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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.

 

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1-16-15

16 January 2015 2:48am

Caution:  We would urge our Arctic oriented readers to carefully follow this BSEE Arctic/General OCS Research Plan, for if contracts are given to organizations or professors that are predisposed to be agenda driven, the results may be less than scientific, less than objective.  In short, one hopes we can avoid the situation wherein a Federal Administration sells leases, then does everything in its power to nullify action--at considerable expense to leaseholders and consumers.  -dh


 

But hold on....  Bradner has an update for this story.  

Alaska Attorney General Craig Richards ... said in a Jan. 14 interview with the Journal that the current requirement keeps too much information from the public and that a new policy is being developed that will allow more open discussion of AK LNG issues in public while protecting certain private information

Alaska Journal of Commerce by Tim Bradner.  The state’s political and resource communities are still buzzing about Gov. Bill Walker’s sudden firing Jan. 6 of three Alaska Gasline Development Corp. board members and his order that new board members not sign confidentiality pledges.

Apache Cuts This Week.  WSJ by Lynn Cook.  Apache Corp. is laying off as many as 250 employees this week in one of the first major workforce cuts at an American oil producer since crude prices began to plunge last summer.  

Washington Times.   BP has announced it will cut an estimated 200 staff jobs and another 100 contracting jobs in light of falling oil prices.

 

The Houston-based energy company, one of the biggest in the U.S., pumps oil and gas in places from Texas to Egypt and employs about 5,000 ...

 

(including Alaska, we might add. -dh)


 

Keystone XL Week's End Commentary

by

James R. Halloran

Independent Energy Analyst

James Halloran, Independent Energy Analyst, Keystone XL, Halloran File PhotoWe have made it clear that our position is that Keystone XL will not be constructed, at least the five feet of pipeline that would cross the border. The basic weapon that will doom it is time. Its opponents will drag out the approval process until TransCanada gives up. The combination of litigation in multiple courts and dithering by Obama and his minions will drag out the process for years to come.

Much has been written about the Nebraska Supreme Court supposedly clearing the way for Obama acolytes to back into a four-corner stall. But according to Washington Analysis (below), Nebraska may be able to baby-sit the proposal for some additional time. Read the explanation below.

(Follow-up material coming....)

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1-15-15

15 January 2015 4:35am

Two ADN stories by Dermot Cole.  In the midst of a steep decline in world oil prices, CH2M Hill has scrapped plans to look for a buyer of its oil-field services operation in Alaska and on Sakhalin Island in Russia, the company said Wednesday.  More....

...

Scott Goldsmith, Alaska Economic Model, Alaska oil taxes, fiscal, oil price, Dave Harbour Photo

CBC.  All evidence still points to the Keystone XL pipeline being approved, despite the political storm raging over it in Washington, D.C., Canada's natural resources minister says.

Greg Rickford told a press conference in the American capital today that he thinks, based on U.S. State Department recommendations, the project makes sense and will go ahead. 

"Prime Minister [Stephen] Harper and myself believe...."  More...

Online Economic Model....  The "ISER Interactive Fiscal Policy Model V1" worksheet and game allows Alaskans to try to overcome -- or at least understand -- the state's fiscal challenges ....  The Institute of Social and Economic Research released the Excel spreadsheet Wednesday along with an update of the Maximum Sustainable Yield calculation by economist Scott Goldsmith (NGP Photo)....


CBC On Energy East: TransCanada's other big pipeline project facing -- not technical, not geophysical, not supply, not labor...but political challenges. (See related TransCanada story left column) -dh

Technical advisers with the Ontario Energy Board want to know more about the impact TransCanada's Energy East pipeline will have on drinking water sources, and they say special testing may be required to evaluate the safety of the pipeline in some areas of northwestern Ontario.  TransCanada has applied to move crude oil from Alberta to New Brunswick through what is now a natural-gas line.


 

1-14-15

14 January 2015 8:14am

Forbes by Brigham A. McCown.  The recent free-fall of crude oil prices has affected markets across the globe. Energy companies have responded by scaling back investments as their available capital shrinks. In British Columbia, delays are hampering the Pacific Northwest LNG project. Likewise, in Texas, a liquefaction project has been suspended off its coast by Excelerate Energy. Yet, meanwhile, Alaska is moving forward on an ambitious infrastructure project to develop and export its North Slope gas reserves.  


The right hand column is undergoing construction and will be visible soon.  -dh

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1-13-15 Why Is 'Climate Change/Global Warming' Important To Energy Producers?

13 January 2015 5:55am

Tim Bradner, ADN, Alaska Journal of Commerce, Photo by Dave Harbour, Budget shortfall, confidentiality agdcAlaska budget and gasline Comments, ADN by Tim Bradner (NGP Photo).   

I have sympathy for new Gov. Bill Walker walking into this.  So far — with one exception — Walker’s actions have been quite reasoned. He prudently ordered a stop to unobligated spending on several high-profile state development projects and put off submitting a revised state budget until January to allow his team to develop a plan.


Note to readers and public service advertisers:  the right hand column normally appearing here is being reconstructed.  Thank you for your patience.  -dh

Comment: 'Climate Change/Global Warming' Is Important To Energy Producers...and, transporters, refiners, distributors and consumers because when the government and its political allies use it as a foundational assumption for policy, the economy suffers upstream at the wealth producing level, all the way to consumers and defenders of national security.  -dh

Washington Post by George Will.   We know, because they often say so, that those who think catastrophic global warming is probable and perhaps imminent are exemplary empiricists. They say those who disagree with them are “climate change deniers” disrespectful of science.

Actually, however, something about which everyone can agree is that of course the climate is changing — it always is. And if climate Cassandras are as conscientious as they claim to be about weighing evidence, how do they accommodate historical evidence of enormously consequential episodes of climate change not produced by human activity?  Read more....


 

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Energy Plan, guardian, energy, Ed Felker, Dave Harbour PhotoEnergy Guardian by Edward Felker.  Sen. Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo) of Alaska on Thursday laid out an ambitious vision for energy legislation she plans to pursue as the first Republican chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee since 2006, beyond the Keystone XL bill the panel approved mostly along party lines.

Her priorities include a measure by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., to speed up approvals of liquefied natural gas, which Murkowski said will get a hearing this month.


 

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1-12-15 KEYSTONE GAINS SUPPORT (SCROLL DOWN FOR SATURDAY'S PRENTICE STORY)

12 January 2015 6:14am

Michael Whatley, Consumer Energy Alliance, Keystone XL, Photo by Dave Harbour

Responding To The Oil Price 'Crisis'

Commentary:  

While consumers rejoice, low oil prices cause "crises" to those governments and economies that are highly dependent on a high price for the volatile oil & gas commodities they produce.

It may be instructive for decision makers in Alaska and Alberta, for example, to observe -- as they develop their own creative solutions -- ideas from abroad.

Here is what the Ecuador’s Vice President Jorge Glas said yesterday in a Radio announcement about that country's dependence on falling oil prices (See our earlier story re: Ecuador - Pebble Project, Alaska).  “We have already faced similar situations, as have many countries throughout Latin America. We have a technical government that is prepared to face this crisis."  According to a recent posting of a Tiempo Story, "The Ecuadorian government is taking a number of steps to address the economic repercussions of the dramatic decline in oil prices. One such measure has been the revocation of the 5% increase in public sector wages which was scheduled for 2015. There have also been a number of proposals to cut the state budget by as much as $1.4 million.  Ecuador’s Minister of Finance Fausto Herrera recently reported that the government will cut its capital expenditures by over $800 million, in addition to a $580 million cut from the budgets of current projects. With regards to the latter, there will be a direct cut of $200 million, while the remaining $380 million will be saved by optimizing spending."

-dh

On Friday, the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld the pipeline’s route through Nebraska while the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve the project following Senate Energy Committee action. Prior to the release of the Nebraska Supreme Court decision, Michael Whatley (NGP Photo) of the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) appeared on Omaha’s KMTV to preview what to expect from the courts and what implications a decision would have.  Following the decision, CEA issued a statement and spoke to several networks, including Nebraska Public Radio. Later on Friday, CEA issued a statement of support following the House’s vote to approve the project by a strong bipartisan majority, which was picked up on Omaha’s WOWT.  (Note: We have long associated ourselves with CEA and other NGOs advocating reasonable, 'all-of-the-above' energy development policies and projects for North America.  In fact, we believe that together such groups represent the common-sense, public interest 'sweet spot' creating the best blend of economic development, environmental conservation, job creation, and consumer benefits.    -dh)


KTUU Television.  (See story left column)  The agencies in charge of six "mega projects'" that were put on hold in December by Gov. Bill Walker submitted reports this week outlining the operating costs and potential consequences if work is delayed or stopped permanently.  The projects include the Ambler Mining District, the Juneau Access Road, the Susitna-Watana Hydro Project, the Knik Arm Bridge;, the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline; and the Kodiak Launch Complex.


SIGNS OF THE TIMES, fron Schwab: Tpday, Tranocean, Ltd. (RIG) fell 2.30% to a new 52 week low of $15.72. During the last 52 weeks, RIG's price has ranged from $48.53 on January 10, 2014 to today's low of $15.72.  Additionally, over the last 12 months, RIG has decreased 67.59% while its peers in the Oil & Gas Drilling industry decreased 47.73%.


TODAY'S ENERGY IN DEPTH ENERGY LINKS:

HF: New York, California and the perils of ignoring scienceSan Jose Mercury News,EID’s Dave Quast. Recent developments in the debate over hydraulic fracturing (fracking), however, show that these two states have fundamentally opposite approaches to leadership from Democratic governors. Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York didn't lead, but rather followed when his Health Commissioner announced that the state would continue its ban on fracking. This despite the fact that the state's Department of Health couldn't find evidence that fracking is harmful.
 
The debate about fracturing must be based on sound scienceTimes Record News, column. Hydraulic fracturing has been accused by environmental groups of everything from polluting water supplies to contaminating the air to causing cancer to inducing earthquakes. Dr. Dan Hill, head and professor and Noble Chair of the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University, wrote a column that appeared in the Bryan/College Station Eagle on Dec. 30 that warned consumers “to keep an eye out for claims masquerading as ‘science.’”
 
The Myth of the Carbon Investment ‘Bubble’Wall Street Journal, op-ed. Buzzwords about “stranded” and unburnable assets are making some investors anxious. The carbon-bubble movement is also putting pressure on endowments, foundations and pension funds to divest fossil-fuel equity holdings. Yet is the carbon-based investment risk real or is it part of a cry for action on climate change? Look closely and financial-market realities deflate the carbon-bubble theory.
 
U.S. Drivers Start 2015 With Cheapest Gas in Six YearsBloomberg. Drivers paid an average of $2.2021 a gallon for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps last week, the lowest level for this time of year since 2009, according to Lundberg Survey Inc. U.S. oil output rose to 9.13 million barrels a day in the week ended Jan. 2, after reaching 9.14 million Dec. 12, the highest level in weekly Energy Information Administration data dating back to 1983. U.S. production has increased 66 percent in five years as companies have used horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to tap into hydrocarbon-rich layers of underground shale rock.
 
NY shale ban to have little impact on national supplyAssociated Press. New York's recent decision to ban fracking is hardly seen as a big loss for the nation's production of natural gas. That's because scientists say New York's available reserves of natural gas in the sprawling Marcellus Shale are minuscule compared to what can be extracted in other states. Penn State University geologist Terry Engelder estimates that the entire Marcellus Shale region has 127 trillion cubic feet of commercially viable shale gas reserves, mostly in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
 
Saudi prince: $100-a-barrel oil 'never' againUSA Today, Q&A. Saudi billionaire businessman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal told me we will not see $100-a-barrel oil again. The plunge in oil prices has been one of the biggest stories of the year. And while cheap gasoline is good for consumers, the negative impact of a 50 percent decline in oil has been wide and deep, especially for major oil producers such as Saudi Arabia and Russia.

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1-11-15 Governor Orders Public Disclosure For Sensitive\Confidential Industry Interactions

11 January 2015 2:18am

Houston Chronicle.  The board of the state corporation expected Dan Fauske, ASAP, AGDC, In state gas pipeline, confidentiality agreements, reduce budget, Dave Harbour Phototo be a key player in efforts to advance a major liquefied natural gas project in Alaska is trying to determine how it can operate if members do not sign confidentiality agreements.  ...  Dan Fauske (NGP Photo), president of the gas-line corporation, also known as AGDC, said a confidentiality pledge is needed because information is shared between the two gas-line projects being pursued by AGDC — the liquefied natural gas project and a stand-alone in-state gas pipeline — to reduce costs.

 

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