ADN/AP — ConocoPhillips is budgeting $1.7 billion for 2014 capital costs in Alaska, twice what it says it spent in 2012 and $600 million more than was budgeted for 2013.  The company in a release says the larger budget reflects increased spending on the long-planned CD-5 development within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and increased activity due to the oil tax cut passed by the Legislature earlier this year. Spokeswoman Natalie Lowman says funding also is included for exploration, including two wells in the Greater Moose's Tooth unit, and major maintenance.

Chantelle Sackett, EPA, Supreme Court, PLF, Pacific Legal Foundation, Photo by Dave HarbourSo compelling was Pacific Legal foundation's 2012 Clean Water Act case, Sackett v. EPA, that it resulted in a unanimous Supreme Court victory, that a New York Times best-selling author C.J. Box was inspired to write Breaking Point, a truer-than-Michael Sackett, EPA, Supreme Court, PLF, Pacific Legal Foundation, Photo by Dave Harbourfictional account of the arrogance and abusive nature of bureaucrats at the EPA.  See our earlier report on Michael and Chantell Sackett's (NGP Photos) visit to Alaska.  This is a stunning example of federal overreach, the anguish it caused and the wisdom of a court that overturned it.  It is also a signal to all citizens to be wary.  Be aware that your federal government's actions can violate the law, and that acquisition of power — not justice — can be the objective of federal policy makers.  (Here's more on our favorite public interest law firm's work on behalf of the Sacketts.  See Sackett Video.)  -dh  

Reader Stephanie Wick writes us that, "Ziff Energy a division Paul Ziff, Ziff Energy, Alaska Oil and Gas Congress, North Montney and Shale Gas Resource and Infrastructure Study, Photo by Dave Harbourof Solomon Associates, has announced the release of the report on their North Montney and Shale Gas Resource (Western Canada Unconventional Gas) and Infrastructure Study. The study analyzes developing Western Canada unconventional and shale gas growth in addition to the required plant and pipeline infrastructure for such growth. It also analyzes the impact of the growth on existing processing facilities and gathering systems."  Readers know that Ziff Energy's founder, Paul Ziff (NGP Photo), has joined us for a number of Alaska Oil and Gas and other conferences.  Contact Ms. Wick at 972-850-5866 for more information.

Here is today's Ziff announcement, in full: 

CALGARY, ALBERTA – December 10, 2013 – Ziff Energy, a division of Solomon Associates, and Gas Processing Management Inc. are pleased to announce the completion of their report summarizing the findings of their North Montney and Shale Gas Growth Resource (Western Canada Unconventional Gas) and Infrastructure Study. The study analyzes the area west of Fort St. John to the Yukon and Northwest territories, including the North Montney Tight and Horn River, Liard, and Cordova Shale Gas Basins.

The report provides important feedstock for Western Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Development and the impact that the developing production will have on 34 sweet and sour gas processing plants, including Altares, Cabin, Caribou, Chinchaga, Cypress, Fort Nelson, Fortune Creek, Hamburg, Jedney, Rainbow, Sierra, Wildboy, and Zama. This new study is the northward continuation of the previously released Ziff Energy and GPMi South Montney and Tight Gas Study.

The North Montney and Shale Gas Growth Study is the fourth in a series of Resource and Infrastructure analyses that address developing Western Canada Unconventional Tight (Cretaceous, Duvernay, and Montney) and Shale Gas Growth. It also analyzes the required new plant and pipeline infrastructure as well as the impact on the existing processing facilities and gathering systems. The four-part series of studies includes the following:

•     The South Montney Tight Gas Growth in British Columbia and Alberta (January 2012)

•     The Tight Gas and North Duvernay Growth in Alberta (June 2012)

•     The Tight Gas and South Duvernay Growth in Alberta (February 2013)

•     The North Montney and Shale Gas Growth – Resource and Infrastructure (October 2013)

These studies involve 24 participating companies representing a broad segment of Alberta and British Columbia producers and operators as well as pipeline and financial companies. The studies are currently supported by 46 industry subscriptions.

The North Montney and Shale Gas Growth Study elicited the following results/actions:

1.    Developed an analysis of the production and infrastructure requirements independent of company ownership and control.

2.    Divided the North Montney and Shale Gas Study area into seven sub-regions for detailed analysis.

3.    Viewed the Alberta and British Columbia Natural Gas Fundamentals to define the economic landscape for growth.

4.    Forecast production from existing reserves and developing resource through year 2024 for gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs), and ethane.

5.    Analyzed the potential in developing North Montney and Shale Gas and NGLs, an important component of the feedstock for the developing West Coast LNG Projects.

6.    Examined the existing gas gathering and processing infrastructure and detailed areas where additional or modified capacity will be required for the forecasted volumes.

7.    Identified repositioning opportunities within the existing infrastructure where that capacity is forecasted to not be required by the developing resource.

8.    Developed an industry-integrated approach to reduce capital requirements, cycle times, operating expenses, and optimize product recoveries for the developing resource and the existing reserves.

9.    Framed and detailed the gathering, processing, and take-away infrastructure, identifying areas of concern on take away capacity.

10.   Detailed the commercial underpinning for integrated infrastructure development.

11.   Outlined an integrated path forward for the Canadian industry to logically coordinate and develop the area to increase its competitiveness within the North American Natural Gas and Liquids Markets.

12.   Defined the impact that an integrated industry approach could have on provincial revenues, including Alberta royalties and gas cost allowance, and British Columbia royalties, gas cost allowance, and producer cost of service.

A map of the North Montney and Shale Gas Growth area, a table of contents, a list of figures and tables, and background information on the study authors can be found here:

Ziff Energy and GPMi, two independent consulting firms, are jointly spearheading these new industry analyses. These studies address the challenges of the growing natural gas, ethane, and NGL production to meet the needs of the infrastructure owners and producers in the Montney, Duvernay, Horn River, Liard, and Cordova Basin Shale Gas areas. 

Ziff Energy conducts the business analysis, as well as the gas, ethane, and NGL supply forecast for the next 10 years. GPMi undertakes the infrastructure and commercial analysis to quantify the opportunities and potential revenue uplifts that make up these unique business prospects.  These studies present a unique opportunity to combine the best of the two consulting practices to frame and analyze the challenges and present collaborative workable solutions.

About Gas Processing Management Inc.

GPMi delivers industry-leading solutions in the business of natural gas infrastructure to its clients around the globe.  Located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada,  the GPMi team has helped clients successfully manage and grow their natural gas properties and infrastructure assets; the highly experienced team provides specialized and industry leading expertise.  For further information on, visit our website at

About Ziff Energy

Ziff Energy, a division of HSB Solomon Associates LLC (Solomon), provides upstream performance assessment/improvement and custom consulting to the worldwide energy industry in more than 40 countries, and natural gas consulting services in North America. Solomon is the world’s leading performance improvement company for energy companies seeking to identify and close gaps in operational performance. Combining proven, patented methodologies with objective data analysis, and led by a team of oil and gas consultants steeped in hands-on operational experience, Solomon consistently helps clients with energy-intensive assets achieve greater efficiencies, enhanced reliability, and improved margins. Solomon is part of HSB Group, Inc. Learn more about Ziff Energy at For information about Solomon, visit