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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.


8-28-14 President Set To Sidestep Congress Again. Where Is The Congressional Outrage?

28 August 2014 7:07am

New York Times by Coral Davenport.  The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.  

In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate

Today's Consumer Energy Alliance Energy Links:

Energy and Commerce Committee: Song Requests for Willie Nelson and Neil Young Keystone XL Concert *CEA Mention
Willie Nelson and Neil Young are headed to the Nebraska Sandhills next month to perform at concert raising awareness of the Keystone XL pipeline. In honor of the event, the Consumer Energy Alliance last week released a “playlist of songs for the artists to perform based on some of their greatest hits, but this time with a Keystone XL Pipeline twist.”
CNBC: Brent hovers below $103 as ample supply weighs
Brent traded sideways on Thursday, holding between $102 and $103 a barrel, as ample supply and a refinery fire in the United States that could reduce crude demand weighed on prices.
The Boston Globe: Labor Day gas prices at three-year low
Massachusetts drivers can cruise into Labor Day weekend knowing they will pay less for gasoline than they did a year ago — or three years ago, for that matter — due partly to a surge in US oil production that has reduced the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.
Reuters:  U.S. State Department lawyer Benes is latest Keystone XL player to go
A U.S. State Department lawyer who played a key role in the Keystone XL pipeline review is moving on, sources said on Wednesday, the latest departure of a senior official involved with the long-delayed project. Keith Benes helped produce the government's two environmental impact reviews on Keystone, which concluded that the 1,200-mile (1,900-km) pipeline might encourage Canadian oil sands development, but would not meaningfully worsen global climate change.
The Denver Post: Rosen: Does Mark Udall prefer Tom Steyer pipeline to Keystone?
Coloradans have twice favored Barack Obama in presidential elections, a Democrat is governor, and Democrats dominate the legislature. You'd think Mark Udall would have clear sailing in his U.S. Senate re-election bid.

Reuters: Shell fits final module on Alberta oil sands' first carbon capture project
Shell Canada has fitted the final module at the first carbon capture and storage project in Alberta's oil sands, the company said on Wednesday, putting start-up on track for 2015.
Daily News: As Obama drags heels, Canada turns to China
With the rising significance of oil sales to the Canadian economy and the Obama administration’s continued blocking of plans to construct the Keystone Pipeline, Canada is moving ahead with the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, a pipeline to expedite the shipping of land-locked oil reserves in Alberta to China.
National Review: Krauthammer’s Take: Obama’s Climate Plan an ‘Incredibly Stupid Idea,’ But Any Agreement Would Have to Be International
On Wednesday’s Special Report, Charles Krauthammer reacted to the Obama administration’s efforts to develop a climate-change agreement among nations without the approval of Congress. Krauthammer said the idea that the Obama administration could think itself capable of shaming other countries into an international emissions restrictions was “the dumbest idea since the Russian reset.”
Breitbart: Obama's Climate Plan Puts Candidates 'in Front of the Firing Squad'
The Obama administration is reportedly negotiating a deal to try and lower greenhouse gas emissions by “naming and shaming” governments that don't buckle to their demands.
Washington Post- Bloomberg: Fracking Foes Force Some Oil Drillers to Tread Lightly: Energy
A fight over fracking is looming in Texas. Another stand-off is shaping up in Colorado. Yet drillers’ reactions couldn’t be more different. In Texas, drillers are doing their noisy in-your-face fracking as usual. Meanwhile, on a small farm about an hour from the Colorado Rocky Mountains, the oil industry is giving fracking a makeover, cutting back on rumbling trucks and tamping down on pollution.
Fuel Fix: Plenty of pluck left in the Marcellus, report says
The Marcellus region is now the biggest natural gas shale play in the world, and there’s still about $90 billion to be made by tapping the area’s reserves, according to a study by energy analyst group Wood Mackenzie.
UPI: Texas oil production up 25 percent from 2013
Texas oil production in July, the last full month for which data are available, increased more than 25 percent year-on-year, the state government said. The Railroad Commission of Texas, the state's energy agency, said crude oil production in July averaged 2.15 million barrels per day, up from the 1.68 million bpd reported in July 2013.
Pacific Coast Business Times: Santa Barbara chamber opposes anti-oil effort Measure P
Proponents of Santa Barbara County’s Measure P, an anti-hydraulic fracturing measure that could also shut down conventional oil and gas production, suffered a setback on Aug. 27 when the largest South Coast chamber of commerce said it opposed the November ballot initiative.”
Bloomberg Businessweek: Colorado Drillers Woo Fracking Foes as Texans Hang Tough
A fight over fracking is looming in Texas. Another stand-off is shaping up in Colorado. Yet drillers’ reactions couldn’t be more different. In Texas, drillers are doing their noisy in-your-face fracking as usual. Meanwhile, on a small farm about an hour from the Colorado Rocky Mountains, the oil industry is giving fracking a makeover, cutting back on rumbling trucks and tamping down on pollution.
Daily News: Boulder County judge strikes down Longmont fracking ban
A Boulder County District Court judge has struck down Longmont's fracking ban but said the ban can stay in place while the city considers an appeal. Judge D.D. Mallard issued the summary judgment Thursday. In the ruling, she mentioned Longmont's charter amendment clearly conflicted with the state's regulations and its interest in the efficient improvement of oil and gas deposits.
Associated Press:  Lafayette’s fracking ban tossed
Colorado’s oil and gas industry has again won another court battle against a town that banned or limited fracking. A Boulder District Court judge on Wednesday tossed out a voter-approved fracking ban in Lafayette. The ban was adopted last year.
Denver Post: Boulder District judge tosses Lafayette's fracking ban
A Boulder District judge who in July struck down Longmont's voter-approved fracking banon Wednesday tossed Lafayette's charter amendment banning all oil and gas activity in the city. Lafayette voters in November approved Ballot Measure 300, which bans all "oil and gas extraction and related activities" within the city in east Boulder County.
Chicago Tribune: Fracking rules to be unveiled Friday
Highly anticipated rules to regulate hydraulic fracturing in Illinois are to be unveiledFriday. Once the rules go into effect, Illinois hopes to become the center of the next oil boom. Fracking, which involves injecting fluids and chemicals at high volumes to crack open shale rock and unleash oil and natural gas, could bring bring jobs to a struggling southern Illinois economy. Ilinois also is counting on tax revenue on extracted oil and gas to fatten state and county coffers.
The Southern: Fracking rules will be released Friday
News of the impending release Friday of long-awaited rules needed to implement fracking drew reactions ranging from cautious optimism to outright outrage. The rules will be delivered to the Illinois Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules Friday, Illinois Department of Natural Resources spokesman Chris Young confirmed Wednesday.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Power Source: Williams to expand Transco pipeline system in Pennsylvania
Williams has launched an open season for users interested in capacity on its Diamond East project, an expansion of the 10,200-mile Transco interstate pipeline to allow more Marcellus Shale gas to head to the northeast. The project will create an additional 1 billion cubic feet per day of firm natural gas transportation capacity to markets in the northeastern U.S. by mid-2018, the Tulsa-based midstream company said.
Charleston Daily Mail: West Virginia sees shortage of truck drivers
The trucking industry is facing a driver shortage that is expected to worsen over the coming years. Jeff Foster, who runs the Boone County Truck Driving Academy in Chapmanville, said the root cause of that shortage is trucker retirement.
Tribune-Review: Discussion of Murrysville drilling ordinance closed to public
Task force meetings to discuss revamping the municipal drilling ordinance won't be made public, Murrysville officials said. The Marcellus shale task force was reconvened earlier this year after council decided to re-evaluate the municipal drilling ordinance after the state Supreme Court overruled portions of Act 13, the state drilling regulations
Charleston Daily Mail: Changes can help WV embrace gas boom, speaker says
The president of the nation’s largest holder of natural gas reserves said Wednesday that if West Virginia wants to take full advantage of the Marcellus shale, it needs to enact sound policies and invest in its people.
Cleveland.com: Gas riches at stake in two cases before Ohio Supreme Court
The Ohio Supreme Court took up a pair of cases recently that each address disputes over who owns mineral rights for property in an area of Ohio thought to have rich natural gas reserves.
Denton Record- Chronicle: Driller gets waiver for wells
A Colorado energy company claimed the city of Denton’s moratorium on new gas wells has caused it hardship and received a waiver this week to drill five gas wells on land owned by a former Dallas Cowboy.
San Antonio Express-News: Technology will reduce need for flaring
The Eagle Ford Shale has been an economic game changer for South Texas and has led to greater energy independence for our nation. The present oil and gas shale formations are developed with cutting-edge technology that not only sustains development but has also led to safer and cleaner operations for our industry and the communities where we operate.
Texas Public Radio: Texas Railroad Commission Introduces New Rules For Fracking Injection Well
A seismologist for the Texas Railroad Commission updated the Texas House Energy Resources Committee about the findings of a study on the number of earthquakes occurring near fracking injection well sites.
SFGate: Radio ads praise NC lawmakers for fracking votes
The energy industry is thanking several North Carolina lawmakers who supported fracking legislation with radio ads in their districts as elections approach. The American Petroleum Institute said Wednesday it began airing ads last week that run into early next month. Slightly different versions praise seven House or Senate Republicans who voted for what it calls "safe, responsible development of North Carolina energy."
E&E Publishing: Big wins elusive for EPA in Clean Water Act showdowns
For U.S. EPA at the Supreme Court, it's been the best of times -- and the worst. In Clean Air Act cases, EPA is on a roll. The high court last term upheld a major EPA program for air pollution that drifts across state lines. It also barely trimmed a permitting program for greenhouse gases, leaving intact most of EPA's first round of climate regulations.


8-27-14 Like Alaska, Canadian Arctic Is Committed To Natural Gas

27 August 2014 7:15am

Daily Courier.  Several months after the town of Inuvik, N.W.T., David Ramsay, NWT, LNG, Natural Gas, Inuvik, oil, natural gas, pipeline, Photo by Dave Harbourbegan trucking in liquefied natural gas to generate some of its power, the territorial government wants to do the same in smaller communities that continue to rely on dirtier and costlier diesel.

But David Ramsay (NGP Photo), whose cabinet responsibilities in the Northwest Territories government include investment

Eye On The Arctic by Ellis Quinn.  Premier Harper will visit Canada’s northwestern Yukon territory, the Northwest Territories and the eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut from August 21 -26.

“Our Government is working to support Northerners as they take control of their destinies, by providing tools, training, technology and infrastructure,” Harper said in a news release on Tuesday. “Northerners today are better equipped to seize tremendous local opportunities, and to develop northern solutions for northern challenges.”

and industry, said the long-term ambition is to have the territory's own vast undeveloped natural gas resources be consumed both by its citizens and by those in markets to the south.

"We've got to try and get communities off of diesel," Ramsay said in an interview from Sudbury, Ont., where he brought up the topic with fellow provincial and territorial natural resources ministers.

TODAY'S Energy In Depth energy links:

  • EID-Mtn. States: Colorado oil and gas development contributes to strong tax base (8/26)
  • EID-Marcellus: Guest post from Trevor Walczak, Vice-President of the National Association of Royalty Owners, on Pennsylvania’s energy future (8/26)


EID Asks When Anti-Fracking Chefs Will Stop Using Gas? Well Servicing Magazine,EID’s Dave Quast. Recently, EID sent an open letter to Waters and her top chef Jerome Waag, who have been outspoken opponents of hydraulic fracturing—asking them a simple question: If you oppose hydraulic fracturing, then when will you stop using natural gas, which itself is extracted via that very process?
How fracking insulates USA: Our viewUSA TODAY, Editorial. There are legitimate reasons why things would look relatively good here while so much of the world burns. First among them is a U.S. energy renaissance that has left the nation far less dependent on Mideast oil.


8-26-14 New App Tracks Canadian Drilling Rigs! An Alaska Business Opportunity?

26 August 2014 7:44am

Calgary Herald, by Dan Healing.  A six-month-old app developed to track and identify drilling rigs in Western Canada has been burning up the rankings for free business downloads lately.  And the nine staff at Calgary-based startup software developer PetroFeed Inc. couldn’t be happier.  “It’s gotten some exposure and things are working out pretty well for us,” said founder and chief executive Ashley Dunfield. “We’ve gotten crazy explosive growth in the ’patch.”

OPINION: The burden of proof that SB21 is the right plan for Alaska is on the oil industry now, and the defeat of the referendum puts Alaska in a win-win situation.  ADN Commentary by T.J. Presely, Nick Moe.


8-25-14 Canada Working To Defend Arctic Sovereignty

25 August 2014 2:47am

Petroleum News by Gary Park.  Canada has two icebreakers in the High Arctic collecting scientific data that is designed to bolster its case for control of the seafloor on the Continental Shelf, including the North Pole.

The Coast Guard vessels, Terry Fox and Louis S. St-Laurent, will spend six weeks on the mission “to ensure that Canada secures international recognition of the full extent” of the region, said Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.


24 August 2014 3:42pm

Petroleum News by Alan Bailey.  In an Aug. 6 filing Chugach Electric Association has requested Regulatory Commission of Alaska approval of a revised tariff that extends the electric utility’s gas supply agreement with Hilcorp Alaska LLC for a year, from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019. The current supply agreement terminates on March 31, 2018.


23 August 2014 2:25pm

Fuel Fix by Colin Eaton.  

By a slim margin, Alaska’s new business-friendly oil tax regime has survived an effort to overturn it and  revert to a previous tax structure that cost companies more.

A measure on the state’s primary ballot Tuesday would have reinstated Alaska’s progressive oil taxes, originally installed in 2007 under former Gov. Sarah Palin and dismantled last year in an effort to lure oil companies to the state. The old taxes were tied to crude prices, and oil companies say they would have hampered the industry’s new plans for investments in the state’s lagging oil production.

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