Alaska

Good Evening.

My name is Anne Seneca. I am the executive director for Consumer Energy Alliance and oversee the operations of our Alaska chapter.  My family and I are longtime Alaska residents and are proud to call Anchorage home[NJ1] .

CEA is a national, nonprofit, nonpartisan trade association made up of more than 250 corporate members and more than 400,000 individual members nationwide dedicated to developing a balanced national energy policy that will ensure adequate and affordable energy for American energy consumers. Our membership includes the Alaska Trucking Association, Alaska Chamber of Commerce, Shell Energy, Caterpillar and others that represent thousands of Alaskan workers and energy consumers.

CEA strongly supports the responsible development of Alaskan offshore energy resources and encourages the BOEM to swiftly approve the SEIS and affirm the lease sale.

Alaskans have long supported responsible development of our natural resources. The federal government has studied the environmental impact of this lease sale for many years, and continues to find that Arctic oil and natural gas exploration can be done safely. Sound application of science and technology and intelligent, reasonable regulation can ensure that we protect the Arctic environment while developing the necessary energy resources to fuel our economy well into the future.

A recent CEA poll found that nearly three quarters of Alaskans support offshore development north of Alaska. Energy development in the Chukchi Sea will boost the state’s economy by generating 35,000 jobs annually for the next 50 years. Moreover, future development of offshore resources will help fill the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline System and ensure the longevity of this critical infrastructure that is central to the Alaskan economy.

For our neighbors in the Lower 48, Arctic energy development will ensure greater energy security, particularly for West Coast consumers who depend on Alaskan energy. Taxpayers will also benefit from the $193 billion in revenues that could be generated by Alaskan OCS development.

It is past time for the government to affirm Lease Sale 193 and allow exploration to proceed so that Alaskans can realize the tremendous economic benefits these resources will provide the state.

Lease Sale 193 has undergone exhaustive environmental review, and BOEM once again has acknowledged that exploration can be done with minimal environmental impact. I appreciate the opportunity to speak today and look forward to BOEM’s quick approval of the SEIS.

Thank you.

Dave Harbour

Comments Regarding Second Supplemental Outer Continental Lease Sale 193 SEIS


Dave Harbour

December 1, 2014

Dave Harbour, Lease Sale 193, SEIS, BOEM, Dr. Jim Kendall, Photo by Dave HarbourThe area affected by this lease sale has been exhaustively analyzed by BOEM and its predecessor agency and by a of gauntlet court proceedings resulting in a number of remands.

I believe BOEM is correct in now aggressively proceeding with the four step process mandated under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA).

 I join others in lamenting the judicial delays of what has become more than a decade long process.   Citizens must accept that much if not most of the delay was imposed by the courts in response to legal challenges to your process.  While some have disputed your process, some of us believe the courts overreached and, in at least one case, inappropriately substituted its judgment for your own, but that is water under the bridge.

The Second Chukchi Sea Lease Sale 193 SEIS now before us reasonably states the range of values of the OCS resource to the nation.  That partly addresses one of the remand requirements.  Environmental protections have been addressed in unfathomable detail.

The challenge now is to successfully process the remaining steps required by the OCSLA.  Even with this step out of the way, the challenges to you and to industry are daunting.  But the economic value of this work to Alaska and the national interest values to the United States demand your best work from this point forward -- knowing that part of your challenge is to permit an economically feasible project while respecting due process and eliminating causes for litigants to challenge your future process and decisions.


Dave Harbour is a former member and Chairman of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska and Commissioner Emeritus, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.  A former chairman of the Alaska Council on Economic Education, he is an energy writer and photographer.​

Marleanna Hall (NGP Photo)

Testimony of Marleanna Hall • Anchorage, Alaska

OCS Lease Sale 193 SEIS • Monday, December 1, 2014

My name is Marleanna Hall, I am an Anchorage resident.  Good evening and thank you for the opportunity to comment in support of finalizing the SEIS for lease sale 193 and allowing exploration activities to move forward.

As a lifelong Alaska, I know and appreciate what the oil industry in Alaska does for our economy, as well as for our nation.  I believe that offshore exploration offers opportunities to not only learn more about the resource potential, but to also better train people for future activities both in Alaska’s OCS and in the Arctic in general. 

The potential for Alaskan jobs and possibilities of contracts for Alaskan businesses should not be delayed any further.  Exploration and development could provide businesses, such as my native corporation, BSNC, chances to bid on jobs and projects advancing OCS development.  Small pieces of larger projects like the OCS can help rural and urban Alaska, in both the long and short term.  In rural, Alaska, where good paying jobs are often scarce, an opportunity to train and employ Alaskans and shareholders of Native corporations will go a long way.

I’m concerned resource development in Alaska will continue to be attacked by groups opposed to development anywhere, but those same opportunities will still move to other countries, some of which don’t strive to protect the environment as we do in Alaska.

I encourage BOEM to act now, as we need investment in Alaska, and finalize the SEIS for lease sale 193.

Thank you for the opportunity to be here today.

Carl Portman (NGP Photo)

Testimony of Carl Portman

On SEIS for Lease Sale 193

Anchorage, Alaska

December 1, 2014

Good afternoon. Carl Portmen, RDC, Resource Development Council for Alaska, SEIS, Lease Sale 193, BOEM, Dr. Jim Kendall, Dave Harbour PhotoMy name is Carl Portman and I am testifying on my own behalf this evening.

I am a life-long Alaskan, who paid a state income tax and lived on a homestead before oil was flowing down the trans-Alaska Pipeline.  Our state’s economy at that time was less than half its current size. We did not have the modern amenities that many of us take for granted today. There were few health care facilities and schools in the bush and overall we had a lower standard of living.

During my summer breaks from college, I worked on the pipeline – both on the North Slope and in the Brooks Range. I saw for myself the care and effort that went into developing our North Slope oil fields. Overall, we did a good job, but I do remember the big battles and endless lawsuits aimed at stopping North Slope development and construction of the pipeline, which for more than three decades has been Alaska’s economic lifeline and at one point accounted for 25 percent of domestic production.

Opponents to Arctic energy development back then insisted that we couldn’t do it safely, there were too many data gaps, and much more research would be needed before development could possibly proceed. They also warned that development would wipe out the caribou, along with other Arctic wildlife.

Americans moved forward with development of the North Slope oil fields and construction of the pipeline in some of the most hostile conditions on the planet. Oil changed the face of Alaska’s economy – for the better.

The next chapter for oil and gas development in Alaska is the Arctic offshore. Development of energy reserves in the Chukchi Sea could refill the TAPS, create tens of thousands of jobs here in Alaska and the Lower 48, and keep our private sector economy healthy. We have the know-how and technology to explore safely in the Arctic, and industry has been there before as numerous wells were drilled safely in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas more than 20 years ago.

Lease Sale 193 has undergone rigorous environmental reviews and this area has become one of the most studied oil and gas basins in America.  Industry has invested billions of dollars in Chukchi Sea leases and preparations to explore. It’s now time to move forward.

In conclusion, I urge the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to finalize the SEIS, reaffirm Lease Sale 193, and allow exploration to proceed.

Thank you. 

Mary Ann Pease (NGP Photo): 

Mary Ann Pease, Lease Sale 193, Testimony, James Kendall, Dave Harbour PhotoComment:  Once again, the Federal Government is stepping over Alaskan's rights to develop in a responsible manner our natural resources in and around Alaska.

I firmly believe that Bureau of Ocean Energy Management should expeditiously finalize the SEIS for Lease Sale 193, reaffirm Lease Sale 193, and allow exploration activities to proceed!

If there is truly a need for Energy sustainability for American - these lease sales and the SEIS is the perfect place to make it happen rather than importing oil and gas from terrorist-supported countries.

Lease Sale 193 has undergone exhaustive environmental review, and BOEM has once again acknowledged that exploration can be done with minimal environmental impact. Alaskans have proven that resource development can proceed in a way that protects the environment while providing economic benefits and improving the standard of living for Alaskans, especially those living in the Arctic.

Alaska has one of the world's largest untapped oil and gas potential, especially in its offshore areas. The Chukchi Sea, off Alaska’s northwest coast, offers more resources than any other undeveloped U.S. energy basin, and, according to experts, may be one of the largest untapped oil and gas sources in the entire world. Shell and other companies need to e able to proceed without costly and litigious delays.

Alaskans support OCS development by a huge majority- again do not take pour rights to a stable and growing economy away from us and export it to other countries that are not aligned with our democratic system.

There has never been a blowout in the Alaskan or the Canadian Arctic. Since 1971, 84 wells have been drilled in the Alaska OCS – all without incident. For drilling planned in the Chukchi, the water depth is rather shallow – several hundred feet – and is akin to the near-shore shallow-water Gulf of Mexico, where safe drilling practices have led to a long history of safe operations.

The North Slope and its offshore are now perhaps the most studied energy basins in the United States. In the past decade, over 250 studies have been funded in the Arctic, with the majority focused on the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.
Chukchi oil and gas resources are key to sustaining the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) and protecting U.S. energy security.

TAPS is one of the largest pipeline systems in the world and has transported more than 17 billion barrels of oil since it came online in 1977. At its peak, TAPS carried approximately 24 percent of domestic production to market ensuring West Coast residents received a stable supply of domestic energy.

Since 2005, 680 leases have been awarded to companies interested in exploring for oil & gas off the Alaska coasts. Despite years of applications for permits, community consultation, environmental studies and analysis, and more than $3 billion in bonus payments to the federal government and investment in technology, equipment and personnel, not one well has been drilled to hydrocarbon depth as a result of Lease Sale 193.

When the federal government awards a lease and accepts payment, it has an obligation to efficiently process permits within a reasonable time period.

The current regulatory structure and legal quagmire have taken away Alaska and America's ability to access and develop some of its most promising natural resources at a time when America needs jobs, economic growth, reduced dependency on foreign energy sources and a dependable supply of affordable energy.​

Matthew A. Cronin, Research Professor, Alaska OCS, Shell, Polar Bear, Whale, Spruce Grouse, UAF, Photo by Dave Harbour, BOEM, Shell, Alaska OCS, Chukchi, Beaufort SeaMatthew Cronin, Research Professor

Testimony at BOEM Chukchi Sea OCS sdEIS hearing at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Anchorage

Matthew A. Cronin, Research Professor

University of Alaska Fairbanks

1 December 2014

Oral testimony was given at the hearing, and is summarized here in written form.

During the project description given earlier it was stated that this Chukchi Sea OCS process began in 2007. That is seven years ago.  Note that World War 2 was completed in less than 4 years from Pearl Harbor to the surrender of Japan.  Also note that the Alaska Highway was built in less than one year.  The bureaucratic regulatory process is way too slow and inefficient. 

Also note the decision to designate the bearded seal as an Endangered Species was recently vacated by the U.S. District Court judge and remanded to NMFS because it was arbitrary and too speculative.  It used models to predict the extinction of the species in 50 or 100 years, and the judge said this was too speculative. 

I know that the federal government, including BOEM and the Department of the Interior, has many good scientists.  The government should not have a judge vacate a decision because it is too speculative.  The scientists in the agencies should review these issues and use their expertise to ensure good science is used in such important decisions.  I urge the scientists in BOEM and other government agencies to think and use your skill and knowledge on science issues like the bearded seal, and the Chukchi OCS program.  Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions and insist on good science. 

Thank you for your attention.  

Tom Maloney (NGP Photo)

December 1, 2014

Tom Maloney

3215 Legacy Dr.

Anchorage, AK 99516

(907) 244-4119

Tom Maloney, CH2MHILL, SEIS, Lease Sale 193, Dr. Jim Kendall, BOEM, Dave Harbour PhotoGood evening. My name is Tom Maloney and I am a longtime resident of Anchorage.

In April 2007, the Federal Government presented an outstanding presentation on the Proposed Final OCS Oil and Gas Program for 2007-2012.

Since that time, over 7 ½ years ago, many hearings have taken place and not a whole lot has been accomplished to bring resources to market.

        In 2009, in front of several hundred Alaskans, my son Sam had the opportunity to testify in front of Secretary Ken Salazaar. Sam was a high school junior at the time and was looking forward to future working opportunities relating to the OCS.

        In his previous testimonies on this subject (yes, he testified multiple times like others in the audience), he stated:

“We need to keep the TransAlaska Pipeline System open so young Alaskans like me can have the same great opportunities that our parents did. We need to have new oil from federal sources like the OCS to keep TAPS going for future Alaskan generations. Let’s get on with OCS lease sales, future drilling and new production. Young people like myself want to occupy good paying jobs and safely develop our rich Alaskan resources.”

        Sam has since graduated from high school and college with a degree in welding and non-destructive testing. Fortunately, he has a great paying job with a fine Alaska-owned company. Advancing the OCS will help secure his future success and the success of young Alaskans like him.

In the past 7 ½ years, other countries that want rich Arctic resources are actually building infrastructure and not just talking about it.

        OCS-Yes. Our TAPS needs the oil, and Alaskans could use the jobs.


Maynard Tapp (NGP Photo)

Rick Rogers (NGP Photo)

Testimony of Rick Rogers

Executive Director

Resource Development Council

On SEIS for Lease Sale 193

Anchorage, Alaska

December 1, 2014

Good afternoon. Rick Rogers, RDC, Resource Development Council for Alaska, SEIS, BOEM, lease sale 193, Dave Harbour PhotoMy name is Rick Rogers, Executive Director of the Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc.

RDC is a statewide organization made up of all resource sectors, business associations, labor unions, Native corporations, tourism providers, local governments and individuals.  RDC’s purpose is to encourage a strong, diversified private sector in Alaska and expand the state’s economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.

Lease Sale 193 has undergone thorough environmental reviews and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has once again acknowledged that exploration can take place in the offshore waters of the Chukchi Sea with minimal environmental impact. RDC is confident that exploration, development, and production of oil and gas resources can occur in the lease area in a responsible manner that protects the environment while providing immense economic benefits and improving the standard of living for not only Arctic residents, but all Alaskans.

Offshore development on current leases will provide much-needed jobs and revenues to Alaskans. In addition to boosting economic growth, Alaskan offshore development will help extend the life of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which continues to play a critical role in our nation’s energy security. 

The Alaska OCS is an important future source of U.S. energy supply. The potential reserves offshore Alaska is more than all the current total proven U.S. conventional oil reserves. Although domestic production has sharply increased over the past several years, America is still importing significant volumes of oil at a great cost. Development of Alaska’s Arctic resources would further reduce America’s reliance on foreign oil. It would also generate hundreds of billions of dollars in government revenues.

The industry purchased leases in the Arctic in good faith, and Shell alone has spent more then $6 billion on purchasing its leases and preparing to drill. After waiting more than five years, leaseholders should be allowed to proceed with exploration efforts.

Alaskans agree that exploration, development, and production of offshore Arctic energy resources should move forward. In a recent poll, 73 percent support OCS development.

In conclusion, the Arctic, both onshore and offshore, is now perhaps the most studied energy basin in the U.S. More than 250 studies have been funded, with the majority in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Moreover, this area was safely explored and drilled more than 20 years ago.

RDC urges the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to expeditiously finalize the SEIS, reaffirm Lease Sale 193, and allow exploration to proceed.

Thank you. 




30 November 2014 9:53am

What's next for Sean Parnell?
Sean Parnell welcomed his first grandchild into the world. ... Another is making sure that the (liquefied natural) gas pipeline project stays on track.

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).


11-26-14 U.S. Thanksgiving Prayers and Pipelines

26 November 2014 12:24pm

US Thanksgiving 2014: Americans Thankful For Plenty Should Be Thankful To Their Creator and Their Devout Predecessors! -dh

Bill Walker, Alaska Governor, AGDC, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, Photo by Dave HarbourADN 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.

Western Canadian pipelines may be looking better but they, Keystone XL and Energy East still have their challenges.          -dh  

Quebec won't be pressured by provinces to back pipeline: Couillard

Alberta and Saskatchewan premiers fire back at Ontario and Quebec conditions on Energy East ...

A ‘pure fabrication': TransCanada CEO fuels war of words over Obama’s Keystone comments

Quebec and Ontario shouldn't bite the hand that feeds them

Cooper: Central Canadians should be prepared to freeze in the dark

Three proposed multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas projects in northern B.C. have been awarded the environmental green light by the provincial government.  The ministries of Environment and Natural Gas Development have now issued environmental assessment certificates for two pipelines and one export facility.

TODAY's Consumer Energy Alliance Energy Links: 

New York Times: Its Grip on Oil Weakening, OPEC Will Meet on Prices
As oil prices continue to plummet, the once-dominant international cartel of producers is losing its sway over the global energy markets.
Reuters: U.S. House to hold hearing on oil export ban
A House of Representatives panel will hold a hearing on Dec. 11 to explore whether a decades-old law that prohibits the export of crude oil makes sense in an era of domestic energy abundance.
The Washington Times: Falling energy prices could cloud U.S. production boom: IEA
Falling global oil prices may be good for consumers, but pose new challenges for America’s producers, according to a new global energy survey issued this week by the International Energy Agency.
Oil & Gas Journal: EPA air proposals should recognize progress, API official says
The US Environmental Protection Agency should recognize progress that is continuing before it considers imposing costly new air quality requirements, an American Petroleum Institute official suggested.
The Wall Street Journal: What’s Wrong With Oil Transport by Rail
I recently sat down to dinner with a group of high-level agricultural sector leaders in Minnesota. Again and again, the conversation turned to an issue that’s at the forefront of these business leaders’ minds: the fact that railcars carrying crude oil are displacing cars carrying agricultural goods, resulting in massive delays in shipments of hundreds of pounds of food.
Pittsburgh Business Times: Shale wells become leading source of natural gas
Shale gas wells accounted for more natural gas production than any other type of well in 2013, marking the first year that has happened, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Washington Post: O’Malley report confirms that HF can be done “safely”
Outgoing Gov. Martin O’Malley says he is ready to allow drilling for natural gas in Western Maryland, but only if energy companies adhere to some of the most restrictive public health and environmental safeguards in the country.
Houston Chronicle: Oil price slump to force spending cuts, Moody’s says
As crude continues to slump with no end in sight, Moody’s Investors Services predicted that oil companies will slash their capital budgets 20 percent next year and possibly more if weak prices persist.
New York Times: A Potent, Overlooked Greenhouse Gas
Although methane emissions are also produced by landfills and agricultural operations, the easiest to control are the methane leaks that occur in the drilling and transmission of natural gas and, to a lesser extent, oil. These emissions are expected to rise substantially as industry continues to exploit old and new natural gas deposits through the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing.
Politico Pro Morning Energy: Industry Group Seeks To Toss Fourth Colorado Shale Ban
The Colorado Oil and Gas Association is going after the last voter-approved fracking ban that passed in the last few years, asking a state judge on Monday to invalidate a ban blocking fracking in Broomfield, a Denver suburb home to about 59,000.
Daily Camera: Boulder commissioners extend moratorium
Boulder County commissioners have officially extended the county's temporary moratorium on accepting new oil and gas development applications until July 1, 2018.On Tuesday morning, Commissioners Deb Gardner and Elise Jones adopted a resolution that follows the 3 ½ -year moratorium-continuation decision they and Commissioner Cindy Domenico made on Nov. 13.
State Journal-Register: State begins accepting shale applications
Companies can begin filing for hydraulic fracturing permits in Illinois, though it remains uncertain how soon the hotly debated oil and gas production technique might begin. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has posted permit applications online, spokesman Chris Young said Tuesday. Companies must register with the department 30 days prior to submitting the application.
Bismarck Tribune: State officials denounce New York Times report
State officials Tuesday denounced a months-long investigative report conducted by the New York Times that ran last weekend as being an inaccurate portrayal of how state has regulated the oil and gas industry in recent years.
NPR: Most natural gas now comes from shale
Most of the natural gas in the United States now comes from shale gas wells, according to information released today by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Seven years ago, shale made up just 8 percent of the overall gas production for the United States, but last year it accounted for 79 percent of production.
The Journal: Is the shale boom in Virginia in for a bust?
There is no business quite as boom and bust as the oil and gas industry. A trend develops, high prices seem to be the wave of the future, massive investments are made, and then oops, things change and for a little while at least it’s a bust. This has happened so many times that it’s possible to lose count.
Houston Chronicle: Lone Star College building 'rig' to train workers
On 18-acres of an old oilfield near Tomball, construction workers will soon begin to build a new rig, but they're not trying to strike oil. Instead, the steel tower and platforms will be the newest classroom of sorts of the Lone Star College system's oil- and gas- drilling training program, providing a hands-on experience for would-be roustabouts to hone their skills in darkness, rain and heat.
Texas Tribune: College Voters to Blame for Denton Ban
Did college students tilt the outcome of Denton’s vote to ban hydraulic fracturing? That question has stirred debate since the city – home to the University of North Texas and Texas Woman's University – became the first in Texas to ban the oilfield technique that sparked a drilling boom and spawned tension in some urban areas.
Dallas Morning News: Signs emerge that Texas oil boom could be slowing
The drilling boom that has resurrected Texas’ oil industry is showing signs of slowing down. In West Texas, where a new generation of wildcatters has turned Midland into a boomtown again, drillers are starting to pull back from marginal areas where prospects are less certain.
SNL: Lacking production, Mexico to be dependent on US gas for years, ex-official says
According to a former Mexican government official, the refusal of the state-run PEMEX Gas y Petroquímica to invest in natural gas drilling will make the country dependent on gas imports from the U.S. for a considerable time.   

US Thanksgiving 2014: Americans Thankful For Plenty Should Be Thankful To Their Creator and Their Devout Predecessors!   After reviewing thanksgiving devotions of America's presidents (Below) -- and considering today's challengs -- can we afford to be less devout?    -dh

1.  Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation (1789)

2.  Abraham Lincoln's First Thanksgiving Day Proclamation    This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America's national day of ... George Washington was the first president to proclaim a day of thanksgiving....

3.  Lincoln's historic Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863

4.  Abraham Lincoln: Proclamation 118 - Thanksgiving Day, 1864

5.  Abraham Lincoln, father of the Thanksgiving holiday

6.  Abraham Lincoln and the "Mother of Thanksgiving"

7.  Calvin Coolidge Thanksgiving Day Proclamation

8.  Ronald Reagan's Thanksgiving Day Messages





11-25-14 Alaskanomics' Northern Energy Report (RDC)

25 November 2014 9:26am

RDC Alert! (Send us your ARCTIC OCS comment for our archives!)  Petroleum News reports what the Russians are doing in the OCS!

Reader Steve Borell provides this link: Germany overreacted by diminishing nuclear power in wake of the ​Fukushima ​disaster--and now is desperate for more coal fired power!  -dh
Calgary Herald by James Wood.  Alberta Premier Jim Prentice sees opportunity trumping obstacles.  -dh
Today's Consumer energy Alliance energy links.
Pebble Partnership's short term judicial victory; but the jury is still out on the long term result of EPA coordinating with environmental activists to pre - emptively block development projects in violation of Constitutional, due process rights.  -dh

Resource Development Council (RDC) Conference Part I (Below), II, Day 1 Wrap Up, Day 2 Morning Sessions, Friday Conference Wrap Up

by Katie Bender (NGP Photo), Alaskanomics

​(Complete conference agenda with videos and presentations)

The Resource Development CouncilKatie Bender, Northrim, Alaskanomics, Alaska, RDC, Resource Development Council for Alaska, Photo by Dave Harbour hosted the 35th Annual Alaska Resource Conference last week. ... Alaskanomics ... highlight(s) the presentations from the conference.

The two-day event allows the resource industry to gather and look back at the past year, while planning for the coming year. There were many things to celebrate at this year’s conference, but participants and speakers were decidedly cautious about the State’s fiscal future.  

As is the tradition, the conference started out with an outlook for the coming year by Alaska Department of Labor Economist, Neal Fried. With the exception of 2009, the Alaska economy has been growing for the past 25 years. The growth has not always been by leaps and bounds, but it has been moving in the right direction. In 2014, it is predicted that there will only be about 900 new jobs in Alaska, which is only 0.6 percent. This is not as strong as many would hope and there will be a breakdown of the employment categories in January when the annual wrap up is published. Fried continued with brief updates of the various resource industries.

  • Timber has had very little change and is down with record lows
  • Mining is largely unchanged as well and has slowed and growth has flattened out
  • Fishing grew in both processing and harvesting this past year
  • Oil keeps hitting new highs, North Slope employment has doubled in the past decade
  • The Visitor Industry is up for the third year in a row

Alaska earnings have grown since a dip in the late 1990s and we currently have the second highest household income behind Maryland. The population grew in the past year, but the growth is starting to slow down.

Kara Moriarty of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association gave the update for the oil and gas industry. She shared the usual numbers that more than one third of all Alaska jobs are tied to the oil and gas industry and for every one industry job, 20 other jobs are generated through industry spending. The oil industry paid $6.9 billion in taxes and royalties and luckily the current tax policy generates more revenue at low prices than the old regime. This is very good since the price of oil has dipped below $80 a barrel. There has been a lot of new development on the North Slope and in Cook Inlet. Moriarty finished with the reminder that while we cannot control the price of oil or Alaska’s high cost environment, we could all be “Resource Proud”.

Stephanie Madsen of the At-Sea Processors Association shared that the fishing industry continues to grow and is currently the number one private sector employer in the state. The value of Alaska’s fisheries fluctuates because of the global market. The industry continues to be challenged by environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) calling for protected areas. Madsen continued by noting that Alaskan fisheries historically have been managed conservatively and are continually adapting to the varying definitions of sustainable.

Keith Coulter with Koncor Forest Projects gave the update for the timber industry, which by far has seen the largest decline of other resource industries. He noted that both fishing and forestry are sustainable and renewable and are not mutually exclusive. Rural communities that have lost timber are having a hard time replacing the jobs and income that were seen with the timber industry. Coulter shared that he felt that Federal Forests should be managed in the same way that private forests are and Alaska should resist efforts to adopt federal forest practices. He warned that changes to the Alaska forest practice should be informed by contemporary science. Coulter also urged the need for reform of federal overreach in the Tongass and elsewhere through fewer environmental regulations and restrictions.

Karen Matthias with the Council of Alaska Producers gave the update for the mining industry. She was proud to share that both Red Dog and Greens Creek Mines were celebrating their 25th anniversary of operation. She said the industry needed to do a better job at sharing success stories from around the state. An example is that Usibelli Mine has been in operation for more than 70 years and is mining responsibly. There are more than 5000 direct mining jobs in Alaska with an average annual wage of $100,000. Donlin Gold is in the permitting process and other mines could bring many new jobs to the state. Alaska is number one in the world for pure mineral potential and holds incredible potential in the mining industry. It was no surprise to conference attendees that permitting is consistently the biggest challenge in mining and is a very slow process. The outlook is bleak right now, but the industry can redouble efforts to fight against those trying to block responsible development and educate the public on the positive impact of mining so that things might improve.

Gideon Garcia with CIRI Alaska Tourism wrapped up the year in review with the tourism industry update. This past year, Alaska saw 1.96 million visitors, who spent $3.9 billion. The tourism industry adds 46,000 jobs for Alaskans. The projections for the 2015 season look good. Cruise traffic is predicted to have a 2.8 percent increase and overall visitor traffic is expected to jump 2-3 percent in 2015.

The year in review and 2015 outlook is a staple to the RDC conference and while presenters were proud to share accomplishments within their individual industries, it was obvious that the challenges of federal overreach, commodity prices, and regulations weighed heavy in the room.

Alaskanomics will continue to highlight the conference with Investment in Action by Trond-Erik Johansen of ConocoPhillips Alaska and Investing in Alaska’s Future with Janet Weiss of BP Exploration (Alaska).

 Posted by  at 04:10 PM in Alaska's EconomyFishing IndustryJobsMiningNatural ResourcesOil & GasPopulationTaxes,TimberTourism | Permalink  

RDC Part 2

The first day of the RDC conference continued with discussions from the heads of ConocoPhillips Alaska and BP Alaska about their investment in the North Slope. Both companies have had a busy year and are continuing the trend of investment in Alaska.

Trond-Erik Johansen of ConocoPhillips kicked things off, assuring the crowd that there are many good things happening in Alaska. There have been some challenging debates over the past few years, but ConocoPhillips will continue to move forward and will stay the course of investing on the North Slope. ConocoPhillips is very focused on converting resources that are in the ground into real oil in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). The 2014 capital budget was up 50 percent from 2013 and is double the 2008-2012 average. The CD5 project, that was announced prior to SB21, is on schedule and on budget ($1 billion). The first oil from the project is estimated to flow at the end of 2015 with peak production at an estimated 16,000 BOPD in 2016.

The Alaska projects that were announced since SB21 hit the books are also still on track. Two new rigs were added at Kuparuk and are producing an additional 8,000 BOPD per rig. Each rig also added an additional 100 direct jobs for the state. Kuparuk production has flattened with the additional rigs. There are new projects in the Western North Slope/Alpine area that will help slow the production decline. A new Kuparuk drill site 2S (Shark Tooth) has been approved for construction. Peak workforce during construction will be 250+ jobs in 2015. The project has a budget of $500 million. An additional 8,000 BOPD is predicted to start in late 2015. Greater Moose’s Tooth is in the permitting stage. If permits are received by February 2015, the project will add 30,000 BOPD in 2017. Johansen wrapped up his presentation with a note about the Cook Inlet Assets and Natural Gas Sales. It is the only LNG plant to export from the US. Exports only occur in the summer because the gas is needed in Alaska during the cold, winter months.

Janet Weiss of BP Alaska shared Johansen’s optimism for the future of Alaska’s North Slope. As of November 18, BP and Hilcorp closed the deal that transferred a portion of BP’s North Slope assets to Hilcorp. The transfer allows BP to focus on the major fields and to remain competitive at Prudhoe Bay. BP will add a rig in 2015 and another in 2016, which will increase activity by 40 percent. They will also add an additional 25 miles of pipeline to bring more oil to TAPS in 2017. BP will also expand their current pads at Prudhoe and add a new drilling pad in the near future.

BP continues to invest not only in production, but also in Alaskans and education. As a company, BP has invested $28 billion in education and workforce programs in Alaska. They will continue their focus on growing the resource space that includes the people of Alaska and not just the capital.

Both ConocoPhillips and BP were cautiously optimistic about being able to slow the production decline on the North Slope. They are both working to move projects forward. Production is still far from the levels of the past, but both leaders felt that Alaska was moving in the right direction and that there are still plenty of resources to develop.

Governor Parnell stopped by the conference for a brief thank you to the resource industry. He highlighted the growth that has been seen during his time in office. Southcentral Alaska has new economic possibilities, especially along the Kenai Peninsula. The Governor thanked everyone in attendance for their support and their work to create more economic opportunities and growth. He concluded by saying how thankful he was for the opportunity to serve Alaska and its citizens and looked forward to getting back to work as a regular citizen.

More RDC highlights will be posted throughout the week.

 Posted by  at 11:52 AM in Alaska's EconomyJobsOil & Gas | Permalink                

Day 1 Wrap Up.

RDC Day 1 Wrap Up

Cook Inlet and the Interior Basin have been the major areas of focus for Hilcorp, Cook Inlet Energy and Doyon Ltd. Hilcorp has only been in Alaska for a few years, but is already making a large impact on production. They purchased assets from Chevron in 2012 and from Marathon in 2013. Production in their major oilfields has doubled from January 2012 through September 2014. Hilcorp President Greg Lalicker noted that he was confident that Hilcorp could meet the needs of Alaska for years to come. An example of this is the Trading Bay Field. There was a steady decline of the field and Hilcorp was able to turn this around and increase production in the field. Hilcorp has invested a total of $73 million in the Trading Bay Field.

Hilcorp will also increase their investment in Alaska with the asset transfer from BP that closed last week. This transfer included 100 percent of BP’s interest in Endicott and Northstar and 50 percent of Milne Point on the North Slope. There is also an option to purchase 50 percent of BP’s interest in the Liberty Development.

David Hall, President of Cook Inlet Energy, continued the discussion by outlining the growth within Cook Inlet. Hall shared the significant investment of Cook Inlet Energy from $34 million in 2012 to almost $140 million in 2014. Cook Inlet Energy works in four distinct fields, Redoubt, West McArthur River, North Fork and Badami. He concluded that the company’s capital expenditures have led to a 436 percent increase in BOE/D from 2012 to 2014. They are continuing to grow and are working hard to offset the production decline.

Jim Mery, Vice President at Doyon Ltd. rounded out the presentation with his company’s work in the Yukon Flats Basin and Nenana/Minto. He said that increased oil activity around the state has revved up Doyon’s business and they are seeing the benefits. Mery outlined Doyon’s objectives of oil and gas discoveries in both basins; new markets for Doyon oilfield service companies; business opportunities for nearby village corporations; job training for shareholders; and to secure new partners for State of Alaska leases.

A focus on the Arctic rounded out day 1 of the RDC Conference. Drue Pearce, Senior Policy Advisor with Crowell & Moring gave a detailed description of the Arctic Council and Alaska’s place in Arctic policy issues. She stressed the shift of the council from promoting economic and energy issues to protecting the environment and conserving its resources. There are many people and organizations that covet the Arctic; and often their agendas do not mesh with Alaska and the Native Alaskan lifestyle. There is currently no discussion of economy or smart development when discussing Arctic policy.

The United States is poised to take over the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015. Secretary of State, John Kerry, will be the chair of the council for the 2 year US term. Alaska will be well represented with Fran Ulmer as the Special Advisor on Arctic Science and Policy. The theme for the US Chairmanship will be “One Arctic: Shared Opportunities, Challenges and Responsibilities.” The thematic areas include addressing the impacts of climate change in the arctic, stewardship of the Arctic Ocean, and improving economic and living conditions in the region. This will be the first time that US policy is addressing economic issues in the arctic in the current administration. Alaskans should continue to watch the work of the Arctic Council because it directly affects the living and working conditions for many Alaskans. Policy-makers should have input from people who live and work in the Arctic when making decisions regarding our coastlines. Some want to shut off the entire Arctic and if they are not able to do that, they will section it off into pieces that do not allow Alaskans to live the lives they have lived for hundreds of years. It is important that Alaskans have a seat at the table when discussing Arctic policy.

The North Slope is primed for new development and Repsol and Caelus Energy Alaska shared their successes from the past year. Bill Hardham, Alaska Operations Manager for Repsol, reported that they were looking forward to their fourth drilling campaign on the North Slope and have made good progress from the first three winter campaigns. Repsol is the second largest North Slope leaseholder with more than 650,000 acres. They intend to be very busy in 2015 with a 500+ workforce and a budget of $240 million. Repsol is currently waiting for permits to be approved and to have the proper weather to start ice road construction. In the past three seasons, Repsol has drilled nine wells and invested $650 million in the North Slope. They first entered the Alaska market because legislators were willing to work on the tax structure and make Alaska more competitive in the national and global market.

Pat Foley introduced Caelus Energy Alaska to the conference to finish the day’s presentations. Caelus is a privately held Exploration and Production company founded in 2011. It acquired Pioneer Natural Resources Alaska assets in April 2014. Caelus is currently working to develop Oooguruk, where they are 70 percent operators. Oooguruk should have 13,000 BOPD gross production, 80+ Alaska employees, and 150-300 Alaska contract workers. Caelus has a $500 million capital budget for 2015. They see Oooguruk as their platform to grow the business, increase production, and further explore the North Slope.  In the next year, there will be many new projects with a lot of diversity for Caelus Energy Alaska.


11-20-14 Can Prentice Rescue Keystone?

20 November 2014 1:22pm


Prentice heading to Washington after Keystone pipeline falls short of approval
Prentice heading to Washington after Keystone pipeline falls short of approval ... Premier Jim Prentice will travel in January to Washington, D.C., where he ... additional action on greenhouse gas emissions to win Obama's approval of

KTNA Radio: Listen to the Audio.  The State of Alaska has made many attempts to build a gas pipeline.  Currently, a lot of effort is being put into the Alaska LNG Project, a partnership between the state, the three largest oil producers, and Trans-Canada.  The project recently held an open-house meeting in Trapper Creek. 

Calgary Herald.  TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) is plotting new pipelines that would tap into burgeoning U.S. shale oil deposits, a company executive told investors a day after efforts to speed up approval of its Keystone XL project failed in the U.S. Senate.

Paul Miller, the executive in charge of liquids pipelines, divulged few details of the nascent projects at the company's annual investor conference in Toronto.

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