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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.

 

You Read It Here First

11-18-14 TransCanada's Energy East Pipeline: "The Medium Is The Message", But All Is Not Lost....

18 November 2014 6:50am

Personal note: en route today from Cuenca, Ecuador to Anchorage....


Globe & Mail.  In Alberta, Jim Prentice, Alberta, Premier, oil sands, environmental, Dave Harbour Photowhere the Conservatives are Progressive, Premier Jim Prentice (NGP Photo) accurately described his province’s biggest challenge in a weekend speech to his party. Alberta, he said, has to find new markets in Asia for its oil, and the only way it can do that is by redefining the province “as an environmental leader.”

CBC.  TransCanada is launching an aggressive campaign to get public support and recruit "advocates" for its Energy East pipeline.  Documents obtained by Greenpeace and shared with CBC News show the energy company is using the U.S. public relations firm Edelman, the largest in the world, to promote the massive oil pipeline project.                  ...

Edelman suggested a "campaign-style approach" and borrowing tactics from opposing environmental groups that "press their advantage" and successfully use online campaigns to leverage "large and passionate audiences that show a propensity to vote and take other political action."  (See our earlier story.)

The Medium Is The Message But All Is Not Lost

by

Dave Harbour, APR

This CBC story likely resulted from some friend of Greenpeace leaking private company correspondence which revealed an Edleman proposal to TransCanada for a grass roots campaign to bolster support for the Energy East pipeline project.  

Of course, it is like a big fundraising gift for Greenpeace, which can tell its multi-million dollar donors that corporations are engaging in a "sneaky" grass roots program to organize advocates for the Energy East Pipeline.  

The leak gave environmental extremist opponents the excuse/ammunition to say their opponents are trying to manufacture support.  

One can only imagine the hair raising political strategies exchanged by the various environmental advocacies, that could cripple modern society.  

But then, CBC is not investigating those, and that is another story.

Sure, large companies need to organize grass roots programs.  Some of the most effective ones are done with dedicated, 'in house' resources, with little public fanfare.  Others require more extensive and specialized outside resources.  Yes, companies can retain outside strategic and/or tactical support but -- as this instance teaches -- they must anticipate additional security challenges.

Canadian media master Marshall McLuhan had it right when he introduced a novel communication concept, "The medium is the message."

TransCanada and Edleman have unintentionally tripped on this precept.  Instead of being able to quietly and efficiently organize messages and advocates, a leaker in their midst has provided information about a proposal which suggests that, in effect, "We are organizing grass roots advocates by spending a lot of dollars to convince you to politically support us."  

This leak is a case history in - the - making that will be prominently featured in the annals of modern Public Relations challenges.  

It is a classic example of the critical importance of confidentiality in this digital age.

Energy East deserves support on the merits; the merits could convey a good "message" via an effective and voluminous citizen voice "medium".  

In short, TransCanada has a great chance of winning public and regulatory support by quietly and professionally engaging in low key, intense, effective communication efforts from this point on.  

But now, the leak has proclaimed Edleman's relationship with TransCanada and the medium of that relationship is becoming an unhelpful TransCanada message, an unwanted corporate PR crisis.  

Together, Edleman and its client have an unexpected challenge as their opponents will likely try to identify "corporate money" and "PR hacks" as the medium which they hope becomes the message. 

While this leak makes messaging more difficult, a good outcome is still possible, if not likely.  

In the CBC story, TransCanada did the right thing.  Its spokesman, Shawn Howard, affirmed that the company is engaging in a program -- without being defensive.  

Marketing the oil will benefit Canada and the entire free world.  As to emissions, we know the world's consumers will obtain fossil fuels somewhere and we'd rather it come from North America than Russia or the Middle East.

TransCanada should move steadily forward, without missing a step--in spite of the fairly one-sided CBC piece. 

Indeed, TransCanada should know that citizens are aware that this is an age of multi-million dollar environmental and social activism.  

TransCanada should be confident that citizens also know, 1) employers create the jobs and, 2) private income and tax wealth supports civilization, and 3) that companies must defend themselves, and us, against those advocating destruction of our way of life, knowingly or unknowingly.

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11-2-14

02 November 2014 4:35am

BOEM Releases Revised Analysis

for Chukchi Sea Oil and Gas Lease Sale 193

BOEM will hold 7 public hearings, accept public comments Nov. 7 - Dec. 22

 ANCHORAGE, Alaska - In response to a federal court order, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Friday released the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for Chukchi Sea Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Lease Sale 193.  BOEM prepared the draft SEIS using the best available science, and working in close consultation with Alaska Native tribes, federal partner agencies, state and local governments, stakeholders and the public. Read more

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10-31-14 Senator Murkowski And Governor Parnell Take On Feds In ANWR Boundary Dispute

31 October 2014 6:45am

Senator Murkowski And Governor Parnell Take On Feds In ANWR Boundary Dispute​

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo), this week supported Sean Parnell, Lisa Murkowski, ANWR, Eisenhower, Truman, Dave Harbour PhotoAlaska Gov. Sean Parnell's (NGP Photo) demand that the federal government convey roughly 20,000 acres on the western boundary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to the state.

Other Items:

Independent oil companies are boosting oil production in Cook Inlet and a new independent-led project on the North Slope is beginning to take shape, with royalty incentives playing a role in both cases.

“Ongoing investment by the Cook Inlet operators continues to yield added value for the State,” said Division of Oil and Gas Director Bill Barron (NGP Photo).

On the North Slope:  This week, DNR issued its Preliminary Findings and Determination of the Commissioner approving the Nuna Development Royalty Modification Application.  

In a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Murkowski urged Interior’s Bureau of Land Management to quickly respond to the state’s request for priority conveyance under the Alaska Statehood Act and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA).

“This issue centers on what waters are considered part of the Canning River, which has long been designated and reaffirmed as the western boundary of the Arctic coastal plain,” Murkowski wrote. “The state believes that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has effectively re-designated the separate Staines River, which empties into the Beaufort Sea several miles west of the Canning River, as a channel of the Canning, thereby shifting nearly 20,000 acres of the coastal plain lying between the streams into the refuge.”

Murkowski said the dispute is preventing the state from benefitting from its 2011 lease sale in the area and is far from a theoretical issue given the value of the Point Thomson oil and natural gas field, just a few miles away. Interior agencies have objected to the state lease sale.

President Harry Truman established the Canning River as the western border of ANWR in 1952, a demarcation later reinforced by President Dwight Eisenhower in his designation of the coastal plain as an Arctic Range, and again in 1980 under ANILCA.

Murkowski said the boundary disagreement should have been resolved earlier this year with a joint state and federal mapping expedition, but the two sides failed to reach agreement.

“I believe a field trip earlier this summer between state and federal officials that reinforced the complexities of reconciling maps – some based on Sir John Franklin’s original mapping of the northern coast of Alaska in 1826 – with today’s satellite-based coordinates, supports the state’s claims that the (Interior) Department is currently misidentifying the western bank of the Canning River,” wrote Murkowski, the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

The letter points out that Interior could take a major step toward resolving the controversy simply by producing the official map that defines the legal borders of ANWR under section 1002(b) of ANILCA. In 2005, the last time Murkowski requested the original 1980 map, Interior could not produce it.

The full text of the letter is available on this website.

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10-30-14 NPR-A Comment Period Over Today; PLEASE COMMENT

30 October 2014 5:59am

NGP Reader Comment Here: Bob Hoffman;  Reed Christensen; Brian Benson, et. al.  (Read our commentary: "Has Commentary Gone Crazy?"


Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senate, Energy and Natural Resources, NPR-A, Moose's Tooth, Dave Harbour PhotoComment: While our loyal readers are suspect about Federal Comment Periods -- with good reason -- we cannot afford to let any record of comment be overbalanced with armies of environmental activists.  NGP Readers everywhere: Please Comment Before Today's Deadline On National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska Permit Application.  Full background here.

Please pay special attention to this statement on the issue by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo) as you're not likely to read about her concern in local or national newspapers today.  In part, she said: "I am concerned about the critical project decisions that are being left for the record of decision, which could impact whether this project moves forward or not,” Murkowski said. “Federal leaseholders need to have a permitting process that is timely and predictable in order to invest the billions of dollars it takes to develop America’s energy resources.”     

-dh  (Reference: more on federal comment periods....)


Calgary Herald by Dan Healing.  The long-term gain of increased pipeline capacity led to short-term financial pain as oilsands producer MEG Energy Corp. reported another quarter of record production on Wednesday.

Bill McCaffrey, president and chief executive, said on a conference call MEG took a $27-million cash flow hit in the three months ended Sept. 30 as it produced nearly 76,500 barrels per day but sold only 69,800 bpd.


Bill Walker, Port Authority, Alaska Gas Pipeline, Governor, Candidate, Dave Harbour PhotoAlaska Native News by Jason Mayrand.  Community members around Alaska who are advocating for a pipeline that will deliver gas to Alaskans and address high in-state energy costs, are voicing disappointment in comments made by gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker (NGP Photo). 

NGP Reader Comment Re: NPR-A Deadline
 

From Bob Hoffman.  

Mr. Harry A. Baij

“BLM-Alaska manages 22.8 million acres of surface and subsurface estate in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) on Alaska's North Slope. It is nearly the size of Indiana and is the largest single block of federally managed land in the United States.”  Source: http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/prog/NPR-A.html

This permit is for 72.7 acres.

Resource development on the North Slope of Alaska has proven results to both a benefit to our country and to provide for the protection of the Arctic environment.

I support the applicants intended use and urge the Army Corp of engineers to approve the application.

Thanks.

Bob Hoffman

Anchorage, Alaska 


Mr. Harry A. Baij

Reed Christensen, Alaska Support Industry Alliance, NPR-A, Corps of Engineers Gravel Permit, ConocoPhillips, Moose's Tooth, Dave Harbour PhotoI am sending you this email as my official “comment” on the application to discharge gravel fill in wetlands from ConocoPhillips Alaska (CPAI) to support the development of the Greater Mooses Tooth Unit 1 (GMT1) drill site in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A).

As mentioned by the use of the acronym above – NPR-A – National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska, this area was set aside specifically for petroleum development. I find it interesting that many folks seem to prefer the acronym over the official title because the title sums it up so well. This is an area designated for petroleum development and as such I fully support the application and request the project be allowed to proceed post haste. Our state and our nation can very much benefit from greater energy independence through such projects as this. The political, economic, and security rewards far and away surpass the minor land impacts required for responsible resource development.

Reed Christensen (NGP Photo)

President, General Manager

Dowland-Bach Corp


Mr. Harry A Baij:

Please review and accept ​these comment​s​ regarding the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska. 

The NPR-A is a vital and strategic component of our national energy security and should be developed in accordance to the BLM’s 2004 Alpine Satellite Development Plan.

Understanding, advancing our knowledge​,  and development of the resources of this important petroleum reservation is critical that plan.  Alaskans have the knowledge and determination to make sure that development is done safely and ​at a low risk to the environment.

I fully support ConocoPhillips' application to place fill and build the necessary road, bridges and abutments to develop the Greater Moose’s Tooth Unit 1 west as requested in Alternative A, Ref# POA-2013-461.  This alternative has the least infrastructure development and impact to wetlands, while promising eventually up to 30,000 barrels production and continuing economic development to the state and local and even national economy.

The benefits to the state and the nation are manyfold.

 

Regards,

Brian Benson

Air Liquide America, LP


 

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10-28-14 What Do Dandelions and Energy Have In Common? - National Petroleum Reserve Comment Due Tommorrow!

28 October 2014 8:02am

Consumer Energy Alliance Says "Alaska Is Key To American Energy Success!"


NGP Readers Everywhere: Please Comment Before Thursday's Deadline On National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska Permit Application.


Dandelion, invasive species, Alaska, bureaucrats, conference, Dave Harbour Photo

Today, at great cost to state and local governments, bureaucrats gather in Anchorage to 'discuss' how to deal with invasive species.  Meanwhile, government managers coddle and cultivate the biggest invasive weed, the ubiquitous dandelion, which grows and multiplies under their noses, infesting northern forests and city landscapes alike.  We observe -- and have given ample proof here -- that national energy policies, in the hands of bureaucracies, are similarly managed.  -dh


Inuvik, NWT, Church, Dome, Silver, Oil and Gas Conference, Dave Harbour PhotoYour author once chaired a pipeline portion of the Inuvik Oil and Gas Conference.  We reported a week ago (i.e. You read it here first) that the conference would be postponed from this coming summer to 2016. 

Today, the CBC provides more background, here.


Ribbon cutting for new Alaska Geologic Materials Center Tomorrow, Oct. 29

Could This Website And Other Alaskan Blogs Become Regulated?

Power Grab: Dems Want Regulation Of Internet Speech
By DICK MORRIS
Published on DickMorris.com on October 27, 2014

Not content with the total bias and domination of the news networks, CNN, and the nation's leading newspapers, the Democrats on the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) have moved to assert federal control over Internet political speech.  Claiming the authority to regulate political postings and blogs as independent campaign expenditures, they want to apply federal campaign finance laws to online voices.   More here....

Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Spokeswoman Elizabeth Bluemink alerts our readers to the ribbon-cutting and open house for the new Geologic Materials Center (GMC) at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 29. The center is located at 3651 Penland Parkway in Anchorage. 

The GMC houses the State of Alaska’s collection of geological materials, which are cataloged, preserved and available for use by the public, industry, researchers and educators. The open house on Wednesday will include a tour of the new center.

“The new Geologic Materials Center is an outstanding example of the State saving money and improving its services to the public by undertaking a public-private building purchase agreement. We significantly reduced the cost and duration of this project and will deliver an enhanced facility that provides excellent access to our state’s geologic information,” said Department of Administration Commissioner Curtis Thayer.

New construction was sought to replace the aging GMC located in Eagle River, which had grown out of its available space and was in poor condition. The original building project concept was estimated to cost roughly $45 million and take eight to nine years to complete.

By purchasing the former Sam’s Club building in East Anchorage for $16.1 million and investing in renovations instead of new construction, the State spent closer to $24.5 million and is enabling the staff and the public to use the new GMC in under two years. The State also benefited from Walmart’s generous contribution of $2.5 million to support enhanced educational opportunities, including viewing rooms and space for classroom instruction. In addition, the building occupied by the GMC will house the State Pipeline Coordinator’s Office, currently located on 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage, resulting in additional cost saving for the state.

“With the new GMC, Alaska now has a state-of-the-art facility to house our geologic materials for the maximum benefit of the public, industry and our educational system,” DNR Commissioner Joe Balash said.

“Maintaining and protecting this collection will result in tremendous benefits to future generations of Alaskans, supporting both an educated workforce and new resource discoveries,” Balash said.

Among the geologic materials that will be housed in the 100,000 square-foot, heated building are thin sections, core and cuttings representing over 13 million feet of oil and gas drilling, 300,000 feet of core drilling from mineral projects, 115,000 surface rock samples, and 96,000 pulps. 

The new GMC has significantly expanded and improved core viewing facilities, including large private viewing rooms, conference rooms, new microscopes, new sampling equipment and wireless internet access. 2-D and 3-D seismic data will also be available from the new facility as they are made available. 

Relocation of the geologic collection will begin following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, with the new facility fully functional and open for business by next spring.

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10-27-14 The Oil Supply - Demand Pendulum Is Forever Swinging To and Fro

27 October 2014 7:01am

Murkowski: Global Oil Outages Can Provide “Strategic Warning” of Threats to Stability

Top Energy Committee Republican Warns of Petroleum Production Losses in Libya, Yemen, and Elsewhere

Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senate, Energy & Natural Resources, oil supply, study, Alaska, Dave Harbour PhotoU.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo), today released a report surveying petroleum production outages around the world, data which could be used to provide strategic warning of threats to international security.

“Losses in oil production often reflect instability,” Murkowski said. “Energy reporting clearly pointed to Iraq’s deteriorating security years before the current collapse and provides us strategic warning of violence in other countries and regions.”

Russia To Invest In Alaska: Not Likely (Read Below).


ADNAtle Staalesen, Barents Observer: ... Rosneft has asked the Russian government for renegotiated terms in all its offshore oil licenses.  Russian Minister of Natural Resources Sergey Donskoy confirms that the oil giant has requested new terms in a total of 60 licenses....


 ADN by Pat Forgey.  Russia's Rosneft oil company, facing U.S. sanctions following Russia's seizure of part of neighboring Ukraine, won't be buying part of the huge Point Thomson natural gas field on Alaska's North Slope, Exxon Mobil said Wednesday.

Rosneft, one of the world's top oil producers along with Exxon, received the option last year as part of an agreement the two companies signed to expand their strategic cooperation in the Arctic.

But now, Exxon says Rosneft won't be part of the development of Point Thomson.

"Rosneft had evaluated the opportunity, and elected not to participate," said Kimberly Jordan, an Exxon spokeswoman for the company segment that includes Point Thomson and other Alaska operations.

The report, entitled Oil Production Outages & Strategic Warning, is available here. Highlights include:

·      Recent violence in Yemen, Libya, and South Sudan has caused sustained losses in oil production;

·      Petroleum outages clearly illustrate the effectof sanctions against Syria and Iran;

·      Iraq saw significant and rapid increases in petroleum outages concurrent with the rise of ISIS; and

·      Colombia and Nigeria have also seen oil production losses as a result of pipeline sabotage.

The report concludes:

“Sustained levels of such outages in other countries may constitute a degree of strategic warning to policymakers that attention is required, and ultimately are a reminder that record-breaking increases in North American oil production can enhance national security and stabilize global markets.”

Earlier this fall, Sen. Murkowski released staff reports that called attention to the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, as documented by public energy-related reporting, and that analyze ISIS black market oil sales and the possibility of Coalition strikes against ISIS oil.


Our Comment: We are grateful to Chester Carlson of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for circulating the timely information above.  It could be valuable to American and Canadian oil producing state/provincial fiscal planning efforts.  

The study could be useful to those concerned with the national economies and national defense and, of course, to energy regulators, marketers, producers, contractors, consumers and investors.  

However, the study generally deals with history -- from whence comes data.  While history is interesting it cannot enable one to predict future events with precision, since new developments are constantly affecting and changing assumptions and what would otherwise have been future outcomes.  

Our dear professor, Peter Drucker, always reminded us that trying to predict the future is foolish; that, the purpose of strategy is to take the 'right risks', not to eliminate risk.  

Certainly, this EIA supported study might assist decision makers in identifying the 'right risks' but only in the degree to which the historical data remains relevant.  For example, "...petroleum production outages," could be offset to greater or smaller degrees, either by economic malaise and demand decline or by new discoveries and technologies or a combination of factors.

We believe that Senator Murkowski made appropriate use of conditional statements (i.e. "...can provide strategic...; and, “Losses in oil production often reflect instability....”) and that the study could provide planners with a useful perspective.  -dh


TransCanada Flaring Gas Today

CBC.  TransGas, the pipeline subsidiary of SaskEnergy, is doing a controlled flare of natural gas at its Regina storage cavern southwest of the city this morning. The flare is set to start at 8:30 a.m. CST.

It will last for about three hours.

The location is roughly 1.6 kilometres west and 1.6 kilometres south of the Lewvan overpass, in Regina's southwest corner.

"Flaring is necessary to help TransGas perform operational upgrades to the pipeline system," the company said in a statement.


 

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