Miss a day
Miss a lot

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.

 

Our Own Worst Enemy

08 September 2011 5:18am

This morning in Anchorage, Shell's Alaska Vice President for Exploration and Production, Pete Slaiby (NGP Photo), will discuss prospects for a 2012 exploration program in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.  See below for Federal comment period opportunities.  -dh

 

Vancouver Observer.  Canadian and American Enviros Attack Canadian and American Energy Production

Doig's Digest: TransCanada's Challenges

ADN-AP.  Decades after construction of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, state lawmakers are again hearing from Alaskans concerned about the number of out-of-state hires in good-paying jobs on the North Slope.  ... The Senate Labor and Commerce Committee will convene another hearing in Anchorage on North Slope hiring today at the Legislative Information Office at 716 W. 4th Ave.  The committee will hear invited testimony from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and open testimony from the public between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  The hearing will be teleconferenced.

Commentary:  The state operating budget increases by double digits as the source of 90% of State revenue -- Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS)  throughput -- decreases by 6% annually.  Instead of asking the state's greatest investors how legislators might assist in Nero, Alaska oil taxesattracting more investment and jobs and moderating one of the world's harshest tax burdens, legislators harass the state's largest investors by summoning witnesses to testify about why more employees don't choose to or cannot be forced to live in Alaska.  Nero euphemistically fiddled around while Rome burned and was his own worst enemy.  We wonder if contemporary Alaskan rulers are not -- with best intentions -- inadvertently taking a page from Nero's playbook.    (Photo: Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus)

Meanwhile, as noted below, federal hearings and comment periods will significantly affect TAPS throughput and -- to our knowledge -- only one of sixty legislators has to date provided comment.  We again plea for the state's elected leaders to participate in federal comment periods and use their position in a way that can actually produce more pipeline throughput and long term prosperity for constituents.  We also extend a warm invitation for legislators to send us their comments on federal permitting and rulemaking issues that so heavily affect the lives of Alaskans.  And, we urge legislative leadership to refocus on issues that matter.  -dh

 NPG Readers: Please Comment on EPA O&G Emissions Regs 
Before October 24, 2011 send comments re: unnecessary natural gas emissions rules that will further slow down America's economy and employment without significant benefit.

 
 
 NPG Readers: Please Comment on OCS before September 26, 2011  
Comment in support of the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Chukchi Sea Oil and Gas Lease Sale 193, against further delay and 'affirming Lease Sale 193"
 Send Comments:
COMMENTS: Final SEIS, Chukchi Sea Lease Sale 193
c/o Regional Director, BOEMRE Alaska OCS Region
3801 Centerpoint Drive Ste. 500
Anchorage AK 99503-5820.
 
 
 
 NPG Readers: Please Comment on ANWR 
Testify: Fairbanks 10-19-11, Anchorage 10-20-11
Written testimony due: 11-15-11
 
 
 

 

 

Categories:

Commissioner Dan Sullivan Reveals Administration Energy Strategy To Export Council

07 September 2011 11:08am

This morning Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan (NGP Stock Photo) briefed the Alaska Export Council in Anchorage on the Administration's strategy for increasing Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) throughput and managing gas pipeline development.

"I want to give you a very detailed view of Governor Sean Parnell's one-million-barrel-per-day-within-10-years-strategy," he said, "and what we are doing to implement it."

Sullivan began by reviewing the important direction Alaska's constitution gave public officials to "maximize" the development of natural resources.  He emphasized the huge resources available to the state and nation saying that only seventeen countries in the world have more land mass than Alaska.

He said, "The number one challenge facing the State is reversing the declining throughput in the trans alaska oil pipeline."  Sullivan noted that TAPS once transported 2.2 million barrels per day and provided over 20 percent of the nation's domestic supply.  He said that TAPS is still, "...one of the most important pieces of energy infrastructure in America," and that even in decline transports over 11% of the country's domestic oil supply. 

He said that the billions of barrels of oil and trillions of feet of natural gas and huge estimates of other resource reserves were world class and, "off the charts".  "We are still a very promising place to develop resources," he said.

Strategic direction the Administration is taking includes enhancing Alaska's global competitiveness and investment climate which is affected by remoteness to the markets, high overall costs--including some of the world's highest environmental standards.  To improve the investment climate, Sullivan said the Governor remains committed to oil tax reform.  "We think reforming the production tax and its progressivity feature will result in more investment not less."

As to reported increases in exploratory interest, Sullivan said that while companies are looking and exploring because Alaska has rich resources, that is no guarantee of future production.  "We compete globally for capital investment and that is a fact," he said.

Sullivan also explained the Administration's commitment to improve the efficiency and timiliness of  the permitting system, providing incentives and "new opportunities" for future phases of natural resource development (i.e. oil shale), and promoting partnerships with the federal government.  

Sullivan said that a dramatically changing economic market, such as that which the advent of an dramatically expanding gas shale industry has provided, means Alaska should approach the gas pipeline issue with "humility and flexibility".  

 

Categories:

Senator Giessel Sets the Example!

06 September 2011 8:49am

 

 
 
 NPG Readers: Please Comment on ANWR 
Testify: Fairbanks 10-19-11, Anchorage 10-20-11
Written testimony due: 11-15-11
 
 

 

Senator Cathy Giessel (NGP Photo) wrote the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Senator Cathy Giessel, OCS, ANWR, Dave HarbourService on their upcoming decision to recommend wilderness designations for ANWR's 1002 area--or not.  (See above notice and her letter, below.)  Then, following her example, let's all take a few minutes to comment on all three of these federal comment invitations!  The future of Alaska is in our hands.

 

 NPG Readers: Please Comment on EPA O&G Emissions Regs 
Before October 24, 2011 send comments re: unnecessary natural gas emissions rules that will further slow down America's economy and employment without significant benefit.
 
 
 NPG Readers: Please Comment on OCS before September 26, 2011  
Comment in support of the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Chukchi Sea Oil and Gas Lease Sale 193, against further delay and 'affirming Lease Sale 193"
 Send Comments:
COMMENTS: Final SEIS, Chukchi Sea Lease Sale 193
c/o Regional Director, BOEMRE Alaska OCS Region
3801 Centerpoint Drive Ste. 500
Anchorage AK 99503-5820.
 

ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE
 
 

Senator Cathy Giessel
Senate District P
State Capitol
Juneau AK 99801-1182
907-465-4843
Fax: 907-465-3871
800-892-4843
District
716 W 4th Avenue
Anchorage AK 99501-2133
907-269-0181
Fax: 907-269-0184
 
September 2, 2011
 
Dear Sirs,
 
I am writing to advocate for Alternative A of the draft revised comprehensive Conservation Plan and draft Environmental Impact Statement for Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
 
Alternative A would recommend NO NEW WILDERNESS designation. NO ADDITIONAL RIVERS would be included in the National Wild and Scenic River System. Existing management tools would maintain values on the presently undesignated, but already well protected four rivers. There would be NO CHANGES to KONGAKUT RIVER VISITOR USE.  (below for more....)
Categories:

CEOs Of The State, The Trans Alaska Pipeline System and North Slope Borough Have Much In Common - Halcro Adds Wisdom To The Debate

02 September 2011 4:36am

Relevant Note from the Calgary Herald: A subsidiary of TransCanada Corp. declared a force majeure Thursday after shutting down its six-month-old Bison natural gas pipeline the night before over a rupture in central Wyoming.  (It can happen.  -dh)

CEOs Of The Trans Alaska Pipeline System, the State of Alaska and North Slope Borough Share A Challenge (Come to think of it, we all share this major challenge--directly and indirectly)

by

Dave Harbour (Note opposing opinion in comment below)

Night before last in Anchorage, former North Slope Borough Mayor George Ahmaogak (NGP Photo George Ahmaogak, Joe Mathis, Dave Harbour, North Slope Borough, OCS, BOEMRE, State Oil Taxeswith NANA External Affairs Vice President Joe Mathis) told an Anchorage audience at the Petroleum Club that continuing investments by the oil and support industries on the North Slope are critical to the future of citizens there.  

He emphasized the importance of exploring for and finding new oil reserves to supplement throughput of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS).   We have long encouraged rural leaders to support general industry investment, leasing and tax policy out of enlightened self interest, so dependent are they for a cherished subsistence way of life on the success of Alaska's oil industry.  That doesn't mean citizens have to agree with tax paying companies on every issue.  Ahmaogak repeated a statement he made in a recent Arctic Sounder Op-Ed: "We don't always agree on everything - and we don't have to. Over the years, I have also seen that when we do disagree, we have always figured out a way to move productively Governor Sean Parnell, Dave Harbour, OCSforward."

Alaska's Governor Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) and Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan (NGP Photo) held a National Press Club briefing a month ago in support of a goal to boost the daily flow of oil through the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) to 1 million barrels within a decade.  Parnell knows how critically dependent the state is on oil flow for almost 90% of the operating budget and well over a third of the entire economy.  It certainly is enlightened self interest on his part not to preside over a state that reverts overnight to a pre-pipeline population -- just as Ahmaogak's enlightened self interest recognizes the near total dependency of the North Slope Borough on state sanctioned assessments of oil industry property within the Borough--along with state provided services.  If TAPS ceases to exist for lack of throughput, the sitting Borough mayor would be remembered in history for presiding over the decimation of a culture...unless dependency on oil could overnight be converted to dependency on Federal largess.
 
Watch Alyeska Pipeline Service Company President Tom Barrett's address to the Resource Development Council for Alaska yesterday morning, 9-1-11.
 
Yesterday, TAPS president Tom Barrett (NGP Photo) addressed the Resource Development Council for Alaska saying that the pipeline's "engine dipstick level" is below the "add oil" line.  He reminded the audience that at peak throughput, over 2 million barrels per day traversed the line, meaning that each barrel of the warm oil made it through the insulated pipe from the North Slope to Valdez in only a few days.  Warm, fast flowing oil keeps pipeline corrosion down and deters wax buildup on the inside wall of the pipe.  Current production of about 630,000 barrels per day takes several times as long for a barrel to make it to Valdez, resulting in much less line friction and lower pipeline oil temperatures.  He said that faster permitting is needed to provide the pipeline with new sources of throughput, giving federal delays in NPR-A permitting of ConocoPhillips' CD-5 project as an example.  He said "urgent pipeline challenges" include a more rapid decline in throughput than had been projected and increased risk of pipeline failure because of low throughput.
 
So, we suppose Barrett's enlightened self interest would also call for a more reasonable federal and state land access and permitting process and a more attractive state investment climate.  For without federal and state changes leading to increased exploration, production and pipeline throughput, a minor shutdown of TAPS during a cold winter might result in production being suspended until springtime.  State and local governments could go through a big chunk of their savings accounts during such shutdowns and TAPS owner company budget projections would fall off along with tax and royalty payments to Alaska.
 
Those who hope for a North Slope gas pipeline or a bullet line or LNG and propane projects also depend for their success on reliable, sustained oil production.  So it's not just the oil pipeline that is at stake.
 
Then, there is our own enlightened self interest.  We're journalists, school teachers, retail clerks, drivers, electricians, students, parents, grandparents.  Shouldn't we be joining the CEOs above in helping Alaska meet the challenge of declining TAPS oil throughput?  We could take a more active role, you know--like Andrew Halcro is doing in the Op-Ed below.  We could encourage our lawmakers to improve the investment climate.  And, we could send a comment to the federal government addressing each of the issues below (Scroll down).  
 
Or, we can do nothing and accept the outcome of a reality, for ourselves and our kids, that we choose to ignore.
 
-dh

Andrew Halcro, Dave Harbour, ACES, Senator Bill Wielechowski, Avis, Alaska Representative, AGIAComment:  Andrew Halcro (NGP Photo) Senator Bill Wielechowski, Andrew Halcro, Dave Harbour, ACES, AGIA, Labor Attorney, Democratoften produces some of the most clear headed commentary in Alaska; elected officials would do well to carefully digest his wisdom.  -dh

Alaska Dispatch Op-Ed by Andrew Halcro:  Since Senator Bill Wielechowski (NGP Photo) and friends have already dealt with taxes by joyfully raising them through the roof, and have refused to discuss resource extraction terms like fiscal certainty, it's safe to say he won't have to worry about permitting a natural gas pipeline anytime in the near future.  As a state lawmaker, Wielechowski should know that the state has only two ways to impact the construction of a natural gas pipeline; taxes and permitting.   (Comment: Actually, we can think of a third way the state can impact investment:  elected leaders can demonize investors, using their bully pulpets, day after day, until those with discretionary capital decide that there are more attractive places in the world to invest -- where those in power actually appreciate the investment. -dh)

 NPG Readers: Please Comment on EPA O&G Emissions Regs 
Before October 24, 2011 send comments re: unnecessary natural gas emissions rules that will further slow down America's economy and employment without significant benefit.
 
 
 NPG Readers: Please Comment on OCS before September 26, 2011  
Comment in support of the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Chukchi Sea Oil and Gas Lease Sale 193, against further delay and 'affirming Lease Sale 193"
 Send Comments:
COMMENTS: Final SEIS, Chukchi Sea Lease Sale 193
c/o Regional Director, BOEMRE Alaska OCS Region
3801 Centerpoint Drive Ste. 500
Anchorage AK 99503-5820.
 
 
 
 NPG Readers: Please Comment on ANWR 
Testify: Fairbanks 10-19-11, Anchorage 10-20-11
Written testimony due: 11-15-11
 
 
 

 

Categories:

Former Mayor George Ahmaogak Could Save Alaska's Economy

01 September 2011 8:04am

Commentary:  When former Alaska North Slope BoroughGeorge Ahmaogak, North Slope Borough Mayor, Botel, Shell, OCS, Pipeline, ANWR, Subsistence hunting, Whaling Captain Mayor George Ahmaogak (NGP Photo) took the podium in the Petroleum Club last night, you could hear a pin drop as he began speaking followed by a thunderous applause when he finished.  He said he is completely consistent and candid with his constituents.  When elected he will -- as in the past -- have an open door policy for citizens and those doing business in the borough.  He believes the future of the oil industry is generally aligned with the future of North Slope Borough residents, that 'frivolous lawsuits' against industry are not in the public interest.  He said a top priority must rest with adding throughput to the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) upon which the Borough and all Alaskans depend for economic security.  He noted that obtaining production from ANWR, OCS and NPR-A were several ways in which TAPS throughput could be enhanced.  If Ahmaogak is successful in working with other Alaskans andRex Okakok by Dave Harbour, alaska north slope borough, George Ahmaogak, OCS Governor Parnell to obtain access and reasonable permitting approvals for oil and gas exploration and development on federal lands, he just might help sustain and save Alaska's economic lifeline, TAPS.  At the least, his commitment to remove the Borough's name from lawsuits orchestrated by environmental extremists, will be a noteable blessing.  His campaign manager, Rex Okakok (NGP Photo-l) called Ahmaogak a 'good man', saying that his views won't always coincide with constituents or the oil industry but that his history is proof that he is dedicated to finding solutions to differences.  We heard Ahmaogak's at times pragmatic and at times impassioned conviction that his leadership is needed during this critical period.  And this is a man who should know.  Under Mayor Eben Hopson's leadership 40 years ago he wrote the first property tax bill to Atlantic Richfield Company and opened the first property tax payment envelope, containing a check for $3million.  This five time Borough Mayor worked for North Slope contracting companies, as a consultant to Shell oil and after over a decade as an apprentice became a revered Whaling captain. We believe one can be confident that if elected Ahmaogak will focus on preparing the economy so it sustains opportunity for his grandchildren--and that he has the experience to prepare himself for the challenge.  How could his constituents -- or all Alaskans -- hope for more?  -dh

Categories:

Tonight We Look Forward To Seeing Former North Slope Borough Mayor George Ahmaogak, Sr.

31 August 2011 8:06am

Mayor George Ahmaogak, NSB, shell, ocsFormer North Slope Borough Mayor George Ahmaogak (Photo), is running for the office again and we look forward to catching up with him this afternoon in Anchorage at 5 p.m..  In a recent Op-Ed piece for the Arctic Sounder, George said, "On a broad set of issues the people of the North Slope Borough and the interests of the oil and gas industry are aligned. It definitely doesn't have to be 'us versus them'.  We don't always agree on everything - and we don't have to", he wrote.  "Over the years, I have also seen that when we do disagree, we have always figured out a way to move productively forward.  Why? Because I understand the industry, I worked in the industry a few years ago, and I can credibly explain to them where we are coming from and they will listen to me. At the core, if we work competently and smart, remembering our traditions, we can agree to a relationship that benefits us all and can continue to benefit us for years to come."

Readers might find the event invitation insightful.  It says that, "Our Future is the People, the Communities and Companies working together to bring economic growth and jobs...."

When: Wednesday, August 31, 2011
What: Ahmaogak For Mayor Fundraiser
Hors’deouvers and Drinks served
Time:Starts at 5 pm and ends at 7:30 pm.
Where: Petroleum Club
3301 C. Street, Suite 120
Anchorage, Alaska
(907) 346-3247

(Note: fair and balanced, we will also give notice of opportunities to meet other candidates at the Petroleum Club as we become aware of such events.  -dh)

Syndicate content