Comment: Without new oil supplies from Arctic frontier areas controlled by the Feds, Alaska’s oil pipeline future is jeapordized along with prospects for the North Slope gas pipeline whose economics are closely related to new gas discoveries and the sustainability of the oil pipeline. -dh
Houston Chronicle (12/28) reports, “When federal officials lifted the ban on deep-water drilling in early October, Houston-based ATP Oil & Gas was ready to roll. The small production company was finishing up work on a well that tied into its Telemark production hub about 100 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River. It had filed a permit to drill a sidetrack off an existing well — a relatively low-risk proposal for the world of deep-water drilling. It was even revised and updated to meet all of the new requirements imposed on deep- water permits in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon accident. “So I kept the crew out there because I felt certain the government meant what it said,” ATP Chairman and CEO Paul Bulmahn said – that permit applications that met the new guidelines would be granted. More than 70 days later, the company is still waiting. At a price of about $330,000 per day, Bulmahn has started to get impatient, leading him to take some actions unusual for the company. He wrote a personal letter to President Barack Obama – copied to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar (NGP Photo-r) and Michael Bromwich (NGP Photo-l), director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement – pleading with him to “Please issue a permit so we can go back to work.” And on Sunday he ran the letter as an advertisement in the Chronicle. “I can’t afford to keep these workers employed and playing cards,” Bulmahn said.
PNA. The Alaska Legislature’s Division of Legislative Audit has completed a performance audit of the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority for the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee, and recommends that the Legislature consider ANGDA for sunset once uncertainties about development of Alaska North….
Juneau Empire. A state legislative audit that suggested the voter-created Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority may be on the cusp of outliving its usefulness and has "stretched the bounds of its statutory authority" drew a sharp rebuttal from its chairperson. … ANGDA Board Chairman Scott Hayworth (NGP Photo) sent a three-page rejoinder last month to Mark Lundahl of the Division of Legislative Audit stating, in part, that ANGDA’s plans changed in response to the ever-changing plans, policies, priorities and funding put forth by the governor and the Legislature.