Important Event: On Friday, leaders of Alaska's oil industry, the Interstate Mining Compact Commission, the National Mining Association and FrackNation producer Phelim McAleer, will join Governor Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) to MEET ALASKA. See agenda below. NGP Readers may register here, but seats are limited and time is of the essence! We'll have a report for our Canadian and Lower 48 readers by Monday.
WGOW (Chattanooga, TN): Winter Energy Tips, A Radio Interview with Natalie Joubert, Consumer Energy Alliance (NGP Photo)
AAPG Explorer: Ms. Cox goes to Tallahassee: Energy Expertise Shared, with Consumer Energy Alliance's Michael Zehr. “The role we are looking to fill would address what hydraulic fracturing is,” Zehr said, “and some of the key issues to keep in mind regarding the process as states seek appropriate regulatory guidelines to ensure exploration occurs in an environmentally responsible fashion.”
Today's Consumer Energy Alliance Energy Links:
McClatchy DC: Debate rages over exporting America’s oil. The push to end the ban on exporting U.S. crude oil to foreign nations is at a level not seen in decades, with the top Republican on the Senate Energy Committee joining the call Tuesday. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo; see our event report yesterday) argued that the ban, put in place after the 1970s Arab oil embargo, doesn’t makes sense given the current U.S. oil production boom. Her endorsement follows comments by Obama’s secretary of energy that the ban should be reconsidered, and a pledge by the oil industry’s main lobbying group to press Congress and the president on the issue. (See our report yesterday.)
The Washington Times: Sen. Lisa Murkowski calls for Obama to end ban on crude oil exports. Senator Lisa Murkowski, the leading Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, used a Brookings Institution platform on Tuesday to call for the president to reverse course on crude oil import bans. Her call carries special weight because she’s the highest-ranking member of Congress so far to push for the ban’s repeal, the Energy Guardian reported. “I am calling for ending the prohibition on crude oil and condensate exports,” the Alaskan senator said, the outlet reported. And she backed her rhetoric with a vow to act. (See our report yesterday.)
The Hill: OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Pipeline versus railcar. THE LESSER OF TWO HAZARDS: Until President Obama's decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline is announced, the proposed TransCanada project will be used by lawmakers and stakeholders in the debate on whether pipelines or railcars are the best method of transporting crude oil across the U.S. On Tuesday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said pipelines like Keystone XL must be built. Without it, she added, oil will continual be forced onto rail — an idea that is frightening more and more in the wake of the latest train derailment in North Dakota. The BNSF Railway CO. train carrying crude oil derailed near Casselton, N.D., setting 21 railcars ablaze and setting off a series of explosions. (See our report yesterday.)
CNBC: Energy group goes on offensive before elections. The American Petroleum Institute vowed Tuesday to ratchet up the pressure on Washington, saying its lobbying arm would push for policies—and politicians—more favorably disposed to America's oil and gas boom. With congressional elections less than a year away, and with the controversial Keystone XL pipeline still on indefinite hold, the industry's main trade organization said that it would expend resources to "spur more pro-energy policies and to ensure that our nation's discussion on energy policy is based on fact and reality, not political orthodoxy and hyperbole," said Jack Gerard, API's president and CEO.
Reuters: UPDATE 1-U.S. natgas output seen at record high for 5th year – EIA. U.S. natural gas production was forecast to hit a fifth consecutive annual record high in 2015, while net imports of the fuel next year will drop to their lowest in nearly 30 years as output from shale fields grows, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday. In its January Short-Term Energy Outlook which extends to 2015, the EIA said it expected marketed natural gas production in 2014 to rise 1.45 billion cubic feet per day, or 2.1 percent from 2013's estimated record-high levels, to 71.66 bcf per day. EIA also forecast production will increase again in 2015 to 72.58 bcf per day, up about 1.3 percent from its 2014 forecast.
The Wall Street Journal: The Future of Coal: New Pollution Rules Choke Old Power Plants. The world was riveted in October by eerie photos of Harbin, an industrial city in northeastern China that was smothered by thick smog from burning coal. The U.S. had its own encounters with choking pollution several decades ago. Though nearly forgotten today, the incidents sparked the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and federal regulations that have reshaped the electricity industry—then and now the country's largest industrial source of air pollution.
Platts News: Study finds RINs prices have no impact on retail gasoline prices. Prices of renewable fuel credits, known as RINs, which surged in early 2013, did not have any impact on gasoline prices, according to an analysis commissioned by an ethanol trade group released Tuesday. The study, conducted by commodities market analysis firm Informa Economics for the Renewable Fuels Association, found that retail gasoline prices were driven primarily by movements in crude oil prices, along with seasonal gasoline demand.
The Washington Post: America’s trade deficit is shrinking. Thank fracking. Some news Tuesday morning about America's trade deficit bodes well for growth. And there may be bigger lessons about the global economy working its way toward a more sustainable balance. The United Stated imported only $34.3 billion more in goods and services than it exported in November, down 13 percent from October. It is the lowest monthly trade deficit in more than four years. It was strong enough to lead forecasters to dramatically upgrade their expectations of how fast the U.S. economy grew in the fourth quarter. Macroeconomic Advisers, one leading firm, bumped its estimate of GDP growth to 3.5 percent, up from 2.6 percent before the trade announcement!
TownHall.com: Saudi Prince: Fracking Threatens 'Any Oil-Producing Country in World'. Thanks to fracking, the production of oil and natural gas in the United States is dramatically increasing—and Saudi Arabia isn’t happy about it. In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal said that new shale oil discoveries “are threats to any oil-producing country in the world,” reports CNS News. “It is a pivot moment for any oil-producing country that has not diversified. Ninety-two percent of Saudi Arabia’s annual budget comes from oil. Definitely it is a worry and a concern.”
E&E News: Federal task force chairman says trade secret claims hurt industry. The chairman of the panel that led the Obama administration's inquiry into the safety of hydraulic fracturing said yesterday the oil and gas industry is hurting itself by withholding information about the chemicals used in the process. "The industry, by saying, 'We're going to hold something back,' is paying a cost," said John Deutch, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who led a subcommittee of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB) sometimes dubbed the administration's fracking panel.
Los Angeles Times: Lawmakers call on Gov. Jerry Brown to halt fracking in California. Calling a recent bill to regulate hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," in California insufficient, a group of lawmakers are urging Gov. Jerry Brown to halt the oil and gas extraction method. The issue of fracking, in which sand, water and chemicals are injected into the ground to release oil and gas, was one of the most contentious battles in the Legislature last year. Brown signed a bill last Sept. by Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) that regulates the practice. But some environmentalists say the bill is too weak and that more studies should be done on the effects of fracking on groundwater contamination, seismic activity and other concerns.
Fairfield Sun Times: Activists Attack Colorado Oil & Gas Mom for Having an Opinion. Recently the Denver Post published an op-ed from a Colorado mother and oil and gas worker. It described, in very personal terms, how the campaign against hydraulic fracturing is really a dishonest attack on more than 100,000 Colorado families whose livelihoods depend on jobs in the oil and gas industry. The op-ed must have rattled the activists who are pushing four local ballot initiatives in Northern Colorado to ban hydraulic fracturing. Zev Paiss, co-owner of the PR firm that runs Frack Free Boulder, immediately went on the attack by commenting: “The scientists and their families who work on weapons of mass destruction depend on that regular paycheck too.”
Meet Alaska Conference: Alaska Support Industry Alliance
Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center, January 10, 2014
8:00 Tradeshow Opens/Coffee and Breakfast
9:00 Welcome – Dave Lawer (NGP Photo)
9:15 Keynote Kick off – Matt Fox, Executive Vice President, Exploration & Production – ConocoPhillips
9:45 Hal Quinn, President & CEO – National Mining Association
10:45 Gina Dickerson, Senior Project Manager, Point Thomson – ExxonMobil
11:15 Joe Bovee, Land & Resource Manager – Ahtna, Inc.
11:45 Governor Sean Parnell
1:25 Janet Weiss, President – BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. (NGP Photo)
1:55 Greg Conrad, Executive Director – Interstate Mining Compact Commission
2:50 The Alaska Advantage
3:00 Phelim McAleer, Director – FrackNation
3:30 Steve Butt (NGP Photo), Senior Project Manager, Alaska LNG Project – ExxonMobil
4:00 Wrap Up/Reception