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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


2012 Archives


24 September 2012 9:02am

ADN OP-ED by Kathryn Thomas.  The Environmental Protection Agency's Dennis McLerran is claiming overwhelming public support for the agency's Draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment, a controversial report on the potential effects of mining in the region. What he fails to mention is the source of most of this purported support: pre-written mass emails generated by national environmental groups. The EPA describes the messages as identical in both form and content.



23 September 2012 5:38pm

ADN.  TransCanada has received interest from potential shippers and "major players from a broad range of industry sectors and geographic locations," including North America and Asia, Shawn Howard said in a statement. The statement didn't indicate if preference was shown for a project that would serve North America markets, or for one that would allow for liquefied natural gas exports.





21 September 2012 4:19am

North Slope Borough Stakes Out Its Oil and Gas Position

Commentary By

Dave Harbour 

ALERT FOR ALASKA AND ALL STATES WITH WATER; A NEW EPA INITIATIVE COULD STRIKE ANOTHER BLOW TO NATURAL RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT, AGRICULTURE AND ALL LIFESTYLES DEPENDENT ON REASONABLE, TRADITIONAL WATER  USES.   -dh  ***  AG PROFESSIONAL.  One little word can mean so much. In relation to the Clean Water Act, that word is “navigable,” and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers are trying to get rid of it. If they succeed, EPA will have the authority to regulate nearly every drop of water, and some dry land, too. With this additional authority for EPA comes a likely deluge of regulations and permitting requirements for farmers, ranchers and other landowners. This is why the American Farm Bureau Federation has launched the “Stop the Flood of Regulation” campaign.  ...   “Right now, EPA’s regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act is basically restricted to larger bodies of water and waterways that feed into those larger bodies,” explained Don Parrish, AFBF water quality specialist. “If the guidance document goes into effect, EPA officials would have the power to regulate even a roadside ditch that fills with water only after a good soaking.” 
A clear message from the North Slope settled on participants in the 8th Annual Oil & Gas Congress meeting in Anchorage on Wednesday (9-19-12).  North Slope Borough Charlotte Brower, NSB Mayor, Alaska, OCS, Interior, Salazar, Oil and Gas, Photo by Dave HarbourMayor Charlotte Brower (NGP Photo)  joined Arctic Slope Regional Corporation President and CEO Rex Rock, Sr. in expressing appreciation for the benefits of oil and gas exploration and development – with certain conditions.
The panel presentation, moderated by your author, also included Mayor Dan Sullivan's representative, Dan Kendall. and  the Northwest Territories' David Ramsay.  Note: More on those presentations in future reports.)
Brower staked out the Borough’s position.  She said her citizens have participated in “on-shore oil and gas development on the North Slope for decades…,” and gleaned, “…direct financial benefits from oil and gas development.”  She gave three, unambiguous reasons for why, “…we have always expressed a preference for on-shore development:
·         "First, we believe that on-shore development can be conducted in a safe, responsible manner.
·         "Second, tax revenues generated by oil & gas infrastructure have enabled the North Slope Borough to provide world-class services to our residents.
·         "And lastly we have seen that on-shore development and the protection of our subsistence resources are not mutually exclusive goals."
Regarding offshore activity (OCS), she said concerns are,  "centered around the core belief that we must do all that we can to protect the subsistence resources that are so important to our people - a concept we refer to as food security.   Thus, we are often left to find the delicate balance between protecting our subsistence resources and supporting responsible resource development."
ADN/AP.  Federal officials Thursday gave Royal Dutch Shell approval for limited site work in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska's northern coast.
Brower's preference for on-shore oil and gas activity did not, however, preclude OCS support for a number of reasons.   She noted the scientific research being conducted in support of OCS activity and the responsible communication and community activity being undertaken by various companies. 
"I want to echo or touch on what my good friend, Rex Rock believes: 
When development projects are taking place on or near Native lands, those on the green side of the aisle tend to work to divide a community against a project or create the illusion of a win-lose situation.
This simply does not have to be the case. There are many examples of win-win scenarios in our region when it comes to resource development projects."
-Mayor Charlotte Brower
She also expressed displeasure that Department of Interior action could preclude certain OCS development.  
In remarks directed to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, she said she is concerned that, "if the federal government chooses a management plan for the NPR that severely limits the areain which an oil pipeline can be built from OCS development sites, the economic consequences of that decision will drive industry to favor using oil tankers rather than a pipeline to bring OCS oil to market. We strongly believe that pipelines to shore need to be encouraged so that oil produced in the OCS ends up in the TAPS pipeline and not on tankers headed south."
We found Mayor Brower's presentation to be balanced and realistic, an encouragement for more Arctic oil and gas investment under reasonable conditions, a challenge to overly ambitious federal regulation and a sobering caution to environmental, "community organizers".    We believe her words should be studied by all private and government entities having a desire or need to participate in North Slope social and economic activities.  We further believe that this particular speech may serve as an Alaska North Slope community and government relations template for a long time to come.
(Read the Mayor's full speech here.  Rex Rock Sr.'s presentation will be highlighted in an upcoming posting.) 


20 September 2012 2:48pm

We have now completed the 8th Annual Alaska Oil and Gas Congress and hope to provide some insights soon.  -dh


19 September 2012 4:56am

 Alaska Oil and Gas Congress Continues Today*

ADN by Richard Mauer.  At a news conference Tony Knowles, governor, alaska, oil taxes, photo by dave harbourTuesday in which former Democratic Gov. Tony Knowles  (NGP Photo) and former Republican House Speaker Gail Phillips appeared together, the Make Alaska Competitive Coalition said it hoped to raise at least $300,000 for radio, TV and newspaper advertising. Spokesman Jason Moore said the organization "was well on our way" to meeting that goal, but he had no more specifics.

*Wednesday, September 19, 2012
9:00 a.m.              Opening Remarks from the Co-Chair Drue Pearce

9:15 a.m.              Responsible Resource Development in Canada: A
Streamlined, Single-Window Business Model

Chrystia Chudczak, Assistant Commissioner, COO & CFO,Northern Pipeline
Agency, Canada

9:50 a.m.              PANEL: Arctic Leaders Views on Future Arctic
Exploration and Development

Charlotte E. Brower, Mayor, North Slope Borough

David Ramsay, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment and Minister of
Transportation, Government of Northwest Territories

Rex Rock Sr., President and CEO, Arctic Slope Regional Corp.

Dan Sullivan, Mayor, Anchorage

10:50 a.m.            Networking Coffee Break

11:10 a.m.            Spotlight on Cook Inlet's New Players and Exploration

John Hendrix, General Manager, Apache Alaska Corp.

11:50 a.m.            Networking Luncheon for Delegates and Speakers

1:05 p.m.              Shale Oil on the North Slope: Prospects, Plans and
Results to Date

Ed Duncan, CEO & President, Great Bear Petroleum

Stephen Hosmer, CFO and Co-CEO, Royale Energy Inc.

Mohamand Abdel-Rahman, Vice President,Exploration & Production, Royale
Energy Inc.

2:05 p.m.              Exploring Solutions to Address Critical In-State
Demand for Natural Gas

Daniel R. Fauske, CEO & Executive Director, Alaska Housing Finance Corp.,
and President, Alaska Gasline Development Corp.

Cory Borgeson, Interim President & CEO, Golden Valley Electric Association

2:55 p.m.              Networking Coffee Break

3:10 p.m.              Alaska's Oil Tax: Status and Priorities for the Next
Legislative Session

Bruce Tangeman, Deputy Commissioner Department of Revenue, Alaska

3:35 p.m.              Examining the Federal Government's Role in Alaska's
Oil & Gas Development: Is it Enhancing or Hindering Development?


Tim Bradner, Natural Resources Writer, Alaska Journal of Commerce


Michael C. Geraghty, Attorney General, State Of Alaska

Steve Pratt, President, Consumer Energy Alliance - Alaska

Tom Brennan, Author and Columnist, Anchorage Daily Planet

4:25 p.m.             Dave Harbour’s Co-Chair Closing Remarks & Conference Adjourns


18 September 2012 5:14am

 Alaska Oil and Gas Congress Continues Today


Tuesday, September 18, 2012
9:00 a.m.              Opening Remarks from the Co-Chair- Dave Harbour, Commissioner Emeritus, the National Association of Regulary Commissioners and Publisher, Northern Gas Pipelines
9:15 a.m.              Commercializing Alaska’s Natural Gas: New Collaborative Project Plan
Deputy Commissioner Joe Balash, Department of Natural Resources, Alaska
9:40 a.m.              Update from the Alaska Gas Pipeline Office
Kurt Gibson, Director, Gas Pipeline Project Office
10:35 a.m.            Exploring Current Issues Affecting Federal Oil & Gas in Alaska: Milestones and Opportunities in the OCS and Onshore
Marcilynn A. Burke, Acting Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management, U.S. Department of the Interior
11:15 a.m.            Exploration in the OCS: Permitting Requirements and Learning from Recent Experiences on Overcoming Hurdles
Eric B. Fjelstad, Managing Partner, Perkins Coie LLP, Anchorage Office
11:40 a.m.           Statoil Experience – a Match for Alaska
Lars Andreas-Sunde, Operations Manager, Statoil Alaska
12:35 p.m.           Networking Luncheon for Delegates and Speakers
1:50 p.m.              Assessing the North Slope Economics and Seizing Opportunities
Bart Armfield, COO, Brooks Range Petroleum Corp.
Kara Moriarty, Executive Director, Alaska Oil & Gas Association
2:30 p.m.              Global Race to Asia-Pacific Market: Where Does Alaska Rank Among the Competition?
Bill Walker, General Counsel, Alaska Gasline Port Authority
3:30 p.m.              Competition or Is There Room for All? LNG Project Status and Details for North America
Bob Gibb, Associate Director, Navigant
4:15 p.m.              Examining Federal Laws & Politics Surrounding Natural Gas Exports from Alaska
Larry Persily, Federal Coordinator, Alaska Natural Gas Transportaion Projects, Washington, D.C.
5:00 p.m.              Co-Chair Drue Pearce's Closing Remarks & Conference Adjourns 



14 September 2012 8:22am

PNA by Alan Bailey (NGP Photo). As Cook Inlet natural gasAlan Bailey, Petroleum News, Cook Inlet Gas Supply, Southcentral Alaska Natural Gas Supply, ENSTAR, Union Oil supplies tighten, with Southcentral Alaska utility Enstar Natural Gas Co. no longer having all of its needed gas supplies available under firm contracts, the commercial arrangements for the purchase and delivery of gas have become significantly more complex than in the heady days of excess gas availability.



13 September 2012 5:32am


Yesterday David Holt Told Neil Cavuto Alaska Is Part of the Solution
Yesterday, the State of Alaska sent a message to Washington D.C. that the time has come to Charisse Millette, Sean Parnell, Cathy Foerster, Alaska, NPR-A, Legacy Wells, Orphan Wells, BLMcleanupmore than 100 contaminated oil and gas well sites in Northern Alaska when Governor Sean Parnell signed House Joint Resolution 29, the NPR-A Legacy Wells resolution this morning in Anchorage.
“Three decades after the federal drilling program stopped the wells remain unplugged,” said Rep. Charisse Millett (Photo, center, with Parnell and AOGCC Commissioner Cathy Foerster, by Jeff Turner) .  “This is a disgrace that every Alaskan, every American, should be angry about and demand that the BLM immediately create an aggressive cleanup plan for all the Legacy Wells.”
Starting in the 1940’s, the federal government drilled 136 oil and gas wells in the area now known as the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. Three decades after drilling ceased only nine are capped and cleaned up in accordance with State of Alaska regulations.

Introduced by Millett during the 2012 legislative session, HJR 29 calls on the federal Bureau of Land Management to honor its mission statement and clean up the drill sites. Some wells are actually leaking natural gas and the drill sites are covered with trash that can harm fish, birds, animals, marine mammals, groundwater and vegetation. 

Citing a complete failure to take the State of Alaska’s views into consideration, Governor Sean Parnell yesterday announced the State will immediately withdraw as a cooperating agency from the Memorandum of Understanding concerning the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPR-A). Last month, without providing any notice to the State or any other cooperating agency, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced millions of acres in the NPR-A will be off limits to development as part of the new NPR-A land management proposal.

“Your recent surprise announcement of a preferred alternative effectively withdrawing millions of acres in NPR-A (an area designated by Congress for oil and gas development to meet the energy needs of the nation), and the complete failure of the Department of the Interior to take into account the State’s comments as a cooperating agency, as required by federal statutes, regulations, BLM handbooks and policies, shows a complete lack of respect for the views of the State,” Governor Parnell wrote to Secretary Salazar.
The State had provided comments supporting full development of oil and gas resources in the NPR-A, with reasonable mitigation measures. The State’s recommendations were not included in the selected alternative.
Governor Parnell urged the Secretary to start the process over and include input from the state. View the letter.




12 September 2012 6:02am

On September 5, 2012, TransCanada Corp. (TRP-NYSE) submitted a revised routing for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline through Nebraska as part of its effort to win state approval to build the line and eventually a Presidential Permit for construction. (Energy Investment Banking, by Allen Brooks)

ADN/AP by Dan Joling.  Moving ice may keep a Royal Dutch Shell petroleum drill ship away from a Chukchi Sea prospect for several days. 

Today's Notes and Links: Is Alaska Competitive?

When we received the latest paper issue of Petroleum News, the Bakken Section seemed to outweigh Alaska news reports.  Perhaps this is not unexpected in view of the fact that both Texas and North Dakota now produce more oil than Alaska.  Here's PNA's excellent online issue: check the headlines and consider yourself how well Alaska is competing within the world petroleum marketplace.  -dh

For those who think Alaska's geography, climate, remoteness from markets, regulatory requirements, labor costs and -- most critically -- tax structure, are competitive in the world gas market, this story of Canadian gas export success* might be worth considering.  While the B.C. and Alberta provincial governments support these projects, they do not own them.  Support comes not in the form of massive subsidy and political manipulation, but by moderation of tax and other government influenced expenses affecting investment decisions.  (Here is a group that focuses specifically on how to, "Make Alaska Competitive").  -dh

Today, your author will appear on Coastal Television's "Alaska Political Insider" at 4 p.m. Alaska time.

David Holt, Consumer energy alliance, Neil Cavuto, Lybia, energy policyAt 8:05 p.m. Eastern time, Consumer Energy Alliance President David Holt (NGP Photo) is scheduled to review the effect of Mid-Eastern current events on American consumers with Fox Business News analyst, Neil Cavuto.  We expect to hear the words, "Alaska" and "Canada" more than once.  -dh

*Calgary Herald by Stephen Ewart.  The selection of Prince Rupert by Spectra Energy and BG Group as the site for a huge LNG plant and export terminal marks the second time in two months that energy companies have chosen it over nearby Kitimat.

It reveals a curious dynamic as the pair of isolated tidewater ports compete for large-scale energy investment, even as the debate over pipelines - specifically, bitumen pipe-lines - ensues in political and business capitals across the country.
The Kitimat-Prince Rupert rivalry is a regional battle in the broader energy war.
In August, Malaysian energy giant Petronas completed a $5.5-billion purchase of Calgary gas producer Progress Energy and announced it will construct an LNG plant at Prince Rupert for the shipment of gas to markets in Asia.
Spectra and BG Group plan to build an $8 billion LNG plant that could be operating by 2020.
Meanwhile, construction is underway down the jagged coastline of B.C.'s Inner Passage on the Kiti-mat LNG plant - backed by Apache, Encana and EOG - that is set to open in 2015. It will be the first of at least three LNG plants the B.C. government wants in operation by 2020.
Shell Canada, Mitsubishi, PetroChina and Korea Gas have also announced plans for a $12-billion LNG facility at Kitimat.
The series of announcements support the B.C. government's strategies for natural gas and LNG development that underpin economic growth in the province's north. Those three plants would export almost as much gas (6.9 billion cubic feet) as Canada consumes each day (7.7 Bcf).