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

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Reader Comment

7-28-15 Is Climate Change Science Settled?

28 July 2015 7:44am

See our Facebook commentary this morning re: Climate Change  -dh

From the Senate Energy Committee: See How Envronmental Extremism is Destroying California Lives

Aussie Oil and Gas Observer: The smashing of the Shanghai stock market yesterday – an 8.5% fall (the biggest one day decline in eight years) – has reverberated around the world in both stock markets and commodity markets, and oil was not left out of the carnage.    ***    Japan’s average LNG price (per mmbtu) for June was down again – at US$8.65.  Volumetrically this figure is largely driven by contract purchases.  At this price, few if any Australian LNG projects would have been sanctioned in the last decade.     ***     

Quote of the day, from the classic play (and movie) Glengarry Glen Ross, which captures something of the atmosphere within employee ranks in oil companies at present:

“As you all know first prize is a Cadillac El Dorado. Anyone wanna see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired”.

Commentary:  We are very proud -- and respectful -- of one of our readers, an Australian energy expert, for acting on our suggestion that he begin writing an energy blog (Column Right).

We call him "Aussie" here, because his active energy investing and consulting do not allow him the flexibility of using his proper name on his blog at this time. 

Aussie is a brilliant thinker, observer of energy trends and realities, and writer.  He is also prolific, producing new commentary almost daily.  He knows North American energy issues well.

In short, we are delighted to begin bringing you his commentary.

We think you'll share our respect for his wisdom and insight as he tackles the effect of this week's economic crisis in China on energy projects, prices, projections and employees.

Following is a clip from his email today.  -dh

Dave,

Last year you suggested to me that I consider starting something like your website news/opinion service.  
 
Over the last 3-4 months I’ve taken your suggestion up - and been writing a blog 5 days a week on the oil & gas patch.  It's written from an Australian vantage point - but does look around the globe for strategic/market themes, etc.  It's opinionated and occasionally cynical - and hopefully therefore an enjoyable read!
 
Today’s email is attached below - and you can sign up for daily emails on the website (https://aussieoiloiloilandgas.wordpress.com/)  ....

-Aussie

REFERENCE: 

Our Face Book comment on this issue:

The science is not settled (See Praeger University comment below).

Believing that it is settled is justifying environmentally extreme movements designed to bloat bureaucracies and amass political power by forming critical partnerships with subsidized businesses that could not survive in a non-subsidized world.

This process is also known as "crony capitalism" which is designed to destroy capitalism and free enterprise over time.

One of many effects of "climate politics" is justifying massive income redistribution from economical fossil fuels, taxpayers and utility ratepayers to subsidize expensive alternate fuels represented by countless lobbyists.

This video is a true public service that can be useful in communicating basic facts to our fellow citizens, fellow taxpayers, and fellow utility ratepayers.

We are are being misled by armies of entrepreneurs with alternate energy profit motives who are major funders of political campaigns.

We can think of this wealth transfer alliance as the eco-crony capitalist-political cycle of life. -dh

 

 

New Video: What They Haven't Told You about Climate Change

Since time immemorial, our climate has been and will always be changing. Patrick Moore explains why "climate change," far from being a recent human-caused disaster, is, for a myriad of complex reasons, a fact of life on Planet Earth.

 

Senate Energy Committee - California Drought and ESA

ICYMI: This is a very interesting piece on the current drought in California that’s causing a “humanitarian disaster” in the Golden State. Charles Cook chronicles his firsthand experiences in California’s Central Valley that’s experiencing devastating economic impacts stemming from the state’s ongoing drought crisis.  -

From: Michael Tadeo, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Golden State Dust Bowl: How environmental extremism is destroying California’s Central Valley (National Review)

http://bit.ly/1IpMBbJ

August 10, 2015, Issue

By, Charles C. W. Cooke

Central Valley, Calif. — The road to Fresno is flanked by missed opportunities. Just ten years ago, to drive across this extraordinary valley was to be blinded by miles upon miles of burgeoning green life. Now, the fields that run alongside State Route 180 resemble the squares on a giant, schizophrenic checkerboard. On one block there are pistachios, almonds, tomatoes, and grapes, stretching as far as you can see; on the next all is brown and fallow, and the dust swirls upward toward the heavens. On the edge of the small farm town of Mendota, an abandoned sugar plant stands defiantly against the sky. It is beautiful, in a peculiar way — a fading Hopper sketch for an unsure world. This was a resolute place, once.

That was before the decline; before the worst drought in 1,200 years turned some of America’s most fertile ground into a Dust Bowl; before soft-handed politicians in a faraway city took a look at an economic miracle and concluded that it was expendable. There is no question that God has played His role in bringing about this crisis: It has not rained consistently in the Central Valley for half a decade now, and the reservoirs in the northern part of the state are dangerously low. But Caesar must share in the blame. Because the valley is liable to become parched in rainless times, California has constructed a complex system of pipes and pumps that funnel lifesaving water southward from the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta. Since 2007, that system has been deliberately crippled. In that year, the Natural Resources Defense Council convinced a judge that, by operating the pumps at high capacity, California was killing too many smelts — a small fish that is explicitly protected within the Endangered Species Act. In consequence, the throughput was severely curtailed, and the farmers, who under the state’s “seniority” system have the last claim on the water, were all but cut off. Two years later the drought began, and a blow was struck upon a bruise.

On the edge of a field on the outskirts of Mendota, unemployed farmworkers have built a tattered town. In another era it would have been described as a “Hooverville”; today, it bears no appellation at all. These are forgotten people, and their hamlet is veiled by indifference.

I meet Frederico, a Guatemalan farmhand who has lived here for six years. He has only a few dollars to his name — kept in cash, of course — but he considers himself “one of the lucky ones” nevertheless. “I could have nothing,” he tells me, gesturing toward a hut that he has built from abandoned sheets of wood and a stretch of discarded canvas. “But I have a house.”

Frederico is one of the many workers in California’s Central Valley who have seen their livelihoods all but destroyed by the Great Drought. “I manage to work a little here and there,” he explains, “but the water . . . the water. Often I have to go 20 miles to find work.”

Above all else, he misses the shade. “In 2008 and 2009, they started to cut my hours,” he says. “Eventually, I couldn’t pay rent.” So he moved here, to a dusty pasture by the side of a highway, and he built his tumbledown shack. “I went to the recycling place and found the bits for my house,” he recalls. “There were trees here. But they burned down. It is so hot.”

Frederico’s neighbor, a new arrival to the camp, is burning trash in a hole. He, too, has come from Mendota. “I was living in an apartment building,” he tells me, declining to give his name. “But when I lost my job, I didn’t have money for rent.” His landlord wanted a long-term lease, and he couldn’t pay. Since moving out here, he has gained occasional employment. But it is barely enough to provide food and water. “If somebody finds a job,” he tells me, “they communicate it to the whole camp. That person becomes a hero.”

He does not expect to move out anytime soon. “I am working on a garden,” he says, with a proud smile. He has started to decorate, too, putting on a wooden front door and hanging a painted sign from the roof. There is a bank of dirt behind the first row of homes, and he has planted seeds into it — some oak, some pine. Eventually — in decades — they will accord him some relief from the sun.

I meet the town’s self-appointed leader, a Salvadoran immigrant who has been here for six years. “I felt super when I was able to work,” he tells me. “Now I can’t buy medicine; I can’t buy food. I used to work 40 hours a week. Now I work eight.” Compared with the elderly workers, who cannot compete in this market, he has it good. “The older people are getting into drugs and alcohol,” he says. “I resolve any conflict here. People have started to respect and look up to me.”

Happily, he has little to do as peacemaker. Generally, the camp’s 50 or so residents look out for one another, sharing skills and food and news of job openings. When things become especially dire, some ride broken bicycles around the fields, in search of bottles that might carry a small recycling value. And then they wait: for work, for the food bank, for a sign from above.

Some of these people are in the United States illegally; others are citizens who have fallen on hard times. The cynic will wonder whether it is America’s problem that a group of lawbreakers cannot find work. I caught myself wondering precisely this when touring the camps. And yet, wherever one’s sympathies lie on that thorny question, to look at the tents in isolation is a mistake. Mendota’s unfortunates are symptomatic of a much, much broader problem — a canary in the coal mine. A decade ago, the Central Valley was a wonder of the world — a place where anybody could find work. Today, it is playing host to a humanitarian disaster.

In the parking lot outside a gas station in nearby San Joaquin, Mayor Amarpreet Dhaliwal runs me through the decline. An immigrant from Punjab, in India, Dhaliwal has seen the region at its best and worst. “I’ve been here since 1983,” he says. “I worked in the fields for my first year and a half. I did everything that the farmworkers do. The picture has been slowly changing.”

The scene that Dhaliwal paints is best described as one of trickle-down poverty. “I’ve been running a small business here since 1991,” he says. “There aren’t so many customers these days. I also run an agricultural-hardware business here in town — and a small farm. We have seen the same trend. I have the numbers for the last 14 or 15 years, and there’s a downward trend. We’re just waiting for the rain.”

As we chat, a couple of older men amble slowly and unsurely down the fading railway lines that run through the city. One of them is wearing a ripped vest and a faded New York Yankees cap; the other is in a filthy Dickies shirt and a tattered Puma hat. Neither man has many teeth left, and those that do remain are rotten and brown. The heavy green stains on the pair’s jeans and sneakers reveal that they are returning from a shift in the tomato fields. This has been a good day.

Such days are few and far between. “They used to come and drag us out of the house,” one of the men tells me. Now, “they rotate people around to give us all a chance.”

“Sometimes people bring them food or clothes,” Mayor Dhaliwal says. “The charities have stepped up to the plate. We have a kitchen that comes two days a week. We also have a food bank. And that’s great. But these men want to earn their bucks. They don’t want handouts. This is about dignity. I want real jobs out there. I want people lining up around the block, not handouts.”

As we leave, the taller of the men clasps his hand around Mayor Dhaliwal’s arm and speaks quickly in Spanish. He is clearly nervous. “He is saying that he sleeps poorly because he lives next to the railway line,” Dhaliwal tells me. “He is worried that the gas tanks behind his home are going to explode and kill him.”

“I got this mark from a snake,” the mayor tells me, pointing to the long scar that runs along his elbow. He looks at up at the sky. “I could have died, but God saved me.”

In Huron, I meet with a peer of Dhaliwal’s, Mayor Sylvia Chavez. Home to 7,000 people, Huron is the fourth-poorest municipality in all of California. “Look outside,” Chavez urges me. “It’s June, and the town is empty — as if it were a winter day! Usually, we’d have trucks and buses coming through. Usually, there would be traffic lines at the four-way stop. Usually, there would be lots of new faces.”

Not anymore. Huron, which has a population that is 98 percent Hispanic, has an unemployment rate of 35 percent. “The guy at the gas station across the street no longer sells gas, because there’s nobody to sell it to,” Chavez tells me. “He just does contract work now.” This, it seems, is a fairly common story. Ten years ago, Huron Tire Service Inc. was in such demand that the owner was running out of space in which to keep his inventory. “There were piles of tires all over the place,” Chavez says. Today, he orders his supplies ad hoc.

The decline in commercial activity has hit the city’s government hard. Sales-tax and gasoline-tax receipts are down dramatically. Courtesy of harsh spending cuts, 2015 was the first year in five that the city was in the black. “We’re just holding on,” Chavez tells me. “We’ve had to cut a lot. It’s difficult to know what to do.”

The human cost is real. “People used to leave their doors open at night,” Chavez recalls. “Now they can’t leave anything outside. We have a lot of stealing now. There are break-ins at homes; there is theft from farms and stores. I don’t walk around late at night anymore.” Domestic violence and child abuse have become “big problems,” as has substance addiction. Chavez cannot work out why the decline of the area hasn’t become a bigger story. Why isn’t it leading the national news?

Even locally, there is a good amount of shoulder-shrugging. “I went to a meeting in Fresno,” she says, rolling her eyes, “and they were talking about putting together a new committee to regulate the supply of groundwater. I sat there listening to them and I thought, Another agency: That’s exactly what we need!”

Huron serves as a particularly extreme example of the Central Valley’s predicament. But the challenges that it is facing are by no means unique. In her downtown office, the sheriff of Fresno County, Margaret Mims, lays out the numbers. “Back in 2010,” she explains, “we just didn’t have the sales or property taxes. So we had to lay a whole lot of people off.”

“A whole lot” is no exaggeration. In the space of a few months, the county had to let 77 people go. “We lost deputy-sheriff positions. We lost correctional-officer positions. It affected everybody.” Things are improving — slowly. But, Mims sighs, the department is “still about 70 deputies short of where we were in ’09.”

“The unemployment rate has made the gangs worse,” Mims tells me, “especially if there is violence in the home. The kids look outside, and they see the gangs. They move from a dysfunctional family to a functional one.” Such behavior makes the economic picture considerably worse, contributing to a disastrous spiral that is going to be extremely difficult to break. A piece of copper from an automated pump may be worth around $10 to a criminal, but it costs around $2,000 to replace. Even worse, if farmers do not initially notice the theft, they may have to wait for replacement parts and end up losing their crops. This results in fewer opportunities for work, which leads more people to crime, which . . .

“In the ’09–’10 budget year, we closed down three floors of our county jail,” Mims recalls with a grimace. “We just couldn’t hold people who needed to be held. That was a horrible time to live through.” It was not just petty thieves who benefited from the absence of jail space. “There are 442 inmates per floor. We had to let 1,326 people go,” Mims says. “We couldn’t afford the staff that it took to guard them. I just hated the message that it sent. The feeling out there was, ‘We can do whatever we want because they don’t have jail space.’” Eventually, Mims had to draw a line — at murderers.

Todd Suntrapak, the CEO of Valley Children’s Hospital, knows all about such tough choices. The drought, he tells me, is “not a very sexy issue.” In consequence, the coverage of its ruinous fallout has been “limited to this valley.” “That this is not a bigger issue in Sacramento — or even nationally,” he submits, is “unimaginable.”

For the facility he manages, the drought has been little short of a disaster. Valley Children’s is the only pediatric hospital between San Francisco and Los Angeles, and it was short of doctors when times were good. Now, it simply cannot cope with the demand. “We have seen double-digit increases in volume to our ER for the last four years,” he records. “Thirty-three percent of kids in the area are living in poverty, and that number is likely to increase.”

Newly unemployed workers continue to stream in, mostly “coming for the primary care that they were unable to get in their communities.” By the time they get here, they’re invariably sicker. Because so many fields are fallow, the amount of particulate matter in the air has increased considerably. This has led to an increase in chronic respiratory diseases, and it has provoked lethal complications among those who are already ill. “The dust can be a death sentence,” Suntrapak concludes. “If you have a weak immune system, it’s catastrophic.” And it’s not just the environment. The “child-abuse-prevention team is busier than it’s ever been.”

This year, Suntrapak’s staff is already 20 percent over its budget assumptions. The state is paying, too. Eighty-two percent of the patients at Valley Children’s are on Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid. Six years ago, that number was 70 percent. For many, it is no mean feat just to get here. “They use up whatever gas money they have for the month just to reach us,” he tells me. “And then they can’t pay for the medication they need.”

At an emergency meeting run by El Agua Es Asunto de Todos, attendees are tearing their hair out. El Agua was formed by a former consul to Mexico, Martha Elvia Rosas, in the hope that sustained action would draw attention to the water crisis and force the federal government to act.

The speakers are schoolteachers, charity workers, medical professionals, university professors, family farmers, and local politicians — not your typical critics of runaway environmentalism. But, having watched their communities crumble, they have been moved to act. “There has to be a compromise,” one woman tells me before the meeting starts. “People are suffering.”

“People go to the grocery store,” says a teacher from the city of Firebaugh, “and they see melons, they see lettuce, they see tomatoes — and they think it’s all okay. In San Francisco, they turn on the faucet and they see water. It’s all taken care of. Nobody cares. People haven’t seen the devastation that’s going on here.”

When I ask for information, the visitors surround me and share their stories of decline. A once “vibrant school system with lots of parent support” has been turned into a nightmare, in which families “starve and scrape together to survive”; there is abundant “domestic violence,” and “kids need constant counseling”; single-family homes are now “hovels for multiple families,” while “garages are shelters for out-of-luck workers”; the food banks have “gone from assistance to subsistence” — so necessary, perhaps, that “in 70 or 80 percent of communities, they are indispensable.”

One gentleman, a soft-spoken local politician whose constituents have been hit hard, strikes a desperate tone. “We’re losing hope,” he laments. “Is anybody out there listening to us?”

He is unsure that they are. “We’re starting to think of extreme ideas,” he says. Those ideas? Blocking the freeway; limiting the flow of produce to market — anything that will force people to pay attention.

It is clear that he is just blowing off steam with such talk. Even the most passionate of my interlocutors — a middle-aged Hispanic man who talks in fiery, urgent language — is aware that such courses of action would be counterproductive. “This is a population that wants to work, not cause trouble,” he tells me. “If they had their way, you would only see them early in the dawn hours of the morning, when they are going into the fields. Then you would see their shadows when they leave the fields at night. They are not going to do anything sensational. They don’t want to ruffle feathers.”

He will be setting no fires. But his anger is real, and it is palpable. “I love the environment,” he says. “I fought to protect the majestic redwoods. But when our group invited the EPA to meet with the farmworkers and families here, they declined.” So, disgracefully, have California’s elected representatives. Time and time again I hear it said that politicians outside California are more interested in finding a solution than those within. “Where is Barbara Boxer? Where is Nancy Pelosi?” Noting caustically that Hispanics are being disproportionately affected, some go so far as to suggest that there is racism at play.

There is not — just environmental zealotry and an arrogant indifference to its human cost, borne by these people suffering under the sun. People who walked into the fields looking for the American dream but found it dammed at the source. If it so wished, Congress could amend the Endangered Species Act tomorrow, and the valley could enjoy a little more of the water that it needs to raise its daily bread. But, for now at least, Congress will not do so — not, one suspects, until breakfasting grandstanders in Washington, D.C., come to ask in irritation why the orange-juice jugs are empty and there are no longer any melons in the fruit bowl.

Michael Tadeo

Deputy Communications Director

Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee

 

Categories:

7-25-15 Raiding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

25 July 2015 1:00pm

Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Communications Director Robert Dillon writes us that, "Reuters senior energy market analyst John Kemp today weighed in against a plan to raid the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to pay for three years of a six–year highway bill."  Following is the article:

SPR oil sales would be a mistake before strategy review is concluded: John Kemp

Lisa Murkowski, Strategic Petroleum Reserve, US Senate, Energy Policy, Robbing the SPR, highway funds“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is not an ATM,” Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo), chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee warned the Senate this week. “It is certainly not the petty cash drawer for Congress.”

The senator from Alaska was criticising a proposal to sell 101 million barrels of crude from the government’s stocks to offset a shortfall in funding in the highway trust fund, used to pay for repairs to roads and bridges.

“Others are potentially looking to our Strategic Petroleum Reserve as nothing more than a piggybank,” Murkowski admonished her colleagues in a floor speech delivered on Wednesday.

There is nothing new or particularly surprising about Congress raiding pots of apparently surplus assets to pay for short term spending priorities.

Between fiscal 1993 and fiscal 2005, almost $6 billion worth of raw materials, previously considered critical, were sold from the national defence stockpile and the revenues used to meet spending needs elsewhere.

The stockpile sold a range of materials from aluminium oxide and chromium to cobalt, iodine, platinum group metals and tin.

Sale receipts were used to pay for everything from armed forces readiness to the provision of military equipment to foreign countries, a hospital trust fund and a memorial to the veterans of World War Two.

In Washington, where legislators are always looking for ways to spend money without raising taxes, seemingly under-utilised assets and unspent funding offer an irresistible target.

Recycling funding from old and outdated programmes to meet new and pressing requirement is not necessarily wrong.

Some of the oil stored in the SPR may be surplus to current requirements as a result of the U.S. shale revolution.

But it would be a mistake to sell SPR oil before Congress has conducted a proper debate about the stockpile’s future role in energy security.

NET IMPORT COVER

The United States is obliged to hold stocks equivalent to 90 days net imports in government or private stocks as part of an agreement with its partners in the International Energy Agency concluded following the Arab oil embargo in 1973-74.

As recently as 2005, U.S. government stocks were equivalent to only 55 days worth of net imports, which were then running at 12.5 million barrels per day (bpd).

But thanks to shale, net imports have fallen to just 5 million bpd, while the stockpile has remained largely unchanged, pushing up the amount of import cover enormously.

At the end of 2014, the SPR’s was storing almost 691 million barrels of crude in giant salt caverns along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Stocks were equivalent to 137 days’ worth of net imports of crude and refined products.

In theory, the United States could sell up to 240 million barrels of crude and still comply with the requirement to hold stocks equivalent to at least 90 days worth of net imports.

If all those barrels could be sold at the current market price of around $50, the government could raise up to $12 billion from the sale of surplus oil.

POLITICAL BLACKMAIL

Crude from the SPR has been released on only three occasions since it was established in the 1970s.

The first drawdown came in response to the beginning of Operation Desert Storm when the U.S. and its allies moved to oust Iraqi troops from Kuwait in 1991.

The second drawdown was ordered in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. And the third came in June 2011 in reaction to unrest in Libya and other Arab countries disrupting oil supplies.

The amount of crude released on each occasion was relatively small.

As a matter of law, the SPR was established to counter any “severe energy supply interruption” which could have a major adverse impact on national security or the national economy.

But its real purpose has been to protect the United States and its allies from attempted political blackmail by oil-exporting countries.

In 1973, Saudi Arabia and a number of other Arab countries cut oil production and banned the sale of crude to the United States in protest U.S. support for Israel.

In the event, the embargo was short-lived and not very effective. But the SPR was meant to ensure the United States could never be threatened in this way again by ensuring there was always enough crude on hand to enable the country to withstand an attempted economic siege.

The SPR’s effectiveness should be measured not by the number of releases or their volume but by the fact it has so rarely been needed.

Never again has there been a serious attempt to cut oil supplies to the United States to alter the country’s foreign policy.

The federal government has spent a total of $20.7 billion buying oil for the SPR over the last four decades at an average price of $29.70 per barrel, according to the Department of Energy.

The replacement cost of the oil is probably somewhere between $35 billion (at today’s price of $50 per barrel) and $105 billion (at the recent high of about $150).

The SPR looks like a fairly cheap insurance policy, especially since costs are basically sunk (most of the oil was originally purchased in the 1980s).

AN EFFECTIVE OIL SHIELD

While there have been occasional calls for Arab countries to wield the “oil weapon” to influence U.S. policy, there have been no serious attempts since the 1970s.

How much of this has been due to the deterrent effect of the SPR rather than other changes in the oil market and the Middle East is impossible to say.

A new generation of Arab leaders took power after 1973 much closer to the United States. Iran’s revolution fundamentally altered the key relationships between Washington, Riyadh and Tehran and pushed the U.S. and Saudi Arabia closer together.

The rise of competing oil supplies from outside the Middle East, including from the North Sea, Alaska, the U.S. Gulf and the Soviet Union, radically changed the balance of power between OPEC and the consumer countries in the 1980s and 1990s.

And since 2008, the shale revolution has almost doubled indigenous oil supplies within the United States and given the country a much higher degree of energy independence, or at least self-confidence.

But the SPR has likely played a deterrent role. The SPR has acted as an effective “oil shield” which has given the U.S. government more freedom and confidence to face down threats and turmoil in the Middle East and other exporting regions.

STRATEGIC REVIEW NEEDED

It would be a mistake for Congress to use the SPR as a source of short term funding. Raiding a one-off asset to pay for highway maintenance and other recurrent expenditure makes no sense.

There does need to be a proper debate about the future of the SPR. Everyone agrees on this point, including the U.S. Department of Energy and the Government Accountability Office (the congressional spending watchdog).

“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve must be modernised for the 21st century,” Murkowski told her Senate colleagues this week. “Its size, its geographic disposition, the quality of the oil it stores ... these are all issues that merit further attention but we need to have a deliberative process ... what we do not need is a spur-of-the-moment deal”.

The Department of Energy is already conducting a review. But the strategy rethink should precede any sales, not the other way around. In the 1990s, the sale of formerly critical materials from the defence stockpile came only after the Department of Defense concluded they were no longer needed, not as a revenue raising measure.

There is a legitimate debate to be held about the future size, shape and role of the SPR. In the meantime, however, Congress should resist the temptation to make a short-sighted raid on the nation’s emergency crude reserves.

Categories:

7-22-15 Arrogant EPA Refuses To Testify On ESA

22 July 2015 7:13am

"Investment In Arctic Is Paramount", by Anne Seneca, President, Consumer Energy Alliance-Alaska


Politico: House GOP launches fresh salvo at EPA on endangered species

By Elana Schor

House Natural Resources Committee Republicans say EPA is snubbing their request to testify next week on whether it abided by Endangered Species Act rules that the GOP hopes will provide a new weapon against the Obama administration’s power plant emissions rules.

The House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop’s species protection probe began in the spring, when Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe admitted that EPA had not sought FWS input on the upcoming climate regulations despite evidence that the expected retirement of a Florida coal-fired power plant would eliminate a warm water habitat for some manatees.   

To view full story online:
https://www.politicopro.com/go/?id=50325


Today's relevant energy links from Consumer Energy Alliance:

Norman TranscriptIndustry official responds to oil and gas regs *Tommy Foltz Quoted

Consumer Energy Alliance Executive Vice President Tommy Foltz reacted to a decision by the Stillwater City Council this week to pass a new oil and gas ordinance that has been the subject of debate since January.

 

Tulsa Public Radio: New Stillwater Drilling Rules Also Being Questioned *Tommy Foltz Quoted

Stillwater imposes new rules on oil and gas drilling, but there are those who aren't sure it will meet the legal test under a new state law.

 

Tulsa Public RadioTulsa Morning News *Tommy Foltz Interview

 

Alaska Dispatch News: Investment in Arctic is paramount *Anne Seneca LTE

Shannyn Moore’s July 19 column on Shell’s offshore program was nonsensical gibberish. As Unalaska Mayor Shirley Marquardt commented to ADN after the incident: “So many things like this happen in the marine industry in Dutch Harbor and people just go, ‘Oh they were lucky.’ But when it’s Shell, people who have no marine experience whatsoever or have never been to Dutch Harbor say, ‘See they don’t know what they were doing.’ ” Moore’s litany was an unnecessary and incomprehensible diversion from a real and meaningful issue: the importance of increasing the nation’s investments in the Arctic.

 

Consumer Energy Alliance: Consumer Energy Alliance Welcomes New Member: West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association

Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) is pleased to welcome the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) as its newest affiliate member. Chartered in 1915, WVONGA is one of the oldest trade organizations in the state, and is the only association that serves the entire oil and gas industry. The activities of its members include construction, environmental services, drilling, completion, gathering, transporting, distribution and processing.

 

Wall Street Journal: Western oil companies will face competition in Iran

European and U.S. oil-and-gas companies drawn to Iran as sanctions ebb can expect to encounter not only opportunities, but also capable Iranian companies offering tough competition or joint ventures.

 

Washington Times: Nonsensical 'fractivist' pipeline hysteria

The anti-fracking movement has moved beyond the realm of the petty and unseemly into the ridiculous. Led by Yoko Ono, the avant-garde artist and widow of musician John Lennon, fracktivists are trying to stop construction of pipelines that would carry natural gas from the Marcellus Shale region in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and the Utica Shale region in Ohio to markets in New York and New England.

 

Washington Examiner: Obama climate pledge on 'very shaky legal ground,' critics say

Republicans and industry officials on Tuesday contended the Obama administration's climate pledge heading into global negotiations was on "very shaky legal ground"

 

Bloomberg: Oil Drillers Retreat from Shallow U.S. Gulf in Turn to Shale

Energy producers are retreating from the search for oil and natural gas close to shore in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico as drilling budgets shrink and exploration migrates to land-based shale fields.

 

BloombergGlut of gas heading south as shale boom reaches Florida

A glut of cheap natural gas trapped in the U.S. Northeast will be heading south by the end of the year, radically changing the price differences between the regions.

 

BloombergAnalysts: Gas pipelines to shrink price gap between Northeast, Southeast

New pipeline capacity in the Northeast is expected to bring more natural gas from the Marcellus Shale play to the Southeast, prompting the price difference between the two regions to narrow over the next three years, analysts predict.

 

The Hill: First attempt to advance Senate highway bill falters

A Senate bill that would sell off a portion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to fund highway projects failed to advance Tuesday. Another vote is expected today.

 

Sioux Falls Argus Leader: PUC: No new pipeline testimony on tribal stewardship

South Dakota utility regulators won’t allow testimony on tribal land stewardship next week in the latest round of Keystone XL pipeline hearings.

 

Aberdeen News: PUC sets final processes for TransCanada hearing

The state Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday rejected most of the limits that TransCanada wanted on opponents for the permit hearing next week on the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

 

Oil & Gas Journal: Study examines methane emissions from gas facilities

Natural gas transmission and storage facilities in the U.S. released 1,503 gigagrams per year of methane emissions, according to a Colorado State University study. The figure is 27% lower than a government estimate but statistically similar, according to the study.

 

Huffington Post: Dear Mr. President: Prove Your Climate Rhetoric and Stop Arctic Drilling

Dear Mr. President: I've often been struck by your soaring rhetoric on combating climate change, transitioning to clean energy sources, and protecting the natural environment. Clearly on some level you get it, as you've demonstrated in speech after speech. That's why I don't understand how you could even consider approving Shell's dangerous plan to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean this summer  and why I'm imploring you to stop this reckless and short-sighted project.

 

E&E News: Crude exports not in House energy proposal

The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Monday introduced a bipartisan energy bill that did not include a repeal of the ban on crude exports. A subcommittee markup is planned for today.

 

Associated PressWilmington the latest to oppose offshore drilling

Wilmington has become the latest city in the Carolinas to oppose offshore drilling for oil.

Wilmington City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to oppose both seismic testing to find oil and natural gas, and the actual drilling for oil off the North Carolina coast.

 

The Roanoke TimesCutler: Industry attempting to bypass review procedures

“Now, think what might happen if (a) legislation under active consideration now by the U.S. Congress (H.R. 2295, S. 411, S. 1196) were to pass that gives the secretary of the Interior (instead of the Congress, as is currently the case) the power to issue oil and gas pipeline rights of way through national parks and (b) another person with Jim Watt’s world view were to be appointed secretary of the Interior?”

 

Akron Beacon JournalOil company mergers are down, federal agency reports - Drilling – Ohio

The second quarter of 2015 exhibited the largest amount of oil companies' merger and acquisition (M&A) activity by value since fourth-quarter 2012. The announced merger between Royal Dutch Shell and BG Group in early April accounted for $84 billion of the $115 billion quarterly total.

 

Oil & Gas JournalComment period on Colo. gas proposal extended

The Bureau of Land Management has given the public until Aug. 4 to submit comments on a preliminary environmental assessment of Gunnison Energy and SG Interests' proposed natural gas project in Colorado. The project would entail up to 25 gas wells on five well pads.

 

Durango Herald: Colorado faces clean-air rule from EPA

A final rule from the Environmental Protection Agency is expected in the coming days, aimed at a 30-percent reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions nationwide by 2030. The proposal is state-based, with a target of 35 percent proposed for Colorado.

 

San Antonio Express-News: HF, HB 40, and concerns about liability

In late 2014 the citizens of Denton voted to ban fracking in the city and its extraterritorial jurisdiction. The proponents felt that fracking was a dangerous and polluting practice that does not belong in their community. Many other cities in the nation have passed similar ordinances.

 

San Antonio Express News: Engineering to the rescue in the Eagle Ford

Engineering and innovation can save the Eagle Ford Shale amid six-year low oil prices, participants at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference said Tuesday. More than 3,000 oil industry professionals are at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio for the conference until Wednesday. And with oil prices hovering around six-year lows, many of the conference's panels are focused on technology to improve productivity and efficiency.

 

Akron Beacon Journal: New power plant seen as game-changer in Ohio

A big change is coming to Ohio: Coal is on the way out and cleaner-burning natural gas is moving in. That switch was behind the ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday southeast of Canton in tiny Carroll County, where a new, $899 million natural gas-fired power plant is being built in the heart of Ohio’s Utica Shale.

 

Times LeaderNew Ohio well rules in place

Ohio Rep. Jack Cera believes new state Department of Natural Resources rules will help prevent accidents at Marcellus and Utica shale drilling pads, such as those in Monroe County that displaced residents and killed thousands of fish last year.

 

Columbus CEO: Anxiety hits Ohio’s industry. Columbus CEO. First was the shale oil and gas boom

Eastern and southeastern Ohio saw a surge in lease activity, pipeline projects and hiring. New wealth trickled through the economy to car dealers, hotel operators and restaurants. Now, Ohio’s shale country is an uncomfortable place, with elements of the boom still in place, and some companies facing what can only be described as a bust.

 

NorthCentralPa.com: Even Higher Energy Taxes Threaten Pa. Jobs

Shale development in the Commonwealth continues to benefit our economy and environment. From providing regional building trades unions with thousands of good-paying jobs to delivering consumer savings for families and improving air quality, these clear benefits touch all corners of Pennsylvania.

Categories:

6-16-15 Is Alaska's Governor Seeking Control Of The Ak LNG Project; Or, A Governent Owned Project?

16 June 2015 1:11pm

Alaska Governor Bill Walker's June 8 Letter To AK LNG Participants Doesn't Exactly Radiate Cooperation 

by

Dave Harbour

(In fairness, we wish to provide this comment from an anonymous reader.  -dh)

Bill Walker, AK LNG, Governor, Alaska, 49th State, oil taxes, fiscal certainty, Photo by Dave HarbourToday, we ask if Alaska Governor Bill Walker (NGP Photo) is seeking cooperation with participants in the AK LNG project, or is he seeking to control those free market participants, or is he angling toward a separate, government owned project?  

Here is a letter Walker sent yesterday to House and Senate resource committee leaders which included the copy of a letter he dispatched back on June 8 to producer leaders of the AK LNG project. 

We hate to be judgmental; after all, we all have our own ways of doing business.  And, we should grant the Governor some leeway for lack of experience in dealing in the world of business and free enterprise.

If it were our call, we'd have met with Ak LNG on a regular basis to resolve ongoing issues; after all, there will be plenty more hurdles for participants to cooperatively overcome over the years if the project goes.  

In meeting with participants regularly, we'd have engineered a process like the governor "proposes/unilaterally mandates" in this correspondence, sought concurrence among the parties and made a joint announcement on how the project will proceed.  "Peace to all in an atmosphere of cooperation"....

Instead of a cooperative joint announcement, we now have a Governor presuming to call the shots, dictate the process.

In less formal circumstances, we would likely ask, "who in the blazes does this guy think he is?"

Readers will find one of the dictated matters occurring in the Governor's correspondence, item #3.  In it he acknowledges that one of the big issues to be resolved is "fiscal stability" (See our 4-part series).

Government bullying can turn a reasonably profitable project into a loser.  

The bigger the investment, the more need there is for assurance that property will not be expropriated by fiat, as in the case of Argentina, or more indirectly taken by predatory taxation occurring after investments have been made.  

Just think about this: if an investment goes south on a manufacturing plant or commercial fishing boat, there are often plenty of potential buyers.  But when you bury a pipeline into the earth and the investment goes south, statutes require you spend billions more dismantling and removing the asset, and restoring the right of way.

In our opinion, the AK LNG investors have no choice but to seek full fiscal certainty on all of their oil and gas assets in return for the big gas transportation system investment.

If the Governor wishes not to use his bully pulpit supporting that need with the Legislature and the citizenry, we think it obvious that he either does not believe that full fiscal certainty is needed or he holds back on offering fiscal certainty knowing participants will have a difficult time justifying the investment.

This does not mean "fiscal stability" of the oil companies.  It means, basically, that if the investors pour $45-$60 billion into the state of Alaska to build a gas pipeline/LNG project, they need to know that they will not be treated here like Repsol was treated in Argentina less than a decade ago.

Alaska has demonstrated in the past that in the 49th state, "A Deal Is Not Necessarily A Deal".  Readers can explore the link for background.  Basically, Alaska's elected officials have taught investors that they don't mind raising taxes after an investment decision is made and they don't mind doing it RETROACTIVELY.

Being hopeful, but not stupid, Alaska's oil industry has said for a generation that when and if a gas transportation project is built, the state will have to guarantee fiscal stability of the project.

In the June 8 letter, Walker, agrees that fiscal stability should be part of the process, but that it will exclude oil.

In other words, he is saying, "I'll agree to not tax gas after the investment is made but you'll get no guarantee from me regarding the oil."

So if one is trusting enough in Alaska's state government to invest scores of billions in a gas pipeline, one is not concerned that oil taxes will be raised after the gas project is built?

We have talked to no one about this correspondence, either in the Administration, Legislature or oil industry.  If we had, we'd have undoubtedly been smarter.

But we are compelled based on an independent reading of the correspondence to conclude that the Governor thinks he can charm or coerce industry into investing billions into a gas transportation project by providing only half a loaf of fiscal stability.  Either that, or he is trying to infiltrate so many skunks into the gasline parade that any rational investor would say, "Sorry, not today".  By multiple skunks, I refer to but do not have space to explore other troubling provisions of the correspondence, including gas marketing, government ownership and pipe routing issues.  

If you are an investor hoping for a cooperative government partner, read the June 8 letter and weep.

The June 8 letter, causes one to wonder if the Governor -- a lawyer who spent a undistinguished, quixotic career advocating a government owned LNG project -- will finally get his wish to be Master and Commander of some imagined, but not yet real, government-owned, Alaska LNG project.

We hope this is not Walker's motivation for the June 8 letter, nor his pipe dream.

If it were, we fear that to the innocent citizens of Alaska the dream will morph into a pipemare.

-30-

 

See reader comments below with my responses in red....

If I were an alien drop kicked to this planet; my main takeaway of a cursory reading through is that the author implicitly dislikes the Governor. I am unable to discern the GOA's motives.  I do not dislike the governor and am as 'charmed' by him as the next citizen; but my role here is to draw logical conclusions from actions.  If that discipline is judged to be personal or subjective, so be it.
 
Is he trying to dictate the process, or is this type of simpleton action an honest outworking of his character; further evidence of an acute lack of understanding/experience in matters of import.
 
By being public, should his motive be to blow up the JV, it may grant a certain cover for future unilateral actions by the administration undoubtedly. But as to his motive, I cannot speak. 
 
As to the point of oil tax stability vs. a single specific large scale activity and tax implications; I don't think it is appropriate to expect similar treatment. For the SOA to execute an agreement on fiscal terms for a specific project over a specific time period would be a difference of kind rather than degree in relation to oil taxation.  Nevertheless, stability for an oil and gas producer's gas and not his oil is no stability at all.
 
As a sovereign we do not execute contracts on projects or with companies, we have a broad base tax system and the premise that it would remain unchanged over a period of decades is untenable. Alaska better question its premises if it wants a gas project, particularly with the competition it faces and with its unreliable, predatory tax history.  Current activity in the oil patch is resplendent with renegotiations due to a changing market dynamic, but those center around specific contracts i.e. shipments of LNG pricing being renegotiated due to market conditions in the same manner service companies have renegotiated to maintain a position with producer companies. In fact, Apache reports their earnings are now greater at $60 bbl than previously under $90 bbl pricing. Both they and their service providers are profiting.   Perhaps Alaska should re-explore the idea of a Constitutional amendment to permit a fiscal stability 'contract' under certain conditions.
 
Ideally, the SOA would develop a taxing scheme that would be appropriate and applicable over wide market dynamic, lasting for decades; that would be a challenge, but perhaps ELF was a good example. When Frank gained office, pundits claimed that ELF was broken. I would posit it as being outdated under the conditions at that time. Even oil companies expected changes to be made. 
 

 

 


(Note: Editors are welcome to reprint our opinion pieces; attribution should occur and we would appreciate being sent a link.  Readers may send any thoughtfully written responses to this address and we will reprint them alongside this editorial for the Archives.)

Dave Harbour, publisher of Northern Gas Pipelines, is a former Chairman of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska and a Commissioner Emeritus of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).  He served as NARUC's official representative to the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC).  Harbour is past Chairman of the Alaska Council on Economic Education, former Chairman of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, and past President of the American Bald Eagle Foundation and the Alaska Press Club.  He is Chairman Emeritus of the Alaska Oil & Gas Congress.


Opinions or viewpoints expressed in this webpage or in our email alerts are solely those of the publisher and in no way reflect the opinion(s) of any affiliated company, person, employer or other organization.

 

Categories:

6-11-15

11 June 2015 8:51am

Polar Bear, Photo, Copyright by Dave Harbour

 

Tomorrow....

 

 

Commentator Thorpe Watson advises us to get ready for a medieval lifestyle.  This morning he emails us that:

The G7 countries have declared war on hydrocarbon fuels (aka “fossil fuels”). 
 
They have pledged to end the production and use of coal, oil, and gas by 2100. (The Telegraph  9 June 2015 G7 pledges to end fossil fuel use this century”).
 
In other words, it is a pledge to commit economic suicide and to make us more vulnerable to natural climate change. It is a bleak future as depicted in this cartoon.
 
 
 
Does this mean that Prime Minister Harper has finally succumbed to the wishes of the opposition parties and the radical, foreign-funded, protest organizations; that is, to decarbonize Canada’s economy?
 
It should be noted that the anti-fossil-fuel narrative is driven by the unproven anthropogenic (CO2 induced), global-warming hypothesis.Please be assured that there is no scientific basis to relate climate changes to our emissions of carbon dioxide ("CO2"). The planet's climate has always been changing and is characterized by four major climate cycles.
 
Furthermore, our emissions are insignificant compared to natural emissions and, unfortunately, will never be sufficient to double the CO2 content of the atmosphere. Such a doubling (or more) would be highly desirable for crop production. The store of CO2 that supports life on this planet is at a record low level, having been seriously depleted by natural processes. It is delusional to believe that restricting the generation of this trace gas gives us the power to stabilize the planet's climate.
 
However, I strongly believe that denying the world's poor access to affordable, reliable energy is immoral. It not only condemns them to perpetual poverty but it also makes them more vulnerable to the four natural climate cycles.
 
The G7 needs to take a hard, independent look at climate science and wake up to the reality that the warming campaign's case is collapsing on its merits.  Climate computer models have failed to predict the current 18-year pause in global warming. More important, the weather is well within natural variability.  The proposed solutions would enrich an elite few, impoverish the masses, and do nothing meaningful to alter the climate.
 
It is tragic that this scientific fraud continues to be endorsed by politicians. For example, Ontario is accelerating down the green road to bankruptcy under its so-called Green Energy Act.
 
Any person, who rejects the evidence and supports the anti-fossil-fuel policy, should be prepared to immediately adopt a Medieval life style, which is devoid of modern conveniences and the many products provided by the petrochemical industry (e.g. polyester clothes, computers).
 
We must demand that our politicians stop this anti-fossil-fuel insanity!

Today's Energy Links From Consumer Energy Alliance:

Town Hall: Follow the Trend: Support Energy Development 
A new trio of polls shows what’ll be at the top of Americans’ minds when they hit the voting booths next year to elect a new commander-in-chief – energy production. Surveys administered recently by Consumer Energy Alliance show that more than 80 percent of voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina – the first three primary states – said that candidates’ energy policy would be a key decision point on how they vote next year. This resonated not only with Republicans but also with Democrats and the much-coveted Independents.
 
MarketWatchPoll: Energy and Infrastructure Will Play a Key Role in 2016 Election 
Recent polling conducted for Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) continues to examine what role the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Keystone XL Pipeline, offshore production and other energy issues could play in the 2016 presidential election. And as echoed in recent poll results from Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, voters in Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia reinforced that energy policy will be an important issue when they cast their votes for president next fall.
 
Hot AirAtlantic Coast Pipeline pretty much as popular with voters as Arctic drilling When you think of pipelines making news, Keystone is usually the first one to come to mind. But you may not be aware of another project on the eastern seaboard which is on the way and generating its own share of controversy among domestic energy opponents. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a project being undertaken by a coalition of energy companies consisting of Dominion Resources, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources.

E&E NewsEnergy issues will be key for Mid-Atlantic voters -- poll 
Mid-Atlantic voters in a trio of states reported that energy issues will play a key role in how they cast their ballots in the 2016 presidential election cycle, while also endorsing a variety of measures to expand domestic energy production, according to a survey released yesterday.
 
Politico’s Morning EnergyPOLL SHOWS KEYSTONE, DRILLING SUPPORT 
The pro-drilling Consumer Energy Alliance has a new poll showing a majority or plurality of voters in Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia want construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline feeding natural gas into the region, more offshore energy exploration, keeping coal power plants running and expanding shale production through hydraulic fracturing. The poll also showed energy policy being a major issue in the upcoming election, along with a tightly packed Republican presidential field and Hillary Clinton leading big among Democrats in all three states.
 
FierceEnergy: Energy policy top of mind among voters 
The results of a new poll by the Consumer Energy Alliance suggests that voters in Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia strongly support the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the development of energy infrastructure.  The poll takes the pulse of how these issues could play in the 2016 presidential election.
 
WHSV-TV3Poll: Virginia Voters Support Atlantic Coast Pipeline 
A new poll conducted by the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) has found that a majority of voters in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia have heard about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and support it.
 
Augusta Free PressPoll: Voters in Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia support pipeline 
Recent polling conducted for Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) continues to examine what role the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Keystone XL Pipeline, offshore production and other energy issues could play in the 2016 presidential election. And as echoed in recent poll results from Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, voters in Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia reinforced that energy policy will be an important issue when they cast their votes for president next fall.
 
Rapid News NetworkAppeals court tosses suits challenging climate change plan 
“I wouldn’t put high odds on it, either”, Anderson said, because EPA has been “very careful from the outset in trying to cover their legal bases”. The lawsuits from a coalition of 15 states and the nation’s largest privately held coal mining company claim the EPA exceeded its authority past year when it proposed new curbs on pollution from the nation’s coal-fired power plants.
 
EnergyBizCourt throws out challenges to EPA power plant rule 
In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit tossed out lawsuits filed by Ohio -based coal producer Murray Energy Corp. and a group of 15 states. They claimed the Environmental Protection Agency exceeded its authority last year by proposing a 30-percent national cut in emissions from existing plants through plans that individual states must design.
 
Consumer Energy AlliancePoll: Energy and Infrastructure Will Play a Key Role in 2016 Election
Recent polling conducted for Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) continues to examine what role the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Keystone XL Pipeline, offshore production and other energy issues could play in the 2016 presidential election. And as echoed in recent poll results from Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, voters in Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia reinforced that energy policy will be an important issue when they cast their votes for president next fall.
 
New York TimesE.P.A. Takes Step to Cut Emissions From Planes
The Obama administration said on Wednesday that it would take the first step toward regulating greenhouse gas emissions from airplanes, but it acknowledged it would most likely take years before stringent standards are enacted.
 
ReutersIn twist, Obama emissions plan satisfies industry, worries greens
For two years, President Barack Obama has used his executive power to impose new rules to cut carbon emissions, targeting cars and power plants, buoying environmentalists and infuriating industry. His latest foray - regulating commercial aviation - had the opposite effect.
 
BloombergU.S. Ousts Russia as Top World Oil, Gas Producer in BP Data
The U.S. has taken Russia’s crown as the biggest oil and natural-gas producer in a demonstration of the seismic shifts in the world energy landscape emanating from America’s shale fields. U.S. oil production rose to a record last year, gaining 1.6 million barrels a day, according to BP Plc’s Statistical Review of World Energy released on Wednesday. Gas output also climbed, putting America ahead of Russia as a producer of the hydrocarbons combined.
 
MarketWatchWhy shale producers are happy with this EPA fracking study
The energy industry agrees with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — at least when it comes to the findings of an EPA study on hydraulic fracturing. Michael Krancer, partner and chair of the energy industry team at law firm Blank Rome LLP said a draft report on the EPA study shows that fracking is “safe,” with “no widespread issues.”
 
Fox BusinessAre the EPA and Anti-Frackers Drinking the Same Water?
The EPA says that fracking does not cause “widespread” harm to drinking water, but some anti-frackers claim to have found evidence that proves it does.  “Anti-frackers are just being clever,” FrackNation Producer Phelim McAleer told FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney.
 
International Business TimesUS Coal Production Will Decline Significantly If Obama EPA's Clean Power Plan Takes Effect: Report
The Obama administration’s signature plan to slash carbon emissions from power plants will deal a hefty blow to U.S. coal miners. America’s coal production could plunge to levels not seen since the 1970s if the proposed power plant rule takes effect, federal energy analysts said Wednesday. The dire forecast comes as major U.S. coal companies already are struggling with fierce competition from cheap natural gas, rising coal prices and waning demand from overseas customers like China.
 
Wall Street JournalExxon Tells Texas Regulators Its Wells Didn’t Cause Earthquakes
Exxon Mobil Corp. rejected any role in a string of recent earthquakes hitting the Dallas-Fort Worth area, saying geological data points to natural causes, not its operations.
 
BreitbartObama Expands Refuge to Stop Oil Drilling – Where No Oil Exists
To buy peace with climate change activists after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that oil fracking does not poison water, President Obama has signed an executive order tripling the size of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, just north of San Francisco. The order bans oil drilling in the area Obama renamed the “Greater” Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. The move is merely symbolic, since there are no oil reserves in the area.
 
NPRAmerica's Next Economic Boom Could Be Lying Underground
There's a serious problem in the American economy right now: Big corporations are doing well, but real household income for average Americans has been falling over the past decade — down 9 percent, according to census data. "That's not good for America," says Harvard economist Michael Porter. "That's not good for America's standard of living. That's not good for our vitality as a nation."
 
Business WireCalifornia Dreaming: Water, Energy and Reality
California doesn't have a water crisis - it has an energy problem, according to Joe Petrowski, the managing partner of energy investment firm Mercantor Partners. Petrowski explains that the issues surrounding water are the foundation for the state's energy woes, and are destroying the underpinnings of the agriculture industry and limiting economic growth. As water rates rise and rationing takes hold, he warns that California's economy will take a hit.
 
ReutersU.S. should ditch 'outdated' oil export ban -Harvard
The United States must lift an "outdated" ban on oil exports to take full economic and geopolitical advantage of its hydraulic fracturing boom, according to a study by Harvard Business School and Boston Consulting Group released on Wednesday.
 
Associated PressCalifornia oil spill cleanup costs $62 million
The cost of cleaning up last month’s oil spill on the California coast has reached $62 million so far. An official with Plains All American Pipeline told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the costs are running at $3 million a day, and there’s no timetable for when the cleanup will be complete.
 
Associated PressCourt strikes down rules aiming to cut pollution from Talen Energy's Montana coal plants
A federal appeals court has struck down pollution rules intended to reduce haze from coal that is burned in Montana to provide electricity for people in the Pacific Northwest. Haze reduces visibility and is caused by tiny particles of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide.
 
San Antonio Business JournalWhat does the Eagle Ford Shale need more of? ... And less of?
They say that two heads are better than one but the University of Texas at San Antonio's Eagle Ford Community Development Program brought nearly 100 business and community leaders together at an Wednesday conference to decide what the region needs.
 
InforumFracking rule would hurt ND income, jobs, state says
North Dakota stands to lose $300 million a year in oil income and 1,900 jobs if a federal rule on hydraulic fracturing takes effect later this month, state officials argue in court documents.
 
KERA NewsWhy Advocates Who Helped Pass Denton's Fracking Ban Now Want to See It Repealed
When voters in Denton banned the oil drilling technique called fracking there last year, the North Texas city took center stage in a national debate over oil and gas, property rights and the environment. But now some of the same people who pushed for the ban are calling to repeal it.
 
Eagle Ford TexasTexas oil fighting an unfair fight, claims David Porter
This means war! So says newly appointed Railroad Commission of Texas chairman David Porter of the oil output levels established by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
 
Victoria AdvocateDespite slowing production, shale's economic impact continues
While the Eagle Ford Shale's oil production has slowed down, drilling - and in turn, economic impacts in Victoria County - are expected to continue through the next decade.
 
Times-PicayuneSmall players -- not Big Oil -- drive Gulf of Mexico drilling amid downturn
Low oil prices have prompted major companies to slash drilling budgets and delay projects in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico this year. Oil and gas service companies are now looking to Big Oil's smaller, more nimble competitors to prop up activity in the region.
 
New Orleans AdvocateStagnant oil prices create opening for smaller firms, conference is told
Stagnant oil prices have led some major energy companies to delay new offshore drilling projects while creating an opening for smaller independent oil and gas firms to take advantage of lower equipment costs, industry leaders said Wednesday during the opening day of the Louisiana Energy Conference in New Orleans.
 
Washington TimesNuclear energy may have big future in Virginia: study
Virginia could supply virtually all of its future energy needs from nuclear power and even become a player in the global market to supply power from nuclear sources, according to a new think tank report released Wednesday. The case for the Old Dominion’s potential nuclear future was outlined in a new analysis from the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy, which argued that with the proper investments, Virginia could emerge as the newest contender in the international nuclear power market.
 
York Daily RecordYork County to receive more than $420,000 in natural gas revenue
York County will receive more than $420,000 in natural gas drilling impact fee revenue from activity in the Marcellus Shale starting in early July.
 
Observer-ReporterWashington County top recipient of gas impact fees for 2014
Washington County and its municipalities led the state in reimbursements from impact fees paid by drillers in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale in 2014, with the county receiving $6.5 million and its municipalities garnering $11.1 million for a total of $17.63 million, according to a list provided Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
 
Casper Star-TribuneNorth Dakota joins Wyoming and Colorado, oil and gas groups to urge delay in new federal drilling rules
North Dakota joined two other states and two oil and gas industry groups in asking a judge to postpone new rules for drilling on federal land while their lawsuit contesting the regulations moves ahead.
 
Albany Times UnionNew York fracking supporters pin hopes on EPA study
Supporters of the currently banned practice of hydraulic fracturing — or hydrofracking — for gas in New York state haven't given up hope entirely despite a decision by the Cuomo administration in December to continue the ban, which has been in place for more than five years.
 
Canton RepositoryIndustry executives say Utica Shale remains full of promise
Fewer permits are being issued and the number of rigs has dropped, but executives of companies that ship oil and natural gas said the changes shouldn’t be viewed as a sign that folks are backing out of the Utica Shale.
 
The Columbus DispatchFracking tax won’t be part of final budget deal, Ohio House insists
House leaders are largely holding their tongues on the sweeping Senate changes to their two-year, $71.3 billion budget, but they continue to make one thing clear: They will not pass a severance tax as part of the budget.
 
Winston-Salem JournalOpposition to test drilling for fracking faces entrenched power
There is no nice way to say it. The neighborhood where crews are drilling a 1,750-foot hole on public land to look for signs of natural gas isn’t pretty. Walnut Tree isn’t Buena Vista, Brookberry Farm Bermuda Run. Many of the homes along Crestview and Middlefork drives are two- and three-bedroom, one-bath jobs that sit on slabs of concrete.

Categories:

6-2-15 New Alaska North Slope Discoveries!

02 June 2015 9:32am

Rebecca Logan, Alaska Support Industry Alliance, Armstrong, North Slope Discoveries, Dave Harbour PhotoNEW Alaskan Discoveries Are Significant: See TODAY'S NEWS!  (Note: we thank Rebecca Logan {NGP Photo}, Alliance General Manager, for alerting us to this important announcement!)


Robert Dillon, US Senate Energy Committee, Lisa Murkowski, Keystone XL, Photo by Dave Harbour

Keystone XL Commentary by Robert Dillon (NGP Photo), U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee


TODAY'S RELEVANT ENERGY LINKS, COURTESY OF CONSUMER ENERGY ALLIANCE


 
 
British Columbia's energy projects lure companies stung by Alberta downturn
Still, all of the LNG terminals proposed for the British Columbia coast remain in the planning stage while gas and crude- oil pipeline projects face ...
 
 
Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion could cost Canada $22.1B, says SFU study
"Investing some $20 billion in potentially empty pipeline space imposes a very large cost on Canada, to the oil and gas sector, to the Canadian public ...
 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, June 10, 2015, at 11:00 AM, in room 1324 Longworth House Office Building, the Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs will hold a legislative hearing on the following bill:

  • H.R. 2387 Don Young, Alaska Congressman, Native veterans, Photo by Dave Harbour(Rep. Don Young, NGP Photo), To amend the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act to provide for equitable allotment of land to Alaska Native veterans.

 

 

 
 
 
 

Armstrong Announces Significant Discoveries on the North Slope of Alaska

June 02, 2015 07:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--70 & 148, LLC (Armstrong) announced today the successful completion of the 2014/2015 winter campaign.

“These new discoveries show the immense potential that still exists on the North Slope of Alaska”

Two Nanushuk wells were tested this year, including the Qugruk 8 (Q-8) vertical well, which tested a small portion of the net pay zone and flowed 30 degree API gravity crude at rates of up to 2,160 barrels of oil per day (BOPD). The Qugruk 301 (Q-301), two miles north of Q-8, tested a 2,000 foot horizontal lateral. The well flowed at tubing constrained rates as high as 4,600 BOPD with minimal bottom hole pressure drawdown.

In the East Alpine field, two new penetrations were completed in the Alpine Formation, adding to the previous two penetrations. Three of these wells have encountered oil productive Alpine sand in excess of 95 feet thick at a depth of 6500 feet with porosities ranging from 15% to 25%. Well control and seismic data indicates the oil pool covers an area in excess of 15,000 acres.

The successful drilling program is the result of a joint exploration effort underway since 2012. Repsol operates the consortium and holds a 70% interest, Armstrong holds a 22.5% stake and GMT Exploration Company has 7.5%.

The activity to date since the beginning of exploration has resulted in the discovery of several oil fields on the North Slope of Alaska. All 16 wells (including sidetracks) drilled by the consortium have found hydrocarbons, most with multiple pay zones. In the Nanushuk reservoir, the consortium has drilled seven appraisal wells to date and has proven an oil pool that covers more than 25,000 acres, at a depth of 4,100 feet, with an oil column of 650+ feet, and up to 150 feet of net pay with an average porosity of 22%.

Although additional drilling is needed to confirm the ultimate size of some discoveries, this season’s results justify moving forward with development, and two of the fields are in the process of being permitted for development -- one in the Nanushuk and another in the Alpine Fm.

“These new discoveries show the immense potential that still exists on the North Slope of Alaska,” said Bill Armstrong, President of Armstrong Oil & Gas. “We strongly believe that there are many great conventional oil projects yet to be found and developed in Alaska, and with the passage of the More Alaska Production Act (SB 21), the state has encouraged new drilling and future developments.”

 
 
 
 
 
TODAY'S RELEVANT ENERGY LINKS FROM CONSUMER ENERGY ALLIANCE....
 
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Financial PostThe great HF revolution paradox
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Keystone Commentary and Status Report

by

Robert Dillon

U.S. Senate and Natural Resources Committee

Keystone – Four (More) Months and Counting

Just wanted to bring to your attention that today marks four full months since the State Department’s deadline for interagency comments on the Keystone XL pipeline.

We’re sure that like all of us, you’re shocked – shocked! – that the project remains stranded in completely arbitrary regulatory purgatory.  And by that we mean, not shocked in the slightest.

In mid-January, during the Senate debate on bipartisan legislation to approve the cross-border permit for this long-delayed pipeline, the State Department announced a deadline of February 2 for interagency comments on whether it would be in the national interest. 

The Washington Post reported that as a result of this “tight deadline” the Department was “picking up the process where it suspended it last spring.”  And the State Department confirmed on February 4th that it had received comments from all eight relevant agencies.   

So, what has happened over the past four months?  By all appearances, a whole lot of nothing. The State Department could have spent two full weeks on the comments submitted by each agency. (We wish we had that sort of time to meander through our daily work.) Yet Keystone XL remains in limbo due to an administration that won’t make a decision.

The Keystone XL pipeline’s cross-border permit has now been stranded for more than 2,447 days and counting. The president has dismissed the project as a “single oil pipeline.” And the Quadrennial Energy Review spent hundreds of pages diagnosing our nation’s energy infrastructure needs and challenges. 

Somewhere along the way, you’d think that President Obama would make a final decision on Keystone XL, instead of validating the Senate’s decision to start the 114th Congress with a bipartisan bill on this subject. You’d think thepresident would recognize the project’s potential for job creation in a still-struggling economy. 

You’d think he would recognize that pipelines are a safe, clean, and efficient option for transporting the energy that America needs in an increasingly unstable world. But at four (more) months and counting, you’d be wrong.

CNN: As Keystone vote looms, it's crunch time for federal agencies to weigh in

By Kevin Bohn, CNN

Updated 1:28 PM ET, Sun January 18, 2015

Washington (CNN) – With the Senate expected to vote soon on the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline, the State Department is now giving eight federal agencies two weeks to weigh in on it.

The State Department on Friday notified those agencies have only until February 2 "to provide their views on the national interest with regard to the Keystone XL Pipeline permit application," a department official told CNN Saturday, adding that the department "continues its review" (More....)


 

 
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