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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.  -dh

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16 January 2012 7:02am

Low gas pressure worsens weather woes - The News International - ... there is no real improvement in supply of gas in the system of Sui Northern Gas  Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL). In most of homes, gas water-geysers and heaters are completely inoperative ...  (Note: We include news of this gas company on the far side of the world because of its name and because the supply challenges it faces seem so familiar!  -dh)


Duluth News Tribune by Mark Perry.  Kicking the can down the road, as President Obama did in delaying a decision on construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Texas, certainly pleased the green lobby. But it did absolutely nothing for jobs creation


Anchorage Daily News: Becky Bohrer - Lingering issues to test Legislature as it opens Oil taxes are expected to be a major issue this legislative session, with lawmakers needing to decide whether a change in the tax structure is necessary -- as Gov. Sean Parnell says it is -- to spur new oil production.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Matt Buxton Interior Alaska politicians say energy costs their top issue With just two days before the state legislative session starts, the Interior Delegation is stressing the need to take big steps to lower the cost of energy in the Fairbanks area.


CTV Winnipeg: Pipeline debate best left to Canadians: B.C. Premier When it comes to the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, British Columbia's premier says the debate and decision is best left to Canadians.


Los Angeles Times: Neela Banerjee Keystone XL pipeline would be hard to kill, analysts say "We think it will be built," said Jamie Webster, senior manager for markets at PFC Energy, a Washington consulting firm. "The interesting bit is, what is 'it'? The future of the pipeline could go a couple of different ways."


15 January 2012 12:02pm

Aberdeen News: South Dakota: Legislator to propose bonding for oil pipelines Frerichs says South Dakota also should require bonding to cover damage to underground water supplies that would arise from a leak.
Calgary Herald: Dina O'Mearea - Oil and gas drilling reaches five year high The number of rigs in the ground last week reached an 83 per cent utilization rate, a level for the beginning of January not seen since the heady days of 2006 when service companies were frantically trying to capture high natural gas and oil prices.
The Ledger: Jim Fox - Canada: Harper looks to Asian countries to sell natural resources bounty Prime Minister Stephen Harper will travel to China next month to discuss selling Canada's bounty to the rapidly growing nation.
ABC News: Rachel D'Oro - Ultra-harsh Alaska winter prompts fuel shortages The iced-in town of Nome and the northwest Inupiat Eskimo villages of Noatak and Kobuk faced fuel shortages that illustrate the vulnerability of relying solely on deliveries by sea or air, potentially subjecting communities to the mercy of the elements.
The MatSu Valey Frontiersman: Andrew Wellner - State wants input on pipeline According to a press release issued Friday, the Alaska Standalone Pipeline (ASAP) project will have a first draft of its environmental impact statement online within a week at asapeis.com.
CTV News: The Canadian Press - Lone B.C. chief backs Enbridge pipeline amid debate Derrick has adopted a low profile -- some say he's been in hiding -- since reports surfaced about the $7-million deal he signed with Enbridge Inc., (TSX:ENB) builders of the proposed $5.5-billion Northern Gateway oil pipeline, on behalf of the Gitxsan people.


14 January 2012 10:00am

Nature: Nicola Jones - Gas-hydrate tests to begin in Alaska This month, scientists will test a new way to extract methane from beneath the frozen soil of Alaska: they will use waste carbon dioxide from conventional wells to force out the desired natural gas.
ABC News: Dan Joling - EPA Board rejects appeal of Shell Arctic permit Royal Dutch Shell's quest to drill exploratory wells in Arctic waters has received a boost with the affirmation that its federal air permits for the Chukchi Sea were properly granted.
Alaska Dispatch: Scott Woodham - The Concerned: Potential Alaska state oil company fraught with risks Some have suggested that an Alaska oil company could compete with the major North Slope oil producers -- or somehow coerce them to invest in new production, which is something they so far have shown no interest in doing.
Duluth News Tribune: Mark J. Perry - Pro/Con: Are green energy policies thwarting job growth? Kicking the can down the road, as President Obama did in delaying a decision on construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Texas, certainly pleased the green lobby. But it did absolutely nothing for jobs creation. Nor did blocking access to new federal offshore areas for oil and natural gas drilling produce any jobs.
Ottawa Citizen: Brian Lee Crowley - The real pipeline debate Like it or not, Canada's economic strength has always been closely tied to natural resources. We are abundantly blessed with them, we have great expertise in extracting and processing them, we have one of the world's great markets for financing them, and we have spent liberally on pipelines and railways and ports to take them to market.

1-13-12 - Shell Oil hopeful on Arctic drilling in 2012

13 January 2012 7:42am

PetroBakken stock rises on output target hit - Calgary Herald - By Dan Healing, Calgary Brad Keithley by Dave Harbour, Alliance, TAPS, Oil and Gas Taxes, James Carville, It's the economy stupidHerald January 12, 2012 12:06 PM PetroBakken shares rose Andrew Halcro, AllianceThursday after it reported December production of over 50000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, including 23400 boe/dfrom the Saskatchewan Bakken, pictured here. ...
The Ugly Reality of Alaska's Current Oil and Gas Debate by Andrew Halcro (NGP Stock Photo-L), Alaska Dispatch.
Commentary and Report.  Yesterday, our friend Brad Keithley (NGP Photo-L) briefed Alliance members on a recent District Court of Alaska decision by Judge Gleason, now having survived Senate confirmation to join the federal bench.  Here is Brad's own Blog entry, complete with slide presentation.   After an introduction by Alliance president, Doug Smith (NGP Photo-R, below), Keithly launched into the theme Doug Smith, Little Red, Alaska Support Industry Alliance, Alliance, Oil Taxesof his speech, "It's the production, Stupid!", cast after the famous James Carville theme for Bill Clinton's campaign and administration, "It's the economy, Stupid!"  (Kiethly was in the Clinton 'war room' when Carville creatred that phrase as a way of keeping the President focused on economic matters, Keithley said.)  Kiethley pointed out that though TAPS throughput might theoritically continue far into the future at smaller and smaller volumes, smaller volumes would result in the economic destruction of the state.  Thus, volume of production is critical and providing an investment climate leading to sustained production is equally critical.  Keithly went on to point out that while Gleason's decision increased the valuation of TAPS, the then goes on to decrease the wellhead value of the the oil being transported, decreasing the value of royalty oil decreasing the value of severance and income taxes and, in effect, is a tax hike on producers.  This occurs at a time when existing taxes are widely regarded as being too high and in need of reform.  -dh  (Other event photos below.)
More coming on last night's oil tax debate!..........................................
Anchorage Daily News: Dan Joling - Shell's Arctic drilling plan gets major boost   Royal Dutch Shell's quest to drill exploratory wells in Arctic waters has received a boost with the affirmation that its federal air permits for the Chukchi Sea were properly granted.
On the Alaska Stand Alone Gas Pipeline -  Kenai Peninsula Online - By Paul D. Morrison I had the pleasure of attending a meeting sponsored by the Alaska Stand Alone Gas Pipeline group. Not many people attended but was very ...
MySanAntonio.com: Emily Pickrell - Shell president sees Arctic offshore drilling this year   Odum said Shell is mindful of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the criticism BP and others involved received for the conditions leading to the accident and their response.
The Hill: Andrew Restuccia - Administration unveils sweeping plan to protect the country's oceans   “This action plan will help focus our resources on actions that will enhance the stewardship of coastal and marine resources on which so many communities, small businesses, and American jobs depend,” Nancy Sutley, the head of the Council on Environmental Quality and the co-chairwoman of the National Ocean Council, said in a statement. (Comment:  This can't be good. - AG)
CBC News: Natural gas price slump deepens - Improvements in drilling technologies, especially in the fracturing of shale, have created a glut by opened up enormous new deposits, especially in the eastern U.S. states.
KCAW: Ed Ronco - Stedman: Oil taxes, election year politics could show up in session   Stedman says a failed proposal to cut oil taxes will come up for discussion again this year, and will be, in his words, “full of misinformation.” He says the idea that oil companies will leave Alaska is “laughable.” He said the Senate objected to Gov. Sean Parnell’s proposal to lower the taxes because it needed more information, and that data supplied by the state didn’t paint a complete picture of the situation.
Alaska Support Industry Alliance Photos, 1-12-12
Tom Walsh
Laurie Fagnani by Dave Harbour, AllianceLaurie Fagnani 
Mark Hylen by Dave Harbour, AllianceMark Hylen 


12 January 2012 7:07am


Tonight, participate in a debate, the "Future of ACES", refering to "Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share", production tax.
Cathy Giessel by Dave Harbour
Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 3801 Centerpoint Drive, 1st Floor - 6:30 to 8:30 PM  
Presenters are Senator Bill Wielechowski (NGP Photo-R), Senator Cathy Giessel (NGP Photo-L)Rebecca Logan (NGP Photo-R), Ak Industry Support Alliance Executive Director
 Radio commentator, Glen Beigel (NGP Photo-L), is the moderator.
Glen Biegel by Dave Harbour, Radio Commentator, ACESOrganizers invite our readers to stay for Q&A And A Pro or Con ACES Straw Poll After The Presentations  *  www.AnchorageTeaParty.org

 Loan guarantee likely wouldn't apply to LNG line  -  CBS News  -  Changes in the years since the 2004 law's passage, including the rise of shale gas, have given rise to concerns that there will be little demand for Alaska gas in the Lower 48. Gov. Sean Parnell has asked the slope's major players — Exxon Mobil Corp., ...

Townhall: On Gas Prices Keystone XL Opponents Are, Once Again, Dead Wrong   -  **Op-ed by Michael Whatley**  By now, anyone watching the political debates over the Keystone XL pipeline is aware of the massive misinformation campaign that opponents of the project have used to delay that critical project. From disputing jobs that will be created by this needed asset, to hoisting an inflatable tube around the White House and shipping Hollywood’s B-list to the nation’s capital to get arrested in so-called “civil disobedience actions,” opponents have certainly made a lot of noise.

The Montreal Gazette: U.S. Republicans push to ‘OK’ Keystone pipeline  -  U.S. Congressional Republicans, who are urging President Barack Obama to back the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline, are now working on plans to take the reins of approval from the hands of the president should the White House say no. North Dakota Senator John Hoeven, whose state is counting on the pipeline to help move its newfound bounty of shale oil, is drafting legislation that would see Congress give the green light to the project by using its constitutional powers to regulate commerce with foreign nations, an aide said
Bloomberg: Keystone Pipeline Backers Press Obama for Decision Within Weeks  -  Supporters of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oil pipeline stepped up their lobbying of President Barack Obama, urging him to approve the project before the State of the Union address in less than two weeks. The American Petroleum Institute, a Washington-based group for energy producers, joined 104 associations yesterday in saying the project will “put thousands of Americans to work.” Senator Richard Lugar, an Indiana Republican, said in a Jan. 6 letter to Obama that a delay will slow U.S. efforts to reduce imports from nations such as Iran and Venezuela.
Oil and gas companies will expand their staffs in 2012, but a shortage of skilled workers will create a critical talent gap for the industry, according to a report by recruitment firm NES Global Talent. Demand for engineers will grow this year, as oil and gas exploration and production expands both on land and offshore, the firm said. But NES Managing Director Simon Coton said a depletion of skilled workers in oil and gas fields in the United States, Great Britain and Australia will be a major challenge.
The Houston Chronicle: Gas prices seen another big rise in 2012  -  The New Year hasn’t been good for gasoline prices. Gasoline prices rose 8 cents in a week to $3.20 in Houston. Nationally, gas prices are up 7 cents to $3.38, and Texas saw the same 7-cent rise to $3.22. According to the travel agency, Texarkana has the most expensive gas prices in the state at $3.27, and El Paso has the lowest at $3.04.
AP: Natural gas falls to lowest price in a decade  -  Natural gas is cheaper this winter than it’s been in a decade. Prices have dropped by more than 10 percent in the past week, including a plunge of almost 6 percent on Wednesday, as mild temperatures cut into heating demand and a production boom pumps up supplies.
Wall Street JournalGlut Hits Natural-Gas Prices

Senator Bill Wielechowski: Press Release (no link yet) - 1/11/12 - Senators Introduce Bill to Waive State Property Taxes for a Natural Gas Pipeline during Construction Six state senators, including Senators Bill Wielechowski, Dennis Egan, Johnny Ellis, Hollis French, and Albert Kookesh, announced today that they have pre-filed legislation to exempt a natural gas pipeline from state property taxes until gas begins to flow down the line. (Comment:  Note that this does not address the problem of local governments raising property taxes on a pipeline after it has been built and in operation.  On the other hand, it does provide an opening for haivng that discussion. - AG)

1-11-12 - Sackett v EPA - Property rights and wetlands

11 January 2012 2:40am

The Volokh Conspiracy - Johnathan H. Adler - Sackett v. EPA - Today the Supreme Court hears oral argument in Sackett v. EPA, a challenge to the federal government’s claim that landowners (and other regulated entities) may not obtain pre-enforcement review of an administrative compliance order under the Clean Water Act. 
E&E Publishing, LLC: Margaret Kriz Hobson - Arctic: Aging infrastructure adds to woes of Alaska-bound fuel tanker - Alaska's three-member congressional delegation say Nome's fuel crisis is just the latest sign that the federal government is not paying enough attention to the growing needs of the changing American Arctic. As residents of Nome wait for fuel to arrive, Alaska's bipartisan congressional delegation was hammering Washington for not beefing up the U.S. Coast Guard's icebreaking capabilities. Republican Rep. Don Young told Alaska reporters that the federal government needs to act now "because we're going to have a lot more activity up north."
The Foundry: Heritage Foundation: - Paul Larkin - Sackett v. EPA: Supreme Court takes up property rights case Nearly five years ago, the Sacketts sought to build a home on an undeveloped lot in a subdivision with houses on almost every other lot surrounding their property. The EPA issued them an order stating that their property was a wetland and directing them both to cease further construction and to remedy the harm already done. The Sacketts disagree with the EPA and ever since have sought to have a federal court resolve this dispute. So far, they have failed. Now they have a shot at persuading the Supreme Court that a federal district court should referee this dispute. The Sackett case involves the question whether a property owner – here, the Sacketts – can obtain judicial review of an EPA wetlands order even though the EPA itself has not brought its own lawsuit.
Pacific Legal Foundation: Damien Schiff - PLF and the Sacketts take EPA to the Supreme Court The issue before the court is one of fundamental due process: If EPA declares somebody’s property to be “wetlands” and subject to federal control, can the owners appeal to a court of law, or are the bureaucrats immune from meaningful review and accountability?
The Sacramento Bee: Platts Energy Forum - Significant change in market needed to save Alaska natural gas line The U.S. natural gas market is going to have to change dramatically for pipeline developers to salvage their plan to ship gas from Alaska to the Lower-48 states, a key federal official said today at the Platts Energy Podium. "It is going to take a big turnaround in the market, no doubt about it," Larry Persily, federal coordinator of Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects, said at the newsmaker event in Washington, D.C.

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