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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


October 2011 Archives


31 October 2011 7:06pm

America's Unemployment Trend ... and, North Dakota

ADN by Sean Cockerham.  Alaska politicians are interested in Gov. Sean Parnell's push to try to export the state's natural gas to Asia rather than the Lower 48, with influential lawmakers saying the state should consider paying to help to make it happen.


30 October 2011 7:02pm

EIA's Petroleum Supply Monthly

PNA by Alan Baily.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final air permit for Shell’s planned use of its Kulluk floating drilling platform for exploration drilling in the Beaufort Sea starting in July 2012. The permit comes about a month after the issue of similar permits for the use of the drillship Noble Discoverer in both the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.


29 October 2011 6:50pm

Where is the peace dividend that was supposed to come after the end of the Cold War? Where are the fruits of the amazing gains in efficiency that technology has afforded? It has been eaten by the bureaucracy that manages our every move on this earth. The voracious and insatiable monster here is called the Federal Code that calls on thousands of agencies to exercise the police power to prevent us from living free lives.

It is as Bastiat said: the real cost of the state is the prosperity we do not see, the jobs that don't exist, the technologies to which we do not have access, the businesses that do not come into existence, and the bright future that is stolen from us. The state has looted us just as surely as a robber who enters our home at night and steals all that we love.
- William "Bill" Bonner


28 October 2011 1:43am

CBS Money Watch.  Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (NGP File Photo) proposed a new way forward on a natural gas pipeline Thursday, saying if demand for gas has shifted from the Lower 48 to Pacific Rim markets, the state must be willing to move with it.  Parnell, in a speech to an oil and gas industry group in Anchorage, said he wants the major North Slope players — Exxon Mobil Corp., BP and ConocoPhillips — to coalesce behind a project that would allow for liquefied natural gas to be shipped overseas. He wants them to do this under the framework of the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act. If they do, the state can be flexible, including talking tax and royalty terms, he said.


27 October 2011 4:45am

Governor Sean Parnell today named Kip Knudson as the director of state and federal relations in the governor’s Washington, D.C. office. Knudson, of Anchorage, is currently the external affairs manager for Tesoro Alaska. John Katz (NGP Photo), who has served as the governor’s director of state and federal relations for more than 30 years, is retiring at the end of the year.

Edmonton Journal by Gary Lamphier.  But talk is cheap. In reality, when it comes to pursuing new export markets, Canada moves at glacial speed. Far more slowly than Asian nations, which have gone global in a big way, and are transforming their economies at lightning speed even as the western world faces years of slow growth.  Meanwhile, other resource-rich nations, from Russia to Australia to Venezuela, are already moving into China, South Korea and other Asian markets far more aggressively than Canada, with huge future expansion plans of their own.

Alaska Dispatch by Ben Anderson.  Alaska used to dream big, just like the Russians are doing now. A special irony in that excerpt from Popular Mechanics is the mention of "abundant natural gas," as Anchorage seems perpetually caught in a battle to keep the city supplied with heat and electricity. Not to mention Alaska's own long-held dream of getting a natural gas pipeline -- any natural gas pipeline -- beyond the study phase.

Wall Street Journal by James Mulva.  Even after 103,000 jobs were added during September, unemployment remains at 9.1%. Counting those who have given up the job search or accepted a part-time job, economists calculate actual unemployment at a staggering 16.5%. Where will the growth come from that can help get people back to work?  Tne source is the natural gas industry, which is already generating jobs by the thousands, all without government subsidy. And it can generate even more, if we unleash this resource's full potential.  More than 600,000 Americans already explore, produce, store and transport natural gas, according to consultancy IHS Global Insight. For example, ...

ADN/AP.  KENAI -- A Conoco Phillips spokeswoman says the company plans to move one last shipment from its Kenai liquefied natural gas plant before idling the plant in early November. The company, which recently bought Marathon Oil Corp.'s minority interest in the plant, has repeatedly extended operations at the facility. In February, officials said they planned to idle the plant after more than 40 years in operation, citing market changes. They said there was no longer a business case for continued exports. The wind-down was expected to take several months.But the plant has continued to fill short-term contracts to Asia.  Conoco Phillips' spokeswoman Natalie Lowman said Wednesday that after the last shipment, the plant will be in preservation mode until spring, when officials plan to revisit their options for the facility.


26 October 2011 5:44am


"We're not likely over the longterm to displace the most efficient way to move oil, which is going to be pipelines," Canadian Pacific chief executive Fred Green says.  Canada's railways are closely watching their opportunities to transport more of North America's growing volumes of crude oil by rail.  http://www.calgaryherald.com/sees+potential+boom+transporting+rail/5607673/story.html#ixzz1btaOYvGt

UPDATED: Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources to Hold Hearing on North American Offshore Energy

 WASHINGTON D.C. –On Wednesday, November 2nd, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing on  “North American Offshore Energy: Mexico and Canada Boundary Treaties and New Drilling by Cuba and Bahamas.” 



Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Oversight Hearing on: “North American Offshore Energy: Mexico and Canada Boundary Treaties and New Drilling by Cuba and Bahamas.”

 Witnesses to be announced.



Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
10:00 A.M.



1324 Hearing Room in the Longworth House Office Building


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 audio stream will be broadcast at http://naturalresources.house.gov/live.


Shell's Permit to Environmental Appeals Board

25 October 2011 7:41am

ADN/AP by Dan Joling.  Earthjustice is asking the EPA Environmental Appeals Board to examine the air permit granted last month to one of Shell's two drill ships, Discoverer. It filed the appeal on behalf of 11 environmental or Alaska Native groups.  Earthjustice attorney Colin O'Brien said from Juneau that the Discoverer and a fleet of support vessels would emit tens of thousands of tons of carbon dioxide, more than 300 tons of nitrous oxide and tons of other pollutants. The drilling rig, he said, is not just a boat with an engine or two.



24 October 2011 8:37am

Northrim Bank Report: Alaskanomics.  Alaska's oil production continued to decline in the State's fiscal year 2011 that ended in June.  Statewide production averaged 608,000 barrels per day (bpd), falling 7% from 652,000 bpd in fiscal year 2010.  The peak production was over 2 million bpd in 1988 and has declined continuously over the last two decades.  Alaska dropped below the 1 million bpd mark in 2004. 

Oil production



23 October 2011 8:23am

ADN by Tim Bradner (NGP File Photo).  One project is the big 1,700-mile, 48-inch pipeline from the North Tim Bradner by Dave Harbour, Gas Pipeline, AGDC, AGPA, ANGDA, AGIASlope to Alberta, which is in an engineering phase. TransCanada Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. are involved, both large, competent companies that know what they're doing. However, with all the shale gas in the Lower 48, this project doesn't look very good for now. But who knows what things will look like in 20 to 30 years?  If this is built, a smaller "spur" pipeline could branch off at Delta to bring gas 300 miles to Southcentral Alaska via Glennallen. The Alaska Natural Gas Development Corp., or ANGDA, a state authority, has done work on this.  If the big pipeline doesn't go, engineering is under way on a fallback plan, a separate, stand-alone 24-inch pipeline from the slope to Southcentral Alaska, the so-called "bullet line." This is being pursued by another state corporation, the Alaska Gas Development Corp., or AGDC. The bullet line would be 737 miles in length and would cost about $7.5 billion.  The people working on this are getting good marks for the work they're doing. There is criticism that the political sideboards on the project, mainly a restriction on the amount of gas that can be shipped because of the state's contract with TransCanada, could cripple its economics.  Finally, there is a 800-mile pipeline from the slope to Valdez, parallel to the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, that could serve a possible natural gas liquefaction, or LNG, plant. This is promoted by the Alaska Gasline Port Authority, or AGPA. The port authority was formed by municipalities and is not a state corporation.


22 October 2011 4:08pm

 National Ocean Policy Coalition.  The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee has announced that a second full committee oversight hearing on "The President’s New National Ocean Policy - A Plan for Further Restrictions on Ocean, Coastal and Inland Activities" will take place at 10:00 a.m. EST on Wednesday, October 26 in 1324 Longworth House Office Building.  According to the Committee, the hearing will "feature testimony from Administration officials and impacted industries on President Obama's Executive Order 13547 that established a new National Ocean Policy and Council that could severely restrict the recreational and commercial uses of our oceans."  The hearing will be streamed live here (live feed will begin about ten minutes prior to the start of the hearing.