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Northern Gas Pipelines is your public service 1-stop-shop for Alaska and Canadian Arctic energy commentary, news, history, projects and people. It is informal and rich with new information, updated daily. Here is the most timely and complete Arctic gas pipeline and northern energy archive available 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 suggest others existing before 2001.

 

Federal Progress

12-4-14 Progress For Canada's Energy East Pipeline - Costliest Regulation In U.S. History!

04 December 2014 7:54am

Stop The Costliest regulation In America's History: HAPPENING NOW!   Here is CEA's position.  -dh


"Energy East Pipeline is Good For All of Canada."  Editorial BoardCalgary Herald

CBC News.  Ontario's concerns about the proposed Energy East pipeline narrowed considerably following a meeting today between Premiers Kathleen Wynne and Jim Prentice of Alberta.

Ontario and Quebec set out seven principles for the $12-billion pipeline project, which would carry western crude to refineries in eastern Canada, the most notable relating to the potential impact on the environment.


Bipartisan Agreement on Public Lands Bills Balances Job Creation, Conservation, Energy & Mineral Production, Public Access & Recreation, and Support for National Parks 

Doc Hastings, US Congress, Energy, Natural Resources, NDAA, National Parks, Job Creation, energy and mineral production, Dave Harbour PhotoBipartisan agreement has been reached on the natural resources provisions that will be included within this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  The House-Senate agreement supports American job creation and economic growth through a balanced approach to improve the management of our public lands and natural resources while protecting treasured areas.

Lisa Murkowski, NDAA, U.S. Senate, Energy and Resources, Dave Harbour PhotoU.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo) this week announced a bipartisan and bicameral agreement to advance a package of lands bills focused on expanding economic opportunities in Alaska and other Western states and will be included within the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

“I am pleased that after weeks of negotiations, we have reached a bipartisan and bicameral agreement to advance this series of public lands bills,” Murkowski said. “We have worked hard to develop a balanced package that will increase resource production and provide new economic opportunities for western communities.”

For multiple Congresses, the NDAA has included provisions within the jurisdiction of the House Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee.  This year’s provisions are included in Title 30 of NDAA, with the multiple sections reflecting individual bills, each of which has been subject to public review in the House or Senate, and the majority have already passed the House or Senate.

The bills in the agreement will create thousands of American jobs, cut red-tape to energy production on federal lands, boost American mineral production, protect multiple-use and public recreation on federal lands, convey over 100,000 acres of federal land for job-creating economic and community development, protect treasured lands through the measured establishment of locally-supported parks and wilderness areas, and provide new means to enhance private dollars to support America’s National Parks.

“As it has traditionally done, this year’s annual national defense bill contains natural resources provisions that are the result of a bipartisan agreement.  Of great importance to the House is the inclusion of long-standing priorities and House-passed bills that have languished in the Senate.  The agreement offers a balanced approach to public lands management, providing opportunities for new job creation and energy and mineral production, while simultaneously protecting special areas,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (NGP Photo). 

Key highlights include:

Expanding American Energy & Mineral Production

  • Boosts new oil and natural gas production on federal lands by reducing permit delays, providing regulatory certainty to American job creators, preventing the Obama Administration from increasing costs, and extending a successful pilot program that helps the Bureau of Land Management deal with a backlog of drilling permit applications. 
  • Responsibly facilitates several proposed mineral development projects, which includes allowing for opening up the third largest undeveloped copper resource in the world – supporting nearly 3,700 American jobs, creating $61.4 billion in total economic impact, generating nearly $20 billion in federal, state, county and local tax revenue, and producing enough copper to meet 25 percent of current U.S. demand. 

Protecting Jobs and Multiple-Use of Federal Lands

  • Reduces grazing permit backlogs and adds needed certainty to America’s ranching community. 
  • Updates fee structure to provide predictable, fair rates so families are not forced to tear down cabins they own in national forests. 

Balancing Conservation Designations with Federal Land Conveyances

  • Provides for over 110,000 acres of land to be conveyed out of federal ownership – to be utilized for economic development (including mineral production, timber production, infrastructure projects) and community development (ie, local cemetery, shooting range).
  • Supports America’s National Parks by providing new means of enhancing private funding (through donor recognition and the issuance of a commemorative coin to recognize the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016) and by designating a select number of new park units that have strong local support.
  • Designates approximately 245,000 acres of wilderness in specific areas with strong local and Congressional support.  Nearly half of those acres are already managed as if it were wilderness due to its current status as a roadless or wilderness study area.
  • Releases 26,000 acres of current wilderness study areas to multiple use.
  • Protects private property owners by ensuring that no private property can be condemned. 
Categories:

11-11-14 Some Projects Struggle Against Federal Roadblocks But Sasol Is Succeeding With Its Mega Project

11 November 2014 6:23am

Recommended by NGP Reader Steve Borell: By Frank DiCesare / American Press

... A main component of Sasol’s final regulatory hurdle has been cleared.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Friday approved Sasol wetlands modification permit, allowing the company to disrupt -- and later replace -- wetlands during construction.

Mike Hayes, Sasol’s public affairs manager for U.S. megaprojects, told the American Press on Friday that the permit will also allow Sasol to move ahead with the project's financing.

"This means we can start planning to ask management for our Final Investment Decision," Hayes said. "On the ground, we will be able to begin pre-construction activities, such as site cleaning. We will also start preparing for the construction of the dock from which will we offload our modules." 

Hayes said Sasol expects to receive their final Corps permit to build a dock facility on the Calcasieu Ship Channel soon.

Sasol plans to expand their plant with an ethane cracker and a gas-to-liquids complex. The combined projects have been estimated to cost between $18 billion and $21 billion.

Categories:

10-10-14 "Interesting Moments" From Our Video Archives - Alaska's Congressional Delegation Unites On LNG

10 October 2014 6:06am

Alaska Delegation Unites to Urge DOE Approval of Alaska LNG Export Application


We continue to have high respect for Prime Minister Harper!


This Week's Petroleum News Bakken - Petroleum News


The Alliance's Rebecca Logan writes, "Great presentation yesterday morning by Greg Lalicker from Hilcorp!   Over 200 folks in attendance!!"  We are pleased to attach that presentation for your review.  -dh


We know two Members of Mark Begich, Alaska, US Senator, Dave Harbour Photo, President Obama, Executive Order, Monuments, due process, lawless, rule of lawAlaska's Congressional Delegation who oppose President Obama's irresponsible use of Executive Orders and EPA's preemptive blockage of projects which destroys the concept of "due process" and "Rule of Law".

Here, the President has, by fiat, created the "San Gabriel National Monument", without public input.  We would hope that our Democrat Senator, Mark Begich (NGP Photo), could prevail on the President -- along with his Republican colleagues -- to avoid such unilateral actions which we could otherwise see repeated before 2016 in Alaska and other resource rich states.  -dh


Senate Energy Committee Communications Guru Robert Dillon writes us that, "The Wall Street Journal opinion page yesterday took the Obama administration to the woodshed for failing to take advantage of the historic opportunity to improve our security and economy by strengthening energy ties with Canada and Mexico." 

In a violent, disordered world, the disagreements among the U.S., Canada and Mexico are minor. The benefits of uniting the economies of these three huge, peaceful nations are real. But it will require a U.S. presidential candidate with some of Prime Minister Harper’s vision to make it happen.

Amateur Hour Energy Videos For Our Readers and For Our Archives (Along With Hundreds of Thousands of Research Documents, Presentations, Maps, News Items and Editorials: Google Search Our Archives, Upper Right Column.)

In reviewing our "amateur hour" You Tube Channel, we encounter some “Interesting Moments” in Northern Energy history.  Your author recorded these moments, over the years, either 1) to post on his northerngaspipelines.com webpage, or 2) as research for articles, or (3 as requested raw footage for other news/video producers.  These links will become a part of the Northern Gas Pipelines archives.  Other tapes preserved on this channel are more personal in nature or deal with other than energy subjects.  None of our videos pretend to be professionally filmed.  Enjoy!

Warren Buffett Congratulates Governor Sarah Palin (Then, not now....)

Acting Mayor Matt Clayman Dozes On Stage At National Energy Meeting In Anchorage

Governor Walter Hickel Addresses Federal ‘Broken Promises’ (Hosted with permission)

Dave Harbour: Memorial Day Interview Including Energy Policy Issues

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s Staff Coordinates Environmental Rally For Media

Bjorn Lomborg Gives Balanced, Global Warming Scientific Perspective

Commissioners Bill Reilly and Fran Ulmer Hearing: Deepwater Horizon

Dave Harbour Presents NARUC/IOGCC Study To Energy Council On Costs Of Maintaining Moratoria Against Energy Development On Federal Lands, Using Federal Modeling Program

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Re: Energy and Environment

Senator Ted Stevens Supports LNG Alternative For North Slope Gas

More here:

Here are some other unedited videos on our VIMEO channel:

  • Senator Lisa Murkowski On The Federal “Assault On Alaska”
  • Governor Jay Hammond And Legislature Define ‘Fair Share’ Of Petroleum Revenue
  • Dave Harbour On Value Of Calgary Arctic Gas Symposium

    Alaska Delegation Letter To DOE

     

    Alaska Delegation Urges DOE to Approve Alaska LNG Export Application

    U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, (NGP Photo), Senator Mark Begich (NGP Photo) and Congressman Don Young, R-Alaska, last week called on the Department of Energy to expeditiously approve a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export license to ensure Alaska’s stranded natural gas resources reach market.

    In a letter sent to Director of the Division of Natural Gas Regulatory Activities John Anderson, the delegation detailed the Alaska LNG Project’s plans to export LNG to both free-trade agreement (FTA) and non-free trade Agreement (non-FTA) countries, as well as its importance to the state’s future.

    “The Alaska LNG Project would be the largest integrated natural gas, LNG project of its kind ever designed and constructed, with an estimated cost of $45 billion to $65 billion,” the delegation wrote. “No other single project is as important to Alaska’s economic future as this massive infrastructure project.”

    The developers of the Alaska LNG Project – Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, BP, and the pipeline company TransCanada – are seeking a license to export 2.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day for 30 years. To date, the largest volume of LNG approved for export by DOE was 2.2 Bcf a day for the Sabine Pass project in Louisiana. DOE has also typically approved licenses for 20 years.

    “This is an important project for the future of the state’s economy and it’s important that DOE officials move quickly to approve it as they have all other export projects from Alaska,” Murkowski said. “I’m committed to doing everything I can at the federal level to push it across the finish line.”

    “This is another good step get this critical project moving, and I am glad to stand together with the rest of the delegation,” said Begich. “This natural gas project is good for Alaska’s economy and will create jobs, not to mention the Alaska LNG Project would provide Alaskans significant state revenue, thousands of high-paying construction and operational jobs, and access to low-cost energy.”

    “The Alaska LNG Project is a long time coming, and I’m pleased that a united congressional delegation is working to remove federal barriers to bring our tremendous natural gas resources to market,” said Young. “Projects such as this will encourage Alaska’s prosperity by ensuring well-paying jobs for our citizens and added revenue for our state, all while continuing Alaska’s role in meeting the energy needs of the 21st Century.”

    The delegation pointed out that DOE has previously acknowledged that treatment of LNG export applications in Alaska will necessarily differ from lower 48 applications, and that a presidential finding from 1988 stating that exports of LNG from Alaska “will not diminish the total quantity or quality nor increase the total price of energy available to the United States” is valid and applicable to the Alaska LNG Project application.

    “We believe that the export authorization sought by the Alaska LNG Project is fully consistent with both the public interest of Alaska and the nation,” the delegation wrote. “As the Alaska Congressional Delegation, we write to request that you approve this application expeditiously.”

    SEE THE 9-30-14 LETTER .PDF HERE....


     

Categories:

7-16-14 Inuvik Suffers Gas Pipe Loss While Alaska and BC Plan For LNG Exports

16 July 2014 8:53am

CBC.  The price of houses in Inuvik has dropped by 10 to 15 per cent in the last three years — ever since plans for the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline were set aside, according to a local realtor..., Jim Weller ... with Coldwell Banker....


Petroleum News.  Parnell names municipal advisory board. Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell has named members of the Municipal Advisory Gas Project Review Board...

Petroleum News.  BC's LNG list grows.  British Columbia's lineup of LNG proposals has grown to 15 with U.S.-based WesPac Midstream requesting a 25-year export license from the National Energy Board to ship up to 3 million metric tons a year to customers in Asia, the U.S., Central America and South America. In entering the public arena, W....


Michael Whatley, Consumer Energy Alliance, Keystone XL, South Dakota, Senator Tim Johnson, Photo by Dave HarbourEnergy Voice.  In an op-ed penned for The Hill, Michael Whatley, Executive Vice President at Consumer Energy Alliance (NGP Photo), explains how South Dakota’s Sen. Tim Johnson (D) now has opportunity to move the Keystone XL pipeline one step closer to construction.


Lisa Murkowski, oil exports, US Senate, Energy Committee, Photo by Dave HarbourU.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo), met today with Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on the issue of crude oil and condensate exports:

“I appreciate Secretary Pritzker taking the time to meet with me today." she said after the meeting.  "We had an open conversation about the Commerce Department’s approach to the question of U.S. oil exports. I am encouraged that Secretary Pritzker is engaged and that there are ongoing discussions within the department on this issue.

Wall Street Journal.  More than 150 executive branch nominees are awaiting Senate confirmation, but Harry Reid is attending to his personal priorities. On Tuesday the Majority Leader pushed through a vote on Norman Bay to helm his sovereign government province, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  (Senator Murkowski has vigorously opposed the President's intention to name Bay chairman of this regulatory body, so important to Alaska and US energy policy and regulation in general.  -dh)

Murkowski is the senior Republican on the energy panel.  Last January, she released a white paper on the need to revamp U.S. energy export policy. Murkowski has also published five staff reports on crude oil and condensate exports, which are available on the energy committee’s website.  


*** U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES MEDIA ADVISORY***

Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans & Insular Affairs Subcommittee to Hold Legislative Hearing on Four Bills, including two affecting Alaska. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs will hold a legislative hearing on Wednesday, July 23rd on four bills.

WHAT:

Subcommittee Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans & Insular Affairs legislative hearing on:

  •  H. R. 3109 (Young of AK), to assist Alaskan Native Handicrafts.
  •  H. R. 3409 (Fincher), To amend the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 to require that any expansion of a national wildlife refuge must be expressly authorized by statute. “the National Wildlife Refuge Expansion Limitation Act”

WHEN:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
10:00 AM 

WHERE:

1334 Hearing Room in the Longworth House Office Building

 Visit the Committee Calendar for additional information, once it is made available.  The meeting is open to the public and a live video stream will be broadcast at http://naturalresources.house.gov/live.

Categories:

6-25-14 "This is Alaska's time -- and it feels like we're back in the game" - ConocoPhillips Alaska President Trond-Erik Johansen

25 June 2014 7:40am

Resource Development Council for Alaska Report Below


Publisher's Note:

Our friend, Alaska Salmon Alliance Executive Director Arni Thomson (NGP Photo) provides us with this Arni Thompson, commercial fishing, alaska, oil tax reform, Photo by Dave Harbourlink to the Seattle Times: "North Dakota is booming, and its largest city has reinvented itself, attracting creative types and energetic entrepreneurs."  

Recently, we pointed out that Alaska had the lowest domestic product gain of any state, during 2013...in sharp contrast to other oil producing states that are moving ahead of Alaska, including North Dakota, Texas and even California.

Our friend from Senator Lisa Murkowski's Energy Committee Staff, Robert Dillon (NGP Photo), today gave us perspective on this week's federal approval to export lightly refined product.

Dillon wrote,​ "over at the Houston Chronicle's Fuel Fix blog:  Robert Dillon, Senate Energy Committee, Murkowski, Alaska, crude oil exports, pioneer, Photo by Dave HarbourJennifer Dlouhy has a nice summary of the Commerce Department’s decision yesterday to allow Pioneer and Enterprise to export condensates that have been lightly processed or 'stabilized' in a distillation tower, thereby turning them into 'refined products.'

"While the decision does not end the outdated policy that bans most crude oil exports," Dillon said,"it is a step in the right direction. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has been pressing the Obama administration to lift the 1970s-era export ban since January. She has suggested a three-step road map to ending the ban, including allowing the export of condensates and a presidential finding that modernization of our export policy is in the national interest."  

The oil export ban issue is important to Alaskans since the ability to export crude oil broadens the market for and improves the price of Alaska oil.  

It is important to all Americans, since the ability to export improves US balance of payments, can assist our allies in becoming less dependent on unfriendly sources and enhances job creation.

It is important to Canada since a lifting of the US oil export ban could expand displacement and other economic strategies for most efficiently using North American energy supplies -- including throughput of the Obama-administration-delayed Keystone XL Pipeline project. 

-dh

While we acknowledge local statistics of low unemployment in Alaska, we also know that can be a temporary condition unless Alaska's investment climate continues a one-year improvement trend since passage in 2013 of SB 21, the oil production tax reform bill.  

If that job creating trend is killed by an ill-informed voter repeal of SB 21, Alaska will resume its slide past investment climate mediocrity toward insolvency.  This is because Alaska is so dependent on oil production and sustainable oil production requires sustainable tax and regulatory treatment--among other things.

We would draw reader attention to the Resource Development Council for Alaska (RDC) story below.

Ralph Samuels, RDC, ACES, Oil Taxes, No On One, Proposition One, Photo by Dave HarbourYesterday, speakers were confident in the economic future of the State, if...

...if, Alaska can become a more stable investment climate.  It can do this by 1) soundly rejecting (i.e voting 'no' on) the August primary election proposition to repeal the state's improved, reformed production tax law that is already creating more investments ... and, 2) by giving investors confidence in the durability of fiscal certainty that could lead to a $40 - $60 billion LNG Export project.  "It is up to us," as former legislator and incoming RDC president, Ralph Samuels (NGP Photo) said.  -dh

 

(Find Ralph Samuels' complete presentation here.)


 

 

"...we're back in the game!"

Commentary by

Dave Harbour

ConocoPhillips Alaska President Trond-Erik Johansen (NGP Trond-Erik Johansen, ConocoPhillips, Alaska, SB 21, RDC, ACES, Photo by Dave HarbourPhoto-L) pretty well summarized the theme of yesterday's Resource Development Council for Alaska Annual meeting. 

In his introduction of company Chairman and CEO, Ryan Lance (NGP Photo), Johansen said, “I’m sure many of you are aware that since oil tax reform legislation was signed into law a year ago, ConocoPhillips has announced new projects and increased investment in Alaska.

Ryan Lance, ConocoPhillips, Alaska, ACES, production taxes, alaska gas pipeline, lng, RDC, Photo by Dave Harbour“We are hopeful”, he said, that “SB21 will stay in place so we can continue to build on the momentum that is here now.  This is Alaska’s time – and it feels like we’re back in the game.” 

In today’s Alaska, the two big political issues du jour both concern “Investment Climate”. 

Calling on a background as former government relations director for ARCO years ago, I continue to think that a “good investment climate” exists when the tax and regulatory rules are competitive with other areas, and when those “rules of the game” are stable, predictable, and durable.  

In short, after you invest your money in good faith, you are harmed and deterred from future investment when government authorities change the rules of the game –- to take more of the money you make, or to make it harder for you to get a return on your investment -- after the investment is in place.

Over a decade ago, the governor and legislature raised the production tax IN EXCHANGE FOR assurances of investment climate certainty that would permit large gas pipeline investments. 

The severance…or, production tax was raised, sure enough, but the oil company investors were then "rope-a-doped" -- denied investment climate certainty.  It was becoming crystal clear that, after several decades of relative investment climate stability (i.e. since 1981), in Alaska “A deal was no longer a deal”.

So, the first issue du jour dealing with a “good investment climate”, is the upcoming effort by some citizens to trade away long-term stability – by repealing the recently passed tax reform bill, SB 21 – for higher taxes in the short term.  The second issue is whether investors have sufficient faith in the durability and reliability of Alaska’s fiscal policies, to plunk down $40- $60 billion on a gas pipeline and LNG export project.

*     *     *

Phil Cochraine, RDC, BP, ACES, Alaska oil and gas tax, Photo by Dave HarbourThe 2013-14 RDC president, Phil Cochraine (NGP Photo-L), opened RDC’s 39th Annual Meeting at the Dena’ina Convention Center in Anchorage by introducing Anchorage's host mayor, Dan Sullivan​, who with his Energy Advisory Counsel over the years, detected the need and successfully lobbied for improved oil industry investments in the Cook Inlet area of the state.  

Paula Easley, RDC, Resource Development Council for Alaska, Photo by Dave HarbourHe went on to recognize board members, veterans, staff and Paula Easley (NGP Photo), long-time executive director and then board member—who received a standing ovation. 

He recognized elected officials in the room, including Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell, Senators Anna Fairclough, Cathy Giessel, Charlie Huggins, Kevin Meyer and several State Representatives including Mia Costello, Shelly Hughes, Craig Johnson, Bob Lynn, Lora Reinbold, Dan Saddler, Bill Stoltze and Geran Tarr and  (Please let us know of others so the archives may be accurately revised.)

KARA MORIARITY, AOGA, KIDS, RDC, SB 21, NO ON ONE, PHOTO BY DAVE HARBOURAlaska Oil & Gas Executive Director Kara Moriarty then addressed the large crowd of some 1,200.  “Alaska runs on oil,” she said.  Moriarty emphasized the importance an improved investment climate leading to improved production upon which jobs, the state budget and the future of Alaska’s children depends (NGP Photo).  Pointing to the assembled children, she said, “These kids are our future ... future miners, future commercial fishermen….  It’s all about jobs.”

Moriarty warned that in the weeks leading up to the August primary election, “…you will hear about the SB 21 $2 billion give-away…that DOESN’T EXIST.”  She also cited a recently completed McDowell Group study emphasizing the impact of oil industry investment on jobs.  (View Moriarty's slide pack.  Note that the actual presentation may have deviated somewhat from prepared remarks.)

Following the introduction by Johansen, Lance (NGP Photo) addressed, “The U.S. Oil & Gas Renaissance – Alaska’s Role” (We provide his slide pack here).

He said the U.S. oil and gas renaissance is growing because of a shale revolution and affirmed that the phenomenon has “staying power”.  Canada is experiencing similar production increases which, together, make possible the increased export of natural gas by 2016. 

At the same time, he said, Asian consumer demand for gas is providing a market for the increased gas supply.  While several dozen LNG export terminals have been proposed in the U.S. and Canada, not all can be expected to be built, he said. 

Alaska has fiscal challenges and Lance noted that Canada has certain ‘infrastructure challenges’, as we have discussed in these pages. The surviving LNG projects, he suggested, will likely come from areas encompassing competitive advantages, including “reasonable fiscal terms”.  Lance emphasized that Alaska had advantages in the growing LNG marketplace, including its 40-year history of exporting LNG to Japan from its Cook Inlet plant at Nikiski and Alaska’s relatively close proximity to Asian markets.

He also said that Alaska’s role in producing more crude oil could be enhanced by reasonable policies.  “ConocoPhillips has a 50-year history in Alaska and remains committed to the state,” he said.  He said he sensed the excitement in the economy and emphasized that maintaining the tax reforms of SB 21would be, “…good for the state, good for jobs and good for industry.”

In an interview following the meeting, we discussed the nature of fiscal certainty with Lance.  We asked about the importance of reliability to a gas pipeline decision.  He said, “stability and certainty are pretty important when making investments over 40-50 years. “

He added that, “We just want an understanding that we can ... say this is the kind of returns we expect out of these projects and that does require some sense of fiscal certainty and stability. 

“But I tell people”, he went on, “we handle this around the world everywhere.  We have fiscal stabilization clauses in our contracts … with most governments and we make big investments all around the world.  So this isn’t new ground we’ve had to tread....  ...we’ve done this globally, we know what it means, what we are just asking is … when we are in these big long projects that you keep us stable through the course of that period. “

We think no reasonable person would think Lance’s request to be unreasonable.  Even Russians and Chinese don’t apparently think the request for fiscal certainty to be unreasonable.

As we probed the subject further, he said, “…people ask me about Russia, China, and where we’ve been for over 20 -30 years … we haven’t changed the contract most places.” 

He added that in Alaska, the fiscal terms have changed, “numerous times”.  He concluded, “…that’s why the companies are talking about this issue; talking about why we need to have some sense of stability and certainty as we go forward with these investments.”

If any elected official were to ask us, “how do we make the investment climate attractive to a gas pipeline investment,” we would say, “Dear Alaskan colleagues, you have a problem.”

We would explain that Alaska has to overcome the greed mentality behind statements like, “It’s our oil”, and “They represent their shareholders and we represent ours”.

Both of those statements are employed as excuses to rob investors of money after they have made investment decisions.  Oil company shareholders and boards would never condone actions by their company to represent them by violating lease terms or breaking tax laws or vilifying public officials.

Yet Alaska over the last decade has taken billions more from oil companies after investments have been made and risks undertaken in good faith; passed tax legislation demanding retroactive payment; and, vilified Alaska’s most capable investors for no defensible reason. 

Alaska's elected officials have given tax breaks to film producers and small oil companies that produced few jobs and little tax revenue while unfairly taxing large petroleum investors who employ many and pay much.

If Alaska wants to attract more investment leading to more oil production and a gas pipeline it had better start doing an attitude check.  Like North Dakota and Texas and Oklahoma, Alaska just might be better served by admitting it is an oil state, appreciating that blessing and becoming proud of its standing as a big “oil patch state”.

Being friendly to investors does not mean giving away the store.  It does mean becoming a place where, after an investment is made, the investor does not lose sleep wondering if the state’s leaders in the morning will decide they want to take more money and saddle the investor with new tax and regulatory burdens.

Like RDC President Ralph Samuels said, “It’s up to us”.

If our decision is to become a responsible investment Alex DeMarban, ADN, Anchorage Daily News, Ryan Lance, Alaska Dispatch, ConocoPhillips, ACES, Photo by Dave Harbourclimate, perhaps we can certify Trond-Erik Johansen’s hope that we are, truly, “back in the game”.

* See ADN story by Alex DeMarban (NGP Photo: DeMarban at press conference following luncheon speech.)

* See RDC's video of Lance's presentation.


Luncheon Remarks

For Ralph Samuels

RDC’s 39th Annual Meeting Luncheon

Dena’ina Convention Center

June 24, 2014

            Thank you, Phil.  It is my honor to serve as President of the Resource Development Council. Alaska faces many challenges, but there are also great opportunities on Alaska’s horizon. 

GOLDPAN PRESENTATION TO PHIL COCHRANE

          RDC has been fortunate to have both a strong board of directors and staff over the course of its nearly 40 years of existence.  Our leadership team has been second to none and Phil Cochrane is no exception.  Phil has served as RDC’s president for two consecutive years and helped guide our team as Senior Vice President for the two years prior.

At this time I would like to present Phil with our traditional President’s Gold Pan in appreciation for his service to RDC.  Thank you Phil for your leadership, hard work, and unending commitment to the mission of RDC – growing Alaska’s economy through responsible resource development. (Applause)

LEGISLATURE AND OIL PRODUCTION TAXES

Over the past year, the 28th Alaska legislature and Governor Parnell’s administration made significant progress in affecting positive change for Alaska’s natural resource dependent economy.  RDC members engaged in a proactive way by testifying, writing, calling and visiting their elected leaders on important issues.  To all of you who responded to our repeated action alerts, thank you! If you didn’t step up, there is more work to do and there will be many opportunities to make your voice heard.

The legislature and administration made progress on advancing a large-diameter Alaska gas pipeline project by passing enabling legislation that empowers the state to become an owner in the Alaska LNG project.  The legislature also passed injunctive security legislation relating to industrial operations in our state – an issue RDC has been working on for several years to bring more fairness and reason into the litigation process. RDC was at the forefront of these and many other issues.

For years RDC has been advocating for the reform of ACES, the oil and gas production tax put in place in 2007 that has been hugely responsible for an accelerated North Slope production decline. As you all know, oil production tax reform finally passed the legislature last year and RDC’s top priority this year is to defeat Ballot Measure 1, which would repeal the new tax structure that took effect January 1st and bring back the old failed ACES tax regime.

The new tax policy is a significant improvement and the industry’s response is encouraging. There is good reason to be optimistic that Alaska is back in the game and that the stage is now set for a future of growth and opportunity. At this time I would like to call on RDC Executive Committee member Kara Moriarty to further address this critical issue.

INTRODUCTION OF TROND-ERIK JOHANSEN

Thank you Kara. Turning to our program, RDC is pleased to welcome both Trond-Erik Johansen and Ryan Lance to our program. Mr. Johansen will be first out of the gate, followed by our keynote speaker. Mr. Johansen is president of ConocoPhillips Alaska, a position he assumed in April 2010.  He joined ConocoPhillips in 1986 and has held a variety of petroleum engineering, well engineering and leadership positions in numerous locations in the U.S. and abroad. Please welcome Trond-Erik Johansen.

(Note for Ralph: Trond-Erik will introduce Ryan Lance)

FOLLOW-UP REMARKS

           (Any personal comments and reflections on the presentation. Present to Ryan as a token of our appreciation, Judy Patrick’s new book, “Photographs of Alaska’s North Slope: Arctic Oil.”)

FINAL COMMENT

A big thank you once again to all of our sponsors for their generosity, and each and everyone one of you for your ongoing support of RDC.  With all of us working together, we can build a prosperous economy and overcome the challenges before us.

I would like to remind everyone to visit the RDC website at akrdc.org on a regular basis for the latest industry and issue updates. Today’s presentation, as well as all other RDC events and breakfast meetings, are available online.

Please mark your calendars for RDC’s annual conference this fall, which will be held on November 19-20th here at the Dena’ina. Our breakfast forums will resume in September.  

One final note, in the next decade alone, Alaska will need to fill 7,500 oil and gas jobs.  And with the potential Alaska LNG project and other oil and gas projects, there will be even more jobs available for Alaskans.  The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development – in partnership with industry and other stakeholders – unveiled a comprehensive workforce plan to prepare for oil and gas jobs now and in the future.  There are cards on the tables at the back with more information. You can also go to the department’s website at Labor DOT Alaska DOT GOV.

In addition, as you leave today, please take with you a copy of our 2014 Annual Report, which is available on the tables and at the exits.

Finally, remember to VOTE NO ON 1 come Tuesday, August 19th!

This concludes the 39th Annual Meeting of the Resource Development Council. Thank you all! 

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6-3-14

03 June 2014 8:32am

Wall Street Journal TODAY re: Yesterday's Climate War Beginning: EPA War on Coal (Dan Kish Video), Coal Cutting Cuts Jobs, Carbon-Income Inequality.

Globe & Mail by Peter Tertzakian.  Last week Total SA and their consortium partners shelved the $11-billion Joslyn oil sands project. Predictably, the belt-tightening announcement triggered the usual self-flagellating notions like, “Canadian oil and gas isn’t competitive,” and “The future of the oil sands is dim.” But ....


Tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will hold its monthly public meeting at 333 W. 7th Avenue in Anchorage, Alaska. Knifeblade #1, National Petroleum Reserve Alaska, BLM, Federal Orphan Well, Federal hypocracy, federal oversight, federal ownership, federal abuse, AOGCC Photo, IOGCC, Agenda will include:Cathy Foerster, AOGCC, IOGCC, BLM, Orphan Well, Clean up, NPR-A, National Petroleum Reserve, Photo by Dave Harbour  1. Approval of Agenda; 2. Old Business; Approve April 2, 2014 Minutes; 3. New Business; Legacy Wells (Photo, Knifeblade #1), Commissioner Cathy Foerster (NGP Photo.  See our story here; since we wrote it, Senator Lisa Murkowski succeeded in encouraging funding of a BLM cleanup.  This update, therefore, should give indication of BLM's progress in removing federal hazardous wastes in the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska, where BLM rules ironically prevent industry from exploring and safely developing vast areas.  -dh)   4. Opportunity for Public Comment


 

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