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;Bjřrn 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: Author Archives 2002
With nearly 20 visits to Alaska under his belt, the silver-haired diplomat is a caretaker who is proud of the Alaska-Canadian relationship. In November, Simmons told Commonwealth North members that while the Canadian government supports the free market determining pipeline routes, he acknowledged that if producers revive the Alaska Highway routing the Canadian government would revive the Northern Pipeline Agency and regulatory support required by the project.
"We believe that delivering Arctic gas to market is doable." Since his Commonwealth North presentation, Canada initiated a "Cooperation Plan" draft for facilitating gas pipeline regulatory approvals at all levels of government, invited public comment and is now producing a final document.
In a recent interview, Simmons said relationships between individual Canadians and Americans continue to be very warm, but actions by the American government are not always supportive of a close diplomatic relationship. When asked about current trade disputes (see related story on page 11), and how such trade issues might affect Arctic gas pipeline projects, he said: "While Americans have often linked unrelated issues, International Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew and Prime Minister Jean Chrétien have said that as a policy we avoid linking issues where possible and believe it is counter productive. We believe each issue should be judged on its merits."
During this interview, it was suggested to Simmons that "fiscal clarity" issue should apply to Canada as well as to Alaska, that changing laws and trade issues in both countries might justify specific actions to guarantee gas pipeline investor confidence. Simmons said he supported the concept of fiscal clarity but he indicated that Canada's "oil and gas regime," already providing about 90 percent of its energy output to the U.S., has over a long period developed sufficient fiscal clarity to provide investor confidence.
While Simmons understands Alaska's political desire for maximum gas pipeline economic benefit, he is concerned that "continued Congressional effort to prohibit a route not favored by Alaska sends a negative message to companies considering northern energy investments and could delay development of Arctic natural gas reserves."
Common thought several months ago was that two projects could not move together because gas prices worked against economic feasibility, and due to limited pipeline steel production and skilled construction spreads. The continuing uncertainty of a northern route confused matters further. But today, project evolution is improving odds for both projects.
Most of the Mackenzie Delta production could be absorbed by Alberta oil sands development requirements. Since Delta gas owners share ownership in oil sands properties, the economics for gas buyer and seller may be more attractive than if ownership were entirely different.
Both projects could benefit from "pro-pipeline" Canadian and U.S. Government support also evidenced by Canada's commitment to a "Cooperation Plan" for coordinating efficient regulatory oversight.
Alaska Native and Canadian Aboriginal interests support gas projects, though in Canada recent court decisions, some unsettled claims and some disunity provide continuing challenges to development. Most Alaska Highway route claims, however, are now resolved.
The northern route is a concept without significant momentum. In this intense, competitive arena, without a strong champion no project can survive. While some are uncomfortable with Alaska and U.S. Congressional attempts to politically bomb a competitive route out of the water, the reality is:
As to the challenge of limited steel and manpower to support two projects, one observer recently said, "That is a problem we'd like to have." With project managers focusing on sharing resources and coordinating construction timetables this concern could fall more into the category of a "huge challenge" than a "show stopper." (Note: Skilled workers are retiring faster than they can be replaced causing a shortage of "how-to" knowledge as well as numbers of workers.)
Alaska advocates of LNG and GTL projects are active and tenacious but market forces and Congressional action have given them little encouragement.
Local and federal governments in both countries are engaged in the debate.
Alaska leaders know the polls reflect absolutely no concern for gas pipeline economic viability and a desire for maximum steel in the state. They have adopted an uncompromising position on preferred routes, seeking to kill any competition by constructing legislative barricades. Some are nervously aware that this high-risk path could also block projects that could partially satisfy the gluttony of a $1 billion/year state operating budget deficit, and create a dangerous precedent for government control of free enterprise -- even for those currently benefiting from the legislation. A year ago, SB 164 sought to derail a northern project while this year's HJR 44 encourages receptive Washington leaders to do the same.
British Columbia officials, seeing more advantage from a southern route than a northern route for gas, attend meetings with and discretely support Alaska legislators. They are involved in their own controversies to enable environmentally sound offshore oil and gas exploration and with Aboriginal First Nations issues.
Since most Arctic gas projects would support Alberta's economic goals and petrochemical industry, its leaders have adroitly encouraged various projects offering Alberta rights-of-way.
Yukon Territory leaders are struggling to develop a robust oil and gas industry by making exploration opportunity available and enthusiastically supporting a southern route for Alaskan gas. The leadership supports advocating the southern route for Alaska gas and a separate pipeline for Mackenzie Delta gas.
Northwest Territories governmental leadership articulately supports a Mackenzie Valley Pipeline. As to the concept of also providing access to Alaska gas down a northern route corridor the leaders urge the private sector, not the government, to make decisions. Aboriginal leadership has rallied around a joint Mackenzie Delta producer (66 2/3 percent) and Aboriginally owned (33 1/3 percent) Mackenzie Delta pipeline that could monetize Canadian royalty gas while supporting Canadian demand, and Alberta oil sands development projects. A university of Calgary study released this month foresees project economic impact of more than $75 billion.
Canadian federal government leaders have, like the N.W.T., supported the Mackenzie Delta project and have created a "Cooperation Plan" draft for expediting construction of northern pipelines by coordinating agency regulatory oversight at every level of government. Likewise, they remain neutral as to a route for Alaska gas believing industry should make the final decision on economic grounds.
The U.S. House of Representatives, at the urging of Congressman Don Young, has included a northern route prohibition in H.R. 4, the House version of President Bush's energy bill. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, announcing his support for Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles and Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer, has added and/or plans to add various additional "Alaska friendly" amendments to the Senate version (S.517), including a northern route prohibition.
Republican U.S. Sen. Frank Murkowski -- whose major Democrat opponent in the fall elections for governor is Ulmer -- was fast to compliment Daschle for the Alaska provisions, then introduced his own updated gas pipeline amendments on the eve of the Easter recess, just concluded. U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens issued a statement on March 6 saying, "That line will go east over my dead body and I'm not ready to leave this world." Daschle's bill with Murkowski's additions include expediting elements desired by various Alaska North Slope oil producers.
Senators are now seeking to enhance project economics by including a federally guaranteed gas price floor, which could make nearly any pipeline project economically feasible.
The U.S. Administration has agreed until now with the Canadian federal position, remaining neutral as to the routing for Alaskan gas. If it meets his major criteria, however, the President seems likely to sign a Congressional energy package with or without language prohibiting a particular Alaska gas pipeline route.
Thousands of professionals in both countries are devoted to these projects. To the extent that an atmosphere of cooperation and compromise can pervade the atmosphere, will projects move forward as the market demands the gas.
Dave Harbour is the publisher of Northern Gas Pipelines (http://www.arcticgaspipeline.com), and president of The Harbour Company, a public affairs consulting firm.
Accordingly, for readers interested in more than headlines, here is a little background. First, general trade facts:
Tariff/NAFTA issue facts:
1. Under NAFTA, Canada obtained language designed to protect Canadian culture. So-called split-run magazines are produced in, say, New York. Then with no additional overhead costs -- or Canadian content -- they can be sold in Canada with Canadian advertising. NAFTA requires that Canadian content be included in such publications. Certain U.S. interests have successfully disputed the Canadian content provision by threatening increased tariffs on Canadian steel.
2. Softwood tariff issues have been raised three times in recent history, resolved each time in Canada's favor, and this spring's incident becomes the fourth. Canadians believe that by launching the issue, American interests seek a "no risk lotto entry." Here's how that works. Some years ago, U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia introduced legislation allowing an American company to accuse a foreign competitor of unfair trade practices. The Commerce Department investigates the complaint. During the two-year investigation, increased tariffs on the foreign competitor are collected and put into escrow. If, at the end of the investigation, the complaint is found without merit, the excess tariff is returned to the foreign company. If the complaint is upheld, the escrowed money moves right to the pocket of the U.S. firm initiating the complaint. The U.S. company cannot lose: if it wins the complaint, it wins the escrowed "lotto earnings"; if it loses the complaint, it has succeeded in disrupting and crippling if not destroying its foreign competitor during the intervening two years. The huge, current new tariff increases on Canadian softwood imports (more than 25 percent) threaten to cripple the Canadian competition even if, as it believes, the merits of the case will sustain it this time as it has during three prior disruptions.
3. Perhaps predictably, a few days after the softwood tariff was announced, the Canadian customs and revenue agency said it would collect a duty of up to 71 percent on U.S. tomato imports. Last fall the Canadian Trade Alliance claimed Americans were dumping tomatoes on its northern neighbor.
4. Certain interests are currently threatening Canadian wheat imports using the same technique.
If America were a land where "the end justifies the means" and "might makes right" were the prevailing values, the above policies could be understood. America is a democracy. More than one person has compared a democracy to a sausage factory and admitted its imperfection. These NAFTA and tariff issues demonstrate a less understood deficiency of democracy. Since democracies are empowered by voters, almost any complex bullying action can be enforced on a competing foreign power when voters and/or the Congress decree it to be law-of-the-land. Foreigners don't vote and depend solely on a historical chain of goodwill and successful relationships.
As Alaska approaches the moment of decision on whether or on what terms a gas pipeline will traverse Canada, this is an inopportune time for engaging in trade sanctions (if, indeed this type of trade sanction is ever appropriate or representative of American values). Our hats are off to Canada for stating that such issues should each be decided on its own merits -- even while the U.S. practices the merging of issues where it appears to suit us.
As America approaches the moment of decision with its War On Terrorism and there is talk of "oil embargo" in the Middle East, it can ill-afford to be alienating its closest friends--particularly its non-OPEC energy suppliers -- using a democratically produced trade technique with despotic attributes.
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