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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


9-1-15 President Obama Visits Alaska

01 September 2015 5:27am

See a broad array of Presidental visit news and feature items in today's (9-1-15) Alaska Dispatch News

Alice Rogoff, Anchorage Dispatch, President Obama, dinner, fund raiser, Alaska oil and gas, climate change, China, Oil prices, stock market, photo by Dave HarbourComment: President Barack Obama dined last night at the Anchorage home of Alaska Dispatch Publisher Alice Rogoff (NGP Photo).  We hope that in addition to climate change issues, Alaska's major publisher was able to also discuss other matters. 

Read other national and international news accounts of President Obama's Alaska visit, here.  

We provided additional links, yesterday, here.

Alaska's dependence and constitutional reliance on natural resources largely rest upon Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) sustainability.  This is because 90% of the state operating budget and over a third of Alaska's economy are based on oil revenue.

TAPS' sustainability, the President should know, depends in large measure on federal policies affecting the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska; the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (1002 area); oil and gas lease sales; energy project permitting, regulation and conditions.  

Rogoff, a well known organizer of Arctic forums would also be in a good position to emphasize the importance of protecting US jurisdiction in the Arctic.  Guarding American interests is particularly important as Russia becomes more and more provocative in staking out high value oil and gas resources in the Arctic, building infrastructure and increasing its military presence.  

We have noted Canada's diligence in caring for its Arctic domain.  The United States, Canada's NORAD partner, should be doing the same.    -dh



31 August 2015 7:58am

As President Barak Obama begins his Alaska visit today, we bring readers these observations from our energy consultant friends...and others (i.e.
ADNNYT, CNN, NPR, CBS, Reuters, USA Today (Note: "Climate Change" overtakes energy as focus of trip...consistent with the Obama policy of elevating climate change as top 'national security' priority.  -dh)

Our great Aussie energy consultant friend begins the week with this observation, beginning with news of an ENI natural gas discovery in Egyptian waters, almost equal to the 35 TCF of stranded Alaska North Slope gas.

  • Italian oil and gas giant ENI reported a major gas discovery over the weekend.  This was the finding of a ~30 TCF (gas-in-place) gas-field in deep water off-shore Egypt.  The company has already signalled that it will pursue its development aggressively.

  • Gas in Egypt can readily feed both the nation's voracious energy needs and export markets through existing liquefaction infrastructure. The find will no doubt disappoint neighbour Israel, from both monetary and geo-political stability points of view, who was hoping to supply Egypt from its own large offshore gas fields.

  • In theory this find could indicate that there is a whole trend of deepwater gas fields remaining to be discovered in the Eastern Mediterranean - with profound implications for European gas markets, Russian ambitions for the Turk-stream pipeline, etc.

  • As we noted last week, Putin is due to visit China this week, but hopes of signing some sort of deal during that visit over the Altai (AKA the Western route pipeline, or the Power of Siberia-2 pipeline) appear slim.  Recent media reports have instead suggested that some sort of deal could be inked over the supply of gas to China from Vladivostock (sourced by pipeline from Sakhalin Island). 

In the midst of market volativity and the Obama Administration EPA initiatives against carbon fuels, our unnamed, Mid-Atlantic energy consultant friend offers this observation: 

We caution investors against overreacting to the near-term impact of the final Clean Power Plant (CPP) rule, and observe that the rule's effects will likely vary across the country and across companies.  There are several reasons to be skeptical that the rule will be as impactful in reality as it now appears.   How exactly the CPP influences individual firms, utility or otherwise, will hinge on their specific circumstances and the approaches particular states take toward compliance, which will take years to play out. 
·         Very Lengthy Implementation. It will take many years before the rule is truly 
·         State Cooperation Remains Key, Although Problematic. The rule’s effectiveness hinges upon state cooperation, which is far from assured.  Large coal burning and mining states have already expressed their disdain for the rule, and in many cases have filed or backed lawsuits opposing it.  It is very questionable whether key coal burning states will cooperate with EPA to develop adequate SIPs in a timely fashion, or at all.  While EPA can develop state specific Federal Implementation Plans (FIPs) as an alternative, that would take time and be challenging to put into effect. 
·         Litigation. Until now, legal challenges of the rule have been deemed legally premature.  Now, with the rule out and due to be published in the Federal Register, those hurdles will lift, allowing litigation to commence.  Since these suits will proceed over many months, they won’t stop some states from developing SIPs and submitting them for EPA review in the interim.  We maintain that the rule is legally vulnerable on several grounds, including its call forreductions in emissions from outside the fences of power plants, and its statutory underpinning, Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, which has not been thoroughly litigated in the past. 
·         The Next Administration Will Moderate the Rule.  Regardless of who wins the White House in 2016, Republican or Democrat, they are going to put their imprimatur on the CPP.  A Republican would likely stop implementation and direct the EPA to come up with a new much less aggressive approach that would effectively put the rule on hold for several years.  A Democrat, with their eye on reelection, would likely retain the broad parameters of the rule, but adjust it to moderate the impact on key states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, states that produce or burn significant amounts of coal.  Since the confirmation of a new EPA administrator will likely take at least six months and the confirmation of key EPA personnel upwards of one year, there will be a significant delay for any actual changes to the CPP.   



30 August 2015 10:10pm

Governor Bill Walker will accompany the President Tomorrow morning from Washington, D.C., to Anchorage, Alaska, on Air Force One.

“My goal is to spend as much time as possible with the President so I can clearly present to him the benefits our great state provides the nation,” Governor Walker said. “I look forward to discussing with President Obama opportunities for the state and federal government to work together to improve Alaska’s economic situation. I also want to thank President Obama for his leadership in permitting Shell’s exploratory drilling activities. It’s an honor to accompany a sitting President to our great state.”

Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott will greet Secretary of State John Kerry when he arrives in Anchorage Sunday, as Governor Walker will be en route to Washington, D.C. Lt. Governor Mallott will also greet the President when he arrives in Anchorage and will ride into town with the President and Governor Walker.


29 August 2015 8:57am

RCMP planning mass arrests at pipeline protest camp, northern BC chiefs fear
Shell plans to build a 650-kilometre pipeline from B.C.'s gas-fracking region to ... In an email to CBC News, RCMP E-Division Cpl. Janelle Shoihet said ...


28 August 2015 2:22pm

TransCanada officials in Thunder Bay to rally support for Energy East pipeline
... a natural gas pipeline to carry oil across Canada are in Thunder Bay trying to ... TransCanada Ontario regional director Stefan Baranski told CBC News that if ... it would still take at least five years for oil to flow through the pipeline.

8-27-15 Imperial Seeks To Keep Mackenzie Project Alive

27 August 2015 12:26pm

Federal Judge Stops Massive Federal Overreach--At Least For Now

BREAKING NEWS: Our friend, Julia (Bell) Slingsby, Press Secretary of the Committee on Natural Resources writes in response to a N.D. federal judge’s announcement  blocking implementation of the EPA’s Waters of the United States rule: “The Waters of the United States rule is unlawful and an abuse of executive power," she says.

"The judge’s decision to block the rule— which was challenged by 13 states – is encouraging, especially as EPA’s credibility has been questioned in the past month. The EPA needs to be stopped before it does more harm to our nation’s precious water resources.”

We also heard from Denny DeWitt of DeWitt & DeWitt, LLC, Government Relations Consulting in Juneau.  He reports, "The federal District Court of North Dakota granted the requested injunction against the WOTUS regulations that were to take effect tomorrow. The state of Alaska is one of 13 states in this case."

We would add our congratulations to the State of Alaska, its Attorney General, Governor Walker and all those who worked on this massive case of Federal Overreaching Authority.  

Canadian Television by Lauren Krugel, CP.  CALGARY -- Imperial Oil is hanging on to hope that its long-dormant plan to tap into natural gas fields in the Far North may eventually come to fruition.

The lead partner in the Mackenzie Gas Project has written to the National Energy Board seeking a seven-year extension to a sunset clause attached to federal regulatory approval granted in 2011.

The clause requires Imperial and its partners to break ground on the project by the end of this year. But that's not feasible in today's market environment, with natural gas prices about half what they were when the regulatory application was first filed in 2004.

The request was made in a letter to the NEB penned by Imperial (TSX:IMO) senior vice-president Bart Cahir. Attached is an updated project schedule that would see production begin in 2022 and wrap up in 2026.

Ewart: CERI gas study reinforces wisdom of Energy East conversion deal
Calgary Herald More from Stephen Ewart, Calgary Herald ... Even with a resolution of TransCanada's standoff with Enbridge GasDistribution ... Natural Gas Supply Forecast and Impacts report from Calgary-based CERI released Wednesday. ... “Pipeline imports of U.S. natural gasinto Eastern Canada will grow from the ...
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