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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


11-3-15 Alaska's Senate Approves TransCanada LNG Buyout As the US State Department Ignores TransCanada's Keystone XL Request

03 November 2015 6:14am

More Critical Alaska LNG hearings TODAY.  Tune in live, here.  Decisions are about to be made!

Alert: late this morning the Senate passed CSSB3001 following yesterday's approval by the Senate Finance Committee.  The measure gives Alaska's governor the LNG project appropriations he requested in spite of many legislative concerns about his handling of the project to date.

Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux's angry floor speech taking Attorney General to task (We agree with her comments.  -dh)​

Here is our written testimony, provided to the House Finance Committee yesterday evening.

From our Consumer Energy Alliance friends of Alaska, comes this alert about an Anchorage BOEM Hearing next MONDAY.  Let's Comment TODAY!  Then arrive before 6:30 Monday to get a good seat and read your testimony!  Make it short and sweet, from the heart and about your family and livelihood. It's Easy.  Support our Liberty Field production and enhanced TAPS throughput!  -dh


Our Commentary And Our Guru's: Growth of Electric Cars and UBER May Be Bad For Oil But Good For Natural Gas Producers and LNG Transporters


Speak Out in Support of Alaska's Economy

Policymakers in Washington need to hear from you in support of Alaskan energy production! 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is holding a public meeting in Anchorage on Monday, November 9 from 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. (Embassy Suites at 600 E. Benson Blvd.) to get public comments on the potential development of the Liberty oilfield, located in shallow waters off Alaska’s northern coast. 

Alaska needs this!
Please come to tell BOEM to promptly complete its regulatory review and environmental analysis of this proposed project.
Key Points to tell BOEM:

  • The Liberty oilfield is estimated to contain up to 150 million barrels of oil, enough to replace imports of crude from Russia and the United Arab Emirates for ~13 years! 
  • Access to new sources of crude will help maintain the long-term operational viability of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System.   
  • Development and production of the Liberty oilfield will provide Alaskans and the nation with economic and societal benefits and good, high-paying jobs.
  • The central element of this project -- construction of a self-contained island that connects to land by pipeline -- has been proven to be a safe and effective method for developing energy resources in the Alaskan Beaufort, with four other such islands having been built and utilized over the course of nearly three decades.

Also, don’t forget to tell Washington to allow America to develop its Alaskan energy resources by sending a formal letter before the public comment period closes!


CBC News.  TransCanada Corporation has asked the U.S. State Department to pause its review of the presidential permit application for the Keystone XL pipeline.  Much more here....  


Commentary: Sure the growth of electric cars is bad for oil and refined gasoline products, but what a blessing for gas producers--and our readers following US and Canadian LNG projects.  Coal used to generate about half of US electricity -- the cheapest half -- but is rapidly being replaced with natural gas.  That trend is moving on a faster and steeper curve owing to the abundant domestic production of shale gas.  Below is additional insight from our Mid-Atlantic O&G analyst friend who commented on this recent article on the subject.  -dh

Last week a colleague (and reader) posed the following question to us:Have you seen anything published on self driving cars' impact on fuel demand?”  In our true research style, we kicked the question to Allen, and Allen delves into the topic in the attached Musings. We did add, however, that we see Uber (and eventual competitors to that business model) as being at least as great a threat to gasoline demand. Whereas the technology for mass use of electric cars still has to overcome the need for mass fueling stations and a lower recharge time for batteries (and/or longer range between charges), Uber has no such infrastructure hurdle to overcome. A cheap, quick, reliable driving service is the ultimate commoditization of the car.

We then ran across the excellent blog post linked below, the heart of which is printed for the time-constrained. The author links the electric car to the Uber service. It makes a lot of sense, and it is certainly a possible trend to watch.

Bottom Line: Uber is not just a threat to the taxi business, it is a threat to the automotive and gasoline industries.


Here is written testimony we provided to the House Finance Committee yesterday evening.



11-2-15 Shell's $7 Billion Chukchi Effort A "Dry Hole", Predecessor Mistake; Analyst Calls Chukchi Shell's "Strategic Mistep"

02 November 2015 2:48am

More Critical Alaska LNG hearings Monday.  Tune in live, here!

Find Latest LNG Updates Here

News Briefs From Former Alaska Gas Pipeline Federal Coordinator, Larry Persily

We appreciate comment from the Transportation Institute, represented by our longtime reader, Rich Berkowitz.  -dh

This pronouncement from Shell's CEO, Ben van Beurden, is the first time I have heard mention of a "dry hole" with respect to Shell's Arctic drilling.  It is discouraging, to say the least.

"In a conference call with journalists on Thursday, Mr. van Beurden said the well that Shell drilled in the Chukchi Sea this summer was “a dry hole” and “a major disappointment,” but that it was “very conclusive” and made further expensive drilling unnecessary. He added the company was “demobilizing” its fleet of drill ships and support vessels there and winding down the operation.

Mr. van Beurden also criticized the licensing process in the United States, saying that the American authorities “should simplify and modify the permitting process” if they have the ambition to further develop oil in the area. On Thursday, Shell said it was taking $2.6 billion in write-offs for Alaska."

Richard Berkowitz

Director, Operations

Transportation Institute

(206) 419-6691



Shell's $7 Billion Chuckchi Effort A "Dry Hole", Predecessor Mistake; Analyst Calls Chukchi Shell's "Strategic Mistep"

New York Times by Stanley Reed.   ...   Analysts say that Mr. van Beurden is trying to clean up mistakes by his predecessors and that doing so could allow Shell to focus on its strengths in liquefied natural gas and deepwater oil projects.

“Getting out of previous strategic missteps (Alaska, shale, more oil sands) via the impairments is a necessary evil,” Oswald Clint, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein in London, wrote in a note to clients on Thursday.

In a conference call with journalists on Thursday, Mr. van Beurden said the well that Shell drilled in the Chukchi Sea this summer was “a dry hole” and “a major disappointment,” but that it was “very conclusive” and made further expensive drilling unnecessary. He added the company was “demobilizing” its fleet of drill ships and support vessels there and winding down the operation.

Mr. van Beurden also criticized the licensing process in the United States, saying that the American authorities “should simplify and modify the permitting process” if they have the ambition to further develop oil in the area. On Thursday, Shell said it was taking $2.6 billion in write-offs for Alaska.

WSJ by BILL SPINDLE and ERIN AILWORTH.  As a financial storm lashes the U.S. oil patch, energy companies are seeking shelter in the closest thing the industry has to a port: a sprawling expanse of West Texas known as the Permian Basin.  (Comment: Do Alaskans think this world-wide trend will not affect TAPS throughput, Alaska's budget or the Ak-LNG project?  -dh)

Legislative Hearings: LNG updates:

ADN by Pat Forgey.  TransCanada has been trying to bring Alaska's vast natural gas reserves to market for decades, but now the pipeline company that was once viewed as Alaska's savior is on the verge of ending a high-profile relationship with the state.  Gov. Bill Walker is asking the Legislature for money and authority to buy out TransCanada's investment

US News & World Report/AP.  Legislative consultants say the financial case for keeping or shedding TransCanada is too close to be persuasive, given all the uncertainties at this early stage. They say the decision should focus on strategic considerations.


ADN by Pat Forgey.   Gov. Bill Walker is asking the Legislature for money and authority to buy out TransCanada's investment in a proposed 800-mile natural gas pipeline to a liquefaction plant and liquefied natural gas export terminal in Nikiski. Legislators already have spent a week in special session considering the question.

That decision may result in TransCanada going its own way and focusing its efforts on its own plan to export Canadian LNG from Prince Rupert, British Columbia.    



Oil and gas news briefs for Nov. 2, 2015

Global LNG oversupply leads to more spot sales and trading
(Reuters; Oct. 30) - Producers and importers of liquefied natural gas are preparing to trade the fuel more actively on a spot basis as a looming supply surplus threatens to overwhelm decades-old contracts and push prices lower. With 130 million metric tons of additional LNG capacity in Australia and North America by 2020, producers and traditional buyers such as Japanese utilities have expanded trading teams to handle excess cargo flows and navigate a more open market.
Excess supply, along with rising demand, is key to establishing a liquid commodity market, as opposed to times of tight conditions when producers and consumers tend to enter long-term fixed supply agreements rather than trade openly. "Buyers will be able to have their choice ... (of) very large supply sources that can deliver pretty much at a moment's notice," Cheniere Energy CEO Charif Souki said this week at a conference in Singapore. Cheniere is set to start up its LNG plant at Sabine Pass, La., in January
LNG market ‘a train wreck happening in slow motion,’ says analyst
(Wall Street Journal; Oct. 30) – With liquefied natural gas prices slumping and demand in key consuming countries like China looking shaky, the energy industry’s optimism seems to have fizzled. In recent years, oil and gas majors have invested billions of dollars in LNG projects in countries such as Australia and Qatar, while vast sums have been spent on plants that turn LNG back into gas in consuming countries, all in the belief that demand for the fuel would rise rapidly. It hasn’t quite worked out as planned.
The pessimism surrounding the LNG industry was unmistakable at this week’s annual Gastech conference in Singapore. One regular attendee, an LNG strategist at a Malaysian energy company, said she had never been to a gloomier energy event. “The entire industry is worried because it is hard to tell when China’s demand will pick up again. Rising demand from smaller countries such as Pakistan, Egypt and Bangladesh is not enough to offset the declining demand from north Asia,” she said.
LNG prices are certainly in a funk. Two years ago, gas to Japan and Korea sold at $15 to $16 per million Btu. This month, cargoes are selling for $6.65. LNG prices are like “a train wreck happening in slow motion,” said Neil Tomnay, global head of gas and LNG research at Wood Mackenzie. Suppliers cannot rely on China’s rapid industrialization to soak up extra gas, with economic growth there dawdling. The industry now believes China won’t need all the LNG it has contracted to buy, Tomnay said. In line with his comments, PetroChina and CNOOC offered three LNG cargoes for resale last month.
Reuters analysis shows low prices undercut LNG economics
(Reuters; Oct. 29) - When Cheniere Energy opened its liquefied natural gas import terminal in Louisiana in 2008, a U.S. shale drilling boom soon made it obsolete. Seven years on, with the firm about to open an export plant on the same site, the timing, again, is far from ideal. A Reuters analysis shows that a slump in oil prices and glut of LNG threaten to undercut the economics of U.S. gas exports, crimp shippers' profits and possibly reduce demand for facilities such as Cheniere's $12 billion Sabine Pass plant.
New supply across the globe, faltering demand and a steep drop in oil-linked LNG prices will make short-term, or spot, deliveries of U.S. gas to markets in Europe and Asia unprofitable next year, according to the Reuters calculations. The calculations, corroborated by analysts, raise questions about the profitability of short-term shipments not just from Sabine Pass but from the four other U.S. export plants under construction.
The other U.S. projects are in Maryland, Louisiana and two in Texas, all set to go online between 2017 and 2019. "U.S. LNG will materialize at a time when the biggest market (Japan) is witnessing a demand reduction and when supply is growing again massively thanks to Australia," said Thierry Bros, senior gas analyst at Societe Generale. "This is the worst possible timing for this new LNG that has no dedicated market."
Low prices will spur increased LNG demand, Barclays says
(Energy Wire; Oct. 29) – New liquefied natural gas export terminals and expansions will be put on hold as players reassess the market, a Barclays research note argues. "Most of the demand outlooks we have seen were based on the expectation that LNG prices were going to be in the teens," the analysts wrote, referring to prices that prevailed as recently as a year ago before the oil and gas price crash. "If it is going to remain in the $7 to $9 (per million Btu) range, we think these demand outlooks are understated."

But many analysts expect crude prices to recover in the next year or two, rising to a $70 range. Meanwhile, spot and contract LNG prices will likely remain depressed, they said, due to factors including those lagging averages, the flood of new LNG supplies coming online and excess supply turned away by buyers. "When crude prices recover and LNG prices don't follow suit, we think fertilizer, power and petrochemical industries are going to have to seriously consider switching from higher-cost feedstocks such as naphtha and fuel oil," the analysts wrote, with a resultant surge in gas demand.
Yamal LNG continues work to secure financing
(Reuters; Oct. 29) - A deal to raise financing for the Novatek-led Yamal LNG project in the Russian Arctic is in its final stages, the chairman of Gazprombank, Andrey Akimov, told Reuters. Gazprombank is a co-lender to Yamal LNG on the Russian side, along with Sberbank. State development bank VEB has pledged $3 billion in banking guarantees to the $27 billion project that is under construction.
Akimov said Chinese lenders are set to provide $12 billion, Russian banks $4 billion, and export credit agencies are expected to put up $4 billion. He said he planned to travel to China in early November for talks on the deal. But Akimov’s reassurances run contrary to reports in Kommersant, a Russian business daily, which reported Oct. 29 that Yamal is having trouble with financing. The Russian, French and Chinese partners have already put up $10 billion, leaving at least $17 billion still to be financed.
Novatek has been negotiating with Chinese banks for more than a year, the newspaper reported. Sources say that the main cause for the delay in negotiations is a very high interest rate on bank loans in China. The newspaper refers to sources saying that Novatek, which cannot attract financing in dollars due to the Western sanctions against Russia for its role in the Ukraine conflict, hopes to get the money from European export agencies because that would be cheaper than attracting the loans from Chinese banks.
Qatar expects long-term LNG demand growth at 2% a year
(Gulf Times; Qatar; Oct. 28) - The longer-term fundamentals for natural gas and LNG look bright amid new market dynamics and price volatility, a senior Qatargas executive said. Qatargas chief operating officer Alaa Abujbara presented at Gastech 2015 in Singapore, focusing on recent changes in global gas and LNG markets and changes expected over the medium to long term. He said the energy sector was going through a “fundamental re-balancing,” characterized by “new market dynamics and price volatility.”
Excess LNG will go where it can best compete with coal, analyst says
(Reuters; Oct. 28) - What's well known is that a wave of new liquefied natural gas is about to swamp already well-supplied markets. What's less known is how these cargoes will be absorbed. The assumption has always been that China would soak up vast quantities of the fuel, driven by rising energy demand and the need to switch from more polluting coal. But this view has been challenged by China's slowing growth and by evidence that gas is failing to make the anticipated inroads into China's energy markets, mainly as it remains a higher-cost option for industry, consumers and power generators.
China is key player in coal-to-gas switching
(Reuters; Oct. 29) – A wave of liquefied natural gas due to hit energy markets over the next couple of years is expected to displace tens of millions of tons coal demand globally, helped by government initiatives to move away from polluting power generation. Both coal and LNG are oversupplied after higher prices during the past decade triggered investments in new projects and expansion plans. That new supply arrived just as demand weakened.
At the same time the gap between their prices has narrowed as LNG has become more competitive, particularly where governments penalize coal via taxes or emissions trading schemes. "There is a monstrous amount of LNG coming into the market, on pure cost economics you can say coal is cheaper than LNG at any realistic price, but it (the gas) is going to be used somewhere and if it is coming in the volume that's forecast it will be displacing coal," a coal trader said.
Cheniere signs 5-year deal to sell LNG to French company
(Bloomberg; Oct. 28) - Engie has agreed to buy liquefied natural gas from Cheniere Energy, increasing the importance of France as a market for U.S. gas. The Houston-based company will ship as many as 12 LNG cargoes a year to France’s Montoir-de-Bretagne regasification terminal under a five-year contract, Engie said Oct. 28. The deliveries, on an ex-ship basis, will start in 2018 at prices linked to northern European markets, Engie said. The LNG can alternatively be shipped to other European terminals.
Australia LNG project set for November start-up
(Sydney Morning Herald; Oct. 30) - Origin Energy has confirmed November as the date for the long-awaited start-up of its $24.7 billion Australia Pacific LNG project in Queensland, making it the third of the state's huge coal-seam gas projects to begin production this year. Origin's head of integrated gas, David Baldwin, said the first liquefied natural gas would be shipped from the plant "a few weeks thereafter.”
Company targets 2016 for decision on African floating LNG project
(Reuters; Oct. 29) – London-based Ophir Energy expects to make a final investment decision in 2016 for its floating liquefied natural gas project off Equatorial Guinea, a senior executive said Oct. 29. Oliver Quinn, director of new business for Ophir, told an industry conference that first gas production from the project would come by the middle of 2019. The offshore operation would produce 2.2 million metric tons of LNG per year.
Eni still plans Mozambique floating LNG decision this year
(Reuters; Oct. 30) - Italy's Eni said Oct. 30 it was still looking to secure debt financing for its Coral LNG offshore project in Mozambique and will make a final investment decision on the development by year-end. Eni is in discussions to secure 60 to 70 percent debt financing for the project, Ferruccio Taverna, vice president for Eni in Mozambique, said at an industry conference in Singapore.
First Nation says B.C. approval of LNG plant premature
(The Canadian Press; Oct. 28) - The Squamish Nation says the B.C. government's conditional approval of a proposed liquefied natural gas export facility north of Vancouver did not fully assess how the project would impact its aboriginal rights. Chief Ian Campbell said the province granted an environmental assessment certificate for the Woodfibre LNG plant this week without full consultation with the First Nation.
Campbell said the Squamish Nation is looking forward to further discussions with the government because many of its own conditions for approving the facility are different than those set out in the certificate. The Squamish Nation has expressed concern about the impact on fish in Howe Sound. The B.C. Environment Ministry has said Woodfibre LNG must continue to work with aboriginal groups.                                                 
B.C. LNG developer appeals federal import duty on plant
(Business in Vancouver; Oct. 27) - If Canadian liquefied natural gas projects are to avoid the cost overruns that Australia experienced, they might need to have some of the fabrication done offshore, rather than try to build everything on site, according to a recent analysis by KPMG. But one company that’s trying to do just that has had a $75 million hurdle placed in its path by the federal government in the form of a customs duty on a floating LNG plant, and as a result is postponing a final investment decision.
Qatar largest LNG and condensate exporter in the world
(Arabian Oil and Gas; Oct. 26) - Qatar, the world's second-largest exporter of natural gas (behind only Russia), exported nearly 4.3 trillion cubic feet in 2014, almost all of it as liquefied natural gas — making the country the world's largest LNG exporter in 2014 at 32 percent of global supply, according to a recent country report released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Most of Qatar's exports go to Asia.
Qatar has more than 90 percent of its LNG production volumes committed through 2021. Due to a self-imposed moratorium on new projects, however, Qatar's production has plateaued and could begin to decline soon. 
Hawaii Gas still wants to bring bulk LNG to the islands
(The Garden Island; Hawaii; Oct. 25) - Hawaii Gas is continuing with its plans to bring liquefied natural gas in bulk to Hawaii. Joseph Boivin Jr., senior vice president, said LNG will be the premier energy source going forward in Hawaii. It’s cleaner than petroleum products, cheaper, environmentally friendly and there’s plenty of it. “We want to bring larger-scale natural gas to the islands,” he said during a recent visit to Kauai.
LNG ship builder says market will pick up
(Bloomberg; Oct. 29) – South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, the world’s second-biggest shipbuilder, expects demand for liquefied natural gas carriers to return next year as global efforts to reduce greenhouse gases increase the need for cleaner fuel. More industries will look at using gas to replace other fuels, Kim Nam Soo, deputy director of the company’s ship design department, said in Singapore.


11-1-15 Link to today's Alaska LNG Legislative hearings

01 November 2015 5:14am

More Critical Alaska LNG hearings today.  Tune in live, here!

AP's Becky Bohrer explains the Alaska LNG challenge that the Legislature grapples with this month in Juneau.  -dh

APR, Rachel Waldholz. ​Who’s the boss of Alaska LNG? I am, Walker says.  As lawmakers close out the first week of their special session on the Alaska LNG gas line project, there’s one question in the air — why are we still here?

Steve Butt, ExxonMobil, AKLng, Alaska LNG Project, Special Legislative Session, Photo by Dave HarbourJuneau Empire by James Brooks.  Alaska LNG project head, Steve Butt (NGP Photo) says project is on course.


KTUU by Austin Baird.  TransCanada: Alaska LNG Project no longer 'commercially reasonable' for company

Alaska Headlamp Report to date

 Who's the Boss? The Associated Press and Alaska Public Radio Network covered reports that lawmakers are waiting on Governor Bill Walker to produce details of how, and who, from the state would assume TransCanada's role in the AKLNG pipeline and gas treatment plant. House Speaker Mike Chenault put it this way: "While I respect the governor, I don't think that he has the time to be in charge of the state and also the gas pipeline project and do a good job with both…there needs to be somebody in the administration where the legislature or Alaskans can go to and say, 'What's going on? Where are we at? And, give us an answer!'" The Governor noted that while he is not involved in day to day negotiations, he speaks weekly with counterparts at the state's three oil company partners and gets daily phone updates from officials.  There appears to be a common line of questioning this special session:

Can We Get a Straight Answer? Attorney General Craig Richards again cited attorney client privilege in front of yesterday's Senate Finance Committee. Senator MacKinnon and the Attorney General were involved in more than a few testy exchanges as members of the Committee looked for more clarity in the leadership at AGDC.  Senator MacKinnon asked AG Richards if she could call AGDC President Dan Fauske and request he waive that privilege, to which Richards responded "I don't know if he has the authority."  Headlamp wonders if anyone other the Governor and his Attorney General have any authority on AKLNG anymore.

No longer "commercially reasonable". KTUU covered reports that TransCanada supports the governor's plan to buy its share of the Alaska LNG Project because "it is no longer commercially reasonable" to continue with the current arrangement, according to an official who testified Thursday in the Capitol. Lawmakers questioned whether the statement implies that Alaska LNG itself wasn't viable, to which a TransCanada official responded, "The project, as far as we see it, still has a lot of potential."Headlamp notes the difference between "reasonable" and "viable".  The project is still viable at this stage – the arrangement with the state is no longer reasonable according to TC. 

First Reads

Senate majority wants exit plan for TransCanada; Walker says he's got it
Alaska Public Radio Network, Rachel Waldholz, October 30, 2015

Alaska Legislature News 

Endowment plan for Permanent Fund would add stability to chaotic budget
Alaska Dispatch News, October 31, 2015


TransCanada: Alaska LNG Project no longer 'commercially reasonable' for company
KTUU, Austin Baird, October 30, 2015 

 Follow us on Twitter @AKHeadlamp.

AK Headlamp is a project of the Alaska Support Industry Alliance.



10-31-15 Murkowski sharply criticizes the Obama administration’s actions to block energy

31 October 2015 10:03am

More Critical Alaska LNG hearings today.  Tune in live, here!

Sen. Murkowski Draws National Attention to Alaska’s Energy Priorities

Energy Committee Chairman Delivers Weekly Republican Address

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today highlighted Alaska’s energy priorities as she delivered the weekly Republican address to the nation. In her remarks, Murkowski sharply criticized the Obama administration’s actions to block energy production in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A), the non-wilderness portion of ANWR, and offshore, while bringing attention to the barrage of destructive regulations coming from the EPA.

“Since taking office, the Obama administration has repeatedly denied Alaska’s best opportunities to produce energy for our nation and the world. It has blocked production in half of our National Petroleum Reserve, which was specifically designated for energy development. It is locking away the non-wilderness portion of ANWR, where an estimated 10 billion barrels of oil could be produced from just 2,000 acres. In the Chukchi Sea, the constantly-shifting regulatory environment recently forced a company to abandon seven years of work and $7 billion in investment. And instead of recognizing that as a significant loss, the administration doubled down last week by canceling offshore lease sales in the region,” Murkowski said.

Murkowski’s address, part of her efforts to educate the American people about Alaskans’ needs and opportunities, played to a national audience in all 50 states. She explained to the country that the administration’s decisions have come despite strong opposition from the vast majority of Alaskans, and will have economic consequences felt long into the future.

“All of these decisions ignore the will of hard-working Alaskans, who overwhelmingly support new production. The administration is opening the door for Iranian oil production, but closing it on Alaskan oil. And while the consequences are not yet evident, they will be,” Murkowski said. “These decisions mean fewer jobs, less security for our country, and more of our dollars going overseas. They threaten the safe operation of our Trans-Alaska Pipeline, a national security asset that is just one-third full. And it is only a matter of time until the administration applies this short-sighted strategy to the rest of our nation.”     

Murkowski, as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, has written and advanced legislation to increase oil production on the North Slope and to stop overreaching federal regulations that will harm the state. 

Murkowski noted that the anti-development decisions she highlighted in the address are only some of the instances where the Obama Administration is negatively impacting the health and prosperity of Alaskans: also on the list are the Interior Department’s decision to deny a life-saving road for the residents of King Cove; policies that continue to decimate the Southeast timber industry; unnecessary land management restrictions such as the “Areas of Critical Environmental Concern” proposed for northern Alaska; the proposed Stream Protection Rule that would put almost every Alaska placer miner out of work; and more.

Murkowski concluded the address by highlighting her commitment to bipartisan consensus on common sense solutions that will benefit Alaska. She specifically noted the strong bipartisan support that her broad energy bill – the Energy Policy Modernization Act – drew when it was reported by the Energy Committee earlier this year.

“Moving forward, Republicans hope that President Obama will work with Congress on policies that can draw bipartisan support. That’s the best way to help states like Alaska.  And it’s the best way to protect our future – our economy, our security, and our environment,” Murkowski said.

Murkowski is the sponsor of S. 494, the Authorizing Alaska Production Act, which would open roughly 0.01% of the surface acreage of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to responsible oil and gas production. She is also the sponsor of S. 2011, the Offshore Production for Energizing National Security Act, which would provide revenue sharing for offshore production and mandate offshore lease sales in Alaska. Murkowski is working hard to recruit additional support for both bills, and today’s address was the next step in those efforts. 

The Weekly Republican Address is available in both audio and video format and is embargoed until 2 a.m. Alaska Standard Time/6 a.m. EST, Saturday, October 31, 2015. The audio of the address is available here, the video will be available here, and you may download the addresshere.

A full transcript of the address follows: 

“Hi, I’m Lisa Murkowski.  And I’m honored to represent Alaska in the U.S. Senate, where I chair the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.                                                       

“It’s been a pretty good week in Congress – with the House of Representatives welcoming a new speaker, Paul Ryan, and the Senate passing a major bill to protect our nation’s cyber security.

“What I want to talk with you about today, though, is another key national security issue – energy.  And I want to highlight what is happening in my home state, because it foreshadows challenges to come all across our nation.

“Since taking office, the Obama Administration has repeatedly denied Alaska’s best opportunities to produce energy for our nation and the world.

“It has blocked production in half of our National Petroleum Reserve, which was specifically designated for energy development.

“It is locking away the non-wilderness portion of ANWR, where an estimated 10 billion barrels of oil could be produced from just 2,000 acres. 

“In the Chukchi Sea, the constantly-shifting regulatory environment recently forced a company to abandon seven years of work and $7 billion in investment.

“And instead of recognizing that as a significant loss, the Administration doubled down last week by canceling offshore lease sales in the region.                                                                 

“All of these decisions ignore the will of hard-working Alaskans, who overwhelmingly support new production.  The Administration is opening the door for Iranian oil production, but closing it on Alaskan oil.  And while the consequences are not yet evident, they will be.   

"These decisions mean fewer jobs, less security for our country, and more of our dollars going overseas.  They threaten the safe operation of our Trans-Alaska Pipeline, a national security asset that is just one-third full.  And, it is only a matter of time until the Administration applies this short-sighted strategy to the rest of our nation.    

“With prices low, we need to open the areas where it is most cost-effective to produce energy.  We need to modernize our policies and open our markets.  And we need to avoid overly burdensome regulations.  

“Unfortunately, the Administration is charting a different course.  The EPA and other agencies are issuing a barrage of regulations that will have limited environmental benefit, but will absolutely reduce our ability to produce energy here at home.

“For example, the EPA’s new ozone standards will provide little in the way of health benefits, while costing billions to comply.

“Its climate regulations will shutter power plants across the country – raising electricity costs and threatening the reliability of our electric grid.

“And the ‘Waters of the United States’ rule, the WOTUS, a massive expansion of federal regulatory powers, could allow the EPA to regulate drainage ditches and occasional ponds.

“There is a better path.  There is no reason why our energy policy should be so divisive.  And that’s why I am working hard to forge bipartisan consensus on policies that will keep energy affordable and abundant, as it becomes cleaner and cleaner. 

“To give you one promising example, those of us on the Energy Committee have developed a broad bill that will save energy, promote innovation, invest in critical infrastructure, and boost our energy trade – among many other benefits.  It passed out of our Committee with a strong bipartisan vote. We have also gathered bipartisan support to end the outdated ban on crude oil exports.

“Moving forward, Republicans hope that President Obama will work with Congress on policies like these that can draw bipartisan support.

“That’s the best way to help states like Alaska.  And it’s the best way to protect our future – our economy, our security, and our environment.

“Thanks so much for listening.”





10-30-15 End Of Week Alaska LNG Project News

30 October 2015 9:31am

More Critical Alaska LNG hearings today.  Tune in live, here!

  Alaska Gasline Development Corporation
Daily update ⋅ October 30, 2015


Alaska LNG
Daily update ⋅ October 31, 2015
Neighbors weigh-in on the impacts of the Alaska LNG project
Nikiski resident Bill Warren gives comments to members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee during a meeting on the Alaska LNG project on ...
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TransCanada pulls out of Alaska LNG
Alberta-based TransCanada has said the energy company has agreed to leave the $55-60 billion Alaska LNG project in a "mutual dissolution" with the ...
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Port MacKenzie director wants LNG pipeline project to use alternate route
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is holding public meetings across the State of Alaska to hear concerns about the environmental impact of ...
KNBA News - State buyout of TransCanada seems inevitable
Legislators have also asked who is in charge of the state's effort – the Alaska Gas-line Development Corporation, Department of Revenue, ...
TransCanada official expresses support for gas project
If the buyout is approved by legislators, the administration proposes having the state-sanctioned Alaska Gasline Development Corp. hold that stake ...
Gas line officials endure tough questioning; Senate insists it's not 'torture'
Bill Walker's administration and employees at a state-owned gas pipeline ... “I think I speak for a lot of legislators when I say the name Dan Fauske ...
AKLeg Special Session, Day 5: AGDC testimony missing key character
In a meeting Tuesday, members of the Senate Finance Committee said they're worried about the governor's transparency on the Alaska liquefied ...
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TransCanada ready for buyout
Even if the state-owned AGDC didn't have the necessary expertise, Lee said the state's other three partners in the project — BP, ConocoPhillips and ...
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10-29-15 Legislature Undertakes Alaska LNG Project Due Diligence

29 October 2015 7:50am

More Critical Alaska LNG hearings today.  Tune in live, here!

Government Ownership: Mission Impossible

(Our Commentary)

ADN by Alex DeMarban.  Vincent Lee, director of major project development for TransCanada, said the company learned in late spring of the Walker administration’s “strong desire” to buy the company’s interest in the gas treatment plant and the 800-mile-long pipeline.

Comment: Lee represented TC well.  However, in reciting the history of TC's involvement in the Alaska gas project, he began with the 1978-79 U.S. and Canadian approvals of the so-called Alcan project, which TransCanada opposed before it owned it.  TC's first involvement with Alaska gas was with the Arctic Gas Project, begun by producers and pipelines shortly after the late 1960s-era Prudhoe Bay and Mackenzie Delta discoveries.  Former TransCanada president, Vern Horte became the President of Canadian Arctic Gas.  Former Alaska Lieutenant Governor Bob Ward served as President of Alaskan Arctic Gas.  Your publisher, Dave Harbour was Alaskan Arctic Gas Director of Public Affairs while NGP reader and prolific author Earle Gray was Public Affairs Director of Canadian Arctic Gas.  -dh

P.S.  While legislators lauded TC for its more recent work in Alaska (i.e. and we, too have the highest professional respect for TC), one notes that it may be more in TC's interest to terminate the Alaska LNG relationship than in Governor Walker's, based on current economic conditions facing TC in wake of the opposition to its Energy East and Keystone XL projects.  See our link here.

ADN by Nathaniel Herz.  ... Wednesday afternoon’s hearing was so tense that Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, twice insisted that lawmakers were not intentionally making administration officials uncomfortable.   ....

... Over the last few days, the finance committee has reviewed an organizational chart with 100 different boxes. It’s called in Attorney General Craig Richards to address a statement that he barred another state official from appearing in Juneau. And it halted mid-meeting Wednesday until that official, AGDC President Dan Fauske (NGP Photo), could be reached by phone to offer testimony.

In spite of the strain, Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, said members of his committee are ready to sign off on Walker’s request.

“They just want to know, with the buyout, that the state is there for a successful project,” he said.

One of the finance committee co-chairs blamed politics for what she deemed unsatisfactory answers from the Walker administration.

“I feel like I’m still back in November and it’s an election. I think there is a trust issue,” Sen. Anna MacKinnon, R-Eagle River, said in an interview. “We’ve been at arm’s length.”

Both MacKinnon and Micciche, in a separate interview, said they want Walker to succeed. But Micciche expressed his own consternation at the sprawling bureaucracy laid out in the organizational chart, saying that it appeared Alaska was trying to replicate the structure and expertise of the three oil companies that have partnered with the state on the pipeline.

Both with regard to the Alaska LNG and the Interior Alaska Energy projects, government ownership / management is virtually impossible to properly control.
Why?  Because a part-time legislative body, via its funding power, determines how the state is organized, usually once per year.  
Compare a government-owned enterprise operating with that constraint to a private company that can deal with temporal challenges on a hourly, daily, weekly, monthly basis without having to deal with hundreds of politicians, lobbyists, special interest groups and constituents--and all of the meetings / hearings attendant thereto--not to mention "public meetings laws".
Government owning and managing equity in one of the largest capital projects in world history requires that decisions and coordination be exercised every day by full-time bureaucrats whose missions may have been set into legislative concrete months ago by part-time legislators.
While legislators are part-time, that does not mean they lack dedication or good intent.  
Rather, our readers should appreciate the impossibility of running a complex, technical, competitive multi-billion dollar energy transportation business by having a legislative session adopt a budget by rigid law, accompanied by legislative intent, when it is complicated by bureaucratic turf battles after the legislative session concludes.  
This is why controlling the means, allocation and distribution of production in a socialist society has a failed track record throughout history.
Only private enterprises, operating as freely as possible FROM political/government interference, can be trusted to provide citizens with the maximum benefit of natural resource wealth production in their state.
So, what to do now?  We are deeply respectful of the honest due diligence now being undertaken by Alaska's legislature.  Thankfully, we see a great union of bipartisan, good-faith effort to identify honest answers.  
If the legislature decides that it must terminate the relationship with TransCanada Corporation (TC) for financial reasons (i.e. better interest rates), we will not be inclined to second guess that action even though it requires more government interference and control of the project -- for the time being.  
However, we hope government ownership of any Alaska energy and/or transportation project is TEMPORARY.
Going forward, we believe that Alaska's elected leaders will be more familiar with the horrific processes and unintended consequences unleashed by government ownership.
We hope the decision makers will create a way for the state to quickly remove itself from public ownership of the Alaska LNG project and substitute a private owner -- to join the existing producer owners -- that is equally agile, experienced, expert and dedicated to make a profit for its shareholders.
In this way, Alaska will be able to maximize natural resource benefit to the citizens of the state; for by taking tax revenue and royalty revenue in value (RIV) it will eliminate costly and wasteful bureaucratic interference and receive a relatively simply managed revenue stream.
A side benefit of this evolution from bureaucratic inefficiency to private enterprise simplicity is that political struggles among the executive branch, legislators, and all manner of lobbyists and special interest stakeholders will be minimized as political life in Alaska returns to a more normal, though still challenging, pace.
In today's report, we provide a link enabling readers to monitorthe Alaska LNG hearings in Juneau, now in progress.
*Note: Approximately 50% of our thousands of readers are Alaska influence leaders while 25% are Canadian decision makers with the last 25% hailing from other places in North America and the world -- the majority of those living in Washington D.C. and Houston.


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