The Alaska LNG Project provided draft environmental and socioeconomic reports to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which is responsible for conducting the environmental review of the project. www.ferc.gov.
US/Canadian Pipelines And A Call For Market Freedom
Free enterprise, like water, always seeks a way out of containment in a natural quest for liberation.
In recent months, we have reported extensively on President Obama's improper (i.e. and totally rational, if one is a no growth advocate) blocking of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline.
|Town Hall Op-ed by David Holt (NGP Photo), President, Consumer Energy Alliance.
In less than a decade, the one-time feeble U.S. energy sector has accomplished a record-breaking 180-degree turnaround thanks to advancements in new technologies. In fact, at the current rate, the nation is likely to hit production marks not seen since the 1970s.
As such, we now live in a more energy self-sufficient nation, one that is inching closer every day to energy independence.
(We might add to Holt's commentary that the rapid growth of the U.S. toward energy independence is largely the result of exploration and production on private lands. The federal government, as we have demonstrated in these pages, has seemingly done everything possible to block oil, gas, coal and mining activity on private as well as federal lands. -dh)
That project would grant Alberta's oil sands crude oil transit into the free market and provide tens of thousands of jobs in the bargain.
In Canada, political forces in Eastern provinces are attempting to block TransCanada's Energy East project -- another way to liberate oil sands crude.
Canadian officials led by Alberta Premier Jim Prentice (NGP Photo) are putting up a valiant fight against both Canadian and American, political, pipeline roadblocks.
Alaskans are understandably interested in TransCanada's fortunes because the company is a major player in the effort to liberate Alaska North Slope gas -- in today's low oil & gas price market -- by transporting it via pipeline and LNG tankers to Asian markets.
(Meanwhile, some Alaska politicians are seeking to force -- through loans and subsidies -- a gas distribution system into existence whether the underlying feasibility is solid or squishy. But we digress....)
With all the head winds Alberta oil sands crude faces, it is still desperately seeking freedom.
Yesterday, we reminded readers of a concept we reported on two years ago: freeing Alberta crude via shipment through an Alaskan port--in absence of the most obvious transportation routes and modes.
Today, we see Northwest Territories (NWT) Premier Bob McLeod (NGP Photo) is renewing his desire to see Alberta crude head North, rather than South or West, to find freedom via Arctic transport into the world market.
All of this market chatter should convince other elected leaders (i.e. as it has convinced the more enlightened Premiers of NWT and Alberta) that if they truly wish their economies to be strong and if they wish to see jobs created -- other than legions of government employed bureaucrats and regulators that ultimately burden a country -- they should quit trying to contain, delay and over regulate the free market.
If politicians simply can't resist the attraction of manipulating the free market, let them provide incentives to enable its success -- not tons of new regulations and restrictions that limit market freedom.
If our leaders don't begin to respect the wasted resource of a dammed up market, they can expect to see the free market trying to invent more and more ways of liberating natural resources, even though the resulting project(s):
- may be less profitable,
- provide fewer jobs,
- contribute fewer national and local taxes, and
- be much delayed and possibly abandoned or left in a state of bankruptcy.
Holt Op-ed here, and below:
Even Amidst Low Oil Prices, Staying the Course Will Ultimately Benefit Consumers, Producers
2/11/2015 12:01:00 AM - David Holt
In less than a decade, the one-time feeble U.S. energy sector has accomplished a record-breaking 180-degree turnaround thanks to advancements in new technologies. In fact, at the current rate, the nation is likely to hit production marks not seen since the 1970s.
As such, we now live in a more energy self-sufficient nation, one that is inching closer every day to energy independence. While we utilize roughly 25 percent of the world’s oil on a daily basis, about 40 percent of the petroleum we consume is imported, down from 60 percent not too long ago.
Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) has advocated for years that if the U.S. continues to develop and explore new energy opportunities in economically and environmentally friendly ways, production would not only escalate, but the economy would also strengthen, as would job growth. Most important, consumers would keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets – and much of that has indeed unfolded.
With oil prices hovering around the $50 mark recently, gas prices have plunged, much to the delight of motorists. Lower oil prices have also been a welcome sigh of relief for other parts of the economy, because when American consumers spend less filling their tanks, they spend more elsewhere, like dining out, shopping, and going on vacations that were once on hold.
But we also know that our emergence in the shale industry has had massive geopolitical consequences. The reduction in the cost of oil is not just an American phenomenon – it’s a worldwide event. Prices are down around the globe for an assortment of reasons – reduced demand and increased supply top the list – and the U.S. fracking as played a large role in this pendulum swing, upping supply and lowering prices.
It has certainly rocked the boat at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which has seen its influence on the global oil marketplace weaken dramatically. For the first time in decades, the whims of the OPEC oil cartel are of little consequence to Americans. In response, OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, decided late last year not to cut production, keeping prices low. Their thinking is this: Since shale production – which has grown to 4 million barrels a day – is more costly than regular extraction, keeping oil prices low will eventually drive out U.S. shale producers.
It’s a strategic – and expensive – attempt by the Saudis and OPEC to reclaim its market share from the U.S. Saudi Arabia is willing will have its first budget deficit since 2011 and the largest in its history. The billions the kingdom has in reserve are expected to help ease the burden of this short-term pain.
This means that the U.S., even in the face of low crude prices, must continue it years-long winning streak in the global energy sector by diversifying their energy resources and increasing, not decreasing, access to natural resources. While we also start expanding market opportunities for those resources.
Make no mistake: Numerous onshore and offshore resources remain untapped, like an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Arctic waters off Alaska. These resources, and countless more, could heat every home in America for more than 30 years. It would also generate billions in additional revenue, create jobs nationwide, and reduce costs for households across the country.
What goes down must come back up, oil prices included. While crude prices have fallen more than 50 percent since June, causing many American producers to second guess their plans to drill and explore additional resources onshore and off, the drop is temporarily, as prices are still expected to rise later this year.
When they do, we need to make sure that our energy policies and markets are still at the head of the line worldwide, just as they are today. By staying the course and continuing to promote an all of the above energy approach in the U.S., we can help to support the nation’s future economic growth, job creation, self-sufficiency, and national security.
(A strange turn of events when the current administration's FBI investigates anti-Keystone XL extremist environmental planners who could have criminal intent. See Globe & Mail Story Here. -dh)
|See yesterday's report of another possibility: an Oil Sands Alaska Pipeline concept ... that we reported on over two years ago. -dh|
Opponents of Canadian oil say they’ve been contacted by FBI investigators in several states following their involvement in protests that delayed northbound shipments of equipment to Canada’s oilsands.
... Deep Green Resistance.
That group, DGR, calls itself a radical environmental movement that believes the biggest problem with the planet is human civilization itself. It proposes a shift back from agriculture to a hunter-gatherer horticultural lifestyle.
It also proposes a four-step program called decisive ecological warfare, a long-term plan calling for the sabotage and dismantling of planet-harming infrastructure.
The group has repeatedly stated that it wouldn’t participate itself in any such actions. But Lierre Keith, one of its founders, laid out the plan in a speech last year at an environmental conference at the University of Oregon.
“I would vastly prefer to wage this struggle non-violently,” Keith said. “But my blogging will not bring forth the necessary numbers. So given a realistic assessment of what we actually have, the only viable strategy left that I can see is direct attacks against infrastructure. In the plainest terms, we need to stop them.”
ADN Commentary by Tim Bradner (NGP Photo). It’s been months since Alaskans voted to retain the new oil production tax system, but we still hear grumbling that this was a big giveaway to industry.
Time to pound a stake into this zombie.
Bloomberg by Jeremy Van Loon. Alberta is in discussions with Alaska about shipping oil-sands crude through the U.S. state to the Pacific as approval for the southbound Keystone XL pipeline languishes in Washington.
The Alaska plan would involve constructing a pipeline along the Mackenzie River valley and then west to existing ports on the U.S. coast, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice said Friday in an interview at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York. Alaskan ports have been staging points for maritime crude shipments for decades.
Our state government is facing staggering reductions in revenue -- about 50 percent from last year -- because crude oil prices have dropped through the floor. Our state finances about 90 percent of its budget with oil money. We’re now looking at a deficit of $3.5 billion but that could grow by the end of the fiscal year on June 30.
Next year looks to have a similar deficit. Luckily, we have big savings accounts to ride us through this.
But the fact is that the deficit would have been a lot worse had the Legislature not made the oil tax change. Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Kenai, says that had the old tax remained on the books there would be $1 billion less revenue last year and this year. More here....
Today's relevant energy links from the Alaska gas pipeline office of the Federal Coordinator:
- Proposed gas pipeline to Petronas LNG plant in B.C. now at 560 miles
- LNG hopefuls urge Canada to allow accelerated depreciation
- Eastern Canada LNG projects lack local gas supply — and pipelines
- Japan reportedly ready to restart nuclear reactor early summer
- Tokyo Electric, Chubu may combine power plants under joint venture
- Yamal LNG nears 25% completion mark, energy ministry says
- Most of Gazprom’s LNG from Yamal will go to Europe, South America
- First passenger flight lands at new airport to serve Yamal LNG
- Falling LNG price in Asia cuts into European re-export trade
- Cheaper LNG prices in Asia send more cargoes to U.K.
- Lack of cargoes hits short-term LNG charters
- Ichthys LNG still on target to start production December 2016
- China’s oil and gas companies pull back on deals
- Low-cost gas will help U.S. petrochemicals industry retain advantage
- B.C. developer completes purchase of land for LNG project
- TransCanada plans to join oil-by-rail business
- Rail-to-marine oil terminals proposed for Washington coast
(Note: Once we posted this report we realized our headline wording could be regarded as unfair, That is to say, not all Arabs are supporting US environmental groups to undermine US energy security. And, while all members of Saudia Araba's ruling family are likely to be of Arabian descent, not all citizens of that family should be so accused. Having now expressed that sensitivity, the unsettling fact remains that one of America's great Middle Eastern allies of the past, may now be showing new colors and our relationship may well be coming to an end. As to the U.S. environmental groups, like the Sierra Club, that would consort with foreign power(s) determined to make America once again dependent on their oil, we say "shame on you; your behavior is highly unpatriotic if not treasonous." -dh)
Saudi's Join "Cabal" and Support Enviros Against American Energy Independence.
Last week, thanks to Alert Reader Steve Borell, we were able to join the chorus 'outing' the traitorous relationship between American environmental activists and Middle Eastern energy producers.
Today, we have another story from the Free Beacon (Below) that sheds more specific light on the House of Saud and how it has joined the Sierra Club and sister anti-energy organizations as part of the Enviro-Industrial-Governmental Cabal:
Free Beacon by Lachlan Markay. Saudi Arabia’s efforts to “drown” American energy producers make the oil-rich theocracy a crucial ally of the environmentalist movement, according to a leading green group.
The House of Saud, the kingdom’s royal family, is “our best ally in the fight against Keystone XL,” according to Paul Rauber, the senior editor of Sierra, the bi-monthly magazine published by the Sierra Club.... Read more
Washington Times Op-Ed by Rep. Rob Bishop, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources. The response should never be to falter when your enemy stares you down, but that’s just what President Obama has done with OPEC. He sent a signal: America will blink.
What do you think of this editorial?
TOTAL: 146 votes
We voted on whether oil exploration in Alaska is merited or not. On your right are the USA Today results of the poll. Here is the editorial for your review and chance to vote.
Our friend, Steve Borell (NGP Photo), Retired Executive Director of the Alaska Miners Associations, linked us to the Free Beacon story below, which causes us to ask, "Are Americans Being Cheated Out Of Their Energy Wealth Birthright By Foreign Oil Interests?"
...which prompts a second question: "If competing oil jurisdictions pumped tens of millions of dollars into environmental groups that use every possible technique to stop fracking and even oil & gas activity in Alaska, wouldn't that restrict U.S. production and increase the value of theirs?
-dh * * * Read on... Free Beacon story, BY: Lachlan MarkayA shadowy Bermudan company that has funneled tens of millions of dollars to anti-fracking environmentalist groups in the United States is run by executives with deep ties to Russian oil interests and offshore money laundering schemes involving members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.
|The Sierra Club, the Natural Resource Defense Council, Food and Water Watch, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Center for American Progress were among the recipients of Sea Change’s $100 million in grants in 2010 and 2011.|
One of those executives, Nicholas Hoskins, is a director at a hedge fund management firm that has invested heavily in Russian oil and gas. He is also senior counsel at the Bermudan law firm Wakefield Quin and the vice president of a London-based investment firm whose president until recently chaired the board of the state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft.
... The Environmental Policy Alliance, which provided the Washington Free Beacon with a copy of an upcoming report on Klein Ltd.’s Kremlin ties, said Wakefield Quin’s ties to environmental financiers and Russian oil barons merit closer scrutiny.
“The American public deserves to know whether environmentalists are attacking US energy companies at the behest of a Russian government that would like nothing more than to see their international competition weakened,” Will Coggin, a senior research analyst at the EPA, said in an emailed statement.
Current, relevant news links from the Alaska Gas Pipeline Office of the Federal Coordinator:
- Asia spot LNG prices fall to $7.20
- BG writes down value of new LNG project in Australia
- Analysts expect more write-downs on Australia LNG projects
- Chevron slows down spending on proposed Kitimat LNG
- Project delays could jeopardize LNG supplies after 2020
- Low LNG prices could help return to strong demand growth in China
- China imported LNG from 17 countries in 2014
- Gazprom predicts oil and coal to lose global energy share
- Another LNG hopeful announces U.S. Gulf Coast project
- B.C. communities prepare for temporary work camps
- More than 400 attend open houses for B.C. LNG project
- Small B.C. LNG project could reduce natural gas costs for locals
- New England pipeline opponents rely on boost in LNG imports
- Developer doesn’t know when it will start Colombia LNG project
- Hawaii Gas waiting for LNG supply bids
- Ohio governor proposes big tax increase on oil and gas production
- Former Shell executive predicts $4 gasoline next winter
- Unused drill rigs need temporary homes in North Dakota
The response should never be to falter when your enemy stares you down, but that’s just what President Obama has done with OPEC. He sent a signal: America will blink.
Last week, the Obama administration issued two edicts that could leave much of our strategic energy resources untapped for decades. Mr. Obama announced a plan on Sunday to lock up 12 million acres of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and on Tuesday, his administration offered the most restrictive offshore oil and gas leasing plan in the history of the program. This is the latest move in a broader regulatory expansion that has drastically driven down production on federal lands.
By tightening his grasp on these resources, the president has revealed another lack of leadership on the global stage. This time, it’s America’s future leverage in world affairs and our nation’s path to energy security that’s at stake.
This is not a show of courage. It is a show of fear.
The United States is at a critical juncture. In less than a decade, our country has gone from energy dependence to energy abundance. Through homegrown innovation, we have fostered technologies like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling that have driven a global energy revolution — fueling our nation’s surge forward in 2014 to overtake both Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s largest oil and natural gas liquids producer. The United States has added more than 3 million barrels per day into the global oil market. In 2005, the U.S. imported 60 percent of our oil. In less than a decade, we have reduced that to 40 percent.
The often-overlooked side of this amazing energy comeback story is that America’s energy boom has occurred mainly on private and state lands that are outside direct federal control. That’s because the federal government, under direction from the Obama administration, has imposed layer upon layer of burdensome regulations on permitting and production. Top-down decisions to lock up federal energy resources from potential development are the final death knell for areas such as the Arctic. While environmental alarmists would have the public believe that industry is seeking to drill in beloved landmarks like the Grand Canyon, the reality is that the areas in question are unusable for tourism and specifically set aside for resource exploration and potential development. Moreover, energy producers are proving that they can balance responsible energy exploration and development with protecting our environment at the same time.
Falling global oil prices over the past six months have exacerbated this tension and created a standoff. On one side stand the United States with our allies. On the other side are the petrol-dictators, whose economic power and oppression is completely dependent on oil. In November, OPEC refused to cut production targets — seeking to force American producers out of business and reassert control over global energy markets. OPEC’s signal? We are not afraid to wage economic war.
At this very critical moment, when the world turned to the United States to watch our response, what signal did we send? Mr. Obama announced plans to cut off future development of the resources that have given us this newfound leverage on the world stage. He blinked.
Now is not the time to blink. Instead, we must not only hold the line on production, but remain bold and exert our energy power. We finally have the potential to disarm and even break the bully OPEC cartel, while generating millions of jobs that have already driven our nation’s economy upward. Unlocking domestic energy and protecting environmentally sensitive areas are not mutually exclusive. The administration should open tracts of ANWR to responsible production and lease vast swaths of offshore acreage for exploration. The United States must open up energy exports to our allies in Europe — allies who are begging for our resources so they, too, can be weaned off hostile dictatorships. This would make for a stronger America and a safer world.
Let’s send a signal of strength that will leave those who are hostile to America trembling and our allies cheering.
• Rep. Rob Bishop is the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources.
Alberta premier talks oil, trade and pipeline at U.S. Chamber of Commerce event in Washington
By Meagan Fitzpatrick, CBC News Posted: Feb 04, 2015 5:08 PM ET Last Updated: Feb 04, 2015 5:26 PM ET
America is now the world’s #1 natural gas producer and will soon be #1 in oil. Now more than ever, abundant energy means abundant prosperity, opportunity and security for all Americans. Learn more at EnergyTomorrow.org.
What CEO and Chairman Jim Clifton (NGP Photo) revealed in his blog Tuesday about how the Labor Department arrives at the monthly unemployment rate is no secret -- including that Americans who have quit looking for work after four weeks are not included in the survey. See video.
ADN: Peter Gruenstein Supports Senator Lisa Murkowski's Fight To Repeal Oil Export Ban
President Barack Obama's recent changes to offshore drilling policies are a "shell game" preventing oil companies from accessing billions of barrels of oil, according to The Washington Times editorial board. Red tape and tight restrictions on leasing federal lands for drilling have actually led to a 6% decline in domestic output in the last five years, the board notes, citing the American Petroleum Institute. Obama's move "puts the country's energy prospects in the hands of other and often unfriendly nations, unnecessarily increasing energy costs and preventing creation of American jobs," the board writes. The Washington Times (2/4)
Michael Tadeo of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee sends us this helpful note:
Just wanted to send this over from the Senate Joint Economic Committee. It’s a great primer on the importance of developing energy in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
This information is especially timely in response to President Obama’s announcement last month that he is unilaterally blocking Alaskans and the nation as a whole from realizing the benefits that would come from increased energy production in ANWR.
It’s important to note that this primer puts the size of ANWR into perspective – especially the part of ANWR that would be used for energy development. ANWR is about the size of South Carolina and of the 1002 area of ANWR, where energy production would occur, only a small fraction, comparable to the size of Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C., would be used for energy production. (SEE .PDF HERE)
February 3, 2015: From the Senate Energy And Natural Resources Committee
President Obama recently announced his intention to lock up millions of acres of land and vast energy resources in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) by designating the area as wilderness. While the Wilderness Act requires the President to obtain congressional approval for wilderness designation, the Department of the Interior is expected to begin managing ANWR as wilderness pursuant to its upcoming conservation plan. As a result, millions of acres of land and billions of barrels of recoverable oil will become off limits to legitimate development against the will of an overwhelming majority of Alaskans. Here are a few facts to consider:
1. The federal government owns 60 percent of Alaska. Alaska contains 365 million acres of land. The federal government owns 222 million of those acres, or an area larger than the combined size of California, Oregon, and Washington State. The National Park Service and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service manage about half of the federal land for resource protection and wildlife conservation.
2. ANWR spans an area larger than many U.S. states. ANWR spans 19.2 million acres of land. That’s an area eight times larger than Yellowstone National Park or about the size of South Carolina.
3. Congress limited energy exploration to a small portion of ANWR. In 1980, Congress set aside 1.5 million acres of land on the north slope of ANWR for further study related to energy development. That small segment became known as the “1002 Area.” It comprises only about 7 percent of ANWR.
4. Developing oil in ANWR would impose only a small footprint. Under leading proposals for developing energy in ANWR, production and support facilities would require a footprint of only 2,000 acres within the 1002 Area.That amounts to .01 percent of ANWR’s land area.
5. ANWR contains a vast amount of oil resources. ANWR is believed to contain about 10.4 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil within the 1.5 million acres of the 1002 Area. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that ANWR would produce around 1 million barrels of oil per day.
6. ANWR development is profitable even at today’s reduced prices. The EIA estimates that more than 80 percent of technically recoverable oil is commercially developable at an oil price under $40 per barrel. That would value the oil resources in ANWR between $180 billion and $500 billion.
7. Opening ANWR would create tens of billions of dollars in new revenues. Tax and royalty revenues from leasing in ANWR would likely total between $90 and $190 billion over a 30-year production period.
8. Alaskans strongly support ANWR oil exploration. Tracking polls conducted over many years have demonstrated upwards of 78 percent support among Alaskans.