Comment: While our loyal readers are suspect about Federal Comment Periods -- with good reason -- we cannot afford to let any record of comment be overbalanced with armies of environmental activists. NGP Readers Everywhere: Please Comment Before Today's Deadline On National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska Permit Application. Full background here.
Please pay special attention to this statement on the issue by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo) as you're not likely to read about her concern in local or national newspapers today. In part, she said: "I am concerned about the critical project decisions that are being left for the record of decision, which could impact whether this project moves forward or not,” Murkowski said. “Federal leaseholders need to have a permitting process that is timely and predictable in order to invest the billions of dollars it takes to develop America’s energy resources.”
-dh (Reference: more on federal comment periods....)
Calgary Herald by Dan Healing. The long-term gain of increased pipeline capacity led to short-term financial pain as oilsands producer MEG Energy Corp. reported another quarter of record production on Wednesday.
Bill McCaffrey, president and chief executive, said on a conference call MEG took a $27-million cash flow hit in the three months ended Sept. 30 as it produced nearly 76,500 barrels per day but sold only 69,800 bpd.
Alaska Native News by Jason Mayrand. Community members around Alaska who are advocating for a pipeline that will deliver gas to Alaskans and address high in-state energy costs, are voicing disappointment in comments made by gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker (NGP Photo).
NGP Reader Comment Re: NPR-A Deadline
From Bob Hoffman.
Mr. Harry A. Baij
“BLM-Alaska manages 22.8 million acres of surface and subsurface estate in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) on Alaska's North Slope. It is nearly the size of Indiana and is the largest single block of federally managed land in the United States.” Source: http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/prog/NPR-A.html
This permit is for 72.7 acres.
Resource development on the North Slope of Alaska has proven results to both a benefit to our country and to provide for the protection of the Arctic environment.
I support the applicants intended use and urge the Army Corp of engineers to approve the application.
Mr. Harry A. Baij
I am sending you this email as my official “comment” on the application to discharge gravel fill in wetlands from ConocoPhillips Alaska (CPAI) to support the development of the Greater Mooses Tooth Unit 1 (GMT1) drill site in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A).
As mentioned by the use of the acronym above – NPR-A – National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska, this area was set aside specifically for petroleum development. I find it interesting that many folks seem to prefer the acronym over the official title because the title sums it up so well. This is an area designated for petroleum development and as such I fully support the application and request the project be allowed to proceed post haste. Our state and our nation can very much benefit from greater energy independence through such projects as this. The political, economic, and security rewards far and away surpass the minor land impacts required for responsible resource development.
Reed Christensen (NGP Photo)
President, General Manager
ADN by Dermot Cole. Gov. Sean Parnell argues that the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline is a priceless insurance policy against the possibility that the oil companies will decide by 2019 that they do not want to build a larger pipeline.
Challenger Bill Walker counters that it is a pricey plan that would ensure energy costs in Anchorage would go up. He wants to stop spending money on ASAP as soon as possible.
Parnell said the two gas lines should be pursued for the same reason that the proposed Susitna-Watana dam should remain in the mix for Alaska’s energy future -- it’s not clear yet which one is the best bet.
The list of mega-projects should not be trimmed "until we have something in hand for Alaskans," Parnell said.
“Yes, everything has to be on the table, yes you have to prioritize spending,” he said in a recent Anchorage Chamber of Commerce debate.
ADN Op-Ed (Currently appearing in other publications as well), by John Burns. This political season is generating much debate about Alaska’s public investment in developing a North Slope natural gas pipeline. As chairman of the board for the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, I’ve been intimately involved in both alternatives currently being advanced -- the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline (ASAP) and the Alaska LNG project. I can assure you that we are progressing both options in the most prudent and cost-efficient manner. The ultimate goal is to select the project that is in our state’s best long-term interests. Now is not the time to abandon either.
Today's Consumer Energy Alliance Energy Links:
EIA.gov consistently releases reports that show the U.S. economy will continue to need crude oil for the foreseeable future. EIA.gov data also shows that the price of a barrel of oil fluctuates over time. In 2008, crude oil sold for $96.94 a barrel, four years later the price rose to $108.56. What we do know is the price of a barrel of oil will rise and fall and the U.S. economy will continue to buy crude oil. Which brings us back to Keystone XL. Pipelines, such as the Trans-Alaska Pipeline or the Colonial Pipeline which runs from Houston, TX to Linden, NJ, are vital to powering the U.S. economy. Just as an airline or rental car company is vital for a business traveler, pipelines are critically important for an economy.
National Journal’s Energy Edge: EPA Announces New Steps in Clean-Power Plan*David Holt Quoted
"A farmer may not grow as much corn next season because speculation is driving down prices, but that doesn't mean that he will walk away from the crop, that fertilizer companies will stop producing fertilizer or that manufacturers will stop building tractors. Apply the same logic to Keystone XL versus lower oil prices and you quickly dismiss any argument against pipeline construction." —David Holt, president, Consumer Energy Alliance
The Energy Voice: How Affordable Energy Helps Keep Healthcare Affordable
Hospitals hum with energy from nurses, doctors and a cast of support staff who provide care and treatment to help the sick heal. Healthcare professionals rely on their skills as well as facilities and equipment to provide care, all of which requires dependable sources of energy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, healthcare facilities consume close to 10 percent of the total energy used in commercial buildings in the United States. A cost the federal government estimates to be more than $8 billion a year.
The Hill: Offshore drilling — the Keystone pipeline of the sea
While half a million people marched in New York and across the nation for climate action this fall and the U.S. launched a new air war in the oil-rich Middle East, President Obama moved forward on one of his least noted but potentially highest impact energy decisions.
Fuel Fix: Oil companies want more time for Arctic drilling
Three oil companies with billions invested in Arctic drilling leases are pleading with the Obama administration for extra time to hunt for crude under waters north of Alaska, but so far, federal regulators have been skeptical.
CNBC: Could shale help US beat Saudi Arabia as top oil producer?
The fracking revolution could open the way for the U.S. to overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's number one oil producer, energy research provider Platts said in a report on Tuesday.
The Wall Street Journal: Obama’s Post-Election Policy Blowout
Decisions on immigration, Iran and other hot issues that were delayed for political reasons will be coming soon.
Reuters: Kerry wants Keystone pipeline decision 'sooner rather than later'
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday during a visit to Canada that he would like to make a decision soon on TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL crude oil pipeline.
Bloomberg Businessweek: TransCanada Keystone Decision May Come Soon, Kerry Says
A decision on TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline, designed to ship growing Canadian oil sands supplies to Gulf Coast refineries, may come soon, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry saidThe
The Wall Street Journal: Planned TransCanada Pipeline Would Allow Gulf Access, CEO Says
A planned Trans- Canada Corp. oil pipeline designed to ship crude from Western Canada to Eastern Canadian refineries could also be used to access the Gulf Coast, creating an end-run around U.S. permitting delays for the Keystone XL pipeline, according to the company’s chief executive.
Globe and Mail: Keystone foes energized as tumbling crude prices pinch oil sands
Falling oil prices have energized opponents of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
UPI: Canada 'impressed' with Keystone XL vetting
The Canadian government is "impressed" with the State Department's vetting of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said.
Bloomberg BNA: Sustained Lobbying Push on EPA Standards For Power Plants Continues, Records Show
At least 120 groups, varying from public health advocacy associations to large publicly traded companies, reported lobbying Congress during the third quarter of 2014 to express their views on the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed carbon pollution standards for power plants, public records show.
The Wall Street Journal: The American Solution to Europe’s Energy Woes
Extending the network of interconnectors within the EU and its neighbors, adopting energy-efficient technologies and exploiting renewable-energy resources may all eventually play a part in that process. But there is another, more immediate solution at hand: expediting the import of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, from the U.S.
Daily Caller: Shale Development Reaffirms American Exceptionalism
The energy boom unleashed by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling couldn’t have happened anywhere but America, says author and journalist Gregory Zuckerman. Zuckerman say America’s entrepreneurial spirit, knowledge and property rights make fracking a uniquely American story.
Houston Chronicle: Vast generation gap on energy issues
There's also a generation gap on hydraulic fracturing, with twice as many older people knowing the term and the majority supporting the technique. But among the young people familiar with fracking, the majority opposed it.
Bloomberg: Mercedes drivers stung by quirks at the pump
The shale oil boom is proving far less kind to Mercedes-Benz drivers than it is to those sitting behind the wheel of a Toyota Camry or Chevrolet Impala. While regular gasoline-chugging drivers are paying just $3.04 a gallon in the U.S., the lowest in four years, those cruising around in luxury cars and demanding only the finest of grades, known as premium, have seen smaller declines.
Kansas City Star: Future of natural gas industry keeps improving, survey says
The U.S. natural gas industry is gathering steam amid changes and challenges that are remaking the business, according to a new report from Black & Veatch. Last year the Overland Park firm’s annual report on the industry described a cautious optimism about likely growth because of the trove of natural gas being recovered from shale formations in the United States.
KQED: Should Shale Be Banned?
On Tuesday, November 4, 2014 three counties in California will decide by ballot whether or not to ban hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as “fracking.”
KVNF: Colorado Gov Candidates Make Their Last Pitch
Hickenlooper said he's confident his oil and gas task force will come up with recommendations that give lawmakers guidance on ways to reduce public concern over fracking.
News Tribune: In silica valley, the sand is moving
In silica valley, the sand is moving. Mining of silica sand has ramped up in the Illinois Valley, especially in La Salle County, to feed the growing fracking industry.
News & Observer: Vote to put state Senate on a better course
Crawford is challenging Republican Sen. Chad Barefoot, a 31-year-old conservative who has been in lockstep with the Senate’s leadership. He wants to smooth the path for fracking in North Carolina and insists tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy are the best way to lift working class North Carolinians out of the post-recession rut.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Oman oil and gas minister praises shale
Even as his home region captures headlines for the ongoing conflict in Syria and Iraq, a long-serving energy minister in the Middle East said Tuesday that he wants U.S. businesses to know that his country has a “competitive advantage” of peace and stability.
Morning Call: Natural gas price outlook: still cheap
Last winter, at the height of the polar vortex, skyrocketing demand sent the spot market price of natural gas in the Northeast through the roof.
New Castle News: Governor’s candidates fractured over how to tax shale
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.
Morning Call: Shale severance tax opposition explored
Here are three basic themes to opposing a severance tax on Pennsylvania's shale gas production, such as the one currently being proposed by gubernatorial hopeful Tom Wolf and vehemently opposed by incumbent Tom Corbett.
Columbus Dispatch: Kasich: tax is unfair to Ohioans
A week before he’s expected to easily win a second term, a combative Gov. John Kasich voiced readiness to increase taxes and regulations on Ohio’s oil and gas industry.
San Antonio Business Journal: Energy industry continues to help boost Texas’ job market
Texas ranked third in the nation in terms of non-agricultural job growth for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2014. The Lone Star State's employment rose 3.3 percent between January and September and the comparable period a year ago, according to the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, utilizing data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
WFFA: Outside money flows into Denton shale debate
Close to $80,000 has gone to the "Pass the Ban" committee, with more than half of that coming from the Washington D.C.-based environmental group Earthworks.
Associated Press: Texas amends waste disposal rules
The Texas Railroad Commission has amended rules for disposal well operators amid concerns that high-pressure injections can trigger earthquakes. As of Nov. 17, disposal well operators must research U.S. Geological Survey data for a history of earthquakes within 100 square miles of a proposed well site before applying for a permit.
10-28-14 What Do Dandelions and Energy Have In Common? - National Petroleum Reserve Comment Due Tommorrow!
NGP Readers Everywhere: Please Comment Before Thursday's Deadline On National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska Permit Application.
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
Your 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
Power Grab: Dems Want Regulation Of Internet Speech
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.
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
U.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).
ADN, Atle 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.
(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....
Alaskanomics, 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....