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Northern Gas Pipelines, (Alaska Gas Pipeline, Denali - The Alaska Gas Pipeline, Mackenzie Valley Gas Pipeline, Alaska Highway Gas Pipeline, Northern Route Gas Pipeline, Arctic Gas, LNG, GTL) is your public service, objective, unbiased 1-stop-shop for Arctic gas pipeline projects and people, informal and rich with new information, updated 30 times weekly and best Northern Oil & Gas Industry Links on the Internet.  Find AAGPC, AAGSC, ANGTL, ANNGTC,  ANGDA, ANS, APG, APWG, ANGTA, ANGTS, AGPPT, ANWR, ARC, CARC, CAGPL, CAGSL, FPC, FERC, GTL, IAEE, LNG, NEB, NPA, TAGS, TAPS, NARUC, IOGCC, CONSUMER ENERGY ALLIANCE, AOGA,AOGCC, RCA and more...

2009 LINKS: FERC Reports to Congress, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7....; USGS Arctic Gas Estimates; MMS hearings: RDC, Our NGP, AJOC, DH, ADN, KTUU; Enstar Bullet Line: Map and News Links; ANGDA; Alaska Energy Forum; Prosperity Alaska

2008 LINKS: Shell Alaska OCS Study; Mackenzie Gas Project EIS; Join the Alaska Gas Pipeline Blog Discussion; Governor Sarah Palin's AGIA Links; 2007 ACES tax bill links; Department of Revenue 2007 ACES tax documents;  2007 ACES tax Presentations; 2007 ACES tax news; Alaska Gas Pipeline Training and Jobs; Gas Pipeline and Economic Development; Andrew Halcro; Bjørn Lomborg; FERC's Natural Gas Website Links

WASHINGTON: Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act; History of H.R. 4; DOE Energy Bill Position, 6-02; Daschle-Bingaman Energy Bill (Alaska, Sec. 1236 & tax credit, Sec. 2503 & H.R. 4 Conferees), Tax Credit; See amendments, "Energy Policy Act of 2002";  "Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act of 2001 (Draft)" & Background Paper, 8-9-01;Alaska Legislature Joint Committee position; Governor's position; Governor's 10-Point Plan; Anadarko Analysis; U.S. Senate Energy Committee Testimony, 10-2-01 - text version;  U.S. Senate Energy Committee Testimony, 9-14-00; Report on the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Act of 1971, prepared by staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 1-18-01

ALASKA: 1-23-03, Governor Frank Murkowski's State of the State Speech; 2002 DRAFT Recommendations to 2003 Legislature; '02 Alaska Legislation; Alaska Highway Natural Gas Pipeline Policy Council; Joint Legislative Gas Pipeline Committee; 9-01 Alaska Models: Canadian Routes, LNG, GTL; HR 4 Story; Cook Inlet Supply-Demand Report: AEDC; Commonwealth North Investigation & Our Article; Report: Backbone; Legislature Contacts; State Gas Pipeline Financing Study; 5-02 Alaska Producer Update; Kenai: "Oil & Gas Industry Issues and Activities Report, 11-02"; Alaska Oil & Gas Tax Structure; 2-27-02 Royalty Sale Background; Alaska Gas Pipeline Office opens, 7-01, and closes, 5-02; Betty Galbraith's 1997-1998 Chronology Our copy.

CANADA: 1-10-03, "Arctic Gas Pipeline Construction Impacts On Northern Transp."-Transport Canada-PROLOG Canada Inc.-The Van Horne Institute;Hill Times Reports, 8-30-02; 9-30-02, Cons. Info. Requirements; CBC Archives, Berger Commission; GNWT Economic Impact Study, 5-13-02; GNWT-Purvin & Gertz Study, 5-8-02; Alberta-Alaska MOU 6-02; Draft Pan- Northern Protocol for Oil and Gas Development; Yukon Government Economic Effects: 4-02 & PPT; Gas Pipeline Cooperation Plan Draft & Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board Mackenzie Valley Pipeline MOU Draft, 6-01; FirstEnergy Analysis: 10-19-01; Integrated Delta Studies; National Post on Mackenzie Pipeline, 1-02;Northern Pipeline Act;  Haida Nation v. British Columbia; Indian Claims Commission; Skeena Cellulose decision -- aboriginal consultations required, 12-02; Misc. Pipeline Studies '02

COMPANIES: Alaska Gas Producers Pipeline Team Newsletter, 7-27-01; APG Newsletter: 5-02, 7-02 & 9-02; ArctiGas NEB PIP Filing Background; NRGPC Newsletter: Fall-02;  4-02 ArctiGas Reduces Field Work; BP's Natural Gas Page; Enbridge Perspective; Foothills Perspective; Williams Perspective; YPC Perspective, 7-02

 MEDIA REFERENCE: Alaska Journal of Commerce; Alaska Inc. Magazine; Anchorage Daily News; Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; Fairbanks Daily News Miner, Juneau Empire; Northern News Services; Oil & Gas Reporter; Petroleum News Alaska; Whitehorse Star, etc.

EXTENDED CONFERENCE NEWS: Alaska Support Industry Alliance, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Canadian Institute, Insight Information, Inuvik Petroleum Shows, International Association of Energy Economists, Resource Development Council for Alaska, Ziff Energy Group











Northern Gas Pipelines: Please scroll down for March 2009 news


Register now for the 9th Annual Inuvik Petroleum Show in June! Meet Mayor Derek Lindsay!Dave Harbour - Inuvik - 2002

Attend the Alaska Natural Gas Value Added Manufacturers' Conference: 4-28/29

(Photo: Author at 2002 IPS)

    Bobbie Harbour animated with family 5-08 by Dave HarbourI take the liberty of including this personal note in the archives because so many readers have become great professional colleagues, personal friends and friends of the family.  The reason reporting here has been so spotty in recent weeks is due to the attention I have placed on the passing of my Mom, Selma Bertha Koehler "Bobbie" Harbour (Photo, left with Doug Harbour and Kit Ameden, 5-08).  Now, my brothers, sons and I have laid her safely to rest beside Dad, Col. Dave Harbour, in Punchbowl.  Mom's pastor, Kent Redfern, produced a touching memory of Mom in his blog, here.  The Anchorage Daily News also provided a nice obituary, here.  And, many thanks to the dozens of you who were thoughtful enough to write and email me.  Thanks, too, for Mom's caring and dedicated friends at Chester Park and at the Anchorage Pioneers Home.   -dh


3-31-09.  NNS by Andrew Livingstone.   The federal government will not release the dollar amount of its financial commitment NGP Photo by to the Mackenzie Valley gas project until a deal is finalized according to a response to questions posed by MP Dennis Bevington. ... Frederic Baril, press secretary for Environment Minister Jim Prentice, (NGP Photo) responded to questions via e-mail and said "The reason why the government's offer is not public at this moment is because we can't negotiate a business deal in public."   ...  Derek Lindsay, Mayor of Inuvik (Note IPS links above), said it's about time the federal government started to make a commitment to the project, but isn't surprised by the fact it's being kept secret until the deal is reached.         *      Peninsula Clarion by Mike Nespar From an in-state gas line to a bypass in Cooper Landing, Obama's stimulus package to a bike path in Soldotna; a wide variety of topics were discussed at Saturday's town hall meeting with Alaska Legislature representatives Kurt Olson, Mike Chenault and Tom Wagoner.        *       Nation Talk The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, today announced support to Aboriginal Pipeline Group (APG) to continue operations as a partner in the proposed Mackenzie Gas Project. Funding of $3 million will be provided over one year to assist APG to continue working towards economic benefits arising from the project.     *       The Alaska StandardAdministrative law judge Nahum Litt recommended that the Federal Power Commission approve Arctic's trans Canada proposal for a natural gas pipeline.  This ruling followed 253 days of hearings.  Litt dismissed Alcan Pipeline's proposal to build a line along the Alaska Highway to connect with Canadian gas lines.  Another competing company, El Paso wants to build a pipeline parallel to the oil pipeline and liquefy the gas for shipment by tanker to the west coast.  (Sound familiar?  See our history page and note that at that time TransCanada was a member of the Arctic Gas Consortium and opposed the Alcan routing: On February 1, FPC Administrative Law Judge, Nahum Litt, issued his long-awaited “Initial Decision” recommending Arctic Gas, completely rejecting Alcan.  “The Arctic Gas application is superior in almost every significant aspect when compared to El Paso,” Judge Litt wrote.  “It is found that Arctic Gas’ prime route should be certificated, including both western and eastern legs.”  As to Alcan, Judge Litt said, “No finding from this record supports even the possibility that a grant of authority to Alcan can be made.  …Alcan’s present design is clearly neither efficient nor economic,” he elaborated, “since the pipeline is undersized.”  Then, Judge Litt said prophetically, “The suggested three years construction schedule to be completed by 1981, which Alcan argues is one of its prime strengths, cannot occur.”  As presently proposed,” Judge Litt concluded, “even with Alcan’s willingness to build anything anyone wants (as long as it does not oust Westcoast and AGTL from their Maple Leaf project), there is not enough left of its original proposal to serve as a basis for granting its application.”  A few weeks later-- testament to their strategic thinking--Alcan and Foothills submitted revised applications to the NEB and FPC withdrawing their proposal for a 42” diameter line and accepting Arctic Gas’ 48” design.  -dh)

3-30-09. Monday Preview.  Marathon's Alaska Production Manager, Carri Lockhart (NGP Photo), briefed Alliance members on the steeply declining Cook Inlet Gas production curve, last Thursday morning.  She also provided insight into Marathon's concern that regulatory uncertainty and Alaska's cost structure could prevent adequate development of South Central Alaska's gas resources.  Here is her PowerPoint presentation.  (See other photos below.)     *     Then, at noon on Thursday, Utility industry analyst, Mark Foster (NGP Photo), appeared at a meeting of the International Association of Energy Economists to present an impressive model of the Railbelt energy market, including electric, natural gas and transportation markets and supply chains, complete with numerous policy options.  (See other photos below.)    *     Calgary Herald, by Lisa SchmidtBut this time, the lunch came off and so did the deal, setting in motion a high-stakes gamble that culminated with Monday's$18.4-billion merger between Suncor and Petro-Canada, creating an energy behemoth with 12,000 employees and operations that touch consumers from coast to coast.  The chief executives for the two Calgary-based companies-- Suncor's Rick George and Petro-Canada's Ron Brenneman--now face the marathon task of selling investors on the all-stock merger, a process that will likely take months to complete.

3-28 & 29-09, weekend news.  Financial Post by Carrie TaitIn Alberta's oil sands, an area roughly the size of Florida, the best real estate is off the market.  Kevin Meyers (NGP Photo, 6-02), head of ConocoPhillips Canada, Friday said the most attractive leases in the oil sands have been snapped up, and his company plans to finish projects it has under construction despite spending cuts.


3-27-09.  CA NEWS, AP - General Electric Co. said Wednesday it has been awarded a US$300-million contract for work on a new east-west natural gas pipeline in China that is expected to boost use of the fuel in the energy-hungry and fast developing country.      *       Mondaq by Richard M. Schwartz, Donna Mussio, David A Zilberg and Coleman Kennedy.  On March 10, 2009, the US Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") released its long-awaited draft rule entitled "Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases" (the "Draft Rule").1 The Draft Rule requires a wide range of greenhouse gas ("GHG")2 emission sources, including fossil fuel manufacturers and suppliers, industrial facilities and utilities, to monitor and report their GHG emissions to EPA starting in 2010. If enacted, the Draft Rule will be the first federal, broadly applicable set of mandatory requirements relating to GHG emissions.   (Comment:  This is another indication that the Obama Administration is not simply making policy decisions with forgivable, unintended consequences.  This sort of initiative is a continuation of the destruction of America's economy and our transformation to socialism.  Cloaked in the sheep's clothing of environmental idealism, this rule will have no measurable effect on greenhouse gas production.  Worse, it will begin imposing competitive costs on industry, forcing more of our businesses and jobs overseas.  Then, this rulemaking will cause increased living costs for all Americans but the 'poor' will be protected as politicians increase "Low Income Heating" subsidies (LIHEAP), transferring more dollars from those who pay taxes to those who do not.  While this process will contribute to the demand for more taxes, the printing of more subsidy dollars and more government bureaucracy, it will make our industries less efficient, less competitive.   It will cause a continuation of the economic malaise, along with other Obama initiatives, and set up a  rationale for the Federal government to say, "we need to take more control over the economy."   Let us all beware of this wolf.  -dh)     *     Senator Lisa Murkowski's energy committee communicator, Robert Dillon, told us yesterday that: "The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a mark-up session next week on Tuesday, March 31, covering the four bipartisan proposals that have been introduced so far:

  1. Energy innovation and workforce development (Mark posted on committee web site)
  2. Energy efficiency and water efficiency (S.531)
  3. manufacturing energy efficiency (S.661)
  4. Appliance energy efficiency (S.598)

Additional mark-up sessions are expected after the April recess. The next set of titles likely to be tackled will be electricity and related issues, including some of the more controversial proposals slated for inclusion in the energy bill: transmission siting, renewable electricity standard, cyber security, nuclear energy and coal fleet efficiency.  The third set of proposals the committee will address include building energy efficiency, clean energy financing authority, improved energy market information, expanded enforcement authority for FERC.  A fourth mark-up session on energy development issues could cover such issues as oil and natural gas, coal, unconventional oil sources, clean energy development on public lands, expanding the SPR, and carbon capture and storage.  The committee is working expeditiously to craft a comprehensive energy bill, while taking the necessary time to fully vet and negotiate the various proposals. Taking additional time up front during the committee process will greatly improve the likelihood of success in reaching true consensus legislation that can be signed into law.  Sen. Murkowski and Sen. Bingaman both agree that the best path forward on energy legislation is to craft a single, stand-alone energy bill."

 3-26-09.  Alaska Pride Blog.  ...we visit the blog of another prominent Palin critic, Andrew Halcro. And what is he discussing? issue far more relevant and serious; namely, AGIA. Halcro takes issue with Governor Palin's recent statement in which she said she was now open to discussing fiscal terms with the producers.       *       MainebizGov. John Baldacci and New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham today announced plans to develop a Northeast Energy Corridor that would link the Canadian Maritimes and Maine.      *      KIEV (AFP) - The modernization of Ukraine's gas pipeline is vital if the former Soviet republic is to achieve its goal of joining the European Union, President Victor Yushchenko said Saturday in an interview.     *     ADN, a story about Alaska's entitlement mentality and diminishing self reliance by Kyle Hopkins.  Millions of dollars in free heating fuel will flow through Alaska villages early next month courtesy of a controversial giveaway program paid for by the Venezuelan government.

3-25-09.  Market Research has announced the addition of Global Markets Direct's new report "US Pacific Outer Continental Shelf Offshore Oil and Gas Region Report Investment Opportunities, Analysis and Forecasts to 2020," to their collection of Petroleum market reports.     *      Gas HydratesSir Humphrey Davy discovered gas hydrates or clatharates in 1810; they are crystalline water based solids physically resembling ice, in which small non-polar molecules (typically gases) are trapped inside "cages" of hydrogen bonded water molecules.    *     Andrew Halcro Blog.  Last week during a press conference defending her natural gas pipeline strategy, Governor Sarah Palin said she was open to discussing fiscal terms with the producers.     *     Cape Sarichef Aveda Salon blogReps. Jay Ramras and Craig Johnson had some fun with the administration last week with their HCR-12. The resolution asks the governor to take a fresh look at her AGIA contract with TransCanada Corp., and the $500 million state subsidy, in light of changing national economic conditions.  Gov. Sarah Palin certainly rose to the bait.

3-24-09.  ADN by George Bryson.  Our volcano is acting up.  *   CBC.  The Calgary-based company that wants to build a natural gas pipeline along the Alaska Highway is organizing talks with individual Yukon First Nations situated along the proposed pipeline's route.     *      The Pipeline Blog.  Although it will be the largest Canadian company on the Toronto Stock Exchange based on market capitalization, at about $40 billion, the new Suncor/Petro-Canada will actually be quite small by American and international standards.     *     Calgary Herald by Dina O'Meara.  TransCanada Corp. faced new challenges to its proposed Alaska pipeline this week after two state legislators called for a review of the licence for the $26-billion U.S. project, leaving analysts and pipeline executives to question the underlying motives of the complaint.     *     FNM by Rena Delbridge.  A new study shows that despite a high construction price tag, a hydroelectric project at Susitna could generate reliable, environmentally friendly power for the Railbelt for as little as 14 cents per kilowatt-hour.     * opinion piece by Joe McGinniss.  Forget “Drill, baby, drill.” Sarah Palin says she’s building a $40 billion gas pipeline, which even President Obama wants. The only problem: It isn’t there. And it’s her fault.  Photo slide show.    *     Calgary Herald, by Carrie Tait, Financial Post.  Enbridge Inc. may turn to large-scale natural gas pipeline projects to fill the void created as oil projects are shelved, the company's chief executive said yesterday.

3-23-09.  From UT Texas...all about the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Project.  ...  Timblair Blog.  The Aboriginal Pipeline group owns 33.3%, Imperial Oil owns 33.3%, Conoco Philips, 16.7%, Shell Canada 11.3%, and ExxonMobil Canada, 5.3%. At the start of construction, TransCanada Pipeline will have a 5% option on the pipeline, which will be taken from the producers' share.     *    FNM by Rena Delbridge.   Oil and gas production is linked under the state’s tax structure. Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka and co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, wants to decouple the two resources and create a separate framework for taxing gas.     ***    Peninsula ClarionAlong those lines, Harry Noah, a state project manager tasked with overseeing an in-state pipeline, this week announced an ambitious plan to construct an in-state bullet line through which gas would flow as early as 2015. Noah said he would build on work by natural gas company Enstar, and the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority, to get the ball rolling on a gas line to serve the state's population centers.     *     PNAThe state recently involved itself in an effort to study a 500 million-cubic-foot per-day pipeline from the North Slope to Anchorage, a project commonly called the “bullet line.”   With sufficient reserves, the Gubik Complex could theoretically supply this pipeline.   But the 15 million-cubic-foot-per-day figure from Petro-Canada doesn’t offer conclusive evidence of either the total size of Gubik or the eventual production rate at the field.       *     Climate Change Psychology Blog.  Such is the demand for natural gas around Fort McMurray that a consortium of companies, including Shell Canada and Imperial Oil, has proposed building a seven-hundred-and-fifty-mile pipeline from the Arctic Ocean through the largely undisturbed wilderness of the Mackenzie River Valley and down into northern Alberta.

3-22-09.  Whitehorse Star, by Justine Davidson.  As the Whitehorse business community took a long lunch over lasagna and Caesar salad at the High Country Inn on Wednesday, Premier Dennis Fentie rattled off tens of millions of dollars’ worth of government spending aimed at keeping the Yukon economy strong through the coming year of global recession.  ...  As chamber president Rick Karp said after the speech, most of what Fentie had to say was a more detailed repeat of his address at the Partnering for Success summit held last month. ... Questions from the audience received mostly straightforward answers. His government supports the creation of the Mackenzie Valley and Alaska Highway pipelines, Fentie said, but both are largely beyond the Yukon’s control.   “We don’t want the oil and gas reserves in the northern Yukon stranded,” he said, adding he was counting on TransCanada Pipelines to keep the Yukon in the loop.

3-21-09.  The Star, by Peter Gorrie.  Meanwhile, Jim Prentice is considering legal action against the environmental review of the Mackenzie Valley Gas Pipeline, complaining it's too slow and expensive.   ...more coming....

3-20-09.  Alaska Journal by Tim BradnerA resolution introduced in the state Legislature asking Gov. Sarah Palin to take a fresh look at prospects for a natural gas pipeline and her plan to work with TransCanada Corp. has raised a tempest among lawmakers.  Reps. Jay Ramras, R-Fairbanks, and Craig Johnson, R-Anchorage, are sponsors of HCR-12, introduced March 12, asks Palin to re-evaluate whether a license granted to TransCanada with a $500 million state grant gives the state sufficient benefits given large new gas discoveries made in shale formations in the continental U.S. and the current difficult financing environment. ... In a press conference March 17, House Minority Leader Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau, said the resolution sends the wrong signal to TransCanada and would undercut the state's credibility. *** Rep. Berta Gardner, D-Anchorage, said, "It's important that Alaska be seen as a stable partner. We signed a contract (with TransCanada). It's good for the state to encourage competition," with major North Slope producers in building a pipeline.  "If we pass this resolution it signals that we are a unstable partner," said Rep. Les Gara, D-Anchorage.  Rep. Dave Guttenberg, D-Fairbanks, said Palin's AGIA initiative with TransCanada was largely responsible for goading two producing companies, ConocoPhillips and BP, into launching their own pipeline initiative, Denali. *** "This is not just a tempest in a teapot. TransCanada is very concerned about this resolution," because it seems to signal a change of attitude in the state toward supporting the company's project, said Rep. Harry Crawford, D-Anchorage.

3-14-09.  FNM by Rena Delbridge.  A move is under way to change Alaska’s oil and gas production tax before developers of a large-diameter natural gas pipeline start selling space in the proposed pipeline, something expected to begin in mid-to-late 2010.  Oil and gas production is linked under the state’s tax structure. Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka and co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, wants to decouple the two resources and create a separate framework for taxing gas.

3-13-09.  Job Monkey.  Will the Alaska Gas Pipeline become President Obama's great public works project?      *     FNM.  Two Alaska lawmakers have introduced a resolution that would call on Gov. Sarah Palin to re-evaluate the natural gas pipeline license awarded to TransCanada Corp.   The resolution was introduced Thursday by Republican Reps. Jay Ramras of Fairbanks and Craig Johnson of Anchorage.  (See Calgary Sun story.)   *     Homer NewsAlaska Gov. Sarah Palin has thrown her support behind a 24-inch "bullet" pipeline to bring natural gas from the North Slope toCommissioner Dave Harbour and Mayor Jim Whitaker - 2005 Fairbanks Southcentral Alaska.      *      FDNMIf nothing else, this past year has shown us that our community is living way too close to the edge when it comes to keeping our homes, businesses and institutions warm — and keeping the lights on. It also became clear that unless Anchorage is freezing in the dark, we cannot expect too much sympathy from the Legislature.  It was these realizations that led community leaders to focus on finding relief from the high and volatile cost of energy here. Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Jim Whitaker (Photo-sweater, w/author) challenged local leaders and thinkers to solve this looming crisis within five years.

3-12-09.  Maritime & Energy.  A three-year research project initiated by DNV has led to the development of an ice load Gus Gustafson by Dave Harbour - 5-08 - Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airportmonitoring system that provides bridge personnel with real-time information about the actual ice loads on the ship's hull and shows satellite information about the ice integrated into electronic navigation maps.      *     Denali Website.  Environmental, Regulatory, Land and Stakeholder Relations Manager Gary "Gus" Gustafson (NGP Photo-l) describes Denali’s owner companies and their extensive arctic experience, and shares his own excitement about being part of the Denali team.     *     Platts.   ConocoPhillips plans to slow its Western Canadian oil sands development until costs drop further, as well as some of its natural gas projects in the region that are "not viable at today's gas prices," said Chairman and CEO Jim Mulva Wednesday.       *     TAX - ROYALTY POLICY, Horn River Blog, commenting on Don Braid's Calgary Herald Story.    The government of Alberta has announced it will reduce royalties on new conventional oil and gas wells to 5% or less for the next year, and extend an additional year should the current downtown continue. The 5% applies only to the first 50,000 barrels of oil or 500 million cubic feet of natural gas. But perhaps the doctor has delivered the medicine too late.  (Comment:  Alaska and Alberta circumstances are quite different, but Alberta has taken steps to moderate royalties  and the writer concludes that, "...perhaps the doctor has delivered the medicine too late."  Alaska's tax/royalty burden in a more remote, climatically harsh jurisdiction is even more oppressive on industry, and, to continue the analogy, the legislative doctors have hardly recognized the symptoms of economic malaise, have not identified a medicine and have no plan to deliver that medicine.  Prediction: Alaska is approaching a perfect storm of economic crisis: 6-7% annual TAPS throughput reduction, reduced oil prices, the second year of dramatically increased oil taxes, unquenched thirst for government growth and spending, a national recession, and a North American natural gas price south of $4 which provides gloomy basis for ANS gas pipeline projects.  Lawmakers had better start reducing industry taxes fast, while reducing government spending and aggressively supporting off-shore oil and gas exploration which could provide hundreds of thousands of jobs in Alaska and throughout the nation for the next 50 years.  If they don't move fast, state savings accounts will dwindle  as investments here slow to a trickle amid national economic peril and a lack of political discipline which permits runaway spending to continue (i.e. Look at present legislation to increase qualification for some entitlement programs to 200% over the poverty level.  This sort of spending is not sustainable.  -dh {See related editorial, 3-10-09, below}).

3-11-09.  Alaska Gas Pipeline Blog.  A year ago the $500 million AGIA inducement sounded like a lot money - now it may take a whole lot more to get moving on the gas pipeline. Or maybe fiscal certainty?  Would knowing the future tax rates help free market forces finance a pipeline? That would beat the penniless beggar approach. The time has come to re-think the inducements and tune up the project economics on a free market basis.    *     ADN by Sean Cockerham.   Are Governor Sarah Palin's Utility Merger and In-state Gas Pipeline Proposals DOA?     *     CNN and Dow JonesConocoPhillips (COP) and BP Plc (BP) plan to bring their proposed natural gas pipeline in Alaska into service by 2019, a ConocoPhillips executive said during the company's analyst meeting Wednesday.  The Denali pipeline, estimated to cost $30 billion, is expected to begin accepting bids for gas transportation in 2010, said Ryan Lance, the company's president of exploration and production for Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East said Wednesday. The companies had previously said the pipeline could begin transporting gas as soon as 2018.

3-10-09.  Pitch Engine.  News video from KTUU: Curtis Thayer, spokesperson for Enstar, talks about the company's need for new gas supplies.        *       FNM by Rena Delbridge.  Some legislators returning from meetings in Washington, D.C., are less thaNGP Photo by n confident that a large-diameter natural gas line will be built between Alaska’s North Slope and markets in the Lower 48 and Alberta.  Rep. John Coghill, R-North Pole, said financing will be the crux, and he fears that Pres. Barack Obama’s administration, which has pegged the pipeline as a priority, could take on responsibility and turn it into a public works project.   (KTVA Video link sent by Scott Heyworth)  *     Daily Commercial News.  A major backer of the Mackenzie pipeline expressed frustration recently over how long it is taking regulators to approve the $16.2-billion project, which was originally supposed to have been in service this year, but is now several years away.  The work of a seven-member joint-review panel looking into the environmental and socio-economic effects of the more than 1,200-kilometre natural gas pipeline has been “dismal and very disappointing,” said Aboriginal Pipeline Group president Bob Reid.    *    Prince George Citizen, by Gordon Hoekstra.  Federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice (NGP Photo-l) says his government is taking a serious look at how to remove duplication in federal and provincial environmental assessments.     *     Yesterday, Shell Exploration & Production's AlasPete Slaiby by Tim Bradnerka General Manager, ISER - Northern Economics Alaska OCS Study - 3-9-09Pete Slaiby (Photo-l), presented Northern Economics' Pat Burden to offer a report from the Institute of Social and Economics Research, University of Alaska-Anchorage (ISER) and Northern Economics on the results of a quantitative economic analysis that details the implications of offshore oil and gas development in the Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea and North Aleutian Basin.  (Audio)   (Comment: Alaska offers significant, potential off-shore oil and gas treasures and opportunities which elected officials should carefully consider and act to support.  1) The billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of prospective natural gas resources, once proven, could lower balance of payments deficits, sustain the value of our currency and support national security principles while providing impressive, direct and indirect employment from coast to coast.  To make this happen, officials should act to assure timely processing of permits.  Officials should aggressively protect existing leases against legal challenges.  2)  Alaskans should vigorously support this development and the concept of Federal offshore revenue sharing with adjacent states, as has been modeled in the Gulf of Mexico region.  Such revenue sharing will diminish any need Alaska politicians may identify for  increasing other forms of taxes.  3)  Congress should note that even if one accepts oil and gas only as a transition fuel to a carbonless society {i.e. We do not.}, America would be better off, in this dangerous world, obtaining that transition fuel--economically--from our own on- and off-shore lands rather than counting on sometimes undependable foreign exporters.  One also notes that the carbonless, alternative industries--however meritorious--do not presently contribute to state and federal governments the many billions of dollars of annual revenues provided by oil and gas producers.  4)  Alaska offshore oil and gas development may accomplish two other, critical national and state objectives: it may provide the incremental volumes necessary to extend the life of TAPS and/or to support financing and robust throughput of a new, $40 billion + gas pipeline to the Lower 48, not to mention thousands of direct and indirect jobs which that infrastructure entails.   -dh).   (See KTUU's Excellent Video Story by Jason Moore, including the anti-development statement of a North Slope Borough spokesman.  One is surprised to miss any ADN coverage today of this significant, newsworthy event.  -dh)

3-9-09.  ADN Editorial, "No Time To Meddle".  Southcentral Alaska has seen years of deadlock over how best to replace the region's shrinking supply of cheap natural gas. Gov. Sarah Palin has appointed an in-state gas czar, Harry Noah, to help break that deadlock. Good luck.       *     Canadian Press, by Lauren Krugel.   The work of a seven-member joint-review panel looking into the environmental and socio-economic effects of the more than 1,200-kilometre natural gas pipeline has been "dismal and very disappointing," said Aboriginal Pipeline Group president Bob Reid.  "Gas won't be flowing any time soon, nor will the significant long-term benefits be flowing northward to our aboriginal shareholders," he told an Arctic gas conference.   The Aboriginal Pipeline Group owns a third of the project and pipeline operator TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) is involved through its investment in APG.  Last month, Environment Minister Jim Prentice said Ottawa has offered financial support to the proponents of the Mackenzie pipeline, which include Imperial Oil Ltd. (TSX:IMO), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), ExxonMobil Corp. (TSX:XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS). ... Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach said Wednesday he's confident those Arctic natural gas reserves will be in high demand once the economy bounces back.

Weekend News: 3-7&8-09.  Resource Development Council for Alaska (RDC, See other 3-5 photos below), Thursday, March 5, 2009.  Alaska Railroad Corp. (ARR) CEO Pat Gamble (NGP Photo, 1-22-09) told RDC Members that for the time being there will be no rail link through Canada to the Lower 48.  "The line to Canada is a long way off," he said, "I don't see it happening."  Gamble said that though the Alaska gas pipeline prompted interest in the rail extension, it would require the investment of 1,000 miles of new rail in Canada and 200 miles in Alaska. 

In a captivating briefing to much of Alaska's resource development leadership, he also addressed:

  • Delta rail expansion, underway, and the Tanana River Bridge project with $116 million raised to date but requiring $40 million more.

  • Rail right of way herbicide protection.  All other states protect rights of way with herbicides, Gamble said, along with a number of other countries.  If Alaska law is not changed to allow for such right of way protection, the Federal Railroad Administration could order a "slow down" or "shut down" of operations and inspectors will be in Alaska this April to, "walk every mile of track".

  • 2008 revenue was down 20% from estimates based partly on 15% lower revenue from Flint Hills Refinery in Fairbanks, which contracts for 45% of ARR's freight business.  Gamble is projecting flat growth in 2009.   His 5 year and longer term strategic planning process had prevented harm by projecting lower revenues and preventive hiring freezes.  20% annual passenger revenue growth, 12% lease revenue growth and 19% improvement in gravel transport further ameliorated the Flint Hills losses.  In 2009, Gamble has frozen management compensation.

  • Federal subsidies are generous to Alaska and, since they are based on a formula which includes mileage and passenger load, Gamble anticipates receiving about $115 million this year and $138 million next year.

  • Gamble is facilitating discussions between the State department of Natural Resources and the Flint Hills Refinery regarding a possible state investment in the refinery.  Flint Hills, said Gamble, seeks to improve the economics of the refinery or sell it.  Keeping the refinery operating means pipeline and railcar (400 units) revenue for ARR plus the movement of a million gallons per year of jet fuel from Fairbanks to  the Anchorage International Airport.  He noted that some legislative attempts to cap the price of refined fuel in Alaska could, "Shoot Flint Hills in the head."

  • The ARR is developing what may well be the most advanced, state of the art Collision Avoidance System in the United States, having spend $25 million to date with about $30 million worth of work yet to be completed.  2016 is a new Federal deadline by which all railroad systems must have such systems, and the ARR is a technology leader for the country.

3-6-09.  MGM Energy Corp. both discoveries would be uneconomic at current oil and gas prices, even with the completion of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline  *     Alexander's Oil and Gas Connection, by Eric Lidji 01-02-09 The new rallying cry in Alaska is first gas in five years. Throughout much of last year, high heating oil prices in Fairbanks and dwindling natural gas reserves in Anchorage created public outcry for a new in-state supply of natural gas.  Now, as state lawmakers reconvene in Juneau, the issue is suddenly a high priority item. In the first three days of the new session, a Senate committee heard testimony from three groups hoping to build smaller gas pipelines, Gov. Sarah Palin pledged to get gas flowing in five years and a Fairbanks task force gave recommendations for meeting that deadline. Meanwhile, the Alaska Gasline Port Authority told lawmakers that a weak Lower 48 natural gas market means Alaska should keep the liquefied natural gas option alive.    *    GeologyDotComAlaska has enormous amounts of natural gas but getting it to where Alaskans can use it has been a challenge. A proposed pipeline will help them use their own resource.

3-5-09.  Financial Post, by Claudia Cattaneo (NGP Photo-l).  British Columbia increased royalty breaks Monday to encourage oil and gas activity, at a time most oil and gas companies are cutting back investment to weather the downturn.  The program continues the fiscal advantage of natural gas extraction in British Columbia over Alberta, where the government increased royalties on Jan. 1. The two Western provinces are Canada's top natural gas producers.  (Comment:  at a time when world oil and North American gas prices stand at very low levels, one wonders what steps Alberta and Alaska, the Yukon and NWT will take to encourage oil and gas activity within their borders.   Alternatively, will a sentiment prevail that, "We have the resource.  Companies need the resource.  Tax and regulatory policy has relatively little effect on investment decisions.  And, finally, our obligation is to squeeze the maximum resource dollars from resource industries, for the maximum benefit of this generation, without regard to long term investment benefits for future generations."  -dh)    *     ADN by Wesley Loy (NGP Photo-r).  The Alaska layoffs come as part of Conoco's plan to cut its global work force of 33,800 employees by 4 percent.     *     SarahPac Blog.  Most of us have heard of this project and know it as the Alaskan Gasline Inducement Act, or AGIA.  One of the most misunderstood and misreported facts about Governor Sarah Palin is her leadership ability. The AGIA legislation is perfect proof of what she is capable of.       *         Oilweek, Canadian Press.  A major backer of the Mackenzie pipeline expressed frustration Wednesday over how long it is taking regulators to approve the $16.2-billion project, which was originally supposed to have been in service this year, but is now several years away.   The work of a seven-member joint-review panel looking into the environmental and socio-economic effects of the more than 1,200-kilometre natural gas pipeline has been "dismal and very disappointing," said Aboriginal Pipeline Group president Bob Reid (NGP Photo-l).  "Gas won't be flowing any time soon, nor will the significant long-term benefits be flowing northward to our aboriginal shareholders," he told an Arctic gas conference.     *     Alberta--The Details, blog....    We read where BP is canceling its pipeline work designed to move natural gas from Alaska to Alberta and a day later Stelmach is telling the NWT industry wants the gas from the North Shore, put the pipeline through.     ...   We are already taking less money than is Saskatchewan and BC. If someone was going to drill they would be drilling now! This is a blatant slice to move more of Alberta cash into the oil industry.  When the math is done, we are paying the oil and gas companies to take the non renewable resource from the province. At the end of the day we won't even have the jobs.  (Comment:  When will we grow weary of those--with no skin in the investment game--who are so shrill, so sure, so dogmatic, so critical, so proud and, oh, so unstudied and unfettered with facts?  -dh)

3-4-09.   Canadian Press The plentiful natural gas reserves trapped in the Arctic will be in high demaGovernor Sarah Palinnd when the economy bounces back, and Alberta is poised to benefit from those fields, the province's premier said Wednesday.  Natural gas prices have faded to a fraction of what they were a year ago, causing some to call into question the economics of multibillion-dollar pipelines planned for Alaska and the Mackenzie Delta region in the Northwest Territories.        *       Reuters, by Yereth Rosen - Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (Photo) on Tuesday unveiled a plan to encourage development of a $4 billion in-state natural gas pipeline that would precede the massive project that state officials hope will deliver North Slope natural gas to North American markets.       *     ...some lawmakers are calling it "Baby AGIA."  The Alaska Dispatch.     *      AP, Forbes, by Ann SuttonHarry Noah, recently appointed project manager of an in-state gas line by Gov. Sarah Palin, outlined the schedule with Palin at a news conference.

3-3-09.  FDNM by Rena Delbridge.  The Fairbanks electric utility board voted against a draft bill that would create a joint corporation from the Railbelt’s six power providers.  Golden Valley Electric Association President and CEO Brian Newton said the vote was to not accept a draft in its “current fashion.” The board hasn’t seen a final version of Gov. Sarah Palin’s proposal, which many expected to be filed with the Legislature by Monday.  Palin’s communication director Bill McAllister said the administration is ironing out final details and still plans to file the bill.  Joe Balash, special assistant to Palin, said he expects to send the bill to the Legislature late today.        *       Radio KENI, by Joe NicksBorough Mayor Dave Carey continues to meet with officials about bringing natural gas from the North Slope to south-central Alaska. Carey recently met with the President of Denali.     *     Journal of Commerce by Tim Bradner.  Alaska officials had better act to bring people together on a large natural gas pipeline or risk losing the U.S. gas markets to shale gas producers and liquefied natural gas importers, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski warned state lawmakers in her annual message to the Legislature in Juneau Feb. 19.     *     Andrew Halcro's Blog.  Lets face it; oil & gas companies are an easy target with the profits they've been reporting. But unlike other industries that have decimated wealth such as insurance (think AIG) and finance (think Lehman Brothers), the profits from oil and gas companies have actually helped buffer the dramatic liquidation of wealth in Americans retirement accounts.

3-26-09 Alliance Photos:

T. J. Northcott, President, GES


Richard Faulkner, President SteelFab, and Bob Britch, President, Northern Consulting Group

3-26-09 IAEE Photos:

Ray Kreig,




Ian Sharrock, Energy Specialist, Alaska CDC



Mark Foster (l) IAEE's 3-26-09 speaker, with ML&P Regulatory Affairs Supervisor, Bob Reagan


3-5-09 RDC Photos:

Dennis Hebner, STEELFAB

Ron Peck, ATIA


Wendy Lindskoog, ARRC

Paul McIntosh, Retired Forest Service


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