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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 News

3-31-02 Updates: 00.10, 11:27, 12:21 ET-Globe & Mail (Search 3-30 stories), Calgary by Lily Nguyn (NGP Photo, 2-02) -- A looming change in disclosure rules governing petroleum producers is throwing a spotlight on how oil and gas reserves are reported -- and forcing a number of companies to downgrade their estimations of reserves.    *   NNS by Terry Halifax-The Beaufort Delta Leaders Conference, held March 19 to 21, gave leaders a chance to brainstorm ideas and identify future needs to see a smooth transition towards self-government.    *     The U.S. Senate is in adjournment until 3:00 p.m. on Monday, April 8.  When they return, Senators are  expected to resume consideration of the energy bill.  There will be no votes until Tuesday, April 9.    *   REMINDER: Northern Gas Pipelines is scheduled to join you for two very timely Arctic gas related conferences in April:  Arctic Gas Opportunities in the North comes to Houston with a cast of central players at a time when many producer, pipeline and Congressional directions will be more obvious.  Aboriginal Oil and Gas Ventures meeting in Edmonton provides insight to emerging Aboriginal leadership and to corporations hoping to work with them and others already venturing with them.  Discounts available for Northern Gas Pipelines readers...or... Mention that you saw these conferences on the Northern Gas Pipelines web page and you will receive a 10% discount off the registration price of: Aboriginal Oil & Gas Ventures    April 25/26, 2002   and/or   Arctic Gas Pipelines     April 29/30, 2002.  To take advantage of this special offer call Peter Strickland at 1-866-456-2020 ext. 261

3-30-02 Weekend Updates: Sat. 12:07, 13:55, 14:24 Sun. 10:25, 16:55  ET (Happy Easter....)-ALASKA NORTH SLOPE ROYALTY GAS......Kevin Banks (NGP Photo, 2-1-02), Petroleum Market Analyst for Alaska's Division of Oil and Gas kindly provided Northern Gas Pipelines with this public notice of the Preliminary Best Interest Finding signed by the Commissioner's office Friday.  Download hereSee our earlier stories here, and here.    *     Realtime News, WASHINGTON (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) - The Interior Department on Friday disputed a study in which its own scientists warned that oil exploration in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge could endanger wildlife....        *     Comment:  Coverage by MSNBC of the USGS Report on Wildlife in the ANWR Costal Plain contains another poll 'opportunity'. Our informed readers may vote at this website address:  This is a classic 'push/pull' poll; by providing selective headlines and inaccurate photos editors build the case for a 'no' vote.  Title of this 'objective reporting' and poll is, "Arctic refuge drilling risky".   Who would want to 'drill' the musk oxen (huddled pitifully together against human attack) and Brooks Range mountains (that would be totally unaffected).  Who knows that the ANWR work translates to an environmentally sensitive production area of 2,000 acres of 19 million ANWR acres?  Who knows that exploration would be in winter months when caribou and other migratory species are absent?  MSNBC's headline should read, "We support dependency on foreign energy imports and urge reconciliation with Iraq."  Bad outcomes are cultivated when good men and women do nothing.  -dh  (Further Notes: We do not object to any citizen opposing development on aesthetic grounds.  We do oppose promoting anti-development agenda for political or fundraising gain when facts are not used or misrepresented and energy security is at risk.  We hope readers appreciate that unlike MSNBC and some other media, we identify editorial comment and do not disguise it as an objective headline or poll.  Please review the original  USGS Report on Wildlife in the ANWR Costal Plain and cover memorandum, indicating that depending on the scenario, environmental effects could range from low to high.  Certainly, regulators would not permit a 'high impact' scenario and knowledgeable readers know the purpose for such studies is to help regulators identify how to mitigate or minimize environmental effects.   It further states that the scenarios used by the authors did not necessarily correspond with the {extremely modest} development scenario which Congress is now considering and that further information will be produced within two weeks.)   *

3-29 Updates: 01:44, 02:28, 11:55, 12:25, 17:45 ET (Note to Email Alert Readers: the word, 'rational', in the message yesterday should have read, 'rationale'; and, the message referred to yesterday's report/editorial below, 3-28).  -dh).............The office of former Alaska Governor Walter J. Hickel (i.e. also, former Interior Secretary-NGP Photo, 5-9-'01) provided Northern Gas Pipelines with an ANWR statement delivered at the Capital in Washington on March 19: "If oil is discovered, the size of the surface area disturbed will be dramatically less than when Prudhoe Bay was developed thirty years ago. Most experts estimate that development activities will directly impact less than 2,000 surface acres on the 1.5 million acre Coastal Plain."  Obtain full statement here, and original story here.     *       Oil & Gas Journal, by Maureen Lorenzette, WASHINGTON, DC -- The public policy spotlight will be on petroleum-rich federal lands in Alaska this spring as Congress decides whether the time is right to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain to leasing.  Sen. Jeff Bingaman (Photo) Senate Energy Committee chairman, Mar. 27 asked Interior Secretary Gale Norton to release preliminary results of a US Geological Survey assessment of estimated oil and gas resources in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A). USGS latest estimate is due to be released in mid-May and is expected to be higher than earlier calculations. ... One issue that has more support in Congress is a proposal to build a new natural gas line from the North Slope to the Lower 48.  "Clearly, North Slope natural gas can be an important source of energy for our nation, assuming an appropriate transportation system is constructed," Bingaman said in his letter to Norton....      *     Today’s coverage by MSNBC of the USGS report on ANWR contains another poll 'opportunity'. Please vote at this website address:     *     Realtime News, MIDDLEFIELD - U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, assured Connecticut environmental groups that there is enough support in the Senate to prevent drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  AP story.  (See how ANWR may link to gas pipeline issues in yesterday's report, below.)     *     NEW READERS PLEASE SEE LINKING OF SOFTWOOD/ANWR/GAS PIPELINE ISSUES, 3-27 & 28 ARCHIVES.  Today, former Alaska Governor Steve Cowper writes: "The ultimate fate of Alaska North Slope gas is too complex to be trusted to political bluster, but bluster is all we're getting. There are other people who understand this, but most of them are hiding in the tall grass.  The interests of our neighbor and our most important trading partner, Canada, are being completely ignored by Alaska and the US. Unlike us, the Canadians aren't confrontational, but in the end they will strongly protect their own interests."    *      Today, see issue intensify with various Globe & Mail articles including this, by Steven Chase and Peter Kennedy, OTTAWA and VANCOUVER -- Canada is taking its fight against crippling softwood duties directly to the U.S. consumer in a public relations campaign across the United States that attacks the tariffs as a new home ownership tax.  ...  Officials said Ottawa plans to run the campaign through its 12 U.S. consulates, Washington embassy and American housing industry allies including Home Depot Inc. and the National Association of Homebuilders. "We think the time is right to inform the average American consumer of the effect of this tax on Canadian softwood," said Sebastien Théberge, a spokesman for International Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew.  U.S. homebuilders are already warning the American public that the duty could add up to $1,500 (U.S.) to the cost of a new home by pushing up the price of lumber -- a charge an editorial in the Washington Post has already dubbed a "Bush tax" on home ownership.   Officials said Ottawa plans to press its case in speeches, public appearances and meetings with media, working to hammer home a message "that will resonate with consumers: [about] how many months of mortgage [payments] this will cost." They said the strategy will target key states as the U.S. Congress and Senate prepare for November elections. ...Yesterday, British Columbia Forests Minister Michael de Jong said he is ready to allocate $20-million to back efforts to reduce the industry's dependence on the United States by diversifying into new markets such as China, and promoting B.C.'s forest practices....*     Canadian Press by Steve Mertl- The 55,000-member Industrial, Wood and Allied Workers of Canada threatened to launch a boycott of American-owned retailers unless they publicly lobby the U.S. government to settle the softwood lumber dispute. Union president Dave Haggard admitted U.S. retail associations already support free trade in lumber. But now they and their member companies must do things like run ads in American newspapers to push the Canadian position, he said.      *       Royal Dutch/Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil group, said it would invest $500m to build its first wholly-owned liquefied natural gas import terminal in the Americas.....more    *     Whitehorse Star by Chuck Tobin-The deadline to settle land claims for four of the six Yukon first nations without deals is midnight Sunday. Federal Indian Affairs Minister Bob Nault has insisted for months that negotiations will cease at the end of the day on March 31.  (First Nations with unresolved land claims have gas pipeline rights-of-way interests. -dh)

3-28 Updates: 00:08, 03:30, 04:23, 05:00, 12:15, 13:17, 14:33, 16:54, 17:22, 19:51 ET- Focus On The Big Picture: Softwood Tariffs & Gas Pipelines,

1.  Today's Editorial   2.  Today's News   3.  Significant Comments On Yesterday's News/Editorial

1.  Editorial note: We are reluctant to bring attention to our own editorials, normally preferring for readers to objectively reach their own conclusions based on unbiased reporting of current events while downplaying our own opinion.  Today we make exception for several reasons:  a.) we find that many government and industry officials privately share these views but are reluctant to speak out due to the constraints of employment; b.) complex issues now have their own momentum and the potential for destroying/delaying Arctic gas pipeline projects; and, c.) with the U.S. Congress fast closing on an energy bill, related issues must be successfully negotiated soon lest key elements of the final energy package be flanked and neutralized before the President can sign it. 

Arctic Gas Pipelines Are Only Part of the Big North American Picture

All of us agree in principle that the best individual decisions are made when we understand the 'big picture'.  We all subscribe to 'not making a decision in a vacuum'.  In practice, however, policy makers are pursuing Alaskan, Provincial, Territorial, Canadian, U.S., gas pipeline, softwood export and ANWR issues fairly independently.  Ultimately the issues will be joined to one degree or another and the sooner policy makers realize that and act swiftly on it, the better chance we all have for returning to an atmosphere of cooperative interdependence which has served Americans and Canadians so well until now. 

Principal issues to be resolved in the interest of joint gas pipeline projects, include:

  • Gas Pipeline Routing.  Alaskan leaders desperately want an Alaska Highway routing, as do Yukon officials, and are facing huge financial challenges requiring new revenue.  NWT and Canadian/U.S. federal leaders want a free market routing decision.  We don't yet know what some key private sector players want but must especially respect the final judgment of potential investors.  Aboriginal First Nations indicate support for development but not all agreements are in place.  Recent Canadian court decisions expanding Aboriginal sovereignty have introduced new elements of uncertainty (i.e. Haida and Treaty 8 Tax decisions).  (Photo-Enbridge map overlay)

  • Tariffs.  The U.S. government is under constituent pressure to protect jobs and by its action has put the Canadian government under similar pressure.  Constituent noise and anguish will not die down until the issue is resolved and, until it is, Canadian softwood sector advocates may pressure for employing retaliatory tools, including gas pipeline leverages that could possibly affect project economics.  The issue may grow to include other products and trade issues if discord is not soon resolved.

  • ANWR.  The U.S. administration supports a modest 2,000 acre development in the 1.5 million acre coastal plain area of a 19 million acre refuge.  The Canadian administration opposes it.  Approval of ANWR could make North America, as a whole, less dependent on foreign imports and could result in additional throughput for a gas pipeline.

  • Gas Pipeline Fiscal Clarity.  The softwood tariff issue has demonstrated that unexpected issues between neighbors can obfuscate project economics now or later.  Accordingly, the big picture should include the assurance of gas pipeline fiscal clarity in Alaska, Canada, the provinces and territories, First Nations and the Lower 48.  Effort should be made now to remove from the table any future potential for disturbing project economics once steel is frozen into the permafrost and gas is flowing.

As one non-omniscient observer, Northern Gas Pipelines will at least open the dialogue by suggesting that the above issues must be resolved by international agreement or by amending existing ones.  For the U.S. Congress to resolve the gas pipeline issue this Spring without regard to the outcome of the other issues is to work in a vacuum, however well intentioned.   Accordingly, we respectfully suggest the following:

  • President Bush and Prime Minister Chrétien to appoint a temporary "North American Trade Cooperation Commission"

  • Mission of the Commission: to investigate omnibus compromise and resolution of the above issues in a joint recommendation to their respective governments.

  • Co-Chairs of the Commission, appointed by their Chiefs-of-State would lead the effort.  One thinks of experienced, respected diplomats like Henry Kissinger and equally qualified Canadian statesmen, unbiased by current events and dedicated to North American unity.

  • Commission members could include objective, distinguished and qualified representatives from both countries: Federal energy/Aboriginal/northern affairs executives, Parliament/Congress, economists, energy experts, trade representatives, NEB/FERC, retired judges.

  • Operations.  On a six month fast track, the Commission would organize, investigate, take testimony, form draft recommendations, resolve differences, and present a single final recommendation supporting its mission.

Alternatively and more simply, we would prefer to see President Bush and Prime Minister Chrétien meet in a private place with their advisors, reach agreement, and quickly sell a unified view of the 'big picture' to the Parliament and to Congress.  The innocent child in us states, "ignore the problem and it will go away anyway."  The experience in us teaches, "confront and resolve the problem while there is still time; wasted effort is better than lost opportunity".  The pessimist in us asks, "what if we create a bigger problem than we're trying to solve?"  The optimist within replies, "we can reasonably predict disaster with no action; by trying and communicating, we have hope."  (Responses always welcomed; earlier editorials)    -dh

(Reference: News Stories; PNA article by Gary Park, added 4-8-02)

2.  Today's News.  Globe & Mail, by Douglas McArthur- (Note: an excellent review of the entire issue.  -dh) The breakdown in negotiations to resolve the softwood lumber dispute obviously has left both sides angry at one another. Canadian ministers and industry leaders charge the United States with dishonest negotiations made in bad faith, while the Americans make similar charges.  In the midst of the acrimony, and the celebration of the solidarity between governments and industry on the Canadian side, it's important to step back and ask what really happened, and how these negotiations came apart.       *     Globe & Mail, by Bruce Little-The fact that the United States has deep-sixed our softwood lumber industry with deeply punitive import duties should be a reminder that the Americans are not our best friends and probably not our friends at all; they are simply our neighbours.     *     "Softwood Dispute Not Out Of Woods Yet", Globe & Mail, by Drew Fagan-Taking a page from U.S. military history, Herb Dhaliwal thinks the way to save the village is to destroy it. Or, more precisely, the way to save one village is to destroy the next one. The idea, of course, would be about as successful as the Vietnam campaign itself.  Mr. Dhaliwal's federal Cabinet portfolio is natural resources -- pretty much the energy industry -- and yet he thinks Canada should consider cutting oil and gas co-operation with the United States to make a point about Canadian anger over softwood lumber, the dominant industry in his home province of British Columbia. ... Luckily, cooler heads are prevailing in Ottawa. Senior officials, led by International Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew, know Canada's real path forward is to challenge the 29 per cent softwood border tariff under NAFTA and the World Trade Organization. Deputy prime minister John Manley and U.S. ambassador Paul Cellucci both warned yesterday of the costs of escalating this fight.  ... In the end, then, it may be the U.S. industry that's destroying its own village.    *     CBC, Whitehorse, Yukon - Yukon lumber producers are anxiously awaiting word on how massive tariffs will affect their industry.     *     Globe & Mail by Steven Chase and Peter Kennedy, OTTAWA and VANCOUVER -- The U.S. ambassador to Canada warned Ottawa against lashing out in the fractious softwood trade dispute, saying retaliatory action would only end up hurting both countries.  "Our trade relationship is mutually beneficial so it makes no sense to try to hurt other sectors," Paul Cellucci said yesterday after a speech on security in Ottawa.  ...  Mr. Cellucci's comments follow Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal's suggestion Monday that Canada reconsider co-operating with the U.S. in key areas such as energy in response to the American decision March 21 to slap steep tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber exports.  Also that day, Forest Minister Michael de Jong in British Columbia, the province hardest hit by the duties, labeled the Americans a "hostile foreign power" attacking B.C. logging communities.  ... Canada and the United States are each other's largest trading partners. Eighty-five per cent of Canada's exports go to the United States and 25 per cent of American exports head here.  ... During a speech in Vancouver yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister John Manley appeared to distance himself from Mr. Dhaliwal's comments, saying Ottawa aims to battle the softwood tariffs without prejudicing other issues of mutual interest like border security. ... "It is their choice whether we do this by negotiation or litigation; but Canada will be on the side of the right, and we will win," he said.  ... Alliance interim leader John Reynolds said the government should move immediately, "to backstop our softwood industry by paying retroactively and going forward the countervailing and anti-dumping duties." ... B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell's call for a stakeholder summit to deal with the softwood lumber dispute is a good first step in persuading Prime Minister Jean Chrétien to "get tough with the U.S. government," an industry player said.  "We need to get the political momentum going in Canada for the Prime Minister to take on U.S. President George Bush mano a mano," said John Allan, president of the B.C. Lumber Trade Council, which represents the majority of the province's producers. ....    *     Realtime News, CALGARY, March 26 (Oil & Gas International) - The Haida, a native people living on Queen Charlotte Islands, off Canada's Pacific coast, have filed suit for recognition of their claim to the Islands and their surrounding waters.  It is thought to be the first such suit by a First Nation group claiming offshore resources.  CBC, Norman Wells, N.W.T. - Talk about a building a pipeline down the Mackenzie Valley has renewed interest in finishing an all-weather road between Wrigley and Inuvik.  People in Norman Wells raised the road issue at a meeting about the pipeline last week. They didn't get any encouragement from gas producers, but the issue isn't likely to go away. There are people in Norman Wells who've never given up on the idea of finishing the Mackenzie Valley Highway.  ... "You can hear rumblings of it now at various meetings that have come up and I think there's a lot of people who will make it an issue," says Larry Wallace who has been part of the road lobbying effort for 20 years. The question is where the $350 to $500 million for road construction will come from. Gas producers said they don't need the road and Joanne Nutter of Imperial Oil made that point at the meeting last week. "If there was a road we could certainly use it, but we don't need a road to develop the pipeline," she says.  Mayor Kevin Diebold isn't discouraged by that. ....  *    Whitehorse Star by Jason Small-First nations across the North want to work together to take advantage of future oil and gas opportunities. (See our earlier stories and downloads)

Bill Burkhard, GSS/TC of Sacramento wins our 63,000th Reader Appreciation Prize heirloom: a magnificent coaster set courtesy of thoughtful BP employees working with the Alaska Gas Producers Pipeline Team for the past year!  Earlier prizes: Winners Circle.


Readers:  Please note gas pipeline reference and inference in the news reports today.  We have said before here that the truth is stranger than fiction.  Once again an unexpected issue arises to quickly become a milepost--if not an obstacle--in the journey toward cooperative, Arctic gas pipeline projects.  Americans not usually focused on esoteric Canadian lumber issues better quickly grasp the importance of this one.  Americans taking for granted gas pipeline rights-of-way through Canada better wake up to related issues.  Expect to see a firm Canadian position developing as the U.S. Congress reconvenes in April, returning attention to increasingly complex energy policy legislation.  More on this important issue tomorrow.  See editorial below.  -dh

3-27 Updates:  00:04, 11:31 ET-Financial Post by Alan Toulin, OTTAWA - Pierre Pettigrew, the Minister for International Trade, yesterday rejected calls for the government to launch trade sanctions against the United States in retaliation for softwood duties, even as politicians and union leaders continued calls for the use of energy resources as a weapon in the trade war. ... The Industrial Wood and Allied Workers union in British Columbia issued a call yesterday for a broad retaliation across a range of products because of the punitive duties the United States is placing on Canadian wood products.  "If they don't want to buy our production, why the Hell should we support their industries?" David Haggard, IWA national president told Canadian Press. The IWA plans to ask the federal government to impose tariffs on all natural resources heading to the United States. Mr. Haggard said the plan could also include a union blockage of Canada-United States border crossings.  Other groups such as the British Columbia loggers union have pushed to have the softwood dispute linked to co-operation on energy issues including allowing the Alaska Highway gas pipeline to be built across Canadian territory, The Alaska project, which is still theoretical, would see natural gas moved from that states, and across Yukon and Alberta, to energy-hungry American markets.  John Duncan, Canadian Alliance forestry critic, said the opposition caucus wants Canada to take a strong stand on the U.S. softwood decision.  "We should be taking a harder line," Mr. Duncan said. "The harder line is, we haven't got normal trade relations therefore why would we be expanding our co-operation in terms of any of these major developments, and the major development is the pipeline."  Herb Dhaliwal, Minister of Natural Resources and senior minister for British Columbia, said Friday that the government should remind the United States of the valuable commodities that it gets from Canada such as energy.  "The Americans depend on us in many areas. We need to make sure they realized that the trade is a benefit to both countries. We need to make sure we send that message to them loud and clear," Mr. Dhaliwal said outside the House of Commons on Friday.  ... Mr. Chrétien has continued to mention the softwood dispute and the U.S. desire for an open, free market in energy while not directly linking the two subjects in a direct way.  A spokesman for Murray Smith, the Alberta energy minister, however, said the province doesn't want to see the softwood dispute linked with the province's energy trade, even though it supports the Canadian position on softwood trade.       *     Globe & Mail, by Marian Stinson-The ripples of the softwood lumber dispute spread to the dollar yesterday as currency markets fretted over increasing acrimony in the showdown between the world's two largest trading partners.  The dollar (Canadian) lost more than a quarter of a cent, ending the day at 63.10 cents (U.S.).  The selling was sparked by last Friday's imposition of 29-per-cent duties on Canadian lumber by the U.S. Commerce Department in retaliation for what it claims are unfair subsidies in the Canadian softwood timber industry.  "People are not going to be bullish on Canada when we don't know how this is going to pan out," said Jeff Cheah, a strategist at Standard & Poor's MMS in Toronto.  About 13 per cent of Canada's trade with the United States is in forest products, so the economic impact on Canada is significant, Mr. Cheah said.  The rhetoric took on a steelier tone yesterday with Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal suggesting that Ottawa reconsider its co-operation with the United States in key areas such as energy in light of the softwood duties.  "I don't want to get specific but it won't be business as usual after the way the Americans have responded in softwood lumber," Mr. Dhaliwal said.  International Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew, however, rejected retaliation, saying a tit-for-tat battle would hurt Canada more than the United States.  "When you have a $90-billion trade surplus [with the United States], you don't begin to go into boycotts of this or that," he said. "We can win this very softwood lumber issue on its merit, and that's what we will do."....     *     Financial Post by Andrea Campbell and Ian Jack-... The Free Trade Lumber Council, representing mainly Eastern-based lumber companies, ... said that without government assistance the industry will find it difficult to withstand the tariffs for the year or two it will take for the World Trade Organization to rule on a Canadian complaint against the U.S. measures.  "If there's no assistance we might as well fold right away,"said Carl Grenier, vice-president and general manager of the group.   "... I don't think we should allow the U.S. coalition and government to starve us into submission."  Meanwhile, Gordon Campbell, the B.C. Premier, said yesterday he plans to call for an emergency summit on softwood, bringing together the forest industry, the federal and provincial governments, to develop "a comprehensive strategy."  ... However, Mr. Campbell ruled out financial aid to stricken companies. "We do not believe in subsidizing businesses. This is about protecting families ... It is very difficult to win an argument that says we do not have a subsidized industry if we go out and subsidize the industry. Our goal is to make sure that families have a sense of support."...B.C. is under heavy pressure to cushion what some see as a potential economic disaster. The province represents more than half of the $10-billion in annual softwood exports to the United States while forestry is the largest contributor to the B.C. economy.  Pierre Pettigrew, Minister for International Trade, has been reluctant to introduce measures that could be interpreted as subsidies by the Americans for fear of weakening a case before the North American Free Trade Agreement dispute panel and the WTO.  The United States sees the stumpage fees charged by provinces on Crown lands as subsidies to lumber producers. Canada argues the fees are equivalent to market prices charged by private landowners in the United States.  Instead, yesterday he encouraged Canada's four lumber producing provinces, B.C., Quebec, Ontario and Alberta, to stand firm and maintain a united front in order to reach a long-term solution to the 20-year dispute....

Gas Pipeline/Softwood Statesmanship

Today we should focus on new developments in the US/Canadian softwood export/tariff dispute, discussed in these reports during the last few days.  In private email with friends in both countries recently, we have commiserated that the intense cooperation needed for construction of Arctic gas pipelines could well enter a new phase.  The current, myopic phase is, "What's in it for Alaska?";  the upcoming phase stimulated by bold U.S. actions may well be, "What's in it for Canada?".  To date, Canada has courageously supported its southern ally in the War on Terrorism, advocated free market principals for pipeline projects and fostered prodigious oil & gas exports to America.  It has exhibited none of the clamorous saber rattling pipeline policy so glamorous in Alaska.  Neither have we heard Canadian rumors of gas pipeline taxes, legislative mandates or add-on tariffs for Alaska gas.  While we have respected this mature approach, many have taken such good-will for granted.  The only 'fiscal clarity' concerns which potential, gas pipeline investors have mentioned to date apply to Alaska.  Ultimately, both governments may have to define and mandate 'fiscal clarity' at Federal and local levels.  We are sorry to see the outstanding relationship of these two largest trading partners threatened.  It is time for the two Federal governments to communicate and for statesmanship to prevail over politics on all fronts.  Absent action at the highest level, the option of discord could usher in a nasty new atmosphere created by government, founded on selfishness, not deserved by North American citizens, but which we are now forced to contemplate.  -dh  (Earlier editorials)

Anchorage Daily News (AP)-Thirty-five tribal nations from the Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbia and Alaska have signed a protocol to look out for one another's interests if a natural gas pipeline is built.  (See our several earlier stories here.)

3-26 Updates: 08:32, 08:45, 09:20, 09:40, 12:00, 12:17, 19:22 ET-Anchorage Daily News by Ben Spiess-Juneau -- Big new revenue measures cleared a crucial hurdle Monday when the House Finance Committee moved legislation that would authorize a $200 million statewide sales tax and an annual draw of about $800 million from Alaska Permanent Fund earnings.     *     CBC, Yellowknife, N.W.T. - Old tensions flared up Monday during the Dene leadership meeting in Yellowknife when Akaitcho chiefs were encouraged to rejoin the Benoit tax case by another Treaty 8 First Nation.  Three weeks ago a judge ruled that people covered under Treaty 8 don't have to pay taxes.      *       Realtime News-Oil sands deal opens door for massive Conoco Canada Development.     *     CBC, FORT MCMURRAY - Shares of Suncor Energy (TSE:SU) traded lower on Monday after the company said a brief power outage at its oil sands plant could affect its production goal for the year.   *    O&G Journal, HOUSTON -- Natural gas prices have gotten a boost from concerns about safety at some US nuclear plants and also drought conditions on the US East Coast, said analysts with RBC Dain Rauchers Inc., a subsidiary of RBC Capital Markets.      *       Realtime News by Josef Herbert, WASHINGTON, (AP) - The Senate was where environmentalists hoped to make their stand on energy policy. But after two weeks of votes and horse-trading, an emerging Democratic energy bill appears to be anything but green....However, the big fight over oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska is yet to come, and environmentalists are likely to prevail on it. The Senate will take that up when lawmakers return after a two-week Easter recess and try to wrap up the bill. Whatever the Senate finally approves will have to be merged with an energy bill from the Republican-run House that is far friendlier to industry and anathema to environmentalists. It focuses heavily on increasing development of fossil fuels and would open to oil companies the Arctic refuge - a place environmentalists have vowed to protect.  "The environmentalists are very unhappy to the point of despairing," said David Nemtzow, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, an advocacy group for the promotion of energy efficiency and conservation. ... Anna Aurilio, legislative director of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, said the Senate legislation "started as a promising bill. But it's getting hijacked... by the polluters." ... All of those victories pale next to the coup by the auto industry, which now has the certainty it will not face tougher federal auto fuel economy requirements anytime soon. Ignoring pleas from environmentalists, the Senate rejected a proposal to boost the federal fleet requirement to 35 miles per gallon, an increase of 50 percent, and barred any increase in fuel economy requirements for pickup trucks, one-fifth of the vehicles sold. They "handed our nation's energy security over to the auto industry," fumed Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club. ... "We thought the Senate was a tremendous opportunity to focus more on demand, look more closely at conservation and efficiency... instead of (industry) subsidies," said Sierra Club lobbyist Melinda Pierce. "In all counts we have failed to make gains; in fact, we have gone backwards." ...A proposal by Sen. James Jeffords, a Vermont independent, to require that 20 percent of the nation's electricity come from these energy sources was rejected outright.     *     REMINDER: Northern Gas Pipelines is scheduled to join you for two very timely Arctic gas related conferences in April:  Aboriginal Oil and Gas Ventures meeting in Edmonton provides insight to emerging Aboriginal leadership and to corporations hoping to work with them and others already venturing with them.  Arctic Gas Opportunities in the North comes to Houston with a cast of central players at a time when many producer, pipeline and Congressional directions will be more obvious.  Discounts available for Northern Gas Pipelines readers...or... Mention that you saw these conferences on the Northern Gas Pipelines web page and you will receive a 10% discount off the registration price of: Aboriginal Oil & Gas Ventures    April 25/26, 2002   and/or   Arctic Gas Pipelines     April 29/30,2002.  To take advantage of this special offer call Peter Strickland at 1-866-456-2020 ext. 261

3-25 Updates: 13:06, 13:45 ET-CBC, Whitehorse, Yukon - First Nations from north-west U.S. and Canada have agreed to work together on any future oil and gas development in the north but not all groups are on board.  The agreement was reached by many other groups after three days of meetings in Whitehorse.  In the protocol, the parties have agreed to work towards development, which takes into account their cultures and provides jobs for their members. Many of the First Nations live along the proposed route of the Alaska Highway pipeline.  Ed Schultz (NGP Photo, 3-8-02 Calgary), the grand chief of the Council of Yukon First Nations, called it an unbelievable day and an historic event. In all, 35 nations signed the protocol. Some Yukon First Nations have yet to sign it and conference organizers say they hope that will change in the next year. They also hope to have First Nations from the Northwest Territories and Alberta sign on within the year.  (See our earlier story and the protocol draft.)     *     Petroleum News Alaska-Revenue Commissioner Wilson Condon estimates costs of gasline development authority (See our earlier story and legislative business plan); Yukon Pacific proposes smaller project.     *     Alaska Journal of Commerce, by Ed Bennett, "AeroMap draws world with lens".  If you walk through the halls of the Merrill Field headquarters of AeroMap U.S., you will see numerous large photos of places throughout Alaska, all with amazing detail, and all shot on perfect sunny days.  (Possible Arctic oil and gas pipeline applications. -dh)

3-23/24 Weekend Updates: Sat. 12:15, Sun. 00:18, 11:48 ET-(Comment: current international trade disagreements do not support cooperative gas pipeline dialogue. -dh)  NATIONAL POST ONLINE | News story by Peter Morton, WASHINGTON - The United States will hit Canadian softwood lumber with massive import duties, a decision that Pierre Pettigrew, Canada's Minister of International Trade, called "absolutely obscene." (Financial Times: Canadian Wood & European Steel responses.)     *     Press Release: Committee Contracts with Tax Law Firm - The Joint Committee on Natural Gas Pipelines has contracted with a Washington D.C. law firm to provide professional tax and financing advice to the Legislature as it continues working to bring Alaska's North Slope natural gas reserves to market.  The pipeline committee selected Hogan & Hartson L.L.P. from a field of five nationally known law firms that responded to a request for proposals...     *    realtimenews | Oil & Gas, (Dow Jones) - Sen. Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska, proposed Friday to add a ban on Iraqi oil imports to a broad energy policy bill now before the Senate.  The proposed ban would be lifted when Iraq cooperates with U.N. weapons inspectors, who left the country in 1998.    *     (Comment: The following email was passed on to us by a Canadian reader.   It is symbolic of the misinformation and emotional rhetoric employed by environmental fundraising executives.  We are especially unhappy so see one of the film heroes we have patronized for years capitalize on our movie screen respect to attract sympathy for an irrational argument. Northern Gas Pipelines has always celebrated logic and warned against the use of sophistry whether it comes from friends or foes, whether it benefits us or not.  -dh)  From: Robert Redford <> To:    Dear Friend,  Last fall, in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, I asked for your help in turning back  repeated attempts by the Bush administration and pro-oil senators to rush through an energy bill that would have opened up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling under the pretext of national security. Hundreds of thousands of us deluged the U.S. Senate with messages opposing this blatant attempt by the oil lobby to use our national tragedy as an opportunity to advance their own narrow interests. We succeeded because of our collective action.  Our voices were heard. Your voices are needed once again. Please, take one minute to speak out at>&item=1123  on NRDC's BioGems website.  This week, the Senate begins debate on a far-reaching bill that will determine whether America's energy policies will save or destroy our natural heritage. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle has introduced legislation that would protect the Arctic Refuge and reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil by making our cars and trucks more fuel efficient. But the Bush administration and a powerful pro-oil block of senators are pulling out all stops and continuing to aggressively push an energy plan that is patently not in the public interest, vowing to pass amendments that would open the Arctic Refuge to drilling and block new fuel-efficiency standards.  Because we possess a paltry 3 percent of the world's oil reserves but consume 25 percent of the world's oil supply, we can never drill our way to energy independence. If we raise the fuel-economy standards for new cars and light trucks to 40 miles per gallon over the next ten years, we could save 15 times more oil than the Arctic Refuge is likely to produce over the next half century. By the year 2012, fuel efficiency would be saving us nearly two million barrels of oil a day -- more than all the oil we imported from Saudi Arabia last year. As an added benefit, we'd be cutting millions of tons of global warming pollution and smog-forming air pollution. Only the oil giants could argue that despoiling the Arctic Refuge makes more sense than this cheaper, cleaner, more self-reliant path of fuel efficiency. Don't let the U.S. Senate cave in to their pressure!  These will be the most important environmental votes your senators cast all year. Tell them to vote NO to Arctic drilling and YES to increased fuel efficiency. Your voice is now more critical than ever. Go to <>&item=1123 and send an email or fax to your senators. And if you want to do more to help our cause, please forward this message to as many people as you can.  If we speak with one voice we can preserve our natural heritage AND make America more energy independent. We can make a tremendous difference in stopping this arrogant attack on our public lands.  Raising fuel-efficiency standards will lessen our dependence on foreign oil. Drilling in the spectacular and pristine Arctic Refuge will not. The facts bear this out. It's that simple.  Sincerely yours,  Robert Redford (Comment: The 'facts' to which Redford refers are non-existent or mostly misrepresented.  His use of hyperbole in describing the energy industry and ANWR promotes class warfare and economic weakness when survival of freedom requires both energy and cooperation.  -dh)     *   realtimenews | Oil & Gas - Much to the dismay of its opponents, the coalition that supports a responsible energy policy for the U.S. is growing.  Representatives from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters were joined today by veterans groups at a press conference on Capitol Hill....   *     FAIRBANKS (AP) -- In his push for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Sen. Frank Murkowski points to the Eielson Air Force Base personnel who returned from patrolling Iraq.

3-22 Updates: 00:09, 09:30, 10:15, 11:00, 11:19, 11:44, 12:59, 13:15, 14:00, 16:28, 18:18, 20:40 ET -  Comment:  Last night the ANWR-adjacent "Northern Route" for Alaska North Slope gas hit a 3rd strike as we near the last inning.  The U.S. Senate unanimously reaffirmed a ban on 'over the top' routing as had the House earlier in H.R. 4, also mirroring Alaska law which rejected the route last year.  Assuming final passage of an energy bill this year, near term success of an Alaska gas pipeline now depends more heavily on enacting taxpayer-supported incentives than on fundamental project economics and marketplace competition.  Republican lawmakers seem unusually comfortable in this role while the ban strategy also complements Democrat and environmental ANWR positions.  The high-stakes outcome in the last inning later in 2002 will significantly impact Alaska's fiscal crisis and countless Canadian and Lower 48 constituencies with the stroke of the President's pen.  -dh  (Note: "Last night's action includes new provisions and re-enacts and rewrites provisions approved in earlier debate, including the northern route ban provision,"  Chuck Kleeschulte, in the office of Senator Murkowski, told Northern Gas Pipelines this morning.  For your convenience, here is material provided today by Darwin Peterson in Alaska State Senator John Torgerson's office: 1) Senator Torgerson's memorandum to Legislators,  2) Senator Murkowski's floor speech, and 3) Title VII language and legal analysis.)     **** WASHINGTON -- The Senate last night unanimously adopted a series of amendments proposed by Alaska Sen. Frank H. Murkowski (NGP Photo, 11-3-01) that would facilitate construction of a new natural gas pipeline to move Alaska's North Slope natural gas to market.      The amendments, unveiled earlier this week for review, clarify how the state will control the gas to promote economic development within Alaska, how any gas line will be permitted (setting up a federal coordinator to oversee construction), how it will be reviewed by courts if there are legal challenges, and how a pipeline will be expanded if new gas supplies are found. The amendments also revise a loan guarantee proposal for the pipeline to make it more workable.  The amendments repeat a ban on a northern route and include Alaskan job training provisions that were adopted to national energy legislation earlier in the month.     "Adoption of this complete rewrite of the gasline section of the energy bill represents major progress in solving a host of thorny technical issues. This clears many of the roadblocks that could have blocked construction of an Alaska gasline. It is a real step in the right direction," said Murkowski after the amendment's passage.      Murkowski said the new gasline title (now Title Seven of the bill) resolves most issues, except whether a financial incentive can be adopted to improve the economics of the line's  construction. That will be tackled when the Senate returns from its Easter recess on April 8.      The bill sets up a parallel system for permitting of a gasline, allowing companies to seek to build a pipeline either under the old regulatory system created by the 1976 Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Act (ANGTA) or under the current Natural Gas Act. The bill updates the permitting process under either law and creates a streamlined review and expedited court review process.  "Provisions within this legislation expressly prohibit the over-the-top route, ensuring the maximum amount of Alaskan jobs in moving Alaskan gas. It guarantees that Alaskans will get jobs during construction of a line and authorizes $20 million for pipeline job training programs for Alaskans," said Murkowski.           "By working with the goal of moving Alaska's natural resources, I'm confident we've made headway in bringing this project from the drawing board to the ground in Alaska," said Murkowski after passage. Further debate on the energy bill will resume on April 8 in the Senate.      "There is still much work to do to make this project a reality. I hope to continue working with all interests to continue to improve this legislation and the opportunities for this project," said Murkowski.     *     Williams Energy News Live-Senators continue to consider changes to the Democrat's comprehensive energy bill with the possibility of additional votes on Friday - the beginning of the Congressional spring recess. A host of controversial issues still need to be resolved, including whether drilling should be allowed in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.   *     Fairbanks Mayor Rhonda Boyles (RDC Photo) told the Resource Development Council for Alaska in Anchorage yesterday that the Alaska gas pipeline will be built.  View entire presentation.       *       Whitehorse Star by Jason Small- ...  John Carruthers, (NGP Photo-right, 3-7-02) the pipeline program manager for BP Alaska-Canada Gas, told the First Nations Oil and Gas Summit in Whitehorse Wednesday that the project is still being viewed by the natural gas producers as too costly.  British Petroleum is one of the main owners of the natural gas in Alaska’s North Slope.  The producers are looking at shipping that gas to the continental U.S. through one of two options: a pipeline which would travel along the Alaska Highway down to connecting lines in Alberta; or a pipeline that would go beneath the Beaufort Sea to the Northwest Territories and then down to Alberta. ... According to Carruthers, the study cost around $125 million US and required 900,000 staff hours.  But the producers are still not sure if they can afford to build a pipeline.  ...  Carruthers said some concessions are needed from U.S. and Canadian federal governments, along with the Alaska state government, before the project would be viable.  One of the things the producers need, said Carruthers, is a more efficient process of regulating and permitting any pipeline construction in Canada. For that, the producers would like to see the assistance of the first nations along the pipeline route.  “What we seek is a viable government framework,” said Carruthers.  In his presentation, Carruthers said he’d like to see all Canadian regulatory processes, including federal, provincial, territorial and first nations, working to get the project greenlighted as fast as possible.  Carruthers said the companies would like to see a regulatory process that would take about 18 months to OK construction of the pipeline in Canada.  The producers also want to see the regulatory processes sped up via new legislation that is being considered in Washington.  Without this legislation, the project will not happen, said Carruthers.  The third thing the producers need to improve the feasibility of the project, is a system in Alaska that would ensure changes to gas prices would not see dramatic increases in state taxes charged to the producers.  Carruthers said a consistent level of taxation in Alaska is needed to ensure the costs don’t go too high.  ... Also speaking to the conference yesterday afternoon was Dan Begley of Foothills Pipe Lines Ltd.  Foothills owns the rights to part of the area alongside the Alaska Highway in Canada and hopes to be the company to construct the pipeline in Canada.  Carruthers said working with Foothills is a possibility but not the producers’ top choice.  ...  He noted that the natural gas companies, which also includes ExxonMobil and Phillips, have experience in building pipelines and could do the project on their own, as opposed to working with Foothills.       *    Whitehorse Star by Jason Small- ...  Richard DeWolf, a vice-president with the Ziff Energy Group in Calgary, told the First Nations Oil and Gas Summit in Whitehorse yesterday (See our earlier story) that any natural gas pipeline out of the North will not be up and running until at least the end of 2008.  Because of that time frame, DeWolf said there is no need for first nations to go too fast in preparing for a pipeline.  “Don’t rush. Really get knowledgeable about the issues so you can make informed decisions,” DeWolf told the group at the summit, which is put on by the Council of Yukon First Nations.  “There’s a huge range of potential opportunities.”   DeWolf said there won’t just be jobs available in construction and maintenance of the pipeline.  ...  “Once the pipelines come in, there’s going to be a lot more development,” DeWolf said. The development may not be immediate, but he said it will happen.  ...  While there has been a lot of talk of a possible pipeline through the Yukon along the Alaska Highway, the analyst pointed out that the price of natural gas is not as good as it had been when talk of a pipeline resurfaced a couple of years ago.  DeWolf noted that at this time last year, natural gas prices were high.   At its peak last year, the price of natural gas was around $5.86 US per 1,000 btu. The average in 2001 was $4.14 US per 1,000 btu.  Now, a year later, the prices are low. Ziff Energy predicts a price range of between $2.40 and $2.85 per 1,000 btu.  However, he said there is an expectation the prices will rise again.  Ziff expects the prices to go up again, ranging from $2.90 to $4.00 in 2004. In 2006, it’s predicted the natural gas price will range between $3.20 and $3.30 US per 1,000 btu.  Despite the drop in prices, DeWolf indicated there may still be a need for the gas that is just sitting on Alaska’s North Slope.  ....        *      WASHINGTON -- Led by Alaska Sen. Frank H. Murkowski, a bipartisan group of senators joined leaders of prominent national veterans, labor, and business organizations in a call for a comprehensive national energy policy.  The group called for inclusion in the bill of an amendment to authorize oil and gas exploration in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.      With the Senate's scheduled two-week Easter recess beginning after tomorrow's session, Murkowski said the time for the Senate to act on a comprehensive energy bill is at hand.      "It's time to decide how we're going to fuel our economy and to what country we are going to become indebted," Murkowski said. "We're going to have to decide where we're going to get our oil."      Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, noted that America has greatly benefited from the Declaration of Independence.      "We could benefit even more today from a Declaration of Energy Independence, " Landrieu said, adding that with a combination of increased domestic production, alternative technologies, and conservation, energy independence is within our grasp.  "We have been duped into believing that energy independence is something that can never be.  I challenge that notion.  I believe that we most certainly can and that it's over time to get started," Landrieu said.      Teamsters Union executive Jerry Hood (NGP Photo, 5-10-01) said organized labor will meet with senators in their home states over the Easter recess and will work hard to make ANWR a reality.      "We're going to do what we do best, mobilize our troops," Hood said. "During this recess, our members are going to be heard and their message is going to be heard."      Jim Martin, President of 60 Plus, a senior citizens group, said Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle apparently doesn't understand the situation.      "It's about national security.  We're at war," Martin said.  "The Twin Towers are gone, the Pentagon almost destroyed.  Do they have to knock down Mount Rushmore in South Dakota before Senator Daschle realizes this is a national emergency?"      Also joining Murkowski at today's press event were Republican Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and Larry Craig and Democrat John Breaux; Karen Kerrigan, CEO of the Small Business Survival Committee; Jerry Yates, President of the Vietnam Veterans Institute; Peter Gaytan of the American Legion; Bruce Harder of the Veterans of Foreign Wars; Bill Kovacs, Vice President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; LeRoy Watson, Legislative  Director of the National Grange; and Shoshanna Bryen, Special Projects Director for the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs.      "The time is right for us to move forward.  Let's do what's right for America. Let's reduce our dependence on foreign oil," Murkowski added.     *     CBC, Inuvik, N.W.T. - Leaders in the Beaufort Delta got a pleasant surprise at a conference in Inuvik this week.  Premier Stephen Kakfwi announced he will commit money and staff for self-government after years of sporadic funding from the territorial government.  "The silence that you hear now ... it's just that we are surprised," says Tuktoyaktuk Mayor Eddie Dillon, bringing on laughter from other meeting attendants.   Dillon and other leaders say they thought the premier was reading their minds. ... Kakfwi says the territorial government will hire a regional director who will co-ordinate development and self-government activities among government and Beaufort Delta leaders, spending more than $200,000....   *     REMINDER: Northern Gas Pipelines is scheduled to join you for two very timely Arctic gas related conferences in April:  Aboriginal Oil and Gas Ventures meeting in Edmonton provides insight to emerging Aboriginal leadership and to corporations hoping to work with them and others already venturing with them.  Arctic Gas Opportunities in the North comes to Houston with a cast of central players at a time when many producer, pipeline and Congressional directions will be more obvious.  Discounts available for Northern Gas Pipelines readers. 

3-21Updates: 00:09, 00:40, 09:43, 10:01, 10:16, 11:09, 11:45, 12:48 14:41, 20:01 ET - BREAKING NEWS...    WASHINGTON -- The Senate tonight unanimously adopted a series of amendments proposed by Alaska Sen. Frank H. Murkowski that would facilitate  construction of a new natural gas pipeline to move Alaska's North Slope natural gas to market. (Complete report in the morning) ....President George Bush meets this evening with Mexican President Vicente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien in Monterrey,  Mexico....Sen. Tom Daschle said this morning if Sen. Trent Lott asks to bring up an Andean trade bill, he will ask for unanimous consent to have ANWR brought up. The request will certainly meet objection.  This represents an increase in tension and an effort to label Republicans as obstructionist. (Report to Northern Gas Pipelines from reader Ted Monoson, Congressional Quarterly, Washington)    *       Whitehorse-Yesterday, Rick O'Brien and Judy Gingell of the Kwanlin Dun First Nation announced their intent regarding the Alaska Highway Pipeline Project.  We covered the story here Today we are pleased to provide you with media source material for downloading & research: KDFN Speaking Points, Official News Release, Biographies & Background.  Foothills' Communications Manager, Rocco Ciancio told Northern Gas Pipelines this morning that the company, "has been actively involved in the North for 25 years and we consult with the Yukon First Nations, including the Kwanlin Dun, on a regular basis."  He said that Foothills is pleased that the Kwanlin Dun are supporting the Alaska Highway pipeline project and have developed a strategy for engagement.  "We look forward to working with them," Ciancio said.      *    CBC, Inuvik, N.W.T. - People in Tuktoyaktuk may soon feel quite an impact from oil and gas companies in the region.      *     Yesterday, CSHJR 44(RES) am was engrossed, signed by the Speaker and Chief Clerk and transmitted to the Senate for consideration.  This is a resolution, "Strongly urging the President of the United States, the United States Congress, and appropriate federal officials to support the construction and operation of the Alaska Highway Natural Gas Pipeline route."       *     The Alaska Legislature's Joint Gas Pipelines Committee continues work and courtesy of Darwin Peterson in Chairman John Torgerson's office we are pleased to provide significant documents for your review today:

  • For many months, Alaska gas producers have said that in addition to Federal expediting legislation and economic viability an Alaska gas transportation project will require fiscal clarity in Alaska (See our earlier comment here).  Senator Torgerson (NGP Photo-right, 2-02) requests producer proposals which define 'fiscal clarity' in this recent exchange, followed by responses from BP (1,2,3), ExxonMobil (1), & Phillips (1,2,3) and distributes them under this cover memo to Committee members.

  • Senator Torgerson tasked Northern Economics Research Associates to draft, "a business plan for the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Authority."  A transmittal memorandum goes on to say, "The purpose of this plan is to initiate discussion on what the state envisions if SB 221 becomes law or if the All-Alaskan Gas Initiative passes.  This report will clarify the role of a new Alaskan state-run agency to oversee and study a potential natural gas pipeline but it does not include design, staff, operations or construction."  Here for your review are: the business plan, expense calculations and organizational flowchart.

O & G Journal by Maureen Lorenzetti- WASHINGTON, DC --A controversial proposal to lease the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska will likely be debated in early April as the Senate moves to a fourth week of debate on a comprehensive energy bill.     *     Schlumberger-ANCHORAGE - Phillips has decided to take a chance with another exploratory well on the Alaska's North Slope south of its Kuparuk River Unit.      *      CBC, EDMONTON  - The Alberta government's budget was labeled a bad news budget by some and a train wreck by others. The $722 million in new taxes and fees is the largest tax increase in Alberta since 1990.     *     Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, by AP writer Mike Chambers, JUNEAU--A statewide sales tax--and not an income tax--will be the linchpin of an overall plan to close the state's $1.1 billion budget deficit, House fiscal leaders said Tuesday.  *     (JUNEAU) - Having fulfilled its commitment to pass an operating budget that holds the line on new government  spending, the House has begun work in its Finance Committee on possible ways to fill the state's fiscal gap by raising new revenue, committee co-chairs said today.   *     Globe & Mail, Bellingham — A proposed natural-gas pipeline through Washington state to serve Vancouver Island has been partly approved by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission....  The commission ruled last week there is a need for a 150-kilometre natural-gas line, a joint venture of BC Hydro and Williams Cos., a pipeline company, which would run from the Sumas pipeline hub across Whatcom County to Cherry Point, then under Georgia Strait to Vancouver Island.     *     REMINDER: Northern Gas Pipelines is scheduled to join you for two very timely Arctic gas related conferences in April:  Aboriginal Oil and Gas Ventures meeting in Edmonton provides insight to emerging Aboriginal leadership and to corporations hoping to work with them and others already venturing with them.  Arctic Gas Opportunities in the North comes to Houston with a cast of central players at a time when many producer, pipeline and Congressional directions will be more obvious.  Discounts available for Northern Gas Pipelines readers.      

3-20: Following Alaska Airlines last week, please join this week in welcoming one of Alaska's premier oil & gas industry support companies to our group of public service sponsors, bringing this news and reference service to all citizens.  Thank you, Peak Oilfield Service Company.    *     See a new addition to our Purchasing Officer Reference page: AXYS Environmental Consulting Ltd. is a multi-disciplinary consulting firm providing environmental services since 1974.

3-20 Updates: 01:28, 01:45, 09:37, 09:45, 10:08, 10:25, 10:48, 11:22, 13:33, 18:56 ET (OCS news below)-Our friends at Williams Energy News Live report from Washington that, "it's back to debating the energy bill in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday. The floor fight over campaign finance reform hasn't developed as expected, so the Senate will continue action on the energy bill before the spring recess begins Friday."  (Version with amendments now dubbed "Energy Policy Act of 2002")     *     Meanwhile, Alaskan interests continue mobilizing....In Alaska CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 44(RES)  should move today from the rules committee to the House calendar.  This is a resolution, "Strongly urging the President of the United States, the United States Congress, and appropriate federal officials to support the construction and operation of the Alaska Highway Natural Gas Pipeline route."  ...  (More on Murkowski efforts in yesterday's report, below.  -dh)   *     WASHINGTON -- Alaska Sen. Frank Murkowski and former Alaska Governor and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Walter J. Hickel (NGP Photo-5-9-01) joined in a call for energy independence for the United States.      "Your country can be dependent on a lot of things," Hickel said, "but if you're dependent on energy, you're not free.  We have the best system in the world, but we're not free in energy, and we could be," he said.      "A lot of Americans who believe very strongly that we should reduce our dependence on imported oil are working on this issue," said Murkowski, who served as Commissioner of Commerce during Hickel's first term as Alaska's governor.  "Organized labor is behind it.  Arctic coastal plain development could be a boon for America's workers, as could the project to bring Alaska natural gas to market."     Murkowski and Hickel made their comments at a Capitol Hill press conference also attended by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Larry Craig of Idaho, both of whom strongly support exploration in ANWR.      "I wouldn't be for ANWR if I thought it was going to destroy any part of that environment," said Hickel, who served as Secretary of the Interior during a portion of the Nixon Administration.  "We know how to protect it.  We know what to do."       "Governor Hickel and I both remember the fight over the Trans-Alaska Pipeline project," Murkowski said.  "The same arguments against it then are being used against ANWR.  They were wrong then and they are wrong now."     Murkowski said he anticipates the legislation to authorize exploration in the Arctic coastal plain will be debated in the Senate after the Easter recess.     *     CBC, EDMONTON - Premier Ralph Klein's government delivered a budget Tuesday, which for the first time in years, significantly increases taxes and fees.     *     Anchorage Daily News, by Mike Chambers (AP), Juneau -- A $2.2 billion state spending plan that makes deep cuts in many services passed in the House on Monday, clearing the way for tax talks. (See today's full press release)    *     Today begins the 3rd First Nations Oil & Gas Summit at the Mt. McIntyre Recreation Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon March 20 – 22, 2002.  Among an impressive lineup of speakers, business will include attention to the draft “Pan-Northern Protocol for Oil & Gas Development” accord among Yukon First Nations, Northwest Territories and Alaska groups, the final version of which we shall bring to you when it is approved.      *     Anchorage Daily News, AP, Whitehorse, Yukon -- The Kwanlin Dun First Nation wants at least $60 million for all Yukon First Nations to prepare for a proposed natural gas pipeline along the Alaska Highway. Band chief Rick O'Brien said Tuesday that because any potential Alaska Highway gas pipeline would have to go through his first nation's traditional land, the aboriginal government needs to prepare for the possibility. ...  Judy Gingell (NGP Photo, 3-7-02 , at Calgary Arctic Gas Symposium), a former commissioner of the Yukon who is now the president and CEO of the Kwanlin Development Corp., said the First Nation has been left out of discussions about a pipeline. "We have been largely kept in the dark by the industry and other governments," Gingell said. In spite of concerns about not being consulted, the Kwanlin Dun, based in Whitehorse, wants to see the pipeline built in the Yukon. "We are in full support of oil and gas on the Alaska Highway," Gingell said. "From this day, we intend to help get this pipeline built...."  (Note: Parties would do well to heed Gingell's remarks.  She has been deeply involved in gas pipeline research and current events and in policy development.  A source close to pipeline studies yesterday told Northern Gas Pipelines that Gingell's position is reasonable.  This is another sign of Highway project momentum.  See original Whitehorse Star story by Jason Small.  -dh)     *     O & G Journal by Maureen Lorenzetti-The US Minerals Management Service Mar. 18 proposed a 2002-07 offshore lease sale schedule that ... revised its proposal for two lease sales in the Chukchi Sea-Hope Basin area off Alaska. That area has been adjusted to convert those sales to the "special" category that originally was devised for the Norton Basin Planning Area, MMS said. MMS now plans to issue a request for interest in May 2002, and if industry interest is not expressed, the sale process ends. If there is sufficient interest, MMS plans to proceed with the remaining steps leading to holding the sale.  The same procedures will be followed the next year and annually until one or both proposed sales are held or the 2002-07 program ends.  MMS last October said it plans Beaufort Sea and Norton basin sales in 2003, Cook Inlet-Shelikof Strait and Chukchi Sea-Hope basin sales in 2004, a Beaufort Sea sale in 2005, a Cook Inlet-Shelikof Strait sale in 2006, and Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea-Hope basin sales in 2007.     *     REMINDER: Northern Gas Pipelines is still scheduled to join you for two very timely Arctic gas related conferences in April:  Aboriginal Oil and Gas Ventures meeting in Edmonton provides insight to emerging Aboriginal leadership and to corporations hoping to work with them and others already venturing with them.  Arctic Gas Opportunities in the North comes to Houston with a cast of central players at a time when many producer, pipeline and Congressional directions will be more obvious.  Discounts available for Northern Gas Pipelines readers.    

3-19 Updates: 00:12, 16:26 ET- Northern News Services, by Jorge Barrera, Yellowknife - The federal government is appealing a landmark decision exempting Treaty 8 signatories from paying taxes, says Minister of National Revenue Elinor Caplan. ... On March 7, Federal Court trial division Judge Douglas Campbell, sitting in Edmonton, ruled that Treaty 8 signatories do not have to pay taxes because federal negotiators made the verbal promise at the time of the treaty signing in 1899.         TODAY IN WASHINGTON--Senators Murkowski, Hutchison and Craig will hold an energy security press conference this morning, joined by Interior Secretary Gale Norton and Wally Hickel, former Governor of Alaska and former Interior Secretary (NGP Photo, 6-01).  (10:30 ET, Senate Swamp, or ST-31 in case of rain)    *     Washington--Williams Energy News Live tells us the U.S. Senate is putting the energy bill on the backburner, but the House Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee is tackling pipeline safety at an afternoon hearing. One Senator said Monday he thinks energy could be back on the Senate floor as early as Wednesday - others believe the debate over campaign finance reform will run all week, delaying action on energy until after the spring recess.     *   WASHINGTON - Senator Frank H. Murkowski, Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today released the following statement after attending an Oval Office meeting with President George W. Bush and leaders of America's largest veteran's organizations.  Representatives from the American Legion, VFW, Vietnam Veterans Institute, Catholic War Veterans of the USA, and AmVets all attended the meeting.  "The President again today reaffirmed his commitment to allow for the safe exploration of ANWR.  In no uncertain terms, he said to me that ANWR plays a critical role in maintaining our nation's energy security.  The President was clear that we are in the midst of a world-wide war on terrorism -- terrorism that is partly funded by our dependence on foreign oil."  Murkowski said he was  joined by a number of veterans whose service spanned several wars and conflicts.  Each of them was able to provide testament to the need for American independence and self-reliance.  "The Senate," Murkowski said, "must be willing to sacrifice Iraqi oil to ensure the safety of the men and women who serve in our armed services.  I'm reminded of my former colleague Senator Mark Hatfield who said he'd rather explore in ANWR than send another American man or woman to die over oil.  Remember, we already lost 147 brave Americans in the Gulf War.  Opening ANWR will boost our nation's domestic oil reserves by 14%.  The technology exists to do it safely.  The Alaskans who live there support it overwhelmingly.  All that remains is for the Senate to act.  On the floor, we have built a broad, bipartisan energy bill that addresses a wide variety of energy issues - the one element that has been excluded thus far is increasing our production here at home.  ANWR is not the only answer, but any energy bill without ANWR certainly is not complete," Murkowski said.     *    Oil & Gas Journal, by Maureen Lorenzetti, WASHINGTON, DC --Fuel ethanol's role in federal clean fuel programs and a proposal to lease a portion of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge are expected to dominate the next phase of the Senate energy policy debate, according to lawmakers, industry officials, and policy analysts.  ...  Budget issues and campaign finance reform the week of Mar. 18 are expected to move discussion of a comprehensive energy bill off the Senate floor temporarily. Congress then takes a spring break, from Mar. 25- Apr. 5. But during that time momentum may build for Congress to agree on energy policy sooner than later if national gasoline prices continue rising.     *      CBC...Getting hundreds of kids into Iqaluit and Nuuk for the Arctic Winter Games is no easy feat. But when some of those kids are coming in from other countries, the challenge is even greater.

3-18 Updates: 00:10, 11:03, 11:12, 11:30, 18:30 ET-This  Anchorage Daily News article by Ben Spiess reports that over the weekend Rep. Scott Ogan, (Photo-right) Chair of Alaska's House of Representatives Oil and Gas Committee suffered a heart attack.  Scott is also a member of the Legislature's Joint Gas Pipelines Committee; our prayers are with him and his family today.    18:30 ET Legislative release.   *     Northern Gas Pipelines was scheduled to participate in the 3rd First Nations Oil & Gas Summit at the Mt. McIntyre Recreation Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon March 20 – 22, 2002.  Unfortunately, a record snowfall on Sunday (Photo-lower left) grounded the Anchorage flight (i.e. after we assisted three vehicles in digging out to get to the airport) and we shall have to remotely follow the important agenda, including a final review of the draft “Pan-Northern Protocol for Oil & Gas Development” accord among Yukon First Nations, Northwest Territories and Alaska groups.  When final we shall replace this draft with the approved version.       *        Northern Gas Pipelines is still scheduled to join you for two very timely Arctic gas related conferences in April:  Aboriginal Oil and Gas Ventures meeting in Edmonton provides insight to emerging Aboriginal leadership and to corporations hoping to work with them and others already venturing with them.  Arctic Gas Opportunities in the North comes to Houston with a cast of central players at a time when many producer, pipeline and Congressional directions will be more obvious.  Discounts for Northern Gas Pipelines Readers.     *     CBC, Yellowknife, N.W.T. - Chiefs in the Akaitcho region are having second thoughts about pulling out of the Benoit tax case. So are some Treaty 8 beneficiaries in the Northwest Territories.     *     READER APPRECIATION PRIZE: our 60,000th reader prizewinner last Friday was: Ken Erickson (Left) - Webmaster - 
Alaska Legislature's Majority Coalition - Juneau.
  Congratulations, Ken! 

3-16/17 Weekend Updates: Sat. 11:09, 15:01; Sun. 11:30, 23:30 ET-Anchorage Daily News, by Tony Hopfinger-The race is on between Alaska and Canada's Northwest Territories as each pushes to be the first to pipe its massive natural gas reserves to the Lower 48. It is a race 25 years in the making, one that was revived about 15 months ago as natural gas prices leaped fivefold to $10 per million Btu. Companies that hold the gas leases haven't committed to a pipeline project, but they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars studying the idea on both sides of the border. Roger Simmons (NGP Photo, 1-25-02) has recently found himself in the middle of the race. He is one of 10 Canadian consul generals in the United States who, among other things, help Canadian exporters develop U.S. markets and Americans better understand their country's foreign and economic policies. (Our Canada Gala and related links)    *      Financial Times, by Sheila McNulty-Duke Energy finalized its acquisition of Westcoast Energy of Canada in a deal valued at $8bn. that the US diversified energy company says will help it meet a growth target of 10-15 per cent a year.  Westcoast shares ownership of Foothills Pipe Lines, Ltd., major proponent of the Alaska Highway Pipeline Project, with TransCanada.     *     Note: This week floor action on energy legislation is likely to dip below the radar screen, as Senate members turn their attention to campaign finance reform.  Delay is not good for gas pipeline issues, as we have explained.  On Tuesday, however, the Senate Energy Committee is scheduled to discuss pipeline safety issues.  (See detailed round up by Oil & Gas Journal's Maureen Lorenzette-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) may temporarily pull the energy bill from the floor if debate stalls.  Daschle also has suggested that the bill may still be under construction past the spring recess from Mar. 25 through Apr 5.     *     Following detailed discussions with North Slope gas producers, pipeline companies, and others, Gov. Tony Knowles (Photo, 10-31-01) Friday offered the U.S. Senate a series of amendments to resolve outstanding issues regarding national energy legislation and ensure the interests of Alaskans are included in federal authorization of the Alaska Highway natural gas pipeline. The amendments aim to ensure access to gas for Alaskans, access to the pipeline to all producers, and reduced risk of investing in the multi-billion dollar, national interest energy project.  "Previous bipartisan discussions already have produced changes to the energy legislation favoring the Alaska Highway route for the gasline and we strongly support those provisions," Knowles said.  "The main purpose of these amendments is to ensure that there is enough capacity in the gasline that Alaskans benefit from this source of clean-burning energy, and that other producers have access to the line. These amendments also help reduce the risk of investing in such a costly project in the volatile energy sector."  The amendments, presented to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle Senate Energy Committee Chair Jeff Bingaman and Alaska Sen. Frank Murkowski, include language that provides access for connections to and from the gas pipeline in Alaska, both for domestic use and for connecting new gas discoveries. These tie-ins could be used either to connect lateral pipelines from newly discovered gas fields or to serve domestic uses in Alaska, such as supplying utilities in Fairbanks or Anchorage.  "Alaskans must be allowed to meet our own needs using royalty gas transported over the Alaska natural gas transportation project," Knowles said. "The projected in-state demand is small-somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 to 50 million cubic feet per day-compared to the expected capacity of the project of 4 billion cubic feet per day. Reserving such an amount for Alaska is certainly the right thing to do."  Knowles' amendments also encourage competition in the exploration, development, and production of Alaska North Slope natural gas by addressing concerns over future expansion of pipeline capacity and open seasons to accommodate future gas discoveries in a fair manner.  Knowles repeated his strong support for a provision to provide additional certainty for investors in the multi-billion dollar project by protecting them from fluctuations in the price of natural gas, and proposed changes to ensure that purchasers of state royalty gas receive the same incentive.  "Penalizing Alaska this way is not necessary," Knowles said.  "There is no need to create disincentives in federal tax law for delivering gas in Alaska, as the volumes delivered within the State will, in any event, be comparatively small."  Knowles'  amendment also ensures that all producers receive the same tax treatment whether or not their gas goes through a central processing plant.     *  Northern News Services by Derek Neary, Yellowknife - The Benoit decision, making aboriginals off reserve tax exempt, could impact the Deh Cho, but imposing taxes is still a possibility for a Deh Cho regional government.     *      Northern News Services by Dave Sullivan, Hay River Reserve  - The grand chief of Deh Cho First Nation will not run for a third term. Michael Nadli made the announcement March 12 at a gathering of Deh Cho leaders.     *     In a presentation to the Alaska Legislature's Joint Gas Pipelines Committee last week,  Ward Whitmore, Yukon Pacific Corporation's Director of Project Development provided a review of the company's "Small Configuration Project".  "Yukon Pacific Corporation is evaluating a configuration of the Trans-Alaska Gas System that is smaller than YPC’s current design basis and incorporates the sale of ethane and propane as separate products.  YPC has prepared a PowerPoint presentation regarding the TAGS Small Project.  This letter is intended to accompany the presentation and provide supplement information...."  For your review, we provide the written and PowerPoint presentations.  Scott Heyworth, a candidate for Lieutenant Governor and Chairman of the "Citizens Initiative for the All-Alaska Gasline" also testified.

3-15 Updates: 03:05, 04:18, 13:20, 14:28, 15:20, 16:48, 18:00 ET-  BREAKTHROUGH IN WASHINGTON? -- Alaska Sen. Frank Murkowski (Photo-left, 2-02) announced today that he and Sen. Jeff Bingaman (Photo-right), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, have reached agreement on a number of issues affecting the proposed Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline.        "These items include the need to craft language that sets procedures in place for allocating initial gas capacity for the pipeline," Murkowski said during a colloquy with Bingaman on the Senate floor.  Murkowski added that language should also be crafted for "any subsequent expansions that might be warranted based on new discoveries or additional needs in Lower 48 markets."      Bingaman agreed, noting that he hopes to help Murkowski address the issue of lowering the overall risk associated with the $20 billion project.  Bingaman added that the Pipeline Coordinator should be empowered to keep the various Federal and State agencies involved in the project working "in a cooperative and coordinated fashion."  Bingaman said legal issues must also be addressed, including "providing for clear and expedited procedures for resolving legal challenges that might arise during permitting and construction of the pipeline.  Streamlining the permitting process will help reduce the risks of delay and added costs to the project," Bingaman said.  Murkowski said authorizing language for the gas line must be carefully crafted and unambiguous.      "Any legislative language that adds risk or cost to the project will simply make it impossible to build the Alaska gas transportation system," Murkowski said.  "This will deny American consumers access to a dependable, long-term, and economical supply of domestic natural gas."      Murkowski is ranking Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  He commended Bingaman, a New Mexico Democrat, for working with him to ensure that Alaskans have access to North Slope natural gas.      "I particularly appreciate your understanding the need to allow Alaskans access to the North Slope gas reserves," Murkowski said.  "Just like the Lower 48, my state needs abundant and dependable gas supplies to fuel the growth of our economy over the next three decades."      Murkowski and Bingaman agreed to continue working together to make the project a reality.      *     University of Houston Professor Michael Economides, Ph.D., joined Williams Energy News Live from the Houston bureau today. (See our related stories yesterday.)       *     Congressional Quarterly's Ted Monoson (Photo) answered your questions yesterday about the energy bill in "Capitol Spotlight," a special Web forum from C-SPAN and CQ. Read a background story, watch an interview, then join the discussion:        *     Congressional Quarterly-Senate Majority Leader Tom  Daschle, said yesterday that if the Senate spends all of next week on the campaign finance overhaul bill (HR 2356), it would return to the energy bill (S 517) after the two-week spring recess. Tax provisions and an amendment that would permit drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge are the big issues  still to be addressed.     *     WASHINGTON -- Alaska Sen. Frank Murkowski yesterday stressed the bipartisan and broad ideological support behind the push for oil and gas exploration in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.      "We've got a million barrels of oil a day coming into this country from Iraq, a country we're basically at war with," Murkowski said.  "This is going to be the debate in the United States Senate about ANWR.  It's going to be a debate on doing what's right for America and our nation's security."      Murkowski made his remarks at a Capitol Hill press conference in the company of a bipartisan group of Senators and two of the nation's top business and labor leaders.  Joining Murkowski were Republicans Rick Santorum and Kay Bailey Hutchison (Photo), and Democrat John Breaux of Louisiana.  Also attending were Jerry Jasinowski, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, and Teamsters Union President James Hoffa.      Sen. Breaux said he thinks some Democrats remain open to persuasion. "I think the message today to those that are still in doubt, who are still looking at it, is to look at the facts, look where it's been done before, and make a decision.  If not there, on the desolate coastal plain of northern Alaska, then where?"       Teamsters Union President James Hoffa said organized labor will be pushing hard in the Senate for ANWR.      "The Teamsters Union strongly supports opening ANWR to drilling.  The working families of America deserve the hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs that will come out of this opening," Hoffa said.      "We cannot allow the tyranny of a few to stop us from having a comprehensive energy plan," Hoffa said.     *      CBC, Whitehorse-The First Nations met in the wake of recent court decisions in which the Haida in B.C. won a decision that says forestry companies must consult with them before any wood is cut and the federal court said Treaty 8 members do not have to pay taxes on or off reserve. In the Yukon, Ottawa says it will walk away from the table if there is no agreement by March 31.  Carcross/Tagish First Nation negotiator Mark Wedge was appointed to speak for the group.  Edge says the meeting showed how united the six first nations are.  Given any Alaska Highway gas pipeline would have to pass through each of the remaining First Nations' territories, Wedge is sure government will move....    *      CANADIAN COURT DECISION.  For readers who have asked, we have available for you here a downloadable document: Haida Nation v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests), judgment given February 27.  In the court's decision, some say that precedent was set for how the Crown might view Aboriginal claims (yet unresolved) for oil & gas resources or pipeline rights-of-way.  The decision, in part, reads: "... the Aboriginal title claimed by the Haida Nation, if it exists, constitutes an encumbrance on the Crown's title to the timber."     *   The Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN), Oil & Gas Secretariat invites First Nations to the 3rd First Nations Oil & Gas Summit to be held at the Mt. McIntyre Recreation Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon March 20 – 22, 2002. A highlight of the Summit Agenda will be the final review of the “Pan-Northern Protocol for Oil & Gas Development” accord between Yukon First Nations, Northwest Territories and Alaska.  We also have a draft of the PAN-NORTHERN PROTOCOL FOR OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT now expected to be approved by its parties this spring.  When final we shall replace this copy with the approved version. -dh

3-14 Updates: 00:05, 00:16, 10:51, 11:15, 13:25, 14:45, 15:55 ET-Related stories and editorial comment:  HOUSTON CHRONICLE, BY MICHAEL ECONOMIDES and RONALD OLIGNEY-Energy policy is front and center in our national political debate. That means special interests and pork-barrel politics are front and center, too, led by Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, and Alaska's two senators. *  Dow Jones, Calgary-But analysts are saying political meddling by Alaska and the U.S. will kill northern natural gas prospects.    *   ALLIANCE MEETING, ANCHORAGE: Former Arco Alaska, Inc. President and Member of the Governor's Alaska Highway Natural Gas Pipeline Policy Council Ken Thompson this morning repeated the theme of his recent Op-Ed piece and offered several illustrative slogans: "Gas to the States in 2008.  Gas down the line in 2009.  If it's not down the line in '09, its a sin in 2010!"  The latter refers to a punitive gas reserves tax proposal espoused by Thompson and at least two state legislators as a negative incentive to build a project.  (Photo and comments courtesy: Alliance.  -dh)  *  TODAY'S Anchorage Daily News piece by Ben Spiess addresses a little recognized but critical component in gas pipeline decisions: Alaska's fiscal crisis.  *   (Comment:     "Caveat Investor"                Northern Gas Pipelines wishes for all pipeline advocates to be successful; we think the tried and true path to that end is in the marketplace. The timely and informed Chronicle piece above contains more fact than opinion and may reach receptive Congressional ears as the U.S. Senate debates energy bill issues into next month--at the expense of an Alaska gas project.  While some of the facts presented are arguable, we predict the logic will be explored by other editorial writers and interest groups in days to come and could threaten the desire to free stranded Alaska North Slope gas this decade, wrecking state budget hopes as well.  This is so because well-intended Alaska leaders are bravely rejecting all pipeline route proposals but the Highway even while confronting fiscal insolvency (i.e. statements like, "...over my dead body...." come to mind).  If, as the editorial writers infer, a feasible Highway project can only proceed with taxpayer support and if taxpayers balk, Alaska will be left with fewer options as it comes to face to face with a dark fiscal destiny by 2004 (The phrase, "Re-establish the old personal income tax and quadruple it to make up the difference," comes to mind) .  The Oligney/Economides editorial criticism could be overcome when route proponents announce the project will move ahead but we are told by potential investors that such an announcement must follow  a.  acceptable Federal expediting legislation; b.  resolution of Alaska fiscal clarity issues; and c. identification of an economically viable project (which is a primary point of contention).  None of the reasonable conditions has been met and if item 'c' depends on a gas price floor guarantee, the outcome is at further risk.  We do not share the mirth of many bystanders who are amused at Alaska's 'take it or leave it' bravado.  We do share the concern of some that free enterprise in Alaska is so seriously challenged as politicians seek boldly to direct private enterprise investment decisions.  We have even heard by some pipeline companies and contractors who could benefit by a government mandated routing that should the precedent be set their own project could experience future political challenge once steel is in the ground and hostage to hostile governance.  We fear that when government is emboldened to manipulate and dictate free market decisions in the professed interest "of the people", it is tricking the people into allowing the escape of freedom.  We fear the "land of opportunity" could become a land of government dictate and hope it never does.  We fear for the legacy of current leaders and for the future of our children that in such an environment investors could, indeed, beware.     -dh)       *     TODAY, FOR OUR WASHINGTON READERS: A bipartisan group convenes a press conference today to promote energy security.  Participants include Senators Breaux (Photo-left), Santorum, Hutchison, joined by James F. Hoffa (Photo-right), General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Jerry Jasinowski, President of the National Association of Manufacturers.  (3-14-02, 1:15 p.m., Senate Swamp or rain location, ST-311)     *     Northern News Services, by Thorunn Howatt, Yellowknife - There are jobs, jobs and more jobs in the Northwest Territories and most of the new ones are created from diamond and energy exploration. ... That is a 500-person drop in unemployment from January. The territorial unemployment rate dropped to 7.6 per cent from nearly 10 percent in January. Canada as a whole had an unemployment rate of 8.4 per cent in February.  The NWT also has a higher percent of women in the workforce, at 67.4 per cent than the rest of the country's 55.1 per cent.   *     WASHINGTON -- Alaska Sen. Frank Murkowski (Photo-right) late Tuesday criticized Senate Democrats who are threatening a filibuster against legislation authorizing exploration for oil and gas in the Arctic coastal plain.  During floor debate on the energy bill yesterday, Massachusetts Democratic Senator John Kerry had defended his filibuster threat by stating:  "It may be regrettable, but many people believe that (the filibuster) is one of the great protections of the United States Senate.  So that we don't rush to do things that we regret . . . ."   Murkowski said, "We passed legislation that would have opened ANWR in 1995 and it was vetoed by President Clinton.  Had that bill not been vetoed, oil would already be available for the market ."   Murkowski noted that the U.S. now receives some 57 percent of its oil from foreign countries, including Saddam Hussein's Iraq.  Murkowski said that a filibuster on an matter of national security would be largely unprecedented in the history of the U.S. Senate.  Senate rules require 60 votes to end a filibuster.     *    Environmental News Network, VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA — In a precedent-setting action...the provincial government is considering altering the boundaries of an existing Ecological Reserve in order to bring a controversial gas pipeline to Vancouver Island.3-13 Updates: 00:31, 01:18, 01:47, 10:50, 11:24, 11:31, 13:23 ET-The author will be joining you for two very focused Arctic gas related conferences in April:  Aboriginal Oil and Gas Ventures meeting in Edmonton provides insight to emerging Aboriginal leadership and to corporations hoping to venture with them.  Arctic Gas Opportunities in the North comes to Houston at a time when many producer, pipeline and Congressional directions will be more obvious; it could be a critical point for meeting with fellow players.   At both of these meetings you will hear key leaders providing latest updates and new speakers with new insight.  We would suggest you arrange your schedule now and make the trips have maximum impact by scheduling side meetings with other participants.  Several readers have written in the last few days, saying, "How can I become more involved in Arctic gas projects?"  This is how.  We can arrange discounts for Northern Gas Pipelines readers if you contact us here

Regarding Canada's draft Cooperation Plan.  Comments were due last week and Northern Gas Pipelines was surprised and concerned while visiting Calgary last week to learn how few responses companies provided.  We would have thought there to be great interest on the part of industry and northern economic development organizations as well.  As a follow-up, this week we asked one of the officials involved in the process about the number of responses received.  She responded more positively than we expected that, "We're not surprised by the relatively limited response to the plan.  Those who are most directly affected and who have spent the most time thinking the plan through have given us extensive and very useful comments.   The count is 12 formal sets of comments received, many others by phone, etc. The breakdown is NGOs - 3;  Producers - 2; Explorers - 1; Pipeline companies - 2; government depts. - 2; First Nations - 2.  The comments can be viewed on the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board website."  Then, we asked if any late comments would be accepted.  She said that, "We are pretty firm on our deadlines for comments and plan to move quickly to consider those comments and any consequent amendments to the Cooperation Plan.  We will be working on consolidating the comments through this week with a revision proposed for the Chairs to review by early April.  Within that limited timeframe, we're open to receipt of any additional views."   Northern Gas Pipelines agrees with the old saw that, 'those who don't vote relinquish their opportunity to criticize elected officials'.  We also believe that those who do not provide comment on this important process will have little reason to critique the process later.  Accordingly, since officials still seem to have an open mind following the formal deadline, please call them and determine the best way for your views still to be heard.  -dh  (Note: we've linked to the Gas Pipeline Cooperation Plan Draft in the left margin column under 'Canada' since the draft was released.)     *     Anchorage Daily News by Ben Spiess-Juneau -- Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer has authorized a referendum for the Nov. 5 ballot authorizing the state to build and operate a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to Valdez.     *     Northern News Services, by Thorunn Howatt, Yellowknife  - The first round of community-based pipeline talks begin in the Sahtu region's community of Tulita on March 18. Public community consultation meetings for a proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline were set up by the Mackenzie Delta Producers Group, made up of oil companies Shell, Conoco, ExxonMobil and Imperial Oil.   Along with the Mackenzie Valley Aboriginal Pipeline Corporation, the producers group wants to build a pipeline to carry Mackenzie Delta natural gas southward following a route close to the Mackenzie Valley.  ... The Mackenzie Delta Producers Group and Aboriginal Pipeline Corporation expect to file applications by mid-2003. It will hold public meetings until and after that. On March 19 the meetings will move to Colville Lake and Norman Wells. Deline meetings will be March 20, Fort Good Hope March 21.     *     Williams' Energy News Live, with Jay Rickerts-We could see major developments ... regarding the debate on energy in the U.S. Senate - just as Senators begin tackling the most contentious issues, there's a chance campaign finance reform legislation could put the energy debate on hold.     *     Anchorage-Lieutenant Governor Fran Ulmer appeared at the Resource Development Council for Alaska breakfast meeting last week while we were in Calgary.  Reporting on her efforts to include northern route gas pipeline prohibition language in the Senate Energy Bill, she said that, "We felt it important that the Democratic leadership in Washington hear from Alaska democrats that we do know how to do oil and gas development right and responsible here in Alaska."  She continued, "For a lot of people, ANWR is not about data, but emotion; not about reality, but perception. People should not rely on emotion to make this very important decision."  -Photo/quote courtesy RDC     *     Anchorage Daily News by Liz Ruskin-Washington -- It has been Sen. Frank Murkowski's main argument: Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling will reduce America's dependence on foreign oil and make the country less beholden to countries like Saudi Arabia and Iraq.     *     CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA and VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK)  announced yesterday that it has received approval from Industry Canada for its acquisition of  Westcoast Energy (TSE:W; NYSE:WE).  "We are pleased to reach agreement with Industry  Canada to meet the provisions of the Investment Canada Act in a timely and mutually beneficial way," said Robert Evans, president and chief executive officer of Duke Energy Gas Transmission.   Westcoast owns 50% of Foothills Pipe Lines, Ltd. major proponent of the Alaska Highway Pipeline Project.     *     Today BP (Photo-Anchorage Hq.) published details of its 2001 financial, environmental and social performance on  The website contains our new annual report, the latest information about BP's strategy and targets as well as details about our forthcoming Annual General Meeting.  We've also added new features to our investor website to make it easier for you find the information you need.  The latest information on Download a copy of the new annual report or financial spreadsheets at; Details about coming Annual General Meeting are at; Read the Chief executive's review of the year at; Financial performance is at; Environmental and social performance is at; New features on          *     Arctic Gas Symposium reports from Calgary are still in progress and we thank you for your patience.

3-12: (Updates: 00:29, 01:02, 12:50 ET)-Along with our report, see new Canada Gala photos provided by Whitehorse Councillor Dave Austin, also owner of SunDog Business Services & ANL Logistics and Marketing Coordinator-Oil & Gas Business Development-Yukon Economic Development; Arctic Gas Symposium reports are still in progress.    *     Oil & Gas Journal, by Maureen Lorenzetti-(See author comment.)   ... The Senate resumes debate ....  Hundreds of other amendments could be proposed, but Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (Photo-left) last week threatened to temporarily pull the energy bill from the floor if debate stalls.  Daschle also has suggested that the bill may still be under construction past the spring recess during Mar. 25 ?Apr 5. ... a long-anticipated debate over leasing a portion of ANWR could occur....  Sen. Frank Murkowski  (Photo-right) the Senate's most ardent ANWR leasing supporter, in an interview Mar. 8 did not reveal what strategy he may use to bring up the leasing proposal. But he denied rumors that he would automatically try to stall an energy bill that did not contain an ANWR provision.  "I'd like to vote for an energy bill," he said. He also declined to speculate on whether the White House would veto a bill that did not contain ANWR. Congressional and administration sources have suggested the White House is willing to accept a bill without ANWR; however, some members of President George W. Bush's cabinet, including Sec. of Commerce Don Evans, have reportedly urged the president to reject any bill that does not have an ANWR leasing component. Those who oppose ANWR leasing, such as Kerry, have threatened to talk the energy bill to death if Murkowski or another proleasing lawmaker attempts to include it for discussion.  ...  So far the Senate has approved several amendments that are much less incendiary than ANWR. Of interest to the oil and gas industry are the following:
-- An amendment designed to block North Slope producers from building the line mostly in Canada via a shorter, northern route instead of a southern route through Alaska paralleling the oil pipeline to Fairbanks and then the Alaska Highway to British Columbia. The amendment also clarifies Alaska will have regulatory authority over gas delivered from a southern pipeline to state customers.
-- A bipartisan plan supported by Daschle and Murkowski to give North Slope producers a floor price for gas when market conditions are poor is still being mulled and will likely be considered later when the tax portions of the bill are debated; some smaller producers in the Lower 48 are unhappy about this plan because they say a floor price gives Alaska producers an unfair advantage. However, pipeline proponents say the Senate bill already includes provisions to encourage marginal production outside Alaska. Both the House and Senate versions include a new $3/bbl credit for the production of oil and 50¢/Mcf for gas from marginal wells. The maximum amount of production on which credits could be claimed would be 1,095 boe/year. The credits would phase in when prices fell below $18/bbl or $2/Mcf....basis.  (Comment: 'Tinkering with Mother Nature and Private Enterprise'       Please note that the proposed well head price floor guarantee for Alaska gas has the attractive logic of providing tax credits at a time when consumer prices are low.  Taxpayer and consumer classes of citizens are so closely aligned that Congress could conclude such action is justified in the face of Mid-East energy dependency.  But, giving Alaska gas an advantage brings new Arctic gas into the Lower 48 pipeline transmission grid, softening prices for Lower 48 gas producers and pipelines.  Since government officials are attempting to mandate gas pipeline routing, they may be backing themselves into a position of having to provide Federal guarantees for a project investors have, under today's gas price and project cost scenarios, considered not feasible.  This strategy seems to have the support of environmental groups hoping to trade an Alaska gas pipeline for ANWR but may depend on classes of taxpayers and lower 48 pipeline and gas companies not organizing an opposition movement.  -dh)        *    
CBC, Yellowknife, N.W.T. - The National Energy Board has issued a timely reminder about aboriginal and treaty rights.  The memo, published earlier this week, is addressed to federal government departments and agencies.  It says they have a responsibility to consult First Nations about projects that might interfere with treaty and aboriginal rights.  A spokesperson for the board says the consultation issue has been raised by several recent applications.  Charlene Gaudet-Sleep says she expects it to come up again when an application is filed to build a pipeline down the Mackenzie Valley.  ... "The board will do two things," she says. "First, it will require that applications that come before us will clearly identify aboriginal peoples who will have an interest in the area of the proposed project. The second thing is if the proposed project could infringe on aboriginal or treaty rights, the board will look for evidence there's been adequate Crown consultation with affected aboriginals."   Gaudet-Sleep says there's no firm definition what "adequate" means in this context.  She says the National Energy Board has looked closely at recent court decisions, including the decision that said the Mikisew Cree hadn't been adequately consulted about construction of a winter road in Wood Buffalo National Park.     *     Financial Post, by Carol Howes, CALGARY - Natural gas producers in Alaska have turned down the two latest proposals to build a major gas pipeline, casting further doubt that a viable project can be built any time soon to move gas from the state's massive North Slope basin to North American markets.  Bob Davis, spokesman for ExxonMobil Corp., which, along with BP PLC and Phillips Petroleum Co., is seeking to develop the basin, said his company has rejected a US$7.8-billion plan led by Harvie André, a former federal Cabinet minister, and Texan investment bankers, to build a pipeline from Alaska under the Beaufort Sea to the Mackenzie Delta, along what's known as the "over the top" route.  ExxonMobil has also decided a proposal by Foothills Pipe Lines Ltd. -- owned jointly by Calgary-based TransCanada PipeLines Ltd. and Vancouver-based Westcoast Energy Inc. -- to move the gas south along the Alaska Highway is not economically viable, said Mr. Davis.  "We haven't as yet seen anything that really improves the economics of the project," he said. "What we've seen actually worsens the economics of the project."  The Alaska producers will announce next month the results of a feasibility study into constructing a pipeline to the United States from the North Slope basin, which holds an estimated 35 trillion cubic feet of known reserves.To date, they have yet to find a viable option and have repeatedly emphasized that costs must be reduced and preconditions met by state and federal governments if their project is to ever materialize.  ...  "We don't have a project yet. We're working hard to get one," said David MacDowell, manager of external affairs for the Alaska Gas Producers' Pipeline Team, which represents the Alaska producers.  Mr. Davis said the Alaska group is continuing discussions with Foothills, but neither its proposal nor Mr. André's option -- called ArctiGas Resources LP -- fully address the technical challenges of what would be one of North America's largest pipeline projects. Both carry other concerns, such as shipping commitments.  ...  "We remain dedicated to searching for a commercial break-through with the North Slope producers, notwithstanding the current level of commodity prices," said Rocco Ciancio, a spokesman for Foothills.  ... Ronnie Chappell, spokesman for BP, said the Alaska group is committed to finding a solution, but at the same time is slowing down initial investment in the project.... "There is a market element in that gas prices have fallen to US$2 [from almost US$10 last year] and have proven to be a lot more volatile than the Enrons and Calpines led the world to believe a year ago," said Wilf Gobert, research director at Peters & Co.  Bob King, a spokesman for Tony Knowles, Governor of Alaska, said the state remains optimistic a viable project will be found. Last week, Alaska introduced legislation to raise US$17-billion through tax-exempt bonds to help finance an Alaska Highway pipeline. It is also seeking incentives from the U.S. government. ... Mr. Gobert said the uncertainty in Alaska may help solidify a competing project that would ship up to one billion cubic feet a day south from Mackenzie Delta reserves to Alberta. In January, a group of producers, led by Imperial Oil Ltd., began work on applications for that $4-billion pipeline project. It could be in service by 2007 or 2008.      *     BARTLESVILLE, Okla., March 12, 2002 --- Phillips Petroleum Company [NYSE:P], parent of Darwin LNG Pty Ltd and other Australian affiliates, has signed an agreement that enables it and its co-venturers to move ahead with the gas development of the Bayu-Undan project in the Timor Sea.  Darwin LNG Pty Ltd signed a Heads of Agreement (HOA) with The Tokyo Electric Power Company, Incorporated (TEPCO) and Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. (TG) detailing terms for the sale of three million tons per year of liquefied natural gas (LNG).  The agreement covers a 17-year period, with the first cargo scheduled for January 2006.  The LNG will be sold on a free-on-board. 

3-11:  (Updates: 01:30, 11:42 ET)- Northern News Services, by Malcolm Gorrill, Yellowknife - Plans are well under way for this year's Inuvik Petroleum Show.  Coordinator Brian Desjardins said the finishing touches are being made on the agenda, and that the theme is "Building capacity in Northern communities."   Topics to be covered include the proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline, oil and gas exploration complete with slide show, business development, and keeping communities healthy.  This year's show takes place June 20-21 at the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex.  At last year's inaugural conference, there were about 300 delegates and 85 booths set up for the trade show, so that about 400 people were involved altogether.  Desjardins explained this year the trade show will expand into the Inuvik Curling Club area, so there could be around 40 more booths, and so perhaps up to 500 people will take part in the conference and trade show....He noted that visitors attending the conference will be in for a special treat, as Midnight Madness takes place June 21, as does national Aboriginal Day. (Please track under right margin, 'Upcoming Events'.)          *     Financial Times, by Sheila McNulty in Houston-Williams, the US energy trading and pipeline company, is pursuing the sale of a pipeline subsidiary for at least $900m to Williams Energy Partners, a limited partnership of which Williams is the general partner. It expects to complete the sale before the end of the second quarter. ...  Williams is a significant corporate citizen in Alaska and western Canada with interest in the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System (ANGTS), Alaska Highway gas pipeline project.     *     Globe & Mail, by Lily Nguyen, CALGARY -- Canada's largest generators of coal-fired power will today propose a $1-billion, 10-year research project involving industry and government to develop "clean coal" technology capable of producing electricity with virtually no greenhouse gas emissions.  Ontario Power Generation Inc., TransAlta Corp., Emera Inc.'s Nova Scotia Power unit, Saskatchewan Power Corp., Atco Power Ltd., Epcor Utilities Inc. and Luscar Coal Ltd. -- which together make up the Canadian Clean Power Coalition -- said they will partner to build a commercially viable clean coal demonstration power plant by 2012.  (LNG imports and coal are biggest Arctic gas competitors as prices begin to rise.  -dh)

3-9/10 weekend:  (Sun. 17:02, 18:04, 20:00, 23:30 ET) The Canada Gala convened in Anchorage Saturday evening at the Sheraton.  You'll see more on the agenda on this special page and many more event photos....  (Left, Co-Chairs: Fairbanks Mayor Rhonda Boyles and University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton; Right: Canadian Consul General Roger Simmons, P.C. with Yvonne Cecelia Benson, who provided an inspiring song devotion in memory of those who lost their lives on 9-11).

(Sat. 19:44 ET) Having returned Saturday from The Canadian Institute's outstanding Arctic Gas Symposium in Calgary (Carl Stavros, coordinator-right), we are looking forward to providing you with detailed reports.  Yukon's Premier Pat Duncan (Photo) gave a keynote on Friday amid the Who's Who of gas pipeline players on the program (Financial  Post story by Carol Howes; Calgary Herald story, by Scott Haggett).  As you know, late Friday following the conference we invited any Calgary readers, conferees or other interested folks to drop by for an informal "Nuts & Bolts Discussion", hosted by Northern Gas Pipelines (Photo-author, lower right) and our public service sponsor, Inuvialuit Environmental & Geotechnical Inc. (IEG), (Peter Jalkotzy, Photo-lower left, ably coordinated the event).  A wonderful group of about 50 industry and government professionals turned out to informally discuss recent events.  Since visitors were mostly Canadian, we primarily focused on Alaska and Washington events though time was spent on matters relating to development of the draft, Canadian Cooperation Plan.  Much detail, many reports, players and photos will be added as they are prepared.  When completed, reports will be added here.  (Financial Post story by Claudia Cattaneo; Globe & Mail story by Lily Nguyen)    *    


**********Covering Arctic Gas Symposium in Calgary: 3-7/8-02***********

3-6 (Updates: 00:20, 00:43, 01:20, 02:16, 08:26, 09:00 ET):  Northern Gas Pipelines staff will be in Calgary until Saturday with the Arctic Gas Symposium and will provide you with timely reports as we will with upcoming gas pipeline-related conferences in Edmonton and Houston.  The website will be available for reference until this weekend and news updates will resume on 3-9.  Please click the link above if you will be in Calgary Friday.     *     Today, former Alaska Governor Steve Cowper (Photo) is scheduled to address a distinguished, international gathering of the Northeast Asian Economic Forum (NEAEF report here, with agenda and guests.)  Northern Gas Pipelines is pleased to provide for your review his presentation: North America Committee Chairman’s Report: Realism in Choice of Marketing Strategy for North American Arctic Gas Reserves.     *     SENATE ENERGY BILL DEBATE BEGINS, WASHINGTON -- Alaska Sen. Frank Murkowski took to the Senate floor yesterday saying, "President Bush has asked, time and again, for an energy bill because of a clear national security interest," Murkowski said.  "He knows energy is about jobs.  He knows energy is about security.  He wants to protect the nation.  Our challenge is clear:  to deliver to the President an energy plan for our nation and our nation's future."  Debate on an energy bill finally began today, months after Majority Leader Tom Daschle pulled the bill from the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Murkowski reiterated his support for conservation efforts and increased research and development of alternative energy sources.  However, he noted that conservation and transition to renewable energy sources will take time, and never completely fulfill the United States energy needs.  "They are a two-legged stool.  They're not going to close the gap between energy supply and energy demand," Murkowski said.  "We must safely increase our domestic energy resources, and we must do it in a way that protects our environment.  "How do we do that?  We do that through proven technological developments."  Murkowski said that America's increasing dependence on foreign oil is dangerous, especially in today's world."  (Note:  A senior Alaska environmental leader told Northern Gas Pipelines today that "Our community has an arrangement with Senator Tom Daschle to support the Alaska Highway gas pipeline route; it is firm.")      *     S.517.  At 10 a.m. ET the Senate will resume debate on the Energy Bill.  Here are current links and Bill information.    *      TODAY, FOR OUR WASHINGTON MEDIA FRIENDS:  Today, the following individuals will meet energy press members 11:30 a.m. ET, ST-31, U.S. Capital Building (Senate Terrace-31) to address, "Developing National Security Aspects of the Energy Debate:  Senator Don Nickles, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Senator Frank Murkowski, Richard Jones, National Legislative Director, AMVETS, speaking on behalf of other assembled veterans: American Legion, Veterans of Foreigh Wars, Vietnam Veterans Institute, Catholic War Veterans.     *     The Energy Council will convene the 2002 Federal Energy & Environmental Matters Conference this weekend in Washington in the midst of the Senate debate on a national energy policy.  Speakers include: Senator John Fitch (Chairman); Louisana Representative John Smith; Rebecca Watson, Assistant Secretary, DOI; Jim Hoecker, Partner, Swidler, berlin, Shereff, Friedman, LLP; Jeffrey Holmstead, Assistant Administrator, U.S. EPA; Jack Gerard, President, National Mining Association; Guy Caruso, Director of National Strategy Projects, U.S. Energy Association; John Felmy, Policy Chairman, Alliance for Energy and Economic Growth; Fletcher Newton, President & CEO, Power Resources, Inc.; Charles Foster, Edison Electric Institute, Dr. Carol Lewis, Dean, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Gregg Renkes, President, the Renkes Group; Mike Smith, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, U.S. Department of Energy; Chairman Pat Wood, U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.     *     THIS COMING SATURDAY NIGHT THE LONG AWAITED "CANADA GALA" COMES TO THE SHERATON ANCHORAGE HOTEL (room information), SPONSORED BY THE CANADIAN CONSULATE GENERAL IN COLLABORATION WITH THE ALASKA WORLD AFFAIRS COUNCIL, WORLD TRADE CENTER ALASKA & UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA ANCHORAGE CANADIAN STUDIES: "A GRAND EVENING OF ENTERTAINMENT, DINING, DANCING, DOOR-PRIZES AND TABLE-TOP FAVORS TO CELEBRATE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CANADA AND ALASKA".  (As regular readers know, this webpage supports cordial and cooperative relationships spanning the temporary issues of the day.  Honor, integrity and good-will will support building of international pipelines and our hats are off to Honourable Roger Simmons, P.C., Consul General of Canada (Photo-right, 1-25) and his staff for their initiative in creating such an event.  One hears the Gala is now 'sold out' and fresh back from our Calgary trip, we look forward to attending and reporting.  -dh)  

3-5 (Updates: 00:49, 01:20, 10:47, 11:01, 14:31, 15:29, 17:58 ET): Special World News Report, Northern Gas Pipelines--The Northeast Asian Economic Forum (NEAEF) is meeting privately this week (March 6-8) in Anchorage. The NEAEF is a smaller regional counterpart to the World Economic Forum that customarily convenes in Davos, Switzerland, but whose 2002 gathering occurred earlier this month in New York City. It is composed of a diverse cadre of business and government officers, scientists and scholars, who meet each year as individuals to confer on critical world issues, unofficially and free from official duties or political pressures. Most participants are repeat attendees, and come from China, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia and the Russian Far East, with a smattering from the USA and Europe. Alaska has been treated as an honorary Northeast Asian entity, and the present meeting is in Anchorage, largely because of the active role of former Alaska Governors Walter J. Hickel and Steve Cowper in its formation, and their continuing participation in its sessions.  Tomorrow, we will provide you with a report of Cowper's presentation: North America Committee Chairman’s Report: Realism in Choice of Marketing Strategy for North American Arctic Gas Reserves.  Cowper also serves as chair of NEAEF's North American Committee.  Organized by Lee-Jay Cho (Photo-right), Chairman of the Northeast Asia Economic Forum, with assistance of  Dr. Arlon Tussing (Photo-left) the conference agenda (i.e. which we provide for your review here) has also invited the presence of a blue ribbon group of international participants, a list of whom you may see here.  Lieutenant Governor Fran Ulmer is scheduled to welcome delegates in the opening ceremony tomorrow morning.      *     (JUNEAU) - Join Sen. Randy Phillips, and Sen. Gary Wilken , in honoring Members of the Legislative Assembly, (MLA) from the Yukon Territory for their assistance during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.  A press conference will be held Wed. March 6, at 1:30 p.m. in the Fahrenkamp Room on the second floor of the State Capitol Building, where Alaskan lawmakers will present a citation to the territorial delegation for their assistance in accepting a diverted Korean Airline on the morning of Sept. 11.    *    Yesterday, the Anchorage Daily News' Tony Hopfinger produced this piece on Northern Gas Pipelines: "Gasline Online", following a visit he (Photo-left, with author) made to our suburban office with photographer Bob Hallinen (Photo-right).  We appreciate Tony's objective reporting.  -dh     *     The author will be moderating a pipeline panel at the Arctic Gas Symposium in Calgary later this week and along with Inuvialuit Environmental & Geotechnical Inc. (IEG), hosting a free post-conference "Nuts & Bolts",  exchange with Calgary friends late Friday.  This is an 'invitation only' event; please click here for your Northern Gas Pipeline reader invitation in .ppt format.     *     Williams Energy News Live-Cambridge Energy Research Associates is releasing its study defining the elements needed to create competitive power markets. The Washington bureau will bring us the CERA study highlights and comments from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Pat Wood about the report.     *     ANWR update.  Last night on Fox's Hannady and Combs, Allan Combs recalled Senator Tom Daschle's weekend comment that President George Bush's energy bill is 'dead'.  Shawn Hannady remarked that only 2,000 acres of a 1.9 million area would be developed.  Secretary Gale Norton (Photo, 3-4-02) said high technology will enable industry to minimize impact and gave ice roads as an example of an Arctic technique not available elsewhere.  Combs wondered why the government should pursue ANWR when the Petroleum Reserve is available.  Norton said ANWR had a great deal of hydrocarbon potential.  The Senate debate on Daschle's bill is scheduled to begin tomorrow (You may download a copy from the left margin under 'Washington'; see Northern Gas Pipelines' story on gas pipeline issues affected by this legislation.)  -dh     *     Milepost 400 After Action Report - On October 4, 2001, TAPS was shot with a high power rifle near MP 400 about 80 miles north of Fairbanks.  The resultant leak was discovered through aerial surveillance and the alleged shooter was apprehended within hours.  An estimated 285,600 gallons of oil spilled.  Approximately 175,793 gallons of product have been recovered and clean up and monitoring continues.  State and federal agencies and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company jointly prepared a report, released February 27, to document actions taken and recommendations for improvement in the future.  The response was deemed efficient and successful.  The report can be viewed at:     *     Financial Times by Julie Earle-ExxonMobil, the world's largest oil company, is set, when it meets analysts in Houston (TODAY), to reveal significant asset sales and another $1bn in cost savings from the 1999 merger with Mobil.     *     Congressional Quarterly: President Bush will announce this afternoon how much help he will give the struggling domestic steel industry. White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer said the president's decision will provide "for free trade that is fair."  That likely means tariffs of up to 30 percent on selected steel imports, according to news reports. Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa, ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, said he opposes increasing prices for industries that use steel to make other products. "While I may not agree with his decision, the president deserves credit for sticking to his word and tackling one of the most complicated and difficult international trade issues facing the United States," Grassley said. New tariffs could mean retaliation from trading partners such as the European Union, Russia and Brazil. But Bush also had to weigh the importance of steel in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, states he will need in the 2004 election.  (Note: Gas pipeline models will be affected by new projections for the cost of steel.  -dh)

3-4 (Updates: 00:05, 01:01, 13:00, 13:30, 14:35, 16:11 ET): TODAY-North American Natural Gas Conference and Calgary GasExpo 2002, Telus Convention Centre, Calgary.  Click above for complimentary pass to trade show.  LATER THIS WEEK (Photo-left):  The author will be in Calgary to assist in moderating a panel of the Arctic Gas Symposium; see more here.  We've just learned that Yukon Premier Pat Duncan will be joining the Symposium.  If you wish to attend, write here and we will obtain a discounted registration for you.  Invitation to all CALGARY READERS:  Northern Gas Pipelines' readers and friends are cordially invited to attend a free, candid, informal post-conference "Nuts & Bolts Discussion of Arctic Gas Pipeline Progress & Politics" at 5 p.m., Friday, Stephen Room, Hyatt Regency.  We will provide more details tomorrow.  Email a request here and we'll fax you a personal invitation.  (Note:  In the course of preparing this itinerary we have been delighted with the outstanding connections Alaska Airlines provides for travel between Alaska and Western Canada.  Check here.)       *     David K. Garman (Photo-right), U.S. Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy spoke to the World Affairs Council in Anchorage Friday.  While not covering issues primarily addressed by this webpage, he did outline a number of his department's activities in Alaska, some involving the use of hydrogen fuel cells.  Garman said the future for hydrocarbons in Alaska is bright and since natural gas is a source for hydrogen used in fuel cells, this "bodes well for an Alaska gas pipeline." (Photo-left, Gail Phillips, Larry Houle and Bill Sharrow enjoying the meeting)      *     Williams Energy Online-There was no action on energy legislation in the U.S. Senate last week, but the expectation is that we could finally see movement this week. Other legislative issues have complicated the Senate calendar.  Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said on Friday he believes debate could begin as early as Tuesday on the Democrats' energy bill. (See our recent story)     *     "Gasline Online":  see more here tomorrow.     *     SIDEBAR FROM CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY: Former President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary today. "It still doesn't feel like 50 years," Mrs. Reagan said in a statement to the Associated Press. "Ronnie and I have been through so much together."

3-2/3 (Weekend updates: Sat. 00:10 ET):  Another Alaska opinion piece comes in the form of a letter ANGTL President Richard Peterson (Photo) sent the Dow Jones News service.      *     Former Governor Steve Cowper will be making a statement on northern gas pipelines next week to an international audience.  We'll have a copy for you to download.       *     Northern News Services by Malcolm Gorrill, Inuvik - Representatives from several oil and gas companies provided a mid-season update last week on their activities in the Delta. "Things are going pretty well," said Delona Butcher, community and regulatory affairs rep with Chevron Canada Resources.... Chevron has an Ogruknang 3D seismic program in the southern delta. Work began in mid-January and advance work should be completed by mid-March.  Work started in late December on a 3D seismic program on Ellice Island. Preliminary work started in early February on the Mallik 3D seismic program on Richards Island. ...  Brian Plesuk of Conoco Canada (formerly Gulf Canada) also spoke.  Conoco's Parsons Lake 3D program is being conducted by Inuvialuit Oilfield Services Ltd. (formerly WesternGeco). Drilling of seismic shot holes began in early February. The program is expected to be done by April.  John Brown spoke on Shell Canada Ltd.'s activities. Line clearing was 20 per cent complete on its Aklavik 2D program, with drilling 15 per cent complete. Recording was expected to start around Feb. 18.  The line clearing on Shell's Kugpik 3D program was 48 per cent complete, with drilling 10 per cent complete. Recording is expected to start in mid-March. ... John Hunt spoke on Petro-Canada's activities.  The company is conducting a Nuna 3D seismic program, a Titalik 2D and 3D seismic program, a Ogeoquoq 3D seismic program, and a Napoiak 2D seismic program, along with a Napartok gravity survey.  Petro-Canada is currently hauling gravel from Swimming Point to its North Kugpik L-46 site, northwest of Inuvik.  "We will prepare the well site on a gravel pad insulation and rig matting and dike it," Hunt said. "We'll drill through the summer, into the summer period."

3-1 (Updates: 02:30, 03:01, 11:24 ET):  To our Washington media readers:  Senator Frank Murkowski will meet with media representatives today at 1:30 p.m. ET, Energy War Room, SB-2, U.S. Capital.     *     Juneau Empire, AP- The Kaktovik Inupiat Corp. is urging foundations to stop funding a nonprofit conservation group that opposes oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.     *      Financial Times, by Matthew Jones-BP, the UK's largest company, said on Thursday it would make no more political donations anywhere in the world.  The pledge comes amid increased scrutiny of corporate donations following the failure of Enron, the US energy trader. Enron had been criticized for gaining close ties to US policy-makers by making about $6m in political donations since 1989.  BP's decision would mainly affect its business in the US, which made $840,000 of unregulated "soft money" contributions last year, split broadly equally between the Republicans and Democrats.  (Photo-BP's Anchorage headquarters)     *     Milepost 400 After Action Report - On October 4, 2001, TAPS was shot with a high power rifle near MP 400 about 80 miles north of Fairbanks.  The resultant leak was discovered through aerial surveillance and the alleged shooter was apprehended within hours.  An estimated 285,600 gallons of oil spilled.  Approximately 175,793 gallons of product have been recovered and clean up and monitoring continues.  State and federal agencies and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company jointly prepared a report, released February 27, to document actions taken and recommendations for improvement in the future.  The response was deemed efficient and successful.  The report can be viewed at:     *     QUOTE OF THE MONTH " If we subsidized whale oil, we can subsidize a natural gas pipeline."   Regarding the '2,000 mile long "Democrat" pipeline, proposed below, Senator Tom Daschle later told Congressional Quarterly that mandating the southern route would require Congress to provide energy companies with economic incentives.  "We have subsidized energy from the inception of our country," he said. "We once subsidized whale oil. If we subsidized whale oil, we can subsidize a natural gas pipeline."     *     Not to be forgotten in the discussion, another candidate for Governor, Nels Anderson weighed in with a lengthy letter to U.S. Senate Energy Committee Chairman, John Bingaman.  While the letter encompassed many of his Alaska energy concerns, in this passage he focused on gas pipeline policy:  "In addition, the federal government and state must NOT give any consideration to any special "incentives" to the oil and gas industry to make an Alaska Highway pipeline that Senator Murkowski and the Knowles/Ulmer administration are espousing. The oil and gas industry has deemed the Alaska Highway Gas Line "uneconomic" at this time. The only  project that makes sense for Alaska is the All Alaska Gas Line proposed by Scott Heyworth. He is the chair of the petition drive that secured 42,000 plus registered voters to place the All Alaska Gas Line on the November 2002, General Election Ballot.  Complete letter here, copied to Gov. Knowles, Lt. Gov. Ulmer, Sen. Murkowski, news media and others.


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