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Northern Gas Pipelines is your public service 1-stop-shop for Alaska and Canadian Arctic energy commentary, news, history, projects and people. It is informal and rich with new information, updated daily. Here is the most timely and complete Arctic gas pipeline and northern energy archive available anywhere—used by media, academia, government and industry officials throughout the world. Northern Gas Pipelines may be the oldest Alaska blog; we invite readers to suggest others existing before 2001.

 

10-28-14 What Do Dandelions and Energy Have In Common? - National Petroleum Reserve Comment Due Tommorrow!

28 October 2014 8:02am

Consumer Energy Alliance Says "Alaska Is Key To American Energy Success!"


NGP Readers Everywhere: Please Comment Before Thursday's Deadline On National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska Permit Application.


Dandelion, invasive species, Alaska, bureaucrats, conference, Dave Harbour Photo

Today, at great cost to state and local governments, bureaucrats gather in Anchorage to 'discuss' how to deal with invasive species.  Meanwhile, government managers coddle and cultivate the biggest invasive weed, the ubiquitous dandelion, which grows and multiplies under their noses, infesting northern forests and city landscapes alike.  We observe -- and have given ample proof here -- that national energy policies, in the hands of bureaucracies, are similarly managed.  -dh


Inuvik, NWT, Church, Dome, Silver, Oil and Gas Conference, Dave Harbour PhotoYour author once chaired a pipeline portion of the Inuvik Oil and Gas Conference.  We reported a week ago (i.e. You read it here first) that the conference would be postponed from this coming summer to 2016. 

Today, the CBC provides more background, here.


Ribbon cutting for new Alaska Geologic Materials Center Tomorrow, Oct. 29

Could This Website And Other Alaskan Blogs Become Regulated?

Power Grab: Dems Want Regulation Of Internet Speech
By DICK MORRIS
Published on DickMorris.com on October 27, 2014

Not content with the total bias and domination of the news networks, CNN, and the nation's leading newspapers, the Democrats on the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) have moved to assert federal control over Internet political speech.  Claiming the authority to regulate political postings and blogs as independent campaign expenditures, they want to apply federal campaign finance laws to online voices.   More here....

Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Spokeswoman Elizabeth Bluemink alerts our readers to the ribbon-cutting and open house for the new Geologic Materials Center (GMC) at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 29. The center is located at 3651 Penland Parkway in Anchorage. 

The GMC houses the State of Alaska’s collection of geological materials, which are cataloged, preserved and available for use by the public, industry, researchers and educators. The open house on Wednesday will include a tour of the new center.

“The new Geologic Materials Center is an outstanding example of the State saving money and improving its services to the public by undertaking a public-private building purchase agreement. We significantly reduced the cost and duration of this project and will deliver an enhanced facility that provides excellent access to our state’s geologic information,” said Department of Administration Commissioner Curtis Thayer.

New construction was sought to replace the aging GMC located in Eagle River, which had grown out of its available space and was in poor condition. The original building project concept was estimated to cost roughly $45 million and take eight to nine years to complete.

By purchasing the former Sam’s Club building in East Anchorage for $16.1 million and investing in renovations instead of new construction, the State spent closer to $24.5 million and is enabling the staff and the public to use the new GMC in under two years. The State also benefited from Walmart’s generous contribution of $2.5 million to support enhanced educational opportunities, including viewing rooms and space for classroom instruction. In addition, the building occupied by the GMC will house the State Pipeline Coordinator’s Office, currently located on 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage, resulting in additional cost saving for the state.

“With the new GMC, Alaska now has a state-of-the-art facility to house our geologic materials for the maximum benefit of the public, industry and our educational system,” DNR Commissioner Joe Balash said.

“Maintaining and protecting this collection will result in tremendous benefits to future generations of Alaskans, supporting both an educated workforce and new resource discoveries,” Balash said.

Among the geologic materials that will be housed in the 100,000 square-foot, heated building are thin sections, core and cuttings representing over 13 million feet of oil and gas drilling, 300,000 feet of core drilling from mineral projects, 115,000 surface rock samples, and 96,000 pulps. 

The new GMC has significantly expanded and improved core viewing facilities, including large private viewing rooms, conference rooms, new microscopes, new sampling equipment and wireless internet access. 2-D and 3-D seismic data will also be available from the new facility as they are made available. 

Relocation of the geologic collection will begin following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, with the new facility fully functional and open for business by next spring.

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10-27-14 The Oil Supply - Demand Pendulum Is Forever Swinging To and Fro

27 October 2014 7:01am

Murkowski: Global Oil Outages Can Provide “Strategic Warning” of Threats to Stability

Top Energy Committee Republican Warns of Petroleum Production Losses in Libya, Yemen, and Elsewhere

Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senate, Energy & Natural Resources, oil supply, study, Alaska, Dave Harbour PhotoU.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo), today released a report surveying petroleum production outages around the world, data which could be used to provide strategic warning of threats to international security.

“Losses in oil production often reflect instability,” Murkowski said. “Energy reporting clearly pointed to Iraq’s deteriorating security years before the current collapse and provides us strategic warning of violence in other countries and regions.”

Russia To Invest In Alaska: Not Likely (Read Below).


ADNAtle Staalesen, Barents Observer: ... Rosneft has asked the Russian government for renegotiated terms in all its offshore oil licenses.  Russian Minister of Natural Resources Sergey Donskoy confirms that the oil giant has requested new terms in a total of 60 licenses....


 ADN by Pat Forgey.  Russia's Rosneft oil company, facing U.S. sanctions following Russia's seizure of part of neighboring Ukraine, won't be buying part of the huge Point Thomson natural gas field on Alaska's North Slope, Exxon Mobil said Wednesday.

Rosneft, one of the world's top oil producers along with Exxon, received the option last year as part of an agreement the two companies signed to expand their strategic cooperation in the Arctic.

But now, Exxon says Rosneft won't be part of the development of Point Thomson.

"Rosneft had evaluated the opportunity, and elected not to participate," said Kimberly Jordan, an Exxon spokeswoman for the company segment that includes Point Thomson and other Alaska operations.

The report, entitled Oil Production Outages & Strategic Warning, is available here. Highlights include:

·      Recent violence in Yemen, Libya, and South Sudan has caused sustained losses in oil production;

·      Petroleum outages clearly illustrate the effectof sanctions against Syria and Iran;

·      Iraq saw significant and rapid increases in petroleum outages concurrent with the rise of ISIS; and

·      Colombia and Nigeria have also seen oil production losses as a result of pipeline sabotage.

The report concludes:

“Sustained levels of such outages in other countries may constitute a degree of strategic warning to policymakers that attention is required, and ultimately are a reminder that record-breaking increases in North American oil production can enhance national security and stabilize global markets.”

Earlier this fall, Sen. Murkowski released staff reports that called attention to the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, as documented by public energy-related reporting, and that analyze ISIS black market oil sales and the possibility of Coalition strikes against ISIS oil.


Our Comment: We are grateful to Chester Carlson of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for circulating the timely information above.  It could be valuable to American and Canadian oil producing state/provincial fiscal planning efforts.  

The study could be useful to those concerned with the national economies and national defense and, of course, to energy regulators, marketers, producers, contractors, consumers and investors.  

However, the study generally deals with history -- from whence comes data.  While history is interesting it cannot enable one to predict future events with precision, since new developments are constantly affecting and changing assumptions and what would otherwise have been future outcomes.  

Our dear professor, Peter Drucker, always reminded us that trying to predict the future is foolish; that, the purpose of strategy is to take the 'right risks', not to eliminate risk.  

Certainly, this EIA supported study might assist decision makers in identifying the 'right risks' but only in the degree to which the historical data remains relevant.  For example, "...petroleum production outages," could be offset to greater or smaller degrees, either by economic malaise and demand decline or by new discoveries and technologies or a combination of factors.

We believe that Senator Murkowski made appropriate use of conditional statements (i.e. "...can provide strategic...; and, “Losses in oil production often reflect instability....”) and that the study could provide planners with a useful perspective.  -dh


TransCanada Flaring Gas Today

CBC.  TransGas, the pipeline subsidiary of SaskEnergy, is doing a controlled flare of natural gas at its Regina storage cavern southwest of the city this morning. The flare is set to start at 8:30 a.m. CST.

It will last for about three hours.

The location is roughly 1.6 kilometres west and 1.6 kilometres south of the Lewvan overpass, in Regina's southwest corner.

"Flaring is necessary to help TransGas perform operational upgrades to the pipeline system," the company said in a statement.


 

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10-26-14 Is Quebec Self Serving?

26 October 2014 1:50pm

(See our editorial on this subject....  -dh)

Calgary Herald by Stephen Ewart.  As resistance to TransCanada's proposed Energy East oil pipeline ramps up, at least some of the opposition from Quebec looks decidedly self-serving.  In a province with a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing to produce natural gas and growing imports from the northeast U.S., the leading gas distributor wants the Calgary company to maintain its underutilized cross-country pipeline to ensure industry in Quebec retains access to bargainbasement-priced gas from Western Canada.  etting aside the fact cross-border gas from the nearby Utica and Marcellus basins and gas from the western provinces is produced with fracking, it shouldn't be TransCanada's obligation to undercut its own economic fortunes to prop up industries elsewhere.  More here....

10-25-14 What To Do About The Alaska Budget?

25 October 2014 8:42am

Katie Bender, Alaskanomics, Alaska State Budget, Northrim Bank, State Spending, oil price effect on state budgets, Dave Harbour PhotoAlaskanomics, by Katie Bender (NGP Photo).  There is a lot of discussion regarding the State’s budget and the crunch that is coming in the near future if things do not change. In the October 13, 2014 issue of the Bradners’ Alaska Economic Report, three trends are discussed that will cause an issue for the state after 2020.

It should be no surprise that the decline in oil production is of concern to many in Alaska. This is nothing new for the state, as the decline started in 1989. The past fiscal year saw the decline go from 6 percent to zero percent and there is hope that the new and increased activity on the North Slope will keep the decline flat for a few years. Scott Goldsmith, from UAA’s Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER), predicts that production would have to increase 2 percent each year to make a dent in reducing the state deficit.  One year of flat production is good, but far from the needed increase make a difference for the state budget.  More here....

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10-24-14 White House "Conspires" With Enviro Activists

23 October 2014 9:09pm

White House "Conspires" With Enviro Activists (i.e. as if we didn't know.  And, here's a playful, yet serious, video example.  -dh)

Mike Chenault, Alaska, Speaker of the House, gas pipeline, Dave Harbour PhotoPeninsula Clarion OpEd by Mike Chenault (NGP Photo) .  I’ve been involved in state politics for 14 years, and I have to say, the progress the Legislature and Governor Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) have made together in the last 2 years is a real highlight.   We’re farther than ever getting a big gasline built. I’ve never seen all the necessary parties aligned like they are today. They’re spending money, committing hundreds of millions more, signing agreements, running field programs, and applying for federal permits. Alaska, this is real work, not just a pipe dream. This is reliable, affordable gas to Alaskans — and gas to overseas markets, putting revenue into our state treasury.

ANNOUNCEMENT: The Town of Inuvik is preparing to host the first annual Arctic Energy & Emerging Technologies Conference and tradeshow June 13-16. 2016. This relevant and timely event will replace the Inuvik Petroleum Show which has been welcoming delegates and attendees to the Beaufort Delta for more than a decade.  The first Inuvik Petroleum Show (IPS) was held in the year 2000. The original purpose of the conference and tradeshow was to bring together industry, businesses, and communities that would be involved in the Mackenzie Gas Pipeline. The intent was to build capacity of local people and businesses as well as establish relationships between stakeholders that would be necessary through the duration of this project.  Since the year 2000, the Inuvik Petroleum Show has been a marquee event for the oil and gas industry and has played a significant role in the local economy. It has also been a core operational mandate of the Economic 
Development & Tourism Department at the Town of Inuvik for the last decade. Significant contributions from various 
departments within the Town of Inuvik including staffing, labour, and show management have been attributed to the 
realization of this event.
 
ADN Op-Ed by Joe Balash (NGP Photo).  Bill Walker left a few things out of the story during his stroll down memory lane.  In a recent opinion piece in these pages, he contrasted his own approach to LNG development with Governor (Sean) Parnell’s. Despite conceding his long history of failure in attempting to commercialize North Slope gas, Walker claims he’d do better than Parnell by bringing transparency and collaboration to the table -- this from the man whose Alaska Gasline Port Authority keeps its agreements secret and whose approach to business centers more around the courtroom than the bargaining table.
 
Today's Consumer Energy Alliance Energy Links:
Albuquerque Business First: Energy sales require a lot of wheels *CEA Mention
As the production of oil and gas in New Mexico continues to grow, finding a way of getting those resources to market is a major question for the industry. Johnny R. Johnson, managing director of the New Mexico Trucking Association, is also a member of the Consumer Energy Alliance and deals with that issue on a daily basis.
Circulation/Audience: 4,217
 
KWGS-FM (Public Radio Tulsa): News Radio * Natalie Joubert Interview 
Tulsa, Oklahoma’s National Public Radio station runs story on low gas prices in the metro area and across the nation, interviewing Natalie Joubert regarding the trend and when she believes it may change.
 
Natural Gas Now: Energy Day in Houston, Education in Pennsylvania *CEA Mention
A trip to Houston to participate in “Energy Day” fills attendees with ideas for building a foundation for expanded energy education in Pennsylvania.
 
New York Times: Economists See Limited Gains in GOP Plan
Anticipating a takeover of Congress, Republicans have assembled an economic agenda that reflects their small-government, antiregulation philosophy, but also suggests internal divisions that could hinder a united front against President Obama — much as happened in the 1990s, when a Republican-led Congress confronted President Bill Clinton. The proposals would mainly benefit energy industries, reduce taxes and regulations for businesses generally, and continue the attack on the Affordable Care Act. It is a mix that leaves many economists, including several conservatives, underwhelmed.
 
Investor’s Business Daily: If GOP Wins Congress, What Are Its 2015 Priorities?
There is no Republican Contract with America in 2014 or plan for the first 100 days if the party can regain control of Congress. For the most part, the GOP has been content to turn the battle for the Senate into a referendum on President Obama, while Democratic candidates have tried their best to distance themselves from the White House
 
Great Falls Tribune: There's hope: Just 11 days 'til Election Day
Congressional debates are done, and it’s only 11 days until the Nov. 4 general election in Montana. But it makes for a strange election when ballots go out nearly a month before Election Day. Is this really the best way to run an election?
 
One News Now: On campaign trail, can Keystone controversy at least get lip service?
The Keystone XL pipeline is not seen as having an impact on this year's mid-term elections, and depending on the people you ask, that's okay.
 
Fuel Fix: Oil producers unite to lobby for crude exports
The nation’s largest independent oil companies are banding together to lobby for the right to export crude around the world.
 
Bloomberg: U.S. Oil Seen as Buffer for Global Prices and Supply
U.S. oil output is buffering global crude prices and critical to the world’s supply balance amid the threat of disruptions, even as a ban on domestic exports remains in place, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said.
 
Washington Times: Shale booming despite liberal protestations
The U.S. oil and gas industry is thriving despite efforts by the Obama administration and liberal environmental groups to undermine fossil fuel development and production, according to a Senate report released Thursday.
 
The Hil More shale oil means lower gasoline prices
Naysayers said it was almost impossible to produce enough U.S. oil to significantly lower gasoline prices. But surging oil production from the shale oil formations of Texas, North Dakota and now Ohio have put that argument to bed.
 
Wall Street Journal: The Oil Price Swoon Won’t Stop the Shale Boom
With oil prices sliding, energy investors are worried, while Saudi Arabia and Russia no doubt hope, that low prices will cap America’s boom in shale-oil production. Green-energy types sit by, happy to see turmoil in the fossil-fuel sector. True enough, sellers of any product prefer high prices to low; but the current slump sets the stage for what I call America’s shale boom 2.0.
 
Daily Caller: Report Details How WH, Enviros Conspiring to Stop Energy Boom
President Obama has long been touting the U.S. oil and natural gas boom as the product of his administration’s “all of the above” energy plan. But a new report from Senate Republicans claims the White House supports oil and gas drilling publicly while partnering behind the scenes with eco-activists to regulate it out of existence.
 
Washington Post: Gas prices are tumbling, that’s not necessarily a good thing
This growth in U.S. tight oil — a light crude that is trapped in dense, hard-to-reach rock — has come on fast. It only really got going around 2008, launched by advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — the same technology that created the shale gas boom.
 
Reuters: California getting more Bakken crude by barge than rail
Shipments of Bakken crude oil from North Dakota to California by barge have quietly overtaken those by train for the first time, showing how the state's isolated refiners are using any means necessary to tap into the nation's shale oil boom.
 
Bloomberg: U.S. Energy Exports to Top Imports by 2025, WoodMac Says
U.S. companies will export more energy than they import by 2025 as shale oil and gas production keeps climbing and the transportation sector becomes more efficient, Wood Mackenzie Ltd. said in a note today.
 
The Washington Times: Fracking industry booming despite liberal protestations
The U.S. oil and gas industry is thriving despite efforts by the Obama administration and liberal environmental groups to undermine fossil fuel development and production, according to a Senate report released Thursday.
 
National Review Online: Not Just a Fracking Ban
Under the guise of an anti-fracking initiative, environmental groups in two California counties have sneaked into a ballot measure language that would impose sweeping restrictions on the entire energy sector, banning even conventional oil- and gas-production methods that do not involve fracking and have been safely used for decades.
 
Wall Street Journal: The ‘Colorado Model’ Goes Thud
Mr. Udall ran as an independent yet says he’d vote for ObamaCare again. He claims to be a “best of the above” energy guy, but he refused to endorse the popular Keystone XL pipeline and only belatedly came out against anti-fracking ballot initiatives that have crippled a new mainstay of the Colorado economy.
 
Boulder Weekly: Is the way the State handles oil & gas complaints criminal?
Among the pieces of information she was given, she says, was that all of the ingredients for fracking fluid can be found in a grocery store, which, given ammonia and rat poison can be found at the grocery store, she calls a ridiculous argument.
 
ABC Denver: Hickenlooper, Beauprez trade barbs in gubernatorial debate
After a late arrival on-stage for Governor Hickenlooper, both men shook hands and began with the topic of fracking and related ballot initiatives that were killed this past summer.
 
Innovation Trail: Cuomo says fracking study will be out by year's end
During Wednesday’s only gubernatorial debate, Governor Cuomo said that the long awaited health review on potential dangers of hydrofracking will be completed by the end of the year.
 
Pittsburgh Business Times: Corbett signs bill requiring House, Senate OKs on carbon emissions plan
Gov. Tom Corbett has signed into law a bill requiring both the state House and Senate approve Pennsylvania's forthcoming plan for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
 
Tribune Review: Penn Twp. board OKs HF regulations
Under new regulations that now are in effect in Penn Township, Marcellus shale drilling rigs and fracking ponds are banned from residential and commercial areas — but companies are allowed to conduct horizontal drilling across almost all of the township.
 
Meadville Tribune: Shale key issue in race for governor
Drillers seriously started fracking in Pennsylvania seven years ago, launching a swell in natural gas production that also tapped new sources of cash for the state.
 
WV Gazette: Marcellus jobs report needs work, state researcher says
A legislatively mandated survey meant to measure whether West Virginia residents are getting the jobs created by the Marcellus Shale natural gas boom needs a lot of work if it’s going to give a solid answer on the issue, according to the state researcher who does the study.
 
Bloomberg BNA: Opponents Plan to File Lawsuits If Texas City Passes Measure to Ban Fracking
The residents of Denton, Texas, will vote on a ballot measure Nov. 4 that would ban hydraulic fracturing within the city limits, but the debate on the oil and gas drilling practice probably won't end on election night.
 
Dallas Morning News: Hydraulic fracturing as technological game changer?
When combined with the technique of drilling wells horizontally – not vertically – fracking as it is known has revolutionized the U.S. oil and gas sector. But does it count as a technological breakthrough on the order of the microchip or the refrigerator?
 
Alaska Dispatch News: Begich, Sullivan spar over natural resources in US Senate debate
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and Republican opponent Dan Sullivan took their typical campaign themes to a new venue on Thursday, as the two squared off at a natural resources-focused debate sponsored by groups representing the mining, timber and oil industries, among others.
 
Politico Pro: EPA Asks Court to Toss Murry Lawsuit Over Climate Regs
EPA has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to toss a case over its proposed greenhouse gas rule for existing power plants, arguing that the rule won't be ripe for judicial review until the final regulation is issued next year. EPA is taking public comment on every issue that coal company Murray Energy raised in the case and hasn't yet had an opportunity to respond, the agency wrote. If the court reviewed the rule now, it would deprive others the opportunity to weigh in on the rule, EPA said. The agency also pointed to two recent court decisions to dismiss cases brought against EPA's proposed greenhouse gas rule for new power plants.
 
Georgetown University: EPA Head Gina McCarthy to Speak at Georgetown Friday
Administrator Gina McCarthy will speak on the future of energy and the environment at Georgetown’s 2014 LEAD Conference Oct. 24.
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