Miss a day
Miss a lot


      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



22 June 2012 10:01am


The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, this week, announced the formation of a Community Advisory Council to promote communication and collaboration along the in-state pipeline route.  The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation is tasked with developing the in-state natural gas pipeline known as the ASAP project (Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline). ASAP Community Advisory Council Co-chairs Tim Navarre of Kenai and Mayor Jason Mayrand of Nenana are pleased with the progress being made on the structure of the council.  ASAP Community Advisory Council has held two meetings and the Co-chairs advise they are looking to fill vacancies in Southcentral, the North Slope and the Mat-Su Valley at the earliest opportunity to provide complete coverage along the alignment. To represent a community or a stakeholder group on the in-state pipeline Community Advisory Council, please contact AGDC Public Affairs at 907-330-6321, or contact Navarre at Timnavarre@gmail.com or Mayrand at nenana1@nenana.net.


6-21-12 "Welcome to Alaska, John Hofmeister!"

21 June 2012 2:45am

Calgary Herald/CP.  Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA) will invest an additional $600 million this year to significantly increase production of valuable liquids-rich natural gas amid a prolonged downturn in the price of so-called dry gas.

Congressman Doc Hastings, Chairman, U.S. House of Representatives, Energy, Oil and Gas, Photo by Dave Harbour

Today, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (NGP Photo) delivered the following statement on the House floor, in support of H.R. 2578, The Conservation and Economic Growth Act – a package of 14 public lands bills that will cut federal red tape, boost economic development, protect the environment, and create American jobs.


Nick Szymoniak, Enstar, IAEE, natural gas distribution, Alaska, Photo by Dave HarbourCommentary: Yesterday at the BP headquartersMark Finley, BP, Economist, Statistical Review, Photo by Dave Harbour in Anchorage, International Association of Energy Economics (Alaska Chapter) President, Nick Szymoniak (NGP Photo-L) introduced to his members, BP's General Manager, Global Energy Markets & US Economics, Mark Finley (NGP Photo), to deliver his annual Statistical Review of World Energy.  Finley is also the Vice President of the international parent group, IAEE.  Here is a .pdf of Finley's PowerPoint presentation, describing statistical energy information by country and by fuel type.  The Alaskan group was one of the first to receive the report, released earlier this month.  We concluded that grasping the interrelationships among the fuels, countries and events provides a deeper understanding of trends and forward movements than a simple statistical understanding would provide.  Finley discussed how world consumption, though half the 2010 increase, still grew by 2.5% in 2011 even as the the world reacted to the disruptions of the 'Arab Spring' and crises like the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.  Increased U.S. shale production, initiation of Qutar LNG shipments, along with increased Saudi and UAE oil production kept the world market relatively stable and long term trends generally in place.  "Renewable energy continues to gain but today accounts for only 2% of energy consumption globally," the Statistical Review notes.   -dh

Welcome, John Hofmeister!

John Hofmeister, Shell, Citizens for Affordable Energy, Photo by Dave Harbour, AlaskaComment: a couple months ago I was delighted to spend some time in Wicheta Falls with today's RDC keynote speaker, John Hofmeister (NGP Photo).  Today Hofmeister will address an Alaskan audience on the subject of, "Developing Hydrocarbons in an Anti-hydrocarbon Age: Risks & Opportunities".  Hofmeister is Founder and Chief Executive, Citizens for Affordable Energy and Former President, Shell Oil Company.  The meeting will be at the Dena'ina Convention Center, Noon (Doors open at 11:15 am).  While advanced registration has closed, a limited number of seats will be available at the door.  -dh

Alaska Propane

One of our readers, Erik Thede (NGP Photo), writes of this CNN article, "Why are the Chinese investing in Toledo?": 

Erik Thede, China, Toledo, Photo by Dave Harbour"...I know the Governor and some in the legislature have traveled to China and made some business overtures, . . . but not much is noticeable to the public yet.
    Apparently other cities have made more progress, despite the fact that Alaska is relatively close to China, is a substantial trading partner, and seems to be inherently interesting to Chinese people and business . . . perhaps at least partially because of our resources . . . and maybe even because of our "can-do" frontier  mystique.
    Unfortunately our business climate, including environmental and tax and perceived anti-development reputation, may be a significant discouragement to mutually beneficial business development.
    The result is at least four-fold:
       1. The Chinese take their significant development money elsewhere, i.e. to Toledo, Ohio, Irvine CA, SF CA, and many more welcoming mid-western cities.
       2. I suspect the Chinese (individuals and business entities) still quietly, opportunistically invest in "low-profile" business resources, like miscellaneous vacant land, small businesses, maybe minority interests in resources, etc. However, the result is sub-optimal as far as Alaska is concerned: Alaska and Alaskans do not benefit from concerted, coordinated, orderly business development.
       3. Eventually Alaska's resources will be developed and invested in . . . BUT IF THE DEVELOPMENT IS NOT A WILLING NEGOTIATION ON A RELATIVELY LEVEL PLAYING FIELD . . . BUT COMES AT A TIME OF AMERICAN OR ALASKAN DESPERATION {LIKE WHEN THE OIL PIPELINE IS EMPTY AND WHEN WE ARE TOTALLY BROKE}, then we Alaskans will be at a severe disadvantage . . . and will be forced to "sell our resources low" to pay for our debts that we "bought high." Our Chinese "partners" will have become our Chinese "owners" by simply waiting for the inevitable to happen . . . due to our sloth, foolishness, . . . and due to environmental delusions.
       4. And in the meantime, most of our "working-class Alaskans" are forced to survive on minimal "subsistence level wages" with jobs with only a third-world future . . . that is, almost no future.
Note our coverage of the significant Chinese visit to Anchorage in 2010.  When associating Erik's comments with natural resources in general and energy in particular, his message has particular relevance and should not be taken lightly.  -dh 

Alaska Journal of Commerce by Tim Bradner.  The Alaska Oil andGas Conservation Commission Harold Heinze, ANGDA, Commissioner of Natural Resources, Arco Alaska President, Photo by Dave Harbour, Alaska propane productionis considering whether “waste” of a natural gas liquids resource is occurring at the Prudhoe Bay field after the field operator, BP Exploration Alaska Inc., declined to make propane available to a state gas authority for consumer use in the state.  The AOGCC held a hearing on the matter in Anchorage June 19.  Harold Heinze (NGP Photo), the former executive director of the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority, or ANGDA, filed a citizen petition with the AOGCC earlier this year that asked the commission to probe the issue.  Here is the Heinze testimony for our readers' reference, along with BP's testimony and testimony from Calista Native Corporation and Nels Anderson.  We noted that Jerry McCutcheon also testified and will include a copy here when and if we are able to obtain it.  -dh

 Alaska Dispatch by Alex DeMarban.  Companies poised to purchase, store and distribute that propane have approached BP Alaska about the idea, said Harold Heinze, the former head of ARCO Alaska who requested the investigation as a private citizen. But he said BP doesn't want to talk.

Alaska DNR Multiple Use Comment Period

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking public comment on the draft Yukon-Tanana Area Plan(YTAP).  Once adopted, this plan will serve as the basis for the state’s management of more than 9 million acres of land and water in the Interior for the next 15 to 20 years.  The plan includes a Land Classification Order (NC-10-005)) that proposes to designate approximately 9 million acres within the planning area for specific uses, including agriculture, coal, forestry, habitat, minerals, settlement, water resources and general use.  To view or download an electronic version of the draft plan, read about upcoming public meetings, or submit comments, go to http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/planning/areaplans/ytap

Congressional Action

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2578, the Conservation and Economic Growth Act, with a bipartisan vote of 232-188.  This bipartisan package removes federal red tape to responsible, local economic development and job growth.  It encourages tourism and recreation, promotes responsible use of our public lands and resources, protects the environment, secures federal lands along the U.S. border and promotes the development of clean, renewable hydropower.

Also yesterday, the House Committee on Natural Resources continued its series of full committee oversight hearings on how to improve and update the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Today’s hearing focused on ESA litigation and how attorneys’ fees are being used by certain organizations to continue endless lawsuits. Witnesses at the hearing detailed specific cases throughout the country where ESA lawsuits have blocked or delayed important societal activities, including the construction of an elementary school.


The National Ocean Policy Coalition reports: On Wednesday, the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment will convened for a mark-up of the Fiscal Year 2013 appropriations bill for Interior and Environment.  This bill provides funding for the Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, and White House Council on Environmental Quality.   The draft legislation includes the following language regarding the National Ocean Policy:


SEC. 439. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to develop, propose, finalize, administer, or implement, the National Ocean Policy developed under Executive Order 13547. Not later than 60 days after the date on which the President’s fiscal year 2014 budget request is submitted to Congress, the President shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate identifying all Federal expenditures in fiscal years 2011 and 2012, by agency, account, and any pertinent subaccounts, for the development, administration, or implementation of the National Ocean Policy developed under Executive Order 13547. The President’s budget submission for fiscal year 2014 shall identify all such funding proposed for the implementation of such Policy."

Consumer Energy Alliance Links:


FOX News: Obama’s national ocean policy threatens jobs and economic activities onshore and off (Op-ed by Rep. Doc Hastings) - In the famous poem “Paul Revere’s Ride,” Revere instructs his fellow patriots to use lanterns to signal whether there’s an attack coming by land or sea. While we may no longer have to fear the British, Americans should be warned of a new threat coming by sea in the form of President Obama’s National Ocean Policy and ocean zoning initiative. President Obama is using the ocean as his latest regulatory weapon to impose new bureaucratic restrictions on nearly every sector of our economy. While marketed as a common sense plan for the development and protection of our oceans, it is instead being used to create a massive new bureaucracy that would harm our economy.
Chicago TribuneApprove the pipeline (Editorial) - Getting caught up in U.S. presidential politics can be risky for any foreign government. For the government of friendly, reliable Canada, it's been an ongoing exercise in frustration. Canada is blessed with massive oil reserves in and around its landlocked province of Alberta. To make the most of its oil-sands wealth, Canada needs to get the product to market. America, naturally, is the handiest potential customer. The Keystone XL Pipeline would bring Canadian oil from Alberta to Nebraska, where it would continue on to U.S. refineries near the Gulf of Mexico. Keystone would go a long way toward solving the problem of what to do with all that potentially lucrative and useful oil piling up in the northern reaches of North America. The U.S. could use it, that's for sure.
Houston Chronicle: Gulf drilling auction expected to net high bids - Federal officials will unseal nearly 600 secret bids for offshore oil and gas leases on Wednesday, during the first auction of drilling rights in the central Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Industry officials are expecting a robust sale driven by pent-up demand for the acreage, big central Gulf discoveries recently and high oil prices earlier this year.
Reuters: Boehner, Reid fail to break transport bill deadlock - U.S. congressional leaders failed on Tuesday to break a deadlock on a long-stalled transportation funding measure, and Republicans may now have to detach from the bill approval of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline and find another vehicle for that project. Failure to reach a deal in Congress could trigger layoffs of nearly 3 million U.S. construction workers and increase unemployment less than six months before the November elections.
Politico: Both sides gird for GOP energy package fight - The House Republican energy package set to hit the floor this week is chock full of some of their greatest political hits: reining in the EPA, expanding domestic drilling and tackling high gasoline prices. It’s the latest in a long line of energy-related bills that have almost no chance of being signed into law, but are aimed at energizing the conservative base and scoring political points going into the election. Unlike earlier this spring, Republicans don’t have soaring gasoline prices to rocket their energy package into the headlines. So Republicans are also casting it as an answer to the country’s high unemployment rate, pointing to May’s anemic job growth.


6-20-12 "America Must Tap Into Alaska's Arctic Oil"

20 June 2012 6:21am

America Must Tap Into Alaska's Arctic Oil


Mead Treadwell, Alaska Lieutenant Governor

(OP-Ed, Politico)


Mead Treadwell, Alaska Lieutenant Governor, Arctic, Photo by Dave Harbour"... people who pay attention to science and experience are confident of this: The Beaufort and Chukchi seas can be safely explored. Every Arctic Ocean coastal state, six including Iceland, has come to the same conclusion.
The oil industry has already invested hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency planning. Myriad measures recommended by the National Oil Spill Commission are being put in place, including state-of-the-art capping stacks, 24-hour icebreaker support and a recessed wellhead resilient to cold water challenges.
In addition to these on-site measures, redundant operations and around-the-clock support from the private sector and federal government agencies will be available for any emergency situation. Arctic nations are also negotiating a mutual aid pact.
Alaska, too, has been hard at work making safety preparations. We’re working closely with the Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers on infrastructure issues. We’re investing in research and science, working specifically with the U.S. Arctic Research Commission. We’re also seeking to form international agreements on preparation and response through the Arctic Council...."


Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77535.html#ixzz1yLKEoOwu



19 June 2012 8:12am

Tony Clark, FERC Commissioner, North Dakota, Photo by Dave HarbourPhil Moeller, FERC Commissioner, Photo by Dave HarbourComment:  We are pleased to note that our friend, Tony Clark (NGP Photo-R), an eminently fair and balanced regulator from North Dakota, was sworn in Friday to his new seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  

Another friend, his fellow commissioner, Phil Moeller (NGP Photo), obtained much of his regulatory background in Washington State and worked in Alaska during his earlier days.  -dh



6-18-12 Will Growth of Alaska's Corpulent State Government Outstrip Available Resources?

18 June 2012 7:56am

Before reviewing the excellent, Brad Keithley analysis below, please look at our earlier comment on 'Intergenerational Inequity" and the link to our Alaska Business Monthly Op-Ed on the same subject.  -dh

"Alaska faces a comparable and equally dire fiscal crisis to that which has developed at the federal Brad Keithley, attorney, Alaska, Blogger, oil and gas, fiscal, ACES, AGIA, Photo by Dave Harbourlevel. Due to current excessive state government spending, future Alaskans – which will include many of the current generation as they enter retirement – are facing a lower standard of living than present day Alaskans. As a consequence, Alaska needs its own state level statute restricting excessive spending and may benefit from a pledge to support it." Read more at: http://bgkeithley.com/2012/06/17/a-statute-and-a-pledge-a-potential-approach-for-addressing-alaskas-coming-fiscal-crisis/

Brad Keithley Chart, alaska fiscal crisis

Comment:  While Alaska has world class resource potential and wealth (as noted below), its unbridaled spending has called fiscal solvency into question, as noted above.  We are compelled to ask almost every day on this web page in many different ways: "Will Alaska's leaders be wise and decisive enough to balance long term spending with resource development income?  And...will Alaska's elected leaders think of themselves more than the debt-inheriting generation that follows them?"  -dh
Seattle Times by Howard Bernton.  During the last year, some 400 workers at a shipyard on Seattle's Harbor Island have been installing new diesel engines, welding bulkheads, painting and tackling other tasks to prepare the Kulluk, a Shell Oil rig, for drilling holes this summer in the sea bottom off Alaska's North Slope.  The refurbishing of Kulluk and other Shell work done in the Pacific Northwest has pumped some $200 million into the local economy, according to company officials. This could be the launch to what may be a decade of exploration and development of offshore oil fields in Arctic waters.  "It's the first new maritime-associated industry to start to emerge in Puget Sound in decades, and we're just thrilled about it," said John Lockwood, a senior adviser at Vigor Shipyards, which landed the oil-rig work at Harbor Island.

Today's Consumer Energy Alliance Links:
The Houston Chronicle: An Unlikely Victory for Energy Consumers **Op-ed by David Holt
While lower fuel costs should certainly come as welcome news, the “unlikely” victory comes in the form of a small desert reptile. This week the U.S. Department of the Interior announced that it will not list the dunes sagebrush lizard as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act, and will instead cooperate with oil and gas producers to advance conservation plans and ensure the vitality of the species. Had the federal government advanced plans to list the species, significant amounts of energy production in the resource-abundant Permian Basin in New Mexico and Texas would be inaccessible to producers and consumers alike.
The Herald-Sun: Pragmatic natural gas development will benefit all **Op-ed by Michael Whatley
At barbeques, church gatherings and beach weekends this summer, North Carolinians will likely be faced with a new topic of conversation – the potential development of the state’s onshore natural gas resources. This discussion has some residents concerned about the consequences of development and others looking forward to its potential benefits.




16 June 2012 7:35pm

 North Dakota and Fairbanks readers follow our Governor's travels and speeches!

U.S. begins review of TransCanada's new Keystone pipeline route - Calgary Herald - Main callout pointer for calgaryherald.com .... generate a large volume of greenhouse gases and say a change of the route will not lessen the pipeline's dangers.
Calgary Herald - One of three companies planning a $4.5-billion liquefied natural gas terminal at Kitimat on Thursday.... Main callout pointer for calgaryherald.com .... Shell Canada details B.C. liquefied natural gas project · Widening of gas pipeline to Kitimat ... See all stories on this topic »
Syndicate content