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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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09 May 2012 8:35am

Could Feds Slow Energy Development With A Dune Lizard?

Fox News by Joshua Rhett Miller.  Deep-pocketed environmental groups are collecting millions of dollars from the federal agencies they regularly sue under a little-known federal law, and the government is not even keeping track of the payouts, according to two new studies.
Under the Equal Access to Justice Act, or EAJA — which was signed into law by President Carter in 1980 to help the little guy stand up to federal agencies — litigants with modest means who successfully show government agencies wronged them can get their legal fees back from the taxpayer.
(Link contributed today by California reader, BH)

Congressman Doc Hastings, OCS, Energy Policy, Photo by Dave HarbourCommentary: Alaska's economy is almost completely based on oil, yet many of Alaska's leaders continue to demonize and criticize Alaska's most reliable and bountiful investors in order to build public support for keeping oil taxes among the highest in the free world.  Keeping oil taxes high benefits liberal constituencies -- environmental extremists and public works labor unions -- for different reasons.  It also benefits many constituencies via a vast wealth redistribution "Capital Projects Budget", which lures many private sector voters into the enticing web of the 'entitlement state'.  But high taxes also make oil less competitive on the world market.  As Richard Peterson's Op-Ed piece below points out, Alaska should be paying more attention to the shifting paradigms of world markets.  Meanwhile, private environmental organizations are working hand in glove with the environmental activists embedded in the Obama administration to stop oil and mining activity wherever possible and delay projects.  Congressman Doc Hastings' (NGP Photo)  statement this morning mostly refers to anti oil federal policy, as does Virginia Governor McDonnell's Wall Street Journal Op-Ed piece last week, noting that, "Virginia is not alone in playing witness to the president's apparent disdain for domestic oil and natural gas production. The administration's perpetual slow-walk approach is especially noticeable in the Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska's coast."

Groups like CEA are vigilant over all types of federal overreaching actions.  Here, CEA urges Interior to not list the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard as 'endangered'.  Texans are encountering with this possible designation the same threats to economic survival Alaskans face with federal critical habitat listings for the polar bear, steller sea lion and beluga whale, all of whose populations are actually increasing.  -dh

Honest, hardworking Alaskans and their private institutions could be forced out of Alaska's economy -- if these state and federal policies don't change.  Without a vibrant private sector, Alaska could once again -- and soon -- become a ward of the Federal government and its industries vulnerable to nationalization.  We believe that is precisely what some special interests want.  -dh 




Good Bye to Alaska's Prosperous Economy


Richard Peterson (NGP Photo)

(Commenting on Alaskanomics Reference Below)

blog posting by David Hackett examines the reasons behind the recent high prices of North Sea Brent Crude oil  relative to West Texas Intermediate Crude (WTI), noting that these two crudes historically traded at close to the same price. The huge increase in oil production from North Dakota has disrupted traditional oil transportation and supply patterns - there is no efficient way to transport oil south of Oklahoma to the refineries on the Gulf coast.    ...    Hackett predicts that the Canadian producers will work hard to move their oil to the West Coast, potentially displacing Alaska's crude.

Richard Peterson, Gas to Liquids, GTL, CTL, Alaska, Photo by Dave HarbourFor some time we have asked, “why is Alaska North Slope (ANS) crude oil selling for such a high price”.  This article from Northrim Bank  lays it out and while Alaskans have been basking in the $40/bbl premium soon Canadian producers will break out and reach the West Coast.  We have been aware of a proposal to rail Canadian crude to Delta to ship in TAPS to Valdez.  It doesn’t make economic sense unless you look at the differential.  At $40/bbl even $20/bbl you can do strange things.  We are aware of Bakken producers railing crude to the East and West Coasts.  One just ordered 1200 new tank cars and will soon be flooding the West Coast with much cheaper oil.  When Keystone is built part of the log jam will break.  Another Canadian oil line will be expanded to Vancouver and the Puget Sound pipeline connecting it to Washington State refiners will also be expanded dumping hundreds of thousands of barrels per day into this market.  When you realize that soon BP will be the only Washington State refiner with crude oil on the North Slope you can easily see why this will happen. 

When these things happen ANS will drop $20 or more dollars per barrel but more importantly, ANS will be displaced from Washington State and maybe California refineries.  Its only market, Southern California, will purchase oil at a steep discount.  West Coast transport fuel prices will drop and for the first time in decades, West Coast gasoline and diesel may sell below that of Midwest and Texas.  Adding insult to injury, it is likely to become cheaper for Tesoro to bring refined products from Seattle to Anchorage than oil from Russia to run its Kenai refinery.  When all of this unfolds, Alaska will be running a large financial deficient and its Legislature will blame the oil producers instead of themselves.  
With state policy forcing lower investment on state land and federal policy blocking most investment on federal lands, it is not exaggeration to say, "Good bye to Alaska's Prosperity."
-Richard Peterson submitted the above commentary as a longtime reader of Northern Gas Pipelines


“American offshore energy production plays a vital role in our country’s economic security.  It supports over a million American jobs, accounts for 30 percent of our Nation’s oil production, reduces our dependence on foreign oil and generates billions of dollars in federal revenue.
Now more than ever, with gasoline prices still hovering near $4 a gallon and unemployment above 8 percent, the United States should be doing everything we can to ensure the timely and responsible production of our domestic energy resources. 
Unfortunately, the Obama Administration is instead pursuing an agenda that keeps 85 percent of our offshore areas closed to new American energy production. 
Every five years, the federal government releases a plan directing the development of our offshore resources.  It includes specific locations and timelines for where and when energy production will occur.   President Obama’s draft plan includes no new areas, no goals and no new energy resources.  It’s a plan that reinstates the drilling moratoria lifted in 2008 and locks up vital American energy resources. 
When President Obama took office, there was a plan in place to conduct lease sales in the new areas that were no longer under moratoria.  Instead of seizing this opportunity to vastly increase American energy production, President Obama tossed aside that plan and canceled lease sales – including one off the coast of Virginia scheduled for 2011. 
The draft plan released last fall from the Obama Administration closes the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts to drilling, along with parts of the Arctic.  The only areas this plan would allow energy production are in the Gulf of Mexico and, very late in the plan, small parts of Alaska – areas that have been open in some cases for decades. 
President Obama claims to support expanded offshore drilling, but the reality is that no new drilling will occur anywhere during President Obama’s term in office, or if this plan is enacted, for the next half decade. 
What’s even more troubling is that due to the Obama Administration’s delays, on July 1, 2012 the United States will have no plan to develop our offshore energy resources.
Offshore drilling plans are subject to multiple levels of public comment and review.  One of the final steps is that the plan must be submitted to Congress for a 60-day review.  That’s the law.   In order to complete all the legally required steps to have a new plan in place by the time the current one expires on June 30th, the President would have had to submit his plan to Congress by May 1st.  
The Obama Administration let that deadline come and go without any action.  This will be the first time the U.S. will not have a plan in place since it became a requirement in the 1970s.
I also want to quickly address the Obama Administration’s deliberately misleading claim that their draft plan opens 75 percent of the known offshore resources.  This is a calculated and outdated talking point meant to provide political cover for a failed record on offshore drilling.
The Obama Administration is using seismic data from the 1980s to estimate offshore oil and natural gas potential.  Using scientific data from over 30 years ago to shape significant energy policy is not only completely unacceptable but shows a fundamental lack of understanding of offshore energy development.   We don’t know the oil and natural gas potential of new areas offshore until we begin development.   
For example, just over a decade ago, the USGS believed that the Undiscovered Technically Recoverable Resources of the Marcellus Formation was 1.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.  Today, it is estimated that Marcellus has 44 TIMES that amount.  We know that technology has come a long way in 30 years - certainly no one here is using a computer from 30 years ago - and the Obama Administration shouldn’t be relying on 30 year old data.
The United States’ economic competitiveness is at risk if we don’t act now to expand production of our resources.  Last week, the Chinese announced an offshore plan to DOUBLE output by 2030.  World markets are not waiting for us and if we don’t plan for increased energy production now, we will surely pay for it in the future through increased dependence and higher energy prices.   
Now is the time to make these important decisions and set the stage for an energy renaissance in the United States.”

Virginia Could Be an Energy Power—If Washington Would Let It
In 2010, my state was poised to become the first on the East Coast permitted to produce oil and natural gas offshore. Then politics intervened.
When President Obama endorsed an "all of the above" energy strategy in this year's State of the Union address, he gave the impression that he was finally adopting an aggressive policy. Unfortunately, the president's words are worlds apart from his actions—especially when it comes to developing our nation's abundant offshore oil and natural gas resources.
To see that disconnect in action, look at the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 2010, Virginia was poised to become the first state on the East Coast permitted to produce oil and natural gas offshore. In 2007, the federal government had designated certain offshore areas as available for oil and gas leases, raising the prospect of thousands of new jobs and significant new revenues for the state and local governments.
However, our opportunity was extinguished and the lease sale canceled after November, when the Obama administration abruptly dropped Virginia from the government's latest leasing plan, with little explanation and even less regard for the strong bipartisan and public support for the offshore initiative. At a moment when we should be looking for every opportunity to safely produce more domestic energy, the Obama administration unilaterally declared a seven-year timeout.
Three months later, the president announced federal approval of leasing plans for wind-power development off the coast of Virginia. This was a welcome development; we are strong supporters of doing all we can to maximize our offshore wind opportunities in the Commonwealth. Taken together, however, the two decisions reflect a discordant approach to energy policy. There is no reason, other than political calculation, that we couldn't have been home to the East Coast's first offshore oil and natural gas development as well.
Virginia is not alone in playing witness to the president's apparent disdain for domestic oil and natural gas production. The administration's perpetual slow-walk approach is especially noticeable in the Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska's coast.
In the Gulf, delays in permitting have resulted in dramatically reduced investments. The Energy Information Administration projects that Gulf production will decrease by over 200,000 barrels per day in 2012 compared with levels before the president assumed office. Some studies, including one published last year by the energy research firm IHS CERA, have indicated that closing this gap could provide between 110,000 to 230,000 jobs across a multitude of sectors.
Meanwhile, in Alaska's Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, Shell, for instance, has been forced to spend $4 billion over five years on plan-development costs and other expenses of dealing with repeated permitting delays. These were not the result of deficiencies in proposed operational plans. They were caused by challenges and legal actions by environmental groups to delay or invalidate the proposed permits—actions that the current administration could review but did little to oppose.
It shouldn't take a herculean effort to approve a project that the host state strongly supports and that could generate 55,000 new jobs per year for 50 years, along with $145 billion in new payroll and $193 billion in additional government revenues over the same period.
If an "all of the above" energy strategy—one that includes offshore oil and natural gas development—is what the administration seeks, there is an organization willing to work with the president. The Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition is comprised of the governors of seven coastal states, including Virginia, Texas and Alaska.
In a letter to the president last month, the coalition outlined a number of steps that can be taken immediately to incorporate offshore energy production into a comprehensive national energy policy. They include increasing the speed and predictability of permitting and expanding access to new reserves. The president can implement all of these recommendations with the stroke of a pen. To date, he has not acknowledged our outreach.
During my term as governor, we have focused on making Virginia the energy capital of the East Coast. In just two years our state has taken aggressive actions to harness the power of offshore wind and promote greater utilization of solar energy. Had the president not stopped Virginia's offshore oil and gas efforts, a portion of the revenue from those efforts would have gone—under a law passed during my term of office—to renewable energy research.
We remain committed to developing Virginia's offshore oil and gas. Energy is the lifeblood of our nation's economic growth. More energy means more jobs and we need to use all of our domestic energy resources.
Mr. McDonnell is governor of Virginia and chairman of the Republican Governors Association.






08 May 2012 7:53am

 Canada Is World's Biggest Oil Loser With Price Spread  - Jim Prentice, Minister, Canada, Energy, Natural Resources, Environment, Gas Pipeline Bloomberg
The price difference “highlights the importance and potentially the value of pipelines in Canada that move our oil on an east-west axis,” said Jim Prentice (NGP

Feds: Pipeline companies must keep safety records  -  Valley News Live  -  The federal government says energy companies must keep up-to-date records to prove they are running the nation's aging pipelines at safe pressures, a move that comes in response to a deadly natural gas blast that... Energy companies will need to keep ...


CEA Headlines by Rebecca Brown. 
The Business Roundtable is ramping up pressure on lawmakers to include approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline in a compromise House-Senate transportation programs funding bill. The group — which represents some of the nation’s largest and most politically connected companies — sent a letter to lawmakers Monday ahead of the launch of formal House-Senate talks tomorrow.
Billionaire Warren Buffett supports building the Keystone XL pipeline that TransCanada wants to build to carry Canadian oil south across the Great Plains to connect to Gulf Coast refineries. Buffett was asked about the project that would cross Nebraska Monday on Fox Business Network. Buffett says he's not an expert on the project, but he thinks it generally makes sense to build the pipeline.
The Wall Street JournalAs Gas Prices Fall, a Sigh of Relief
Gasoline prices fell for the fifth consecutive week, extending a sharp decline that has eased fears that prices would soon top $4 a gallon at the pump. The average price of regular gasoline dropped to $3.790 a gallon as of Monday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said, down 3.8% from the 2012 peak of $3.941 reached April 2. Many of the forces that drove gasoline up are reversing, and that is helping bring prices back down, though they still remain near record highs.
U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is set to approve a major natural gas drilling project in Utah. Salazar planned to make the announcement Tuesday at a pipeline compression station on the far west side of Salt Lake City. He offered no details before the event gets under way. U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch says Salazar will approve drilling for about 3,500 natural gas wells on public lands in eastern Utah. Hatch and environmental groups say Salazar is approving a project by Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp.
Energy companies will need to keep up-to-date records to prove they are running the nation’s aging pipelines at safe pressures under a new set of guidelines the federal government announced Monday in response to a deadly natural gas explosion in a San Francisco suburb. If pipeline operators can’t ensure their oil and gas lines are running at safe pressures by next year, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration underscored they could face penalties or some other type of sanction.


American Energy Alliance Headlines and Comment:

Let’s review.  Voters trespassing on a Senator’s land for a moment to take a picture?  Very Bad.  Senator stealing someone’s private property rights through legislation (think ethanol) costing the economy billions of dollars?  Completely acceptable.  I have no clue why the revolution has not yet consumed us Politico (5/7/12) reports: “[They] had their pictures taken in front of a sign that said, ‘Dick Lugar, tree farmer of the year, 2003,’” Lugar said during a stop at an assisted living facility, speaking from notes to recount the episode to reporters. “Then they had the audacity to put this on their Twitter accounts and Twitter it out … so that everybody would know that these people had trespassed our farm.”…Lugar said his farm fence was “damaged — not badly — but nevertheless [they] came over the fence to get our signs and deliberately put up these signs out on the farm.”
Sing with us — Stayin' alive. Stayin' alive. Ah, ha, ha, ha, Stayin' alive Bloomberg (5/8/12) reports: Energy Conversion Devices Inc. (ENERQ), a U.S. solar manufacturer that filed for bankruptcy protection in February, will fire 300 employees because it didn’t receive any acceptable bids for an auction of its United Solar Ovonic LLC unit…The cuts will start immediately and the company will retain a smaller staff to manage the bankruptcy process, Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Energy Conversion said today in a statement.
So it turns out that the Chairman may have lied to Congress.  I wonder what Chairman/Senator/Whatever Boxer is going to say about this Politico Pro (5/7/12) reports: House Republicans are questioning whether NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko lied to Congress last year when he said he was unaware of instances in which he was accused of bullying the agency’s staff…Despite claiming to be unaware of the alleged episodes, Jaczko apologized to three female staff members after two tense congressional hearings in December, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and other lawmakers said in a letter to the NRC chief on Monday.
Fighting Bob Bradley lays it out – the Emperor has no clothes.  The sight is not pretty Forbes (5/7/12) reports: But that’s simply not the case. The bulk of the tax benefits afforded to oil and natural gas manufacturers are deductions on certain business operations — precisely the kind of “breaks” that are available to other America’s manufacturers, covering such things as equipment depreciation, salaries for rig operators, and exploration expenses…And don’t forget the federal government already takes 18 cents per gallon of gasoline sold. State and local governments tack on an average 30 cents. Together, that’s between 10 and 15 percent of the pump price. Repealing the oil industry’s tax “breaks” would just aggravate high prices a little more.
King Bolo wanders all the way out into the desert to flip the switch on 50 megawatts of installed capacity (about 1/10 the capacity of a single modest-sized coal power plant), but still can’t find the time to increase production of oil and gas on federal lands Mercury News (5/7/12) reports: The first commercial solar array approved and built on federal public land began producing electricity Monday from a sun-baked site in the Mojave Desert south of Las Vegas near the Nevada-California state line…Before flipping the switch on the Enbridge Silver State North Solar Project, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar hailed it as "a landmark for America, a landmark for the solar industry and a landmark for how we use public lands."…"This is the first of these projects to connect to the grid," Salazar said in the first of several appearances planned Monday and Tuesday in southern Nevada and Utah.
Lost in all of the self-congratulatory persiflage is that TSA groping American citizens had absolutely nothing to do with this.  In short, the regulatory state (in its most invasive incarnation) had nothing to do with actual results Politico (5/7/12) reports: The CIA thwarted a plot by Al Qaeda’s Yemenese affiliate to destroy a U.S.-bound plane using an underwear bomb, according to The Associated Press…Sources tell the wire agency that the plot involved a more sophisticated version of the underwear bomb that failed to explode on a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009.



07 May 2012 6:24am

Kurt Gibson, APP, Alaska Gas Pipeline, AGIACBC.ca | Airplay | Trans Canada told to amend pipeline plans
Accessibility Links. Skip to main content; Skip to CBC accessibility page ... Where does that leave the long-awaited Alaska Highway gas pipeline? Kurt Gibson (NGP Photo) is ...


Petroleum News Alaska by Wesley Loy.  Normally Alaska North Slope crude oil flows one way — south, toward refineries on the West Coast.  In recent weeks, however, something odd has happened. Tankers have returned to the terminal at Valdez still partially laden with Alaska oil. Usually, the tankers come back empty.

Inter Pipeline Fund reports strong first quarter on increased volumes
Ottawa Citizen
By Dina O'Meara, Calgary Herald May 4, 2012 An increase in oil volumes, both conventional and bitumen, lifted Inter Pipeline Fund net income by almost a quarter during the first quarter, the transportation and processing fund said Thursday.
See all stories on this topic »

Economist, protesters block coal trains in BC
(Ben Hadaway/CBC) "The window of opportunity for avoiding a high risk of runaway, ... "Private interests — coal, rail, oil, pipeline companies and the rest ...

Energy Headlines From CEA's Rebecca Brown.  

The Times Leader: Natural gas drilling could help revive U.S. manufacturing **Op-ed by Mike Marcus
With Americans perhaps more divided than ever, imagine a rare source of bipartisan acclaim that would spawn more “Made in the USA” labels and fewer that read “Made in China.” That is precisely what could happen if the shale gas boom continues to thrive and catapult America’s flagging manufacturing sector into a long-overdue renaissance.
Environmentalists claim there's nothing new in TransCanada's permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, through a trade group said the project would help the economy. TransCanada Corp. last week announced it submitted an application to the U.S. State Department for the Keystone XL pipeline from the Montana border with Canada to Steele City, Nebraska. It needs federal approval because the entire project would cross national borders.
A Canadian company has come forward with a new application for the hotly debated Keystone XL pipeline, once again placing a crucial decision over jobs, energy and the environment in front of the Obama administration, which rejected an earlier bid to build the $7-billion structure. TransCanada filed its application Friday with the  U.S. State Department, which must determine whether the international pipeline -- designed to bring diluted bitumen from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, to a linking point in Steele City, Neb. -- is in the U.S. national interest. Additional oil would be transported from Montana and North Dakota.
TransCanada Corp. (TRP) has reapplied to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline, inserting a project that is strongly opposed by environmental groups into the November U.S. presidential election. President Barack Obama delayed the $5.3 billion project in November, drawing criticism from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Last month, House Republicans sought to advance the pipeline, which crosses the Canadian border, by adding language to a highway spending bill that would set a 30- day deadline to issue a permit.


04 May 2012 2:53am


Alaska's Attorney General challenges EPA's authority to mandate regional rules when the Clean Water Act gives authority for national regulation.  This linked letter signals yet another states' rights issue developing between local and federal jurisdictions.  The outcome could affect virtually every type of natural resource development - particularly mining, oil and gas - for years to come.  -dh
As technology advances, shale potential in many regionsbecomes more realistic.  As oil and gas prices and supply change, we urge readers -- including lawmakers concerned with competitiveness of their oil and gas jurisdictions--to be aware that their resources may not be as rare as they once thought.  E&P Magazine captured this concept in its Arctic shale article last September which we repeat below.  We also note the abundance of gas hydrates as illustrated in the McClatchy story below. -dh
E&P Magazine.  One-third of Canada’s conventional natural gas and light crude oil are in the Arctic region north of the 60° north latitude.  However, there is also a large but unquantified potential for unconventional oil and gas from shale and hydrates in the Arctic.  “The industry focus is in the Beaufort Sea, Mackenzie Delta and Mackenzie Valley.  In the 2011 bidding round, 13 parcels were bid with two in the shallow Beaufort Sea and 11 in the central Mackenzie Valley,” said Mimi Fortier, director general, Northern Oil and Gas Branch, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. 
ADN/McClatchy by Renee Schoof.  Will the world be tapping methane hydrates deep in the permafrost and off the edges of continents decades from now? Part of the answer will rest with research in Alaska.  
Bob Reid, APG, Aboriginal Pipeline Group, LNG, Mackenzie, Photo by Dave HarbourCALGARY, Alberta, May 3 (Reuters) - The native-owned corporation that would control a third of a long-delayed gas pipeline in Canada's Far North is open to discussing the idea of a liquefied natural gas project that would allow reserves to be shipped to Asia to kickstart development, its president said on Thursday Bob Reid (NGP Photo), president of Aboriginal Pipeline Group, said the company is not locked into a particular route and is "absolutely" willing to talk about ch anging plans to include an LNG option, an idea that appears to be building momentum as North American gas prices languish near 10-year lows. 

Fuel Fix, by G. Allen Brooks, Managing director of PPHB LP.  Regulation has come to the offshore Michael Bromwich, MMS, BOEM, federal overreach, OCS, Photo by Dave Harbourservice industry, yet virtually all of the visitors and exhibiting companies at the OTC remain unware of this dramatic change to their industry.  Like fog quietly rolling in, so too came the expansion of federal regulatory jurisdiction to the offshore service industry. Just a year ago, in a speech at OTC, Michael Bromwich (NGP Photo), then director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement set forth a plan to extend federal regulation to all service companies operating offshore.

Enbridge asks court to overturn NB gas regulations - CBC.ca - (CBC) In the court documents, Enbridge claims changes to the way natural gas rates are set will stifle growth of the province's pipeline network and ...

ADN by Lisa Demer.  A plan for a large-diameter pipeline bringing North Slope natural gas to major commercial markets officially shifted Wednesday from one that would send Alaska's gas to the Lower 48 through Alberta to one that would end in Southcentral Alaska and liquefy gas for export on Asia-bound tankers.
Canadian budget bill undermines environment, critics charge - Nature.com - ... of oil and natural gas pipelines that traverse provincial or international borders. ... told CBC Radio's The Current on 1 May (link to audio excerpt).


5-3-12 - Alaska Gas Pipeline Shifts Focus

03 May 2012 7:44am

Personal note of welcome. to our Texas friends! With our next email alert we will welcome Alex Mills, Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, Wichita Falls, Photo by Dave Harbourseveral hundred new subscribers, Torin Halsey/Times Record News  Dave Harbour addresses members of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers Wednesday morning at the expo breakfast. Harbour is the commissioner emeritus of the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners.mostly owners and executives associated with the thriving Texas Oil and Gas Industry.  Last Wednesday, your author had the pleasure of addressing the annual meeting of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers in Wichita Falls, thanks to a thoughtful invitation from TAEP President, Alex Mills (NGP Photo-L).  Today, in response to several requests, we reluctantly provide the notes we used in preparing for that presentation, here.  We say, 'reluctantly', because the speech crept into several emotional and personal spaces that we don't normally discuss publicly.  But we willingly provide the information since so many seemed so genuinely interested in helping to communicate our message.  So, welcome, Texas energy producers; may your service to the Nation be better respected as citizens begin to better understand the critical role you play in the lives of all Americans.  You are now in the friendly company of thousands of fellow readers throughout the Lower 48, Alaska, Canada, Mexico and around the world!  -dh  (Times Record Photo).  (Note: 573 attended our breakfast presentation while 1,247 were present for John Hofmeister's noon speech.  Over 2,200 attended Texas' best BBQ gathering!)

Fuel Fix, by David Holt (NGP Photo).  Last week, we learned about plansDavid Holt, Consumer Energy Alliance, Lake Hood, Alaska, Oil and Gas Policy, Photo by Dave Harbour for a new set of regulations covering natural gas production from hydraulic fracturing. And this week, the Interior Department has said that those forthcoming rules are still being defined and it’s unclear when they will be released. If it sounds familiar, that’s because it is. The U.S. oil and gas industry, [...]  More »




 Large-diameter gas pipeline project to shift focus to tidewater LNG (From Elizabeth Bluemink, Alaska Department of Natural Resources for the Alaska Gas Pipeline Project Office) 

Brookings Institution, U.S. Department of Energy cite promise of Alaska gas projects 

n a letter signed Wednesday, May 2, Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan and Revenue Commissioner Bryan Butcher approved a Project Plan Amendment (PPA) for TransCanada Alaska under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA). The commissioners agreed to allow TransCanada Alaska, the State’s AGIA Licensee, to shift its focus to a large-diameter line that will run from Alaska’s North Slope to tidewater in Alaska for in-state use, liquefaction and export. 

On March 30, TransCanada, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, and BP announced that they will work together on commercializing North Slope gas, focusing on large-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from Southcentral Alaska as an alternative to a pipeline through Alberta, Canada. The parties all agreed to do this work within an AGIA framework. 

“A key benefit of the PPA is that it enables all parties – the North Slope producers, the State and the AGIA Licensee – to come together for the first time to work on commercializing North Slope gas,” said Kurt Gibson, director of the Alaska Gas Pipeline Project Office, which oversees work by TransCanada Alaska on the Alaska Pipeline Project. 

As described in the Commissioners’ letter, the PPA lays out an orderly transition phase for TransCanada Alaska to shift its work on the Alberta project, focused on Lower 48 markets, to an LNG project focused on markets abroad. Furthermore, it describes the State’s significant, near-term expectations for TransCanada and the North Slope producers in keeping with Governor Parnell’s timetable for work on an LNG project, as laid out in his January State of the State Address. 

The PPA calls for TransCanada Alaska to complete its initial work on an LNG project by September of this year and conduct a comprehensive market solicitation by year’s end to all potential market participants, including but not limited to North Slope producers, explorers, LNG terminal developers, and entities seeking to import Alaska gas into Asian and other markets.  In early 2013, the state expects TransCanada to provide an updated, more comprehensive PPA request that will reflect the details of the LNG project and its associated timeline. This PPA will also need approval by departments of Natural Resources and Revenue.  

To accommodate the transition to an LNG project, the Commissioners have agreed to defer the filing of a certificate application for an Alberta line to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from October 2012 to October 2014. Approximately half of the work done by TransCanada Alaska so far on the Alberta option – including engineering and environmental studies – is applicable to an in-state LNG line. Some of the Alberta work will continue under the current PPA, either as dual use for an LNG project or to preserve work on the Alberta option for potential transfer to the State under terms of the license. This PPA will prevent unnecessary spending on the Alberta option while the LNG project is being developed.  

The Commissioners’ letter, posted at http://gasline.alaska.gov, authorizes TransCanada Alaska to perform its share of the LNG work as part of its AGIA license.  The license requires the project to be developed in a manner that maximizes in-state benefits while facilitating large-scale export.  In return for following these requirements, the license entitles TransCanada Alaska to reimbursements for its work on a gas pipeline and related midstream facilities. The license does not authorize reimbursement for work by the producers on other aspects of the LNG project, such as an export terminal or upstream mitigation work that may be necessary in advance of a major gas sale. TransCanada Alaska’s license was authorized by the Alaska State Legislature in 2008. 

In related developments that also occurred Wednesday, the Brookings Institution released findings from its year-long study on U.S. LNG exports and the Department of Energy announced a successful field trial of methane hydrate production on the North Slope. The Brookings study noted the strong competitive position of a potential, large-scale Alaska LNG project to Asia in comparison with other global LNG projects. According to Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, methane hydrates could “potentially yield significant new supplies of natural gas.” The Brookings Institution’s report can be read at www.brookings.edu.  The Department of Energy announcement can be read at http://energy.gov.   (See related Sean Cockerham story, ADN)





02 May 2012 2:25am

Deantha Crockett, Alaska Miners Association, Resource Development Council for Alaska, AMA, RDC, Photo by Dave HarbourThe Alaska Miners Association President said this week that Deantha Crockett (NGP Photo) will take the reins as executive director.  Jim Fueg said that Crockett will be replacing Fred Parady who recently resigned.   Crockett formerly served as the lead staff person dealing with mining and tourism issues at the Resource Development Council for Alaska.  

Announcing RDC's 37th Annual Meeting Luncheon:  "Developing Hydrocarbons in an Anti-hydrocarbon Age: Risks & Opportunities"

John Hofmeister, Citizens for Affordable Energy, President Shell Oil Company, Photo by Dave Harbour, Resource Development Council for AlaskaJohn Hofmeister (NGP Photo), Founder and Chief Executive, Citizens for Affordable Energy, Former President, Shell Oil Company

Thursday, June 21, 2012, Dena'ina Convention Center, Anchorage - Doors open at 11:15, program begins at Noon.  http://www.akrdc.org/membership/events/annualmeeting/2012/

Canada Natural Gas Rises as Heat in US May Pares Supply Gains
Degree days “witnessed a dramatic increase last week in the consuming east region,” Eric Bickel, a natural-gas analyst with Summit Energy Services in Louisville, Kentucky, said in a note today. Degree days are a measure of energy demand based on ...
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US spot gas gains for second day, Hub jumps 9 pct
In major consuming markets, gas for delivery on the Transco pipeline at the New York citygate NG-NYCZ6 also rose 19 cents, or 8 percent, on average to $2.53, while Chicago gas NG-CHGC was 19 cents higher on the day at $2.32. Temperatures in both key ...
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Alaska special legislative session over
Alaska Dispatch
Senate leaders had concerns with the gasline proposal and a so-called "super agency" it would have created under the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. that they felt was beyond sufficient oversight.
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Alaska Dispatch
Was Point Thomson settlement as good for Alaska as for Exxon Mobil?
Alaska Dispatch
Sean Parnell's administration had inked a decent settlement with the oil giant and its partners -- BP Exploration, ConocoPhillips and Leede Operating Co. -- over development of the lucrative Point Thomson field on Alaska's northern coast.
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