Calgary Herald by Deborah Yedlin. Given the issues facing the Enbridge Northern Gateway and TransCanada's Keystone XL pipelines, the increasingly heated rhetoric surrounding the possible takeover of Nexen by the China National Offshore Oil Company and Friday's announcement that the federal government will extend its review of Progress Energy's purchase by Malaysia's Petronas, it's clear the economics of Alberta's oilpatch are more dependent on the vagaries of politics than ever ....
This morning, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (NGP Photo) commented on today's September jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “When there are 23 million unemployed or underemployed Americans, it’s always welcome news to see people getting back to work. Unfortunately, staggeringly high unemployment rates have become all too common and there are still too many families struggling to make ends meet. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration has continued its assault on American job creators. Nowhere is this more evident than American energy production where government red tape and burdensome regulations have slowed energy production and stopped job creation."
Commentary. Yesterday (scroll down), we alerted readers of a press conference being hosted by Alaska Commissioner of Natural Resources, Dan Sullivan (NGP Photo). We participated via teleconference. Most of the reporter questions were thoughtful and professionally stated. However. the Alaska Dispatch's senior editor -- always well intended but increasingly hostile toward efforts to reform oil taxes -- dominated the session asking question after question on the same general subjects. In a courtroom, the opposing attorney would have objected, saying, "asked and answered". We respect that journalists can sometimes be persuaded to 'ask the tough questions'. But we flinch when a 'professional' journalist would become so emotional and ask questions in such a mean-spirited way. Not suprisingly, the editor produced an editorial today characterized as 'analysis'. If it analyzes, it does so more by opinion and inuendo than by a close inspection of the facts or dispassionate comparison of the facts. We care about slanted reporting and poor commentary because public opinion and governmental decisions are affected. To the extent that we can counter with information and logic that our readers find useful, we will have properly accomplished our mission. Here is the link to her editorial. We hope to provide a more detailed review of that piece next week. -dh
Calgary Herald by Steven Ewart. Keystone XL brings Canada into presidential debate.
ADN by Lisa Demer. Shell Oil is now drilling wells in two Arctic seas off Alaska's northern coast. Drilling began Wednesday afternoon in the Beaufort Sea after the end of an Inupiat whale hunt, according to Curtis Smith (NGP Photo), spokesman for Shell Alaska. The company resumed drilling in the Chukchi Sea on Sept. 23 after a two-week suspension due to encroaching sea ice, he said. But Shell still won't be able to drill deep enough to reach oil this year. An oil spill containment dome, an essential piece of safety gear, was damaged during testing last month in a Bellingham shipyard.
...from the American Energy Alliance this morning:
Wind turbines don't work when the wind blows. Solar panels burst into flames when the sun shines. The problem is not that the government picks winners and losers. The problem is that government always picks losers. Daily Caller (10/2/12) reports: “In October of 2010, the company discovered that their panels were catching fire. One source said that this problem was brought to the company’s attention during a meeting in October 2010 with some company executives present and the suggestion was made to shut down the factory in order to address the problem.”
Good for them, and about time too. National Journal (10/2/12) reports: “With Mitt Romney and President Obama courting voters in coal battleground states like Ohio and Virginia, one of the industry's most powerful interest groups is launching a new ad campaign Wednesday that encourages viewers to vote against Obama, though it doesn't mention either the president or Romney by name.”
Only a Cuomo could say with a straight face that requiring more time to do something won't delay it. National Review (10/2/12) reports: “Gov. Cuomo claims that his decision to impose yet another review of fracking won’t delay the process further, but speed it up.”
Ten? We’d probably use our toes and count to 20, but this is the right start. Heritage (10/1/12) reports: “The President has doubled down on wasting billions of dollars to subsidize politically preferred energy sources. Although he has aimed to save or create jobs, in the energy sector he is destroying jobs, threatening to destroy jobs, or failing to create them… Here are 10 of the most troubling energy and environmental regulations implemented or proposed by the Obama Administration.”
Dan Fagan (NGP Photo) has asked your publisher to be on his show this morning at 7 a.m. Alaska time with co-host Elizabeth Giordano. For those interested, we'll try to find a podcast to post later. -dh
See our earlier commentary regarding the Alaska Northern Waters Task Force: Now for our current update and opinion: Alaska's legislature appears to overreach its constitutional authority by establishing an entity, under its own aegis, with a mission to represent the state on many Arctic matters/issues. We believe this is the proper role of the elected Governor and his cabinet, not legislative appointees. Nevertheless, a task force, more fully described in our earlier commentary, successfully recommended approval during the last session of an "Alaska Arctic Policy Commission". The activities of this peripatetic commission will be little influenced by the Governor and members of his Administration (i.e. both the Administration and environmental community will each have one appointed member). Today, as noted in the Roger Marks column below, the confusion and conflict over Alaska's unstainable tax and spend policies are dividing our people. In addition, we now see prospects for a chaotic management issue arising as an independent, legislatively appointed ambassadorial group seeks to represent Alaska to the world in spite of whatever policy the Administrative branch of government has established as 'the State's policy'. We predict that the major contribution of this Commission will be to inject more uncertainty into the plans of potential and current Alaska natural resource investors. Without more, massive natural resource development, the Trans Alaska Pipeline System's chances for an extended life are doomed. Here is the latest news release from the legislature and here is more on the resolution creating the Commission. (We always invite additions or corrections to facts presented; we'll also reprint reader reactions which may be sent here.) -dh
(The following opinion is no doubt supported by Obama's blocking of the Keystone XL Pipeline. -dh) Calgary Herald Opinion by Ted Morton (CH Photo). Today, the alignment of Alberta’s energy policies and the principle of provincial rights is less certain. The same principles that animated Lougheed’s defense of Alberta’s energy sector have become a potential liability: the threat by British Columbia to block any new bitumen pipelines to the West Coast. These proposed pipelines are critical to opening new Asian markets and reducing Alberta’s debilitating and expensive dependence on a single customer—the United States—for our oil and gas exports.
ADN Opinion by Roger Marks (NGP Photo). My father used to tell a joke: A man is down to his last $10. He goes to the track and puts all his money on the horse with the longest odds. The race starts and his horse is dead last. The man drops to his knees and starts praying to God. As he prays the horse starts to gain. The more he prays the more the horse gains. By the home stretch the horse is well ahead. At that point the man stands up and says, "Thanks, God. I'll take over from here." The "It's Our Oil" perspective, which advocates retaining the current production tax, ACES (Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share), is like this gambler. ... Oil investment has soared worldwide in recent years, but has been lethargic on the North Slope, despite abundant reserves. It is hard to see how staying the course, the "I'll take over from here" attitude, will benefit the state in the long-run. Like the horseplayer, once you succeed it is easy to forget the actual source of your prosperity.
Commentary: We have editorialized on how the Obama Administration has violated the spirit and rule of law. One recent example deals with EPA's preemptive efforts -- not to regulate based on law -- but to stop development on the lands of a state though leases have been properly approved by a state and no permit applications have even been filed for development of those leases. We appreciate that the Wall Street Journal now weighs in. -dh
USA Today, by Tim Mullane. Of all the places that America's new jobs are, the emerging energy business, directly or indirectly, might be responsible for more of them than almost anything else. Since 2002, the exploration of natural gas deposits embedded in shale, followed by oil drilling that began in earnest late in the decade, has created more than 1 million jobs, says Moody's Analytics economist Chris Lafakis. That's out of 2.7 million the whole country created. "It's really huge,'' Lafakis says. "And the jobs pay very well.'' Jobs directly in the oil and gas extraction business pay an average of just under $150,000 a year....
Parnell, Sullivan promote Alaska LNG in Asia - Alaskajournal.com - Sean Parnell (NGP Photo-R) and state Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan (NGP Photo) have been in Japan and Korea in the last two weeks, drumming up interest in a large Alaska liquefied natural gas project. North Slope producers and TransCanada Corp., a gas pipeline ...
Petroleum News by Alan Bailey. Great Bear’s results so far from its Alcor No. 1 shale oil test well on Alaska’s North Slope have met expectations for finding oil in North Slope source rocks, Ed Duncan (NGP Photo), the company’s president and CEO, told the Alaska Oil and Gas Congress on Sept. 19. “I can tell you with absolute confidence that where we thought we would find oil in these source rocks, we found oil,” Duncan said.
Japanese consortium scouting Alaska LNG project - Alaska Dispatch - As part of the decades-long quest for Alaska to get its vast reserves of North Slope natural gas to market through a pipeline, Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (NGP photo) is currently visiting Asia on the eve of an expected announcement involving Alaska's major oil and ...
Parnell in Asia Promoting Alaska Natural Gas -KTVA CBS 11 News Alaska - FAIRBANKS — As the state nears what is expected to be a major announcement on the future of a large-diameter natural gas line for foreign export, Governor Sean Parnell announced he's on an economic trade mission to Japan and South Korea to promote the ...
Homer News/ADN by McKibben Jackinsky. First there was a bad fishing season. Then, a series of destructive storms hit the Kenai Peninsula and other portions of Southcentral Alaska, resulting in Gov. Sean Parnell declaring a state disaster. Now, Apache Corp. has called a "pause" in its Ninilchik-based three-dimensional seismic work, halting a much-needed economic boost locals welcomed. Apache's area of oil and gas exploration include leases of approximately 850,000 onshore acres, tidal acres and offshore in the Cook Inlet Basin. The decision to call a time-out in the related seismic work is due to a lack of necessary permits, said Lisa Parker, manager of Apache's government relations.
ADN/AP by Becky Bohrer. It is Sean Parnell's (NGP Photo) second state-sponsored overseas trip as governor, and it comes as Alaska awaits word on progress toward advancing a liquefied natural gas project that would allow for exports to the Pacific Rim. Parnell said he plans to make a "compelling case" for Alaska gas in meetings with government officials, and utility company and business leaders in South Korea and Japan. He said he will explain the progress that's been made toward commercializing Alaska's North Slope gas and emphasize the comparative advantage Alaska holds over others, noting a more-than-40-year history of liquefied natural gas exports to Japan from a plant in Nikiski.
Peninsula Clarion/ADN by Brian Smith. Peninsula Clarion/ADB by Brian Smith. In a report released to the Peninsula Clarion last week, David Erikson, senior biologist with URS Corp., concluded that the Endeavour's time in dry dock and aboard a transport ship for its month-long trip was largely responsible for killing the attached marine organisms, thus "substantially reducing the potential for any non-indigenous or invasive species" to be introduced into Kachemak Bay, where the rig is currently parked.