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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


May 2011 Archives

Robert Duvall Supports Alaska Energy Production - Governor Steady On Tax Reform - Manitoba's Spearfish May Outclass Saskatchewan's Bakken.

31 May 2011 6:55am

Fuel Fix: A Houston-based exploration firm’s efforts to drill for natural gas in Alaska’s Cook Inlet is drawing the ire of shipping groups that believe it is violating the Jones Act.

AP/ADN by Becky Bohrer.  Governor Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) ... told The Associated Press he iscurrently working to get the votes needed in the Senate to advance the tax cut narrowly passed by the House during the regular legislative session. The bill stalled in the Senate, with leaders in the majority bloc saying they didn't have the information needed to make a sound decision, but the bill will still be in play when the Legislature reconvenes in January.  While Parnell said he's open to other ideas for stemming and reversing the trend of declining production, "we need to see it. At this point, what we have on the table to increase jobs, increase production and basically create a longer-term future for Alaska, that's what I'm looking for right now."  (Comment: we concur with the Governor that this step is essential if the state is to remain economically viable.   Also, see the Alaska Examiner, by Lawrence Wood, with Alyeska President Tom Barratt's chilling warning.  -dh)

Calgary Herald by Dan Healing.  Formation watchers have drawn a bead on the Manitoba Spearfish light oil formation, with a report from FirstEnergy Capital suggesting it may have twice the amount of original oil in place per acre as the storied Saskatchewan Bakken. 

Anchorage Daily News (5/29/11) reports: Robert Duvall won't be on board the ship that offloads Escopeta Oil's jack-up rig this week but he will be making a trip north once the company starts drilling for oil and natural gas in Alaska's Cook Inlet… A long-time friend of Houston-based Escopeta President Danny Davis, the well-known actor and director is a staunch supporter of domestic oil and gas drilling … "Alaska's got plenty of oil and gas that we need down here," Duvall said in an interview Thursday with Petroleum News. "It's preferable to importing energy from foreign sources, such as the Middle East."…Duvall would have been on board the vessel that is bringing the Spartan 151 jack-up rig into Cook Inlet, but he's about to start work on an independent film, "Jayne Mansfield's Car," directed by Billy Bob Thornton…However, Duvall plans to visit the offshore rig once it starts drilling.


TODAY'S Federal Register Announces Comment Period For Alaska Chukchi Exploration - Alaska Governor and Congress Focus on Rare Earth Elements

27 May 2011 6:17am

Today, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) announced the availability of a Revised Draft SEIS, OCS
Oil and Gas Lease Sale 193, Chukchi Sea, Alaska (OCS EIS/EA BOEMRE 2010-034) for public review and comment, as well as the date, location,
and time for public hearings.  This is another BOEMRE process that will materially affect the future of Alaska and all of its citizens.
 We will provide suggestions later today for how our readers can remain engaged in this process.  Please check back.  
-dh  (See Maps and SEIS and our story this week on appointment of new Alaska BOEMRE Director, Dr. James Kendall, NGP Photo.

Forest Oil Corp. of Denver, writes Calgary Herald's Dan Healing, is creating a Calgary corporation, Lone Pine Resources, Inc.

Natural Gas Act Editorial by Chris Chocola.

Alberta Royalties.  See INFORMATION LETTER 2011-20 Oil Sands Monthly Royalty Rates and BVM Pricing Components.
Alaska Rare Earth Elements.  The House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Congressman Doc Hastings by Dave Harbour, REE, Alaska MiningChairman Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (NGP Photo) and 20 bipartisan cosponsors introduced H.R. 2011, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Policy Act of 2011 this week.  As part of the American Energy Initiative, this bill will help strengthen and improve the U.S. national mineral policy.  On Friday, June 3rd at 9:30 EDT, House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a
legislative hearing on H.R. 2011, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Policy Act, and H.R. 1314, the Resource Assessment of Rare Earths Act of 2011.  Visit the Committee Hearings webpage for testimony and additional information, once it is made available.  The hearing is open to the public and a live stream will be broadcast at http://naturalresources.house.gov/live.    Note our earlier story: Governor Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) this week stepped up his efforts to engage the federal government in developing Alaska’s rare earth resources. Responding to a U.S. Department of Energy request for information on the use of rare earth minerals in the energy sector, the governor submitted comments detailing how rare earth elements (REE) produced from Alaska can be part of a strong national security and research framework.
The U.S. House took testimony, yesterday, on: “Buying More Land When We Can’t Maintain What We Already Own: The National Wildlife Refuge System’s Operations and Maintenance Backlog Story.”

Alberta Oil Magazine Examines Relationship Between Alaskan/Canadian Gas Pipeline Projects - Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell and Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan Announce Arctic Policy

26 May 2011 6:33am

Alberta Oil Magazine by Darren Campbell.  As everyone returns to the office after the Victoria Day long weekend, supporters of the star-crossed Mackenzie Gas Project (MGP) are left to wonder what the future holds for the $16.2 billion proposed pipeline scheme now that BP plc and ConocoPhillips have announced they are dropping out of the race to build an Alaska natural gas pipeline. What does a couple of Big Oil companies giving up on their plans to build a pipeline have to do with the fortunes of a project proposing to ship natural gas from the Northwest Territories' Mackenzie Valley to southern markets?  

Mead Treadwell by Dave Harbour, Arctic Policy

Hon. Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines, Government of British Columbia will be delivering the opening keynote address at the BC Natural Gas Symposium on Wednesday, June 1st via Skype.

Lead story today:  This morning at a  meeting of the Alaska Support Industry Alliance, Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell (NGP Photo-far right) and Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan (NGP Photo) outlined concerns about Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) declining throughput and announced a new Arctic policy for addressing the challenge.    Sullivan said that he is filling three key management positions at DNR with experienced leaders who will be tasked with new, ambitious goals for managing the state’s resources.  Brent Goodrum will lead the department’s Division of Mining, Land & Water, William Barron will lead the Division of Oil and Gas and Kurtis Gibson will lead the Alaska Gasline Coordinator’s Office.  “I want to welcome Brent, Bill and Kurt to their new positions at DNR. I have been focused on building a strong team at DNR to work on the Parnell administration’s goals of responsibly developing our world-class resources and securing a bright future for Alaskans. These three men will be key members of that team,” Sullivan said.  Goodrum, a retired Marine Corps infantry officer, will have a key role in managing the Mining, Land & Water division’s efforts to reform its permitting process and address its permit backlog. Goodrum stood out as an exceptional candidate for the job due to his track record of leading complex organizations and making them operate more efficiently.  He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis and has a Master of Science in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.  At the Division of Oil and Gas, Barron, a petroleum engineer, will manage the state’s oil and gas resources and he will be a key player in the department’s strategy to achieve the Parnell administration’s goal of increasing the flow of oil through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System to 1 million barrels per day within a decade. Barron has more than 20 years of experience working in Alaska’s oil and gas fields. He is departing from CH2M HILL, where he managed North Slope, Kenai Peninsula and Cook Inlet operations and maintenance, and in the past two years, the company’s Canada and Lower 48 operations. Barron previously worked in Alaska, the Lower 48 and overseas for Marathon Oil.  As coordinator of the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA) Office, Gibson will oversee state regulatory activities involving a large-diameter North Slope natural gas pipeline. Presently the deputy director of DNR’s Division of Oil and Gas, Gibson led the commercial branch of the AGIA team for the past four years. He also provided key guidance on major negotiations between the state and oil industry players, such as the Point Thomson litigation. Gibson previously worked in Lower 48 as a natural gas trader and engineer specializing in natural gas pipeline projects.  Goodrum will start work at DNR today.  Barron and Gibson will start their new jobs on June 1.  The state's five part strategy with the new team in place will be to: Enhance Alaska's global competitiveness and investment climate; ensure permitting processes are structured to accelerate resource development; facilitate and incentivize the next phase of North Slope Oil development; unlock Alaska's resource potential by promoting constructive partnerships; and, Promote Alaska's resources and positive investment climate to world markets.   -dh

Yesterday, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (NGP Photo) announced the launch of a mobile-friendly Committee website that allows people to easily follow and interact with the Committee from anywhere.“The launch of our mobile website is yet another way for Americans to engage with the Committee and uphold the ... promise of openness and transparency in the way the 112th Congress conducts its business. The mobile website is a convenient, user-friendly, and interactive tool that allows people to follow the Committee’s activities and initiatives while on-the-go,” said Chairman Hastings.

The mobile website allows user to:
  • Read along with witness testimony during hearings
  • Find out what the Committee is doing for the week
  • Monitor House Floor activity when Committee bills are being considered
  • See the latest news from the Committee
  • Track the Committee’s progress on key issues
  • Easily interact with and contact the Committee


Visit the mobile website from your mobile device at http://naturalresources.house.gov/ and connect on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or e-mail.


Meera Kohler by Dave Harbour, AVEC, Alaska Village Electric Cooperative

Tomorrow, Commonwealth North will review mitigation of energy costs in rural Alaska.  The speaker will be Meera Kohler (NGP Photo), President/CEO of the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative.  The meeting wiil be in the Cook Inlet Region conference room, 2525 C Street from noon until 1.



House to Hold Alaska Energy Hearing Next Week - Governor Parnell and Rebecca Logan Promote Rare Earth Elements In Alaska - ARNI Thwarts Two Big Alaska Projects

25 May 2011 2:26am

Dan Healing of the Calgary Herald Reports Louisana LNG Project Is A 'Go'!  ARNI Dogs Alaska Projects.

Bureau of Ocean EnergyDr. James Kendall by Dave Harbour, BOEMRE, Chukchi SEIS, Beaufort Sea Lease Sale Management, Regulation and Enforcement Michael Bromwich by Dave Harbour, BOEMRE, Chukchi SEIS(BOEMRE) Director Michael R. Bromwich (NGP Photo-l) today named Dr. James Kendall (NGP Photo-r at a 3-9-11 hearing in Anchorage) as the Director of the Alaska Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Region. Dr. Kendall has been serving as Acting Director for the region since January 1, 2011.  (More below.)


Yesterday, Governor Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) --  also grappling with WashingtonGovernor Sean Parnell by Dave Harbour, Alaska, Rare Earth Elements over energy access issues -- urged the federal government to seek Alaska's rare earth element trove for American use as China hoards world supply.  (Scroll down for Monday's background story, below.)  ... “With over 70 potential REE sites, Alaska is in a position to provide significant amounts of REEs to the nation,” Governor Rebecca Logan by Dave Harbour, REE, Rare Earth Elements, Alaska Support Industry AllianceParnell wrote to Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “The federal government simply cannot afford to sit on the sidelines as other countries move aggressively to develop new mines and build a globally competitive research branch.

ADN Op-Ed by Rebecca Logan (NGP Photo).  China's announcement to reduce exports of rare earth minerals has triggered our government and other nations that depend on these critical resources to look within their borders for possible solutions. It also cast light on an underlying problem: the United States lacks a clear strategy to provide the raw materials critical to our economy and national security.

Comment:  Yesterday we were considering the lack of movementLisa Murkowski by Dave Harbour, ARNI, Tanana River, CD-5 on federal approval of Chris Aadnesen by Dave Harbour, ARR, Alaska Railroad, ARNI, Tanana River BridgeConocoPhillips' CD-5 project in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and recalled a statement by Alaska Railroad President Chris Aadnesen (NGP Photo) last week about fear that the EPA will not provide final approval on an important Tanana River bridge crossing project.  On closer examination, it appears both projects may suffer the same obstructive federal fate through application of 'ARNI, a memorandum of agreement' between the Corps of Engineers and the EPA, a process not approved by Congress or promulgated via a rulemaking process providing for public testimony, petitions for reconsideration or appeals.  Here is a reference we found to this federal challenge by Senator Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo).  We are confident the state Administration will also be able to follow up on this clear violation of due process by these two agencies.  -dh

On Thursday, June 2nd the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing on “Domestic Oil and Natural Gas: Alaskan Resources, Access and Infrastructure.”  This Congressman Doc Hastings, Alaska energy, ANWR, NPR-a, Chukchi, OCS, BLM, NPR-Ahearing is part of House Republicans’ American Energy Initiative, an ongoing effort to stop government policies that are driving up gasoline prices and expand American energy production to help lower costs and create jobs. 
The hearing will focus on domestic oil and natural gas permitting, access to federal oil and natural gas resources in the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska (NPRA), keeping the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) full and operational, and prospects and permitting for offshore energy production.     (more below)

Like Oil and Gas, US To Also Export Mining Jobs, Wealth and National Security - Governor's Bullet Line Plans Include Interior Alaska

24 May 2011 8:09am

Fairbanks News Miner by Christopher Eshleman.  Gov. Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) told local mayors last week to take Alaska Governor Sean Parnell By Dave Harbour, gas pipeline, agia a deep breath — blueprints for a proposed intrastate natural gas pipeline won’t neglect the needs of Fairbanks or neighboring communities.

TRADING CHARTS.  DENALI, May 20, 2011 (Alaska Journal of Commerce - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Alaska Gas Pipeline group's abrupt exit from its $40 billion-plus North Alaska House of Representatives Speaker Mike Chenault, AGIA, gas pipeline, KenaiSlope natural gas pipeline May 17 has put pressure on Gov. Sean Parnell to show progress with the state's strategy of financially backing TransCanada Corp. and ExxonMobil in their bid to build a pipeline.  House Speaker Mike Chenault (NGP Photo) said it is time to re-evaluate the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act contract with TransCanada, under which the state is picking up 90 percent of TransCanada and ExxonMobil costs as the two companies continue to work on an application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in late 2012.

U.S. House Natural Resources Committee TODAY.  “Without increased domestic exploration, significant declines in U.S. mineral production are unavoidable as present reserves are exhausted. We will continue to ship American jobs overseas and forfeit our economic competitiveness unless we take steps to develop our own mineral resources … Developing our Nation’s mineral resources is not only an integral part of an all-of-the-above energy plan but it will create long-term family wage jobs, stimulate our economy and reduce our foreign dependence on mineral resources,” said Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Chairman Doug Lamborn (CO-05).  The U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Mineral Commodity Summaries, 2011, reports the U.S. is 100% dependent on foreign sources for rare earth elements (REE), 97% of which are provided by China. However, in November 2010, the USGS released a report revealing 13 million metric tons of REEs exist within known deposits in 14 U.S. states. The Obama Administration’s reluctance to produce our domestic mineral resources raises serious issues of supply security, costs jobs and stifles economic expansion.

Hal Quinn, President and CEO of the National Mining Association, testified at the hearing that “the United States’ import dependence for key mineral commodities has doubled in the span of two decades.” According to Quinn, over half of the mineral needs of United States manufacturing are imported from foreign countries.  (More testimony below....)

Responsible U.S. Administration? - Government Funded Gas Pipeline?

23 May 2011 6:19am

Benson and Walker Want Government  LNG\Gas Pipeline Project



1.  Would a responsible federal government be supporting a project to being Canadian energy to Americans...or seeming to favor the importation of more oil from non-North American sources?  Another Federal comment period ends next week; here's how to comment.

2.  How many hearings have the federal government held to take 'comment' on Alaska OCS development that could significantly reduce America's dependence on foreign sources, reduce the U.S. balance of payments deficit, increase the dollar's value, produce tens of thousands of new jobs?  The Administration has conducted many hearings which have all led to blocked activity in Alaska within OCS as well as on-shore federal lands.  It's like American leaders actually want their Nation's economy to fail.  We will provide more information soon on how to weigh in; meanwhile, here are BOEMRE's new links.



BOEMRE Releases Chukchi Draft SEIS For ADDITIONAL Comment - Keystone Nears Approval - No Cap & Trade for Canada

20 May 2011 10:51am

According to Senate Energy & Natural Resources Communication Officer Robert Dillon, Senator Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo) today said of the BOEMRE Senator Lisa Murkowski by Dave Harbour, BOEMRE, Federal Overreach, Chukchi Sea Lease Saleannouncement (below): “It’s my hope that this additional analysis on the potential impacts on the region will help resolve the legal challenges that have held up resource exploration in the Chukchi Sea."

John Callahan of BOEMRE's ANCHORAGE office, provides this Friday announcement. – The Bureau of Ocean Energy, Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) today released a Revised Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) Michael Bromwich by Dave Harbour, BOEMRE, BOEM, MMS, Alaska, Chukchi Sea Lease Sale, Federal Overreachfor Chukchi Sea Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Lease Sale 193, held in February 2008. The bureau is accepting additional public comment before the document is finalized.  “This Revised Draft SEIS offers additional scientific, environmental and technical analysis that will assist in future decisions pertaining to the leases issued in Sale 193 in the Chukchi Sea,” said BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich (NGP Photo).  

Calgary Herald by Jason Fekete.  The federal Conservative government will regulate the coal-fired electricity and oilsands sectors this year as it looks to curb greenhouse gas emissions, but a carbon tax and cap-and-trade plan aren't part of the environmental blueprint.

Edmonton Journal via CH, by Dave Cooper.  Called a critical outlet for Alberta heavy oil, TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline to the Gulf of Mexico is likely to be approved later this year in the U.S., says an energy expert.  “We are saying 70-per-cent likely in the fourth quarter,” said Washington-based Robert Johnston of the Eurasia Group, speaking at PwC’s inaugural Energy Technology Update in Edmonton.

DOE.  The U.S. Department of Energy today issued  a conditional authorization approving an application to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Sabine Pass LNG Terminal in Louisiana, paving the way for thousands of new construction and domestic natural gas production jobs in Louisiana, Texas, and several other states.


Alaska Railroad and Energy Share Destinies - Bullet Line On Course

20 May 2011 6:13am

Platts.  Alaskan state-sponsored efforts to build a gas pipeline to southcentral Alaska could provide gas to utilities there and allow the Kenai LNG plant to resume exports, Mike Chenault (NGP Photo), the speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives said Thursday.

Chirs Aadnesen Alaska Railroad by Dave Harbour, ARR

Jason Brune by Dave Harbour, RDC, Resource Development Council for Alaska, Anglo AmericanSee video of the Resource Development Council for Alaska's (RDC) Thursday meeting featuring Alaska Railroad Corporation President Chris Aadnesen (NGP Photo-above).

RDC President Tom Maloney's (NGP Photo-r) announcement Thursday that long-time Executive Director Jason Brune (NGP Photo) will be leaving the Council to join Anglo American's executive staff in Anchorage.  More coming..


Gas Pipeline Milestones - Young's 20th Rodeo

19 May 2011 6:32am

ADN Editorial.  Well, this week BP and Conoco Phillips announced what looks like a step away from a gas pipeline by shutting down the Denali project. Denali was a separate operation of the two companies to win shipping commitments for such a pipeline.  Denali said they'd invested $165 million in the project, but that shale gas deposits in the Lower 48 and the prospect of continued low prices ruled against any more investment.  ...  The Denali project, launched in 2008, was competing with the AGIA project. Now there's no competition.  There's no project either.

Congressman Don Young by Dave Harbour, CWN, Commonwealth North, Rodel, Alaska Politics, Alaska OCS, energy, oil and gasCongressman Don Young (NGP Photo) story and event photos coming....,

CWN Event Photos Below

A BHP Billiton deepwater drilling project that gained federal approval yesterday is the first to pass stricter environmental standards following last year's Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement signed off on the plan to drill a deepwater exploration well 124 miles off the coast of Louisiana. The Australian company still needs a permit to drill the well. 
The Obama administration is an “enemy to production” and is responsible for high gas prices, freshman Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday. “Demand for oil and gas is outstripping supply,” said Paul. “Why don't we have more supply? Because the current administration is basically an enemy to production, an enemy to drilling, an enemy to all things related to energy.” Paul also blasted Democratic legislation to strip oil companies of $21 billion in tax breaks. He said that effort would lead to even higher gas prices. “Their solution [to high gas prices] is to raise taxes on oil companies?” asked Paul. “Do you know what taxes are? Taxes are simply a cost. If you run a business and I raise your cost, you will raise your prices.”

CWN Event Photos Below:

Our Radio Interview - Keeping Focused Past Gas On the Oil Pipeline

18 May 2011 9:47am


Denali Project Withdrawal Stories

Arctic gas has missed the boat

CanadianBusiness.com (blog) - Michael McCullough - ‎2 hours ago‎
The Denali natural gas pipeline is dead. Proponents ConocoPhillips Co. and BP PLC withdrew their application to build the US$35 billion project from the Arctic coast of Alaska south to Alberta on May 17, ...
BusinessWeek - Becky Bohrer - ‎9 hours ago‎
Tuesday's announcement that a company is scrapping plans to build a major natural gas pipeline in Alaska has renewed the debate over whether a line is viable or the state is chasing a mere pipe dream. Denali-The Alaska Gas Pipeline ...

Commentary.  Yesterday a little before 10 a.m. we found an announcement on one of the websites we monitor (Denali), detailing the unwinding of the project.  We posted the 

announcement at 10:03, as noted in yesterday's story below.  A few minutes later, Dave Stieren(NGP Photo of Stieren-R with the author) of KFQD Radio called to ask for a 3 p.m. interview.  Dave opened up with questions about the Kentucky Derby and then moved into gas pipeline subjects.  We'll add audio, here, later.                                                                                                                    Read More below....