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 August news.
Labor Day Weekend Update. Herb Dhaliwal story moved to 9-3-02. HOUSTON --- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] has completed the merger of Conoco Inc. [NYSE:COC] and Phillips Petroleum Company, following clearance by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (yesterday). Shareholders of both companies and all U.S. and foreign regulatory authorities cleared the merger earlier this year. (Note: in a statement last night to Anchorage's NBC affiliate, Channel 2, Phillips Chairman Jim Mulva, Photo-r (President & CEO of the merged company) emphasized the importance of northern assets the two companies possess: oil and gas reserves on Alaska's North Slope, contributed by Phillips, and Mackenzie Delta Gas reserves, contributed by Conoco. -dh) Anchorage Daily News- ...
8-30 Updates: 00:19, 12:35, 14:00, 14:10, 14:54, 17:23 ET. Whitehorse Star by Jason Small-A Canadian pipeline company estimates that if both natural gas pipelines are built at the same time, the Mackenzie Valley route would be the first to get up and running. Hal Kvisle (Photo), president and CEO of TransCanada Pipelines, was in Whitehorse Wednesday to meet with Premier Pat Duncan and Energy Minister Scott Kent. Kvisle estimates that if both a Mackenzie Valley pipeline in the Northwest Territories and an Alaska Highway line through the Yukon go ahead, the N.W.T. would be the first in operation. “Our optimistic outlook would see a Mackenzie Valley pipeline coming on stream, perhaps in 2007 or 2008, and the Alaska Highway project being built in the 2009, 2010 period and both projects delivering gas to North America markets by 2010,” said Kvisle. ... * Globe & Mail by STEVEN CHASE AND LILY NGUYEN (NGP Photo), ZURICH and CALGARY -- Prime Minister Jean Chrétien has warned the United States that proposed U.S. government subsidies for Alaskan natural gas would erode American energy security, in part by depressing northern Canadian gas development. In a letter sent last month to Alaskan Governor Tony Knowles, and obtained by The Globe and Mail, Mr. Chrétien said the proposed subsidies would distort the free market for energy in the northern United States and Canada by suppressing and delaying the exploration for and extraction of northern Canadian gas supplies. * A Canadian friend, Ian Butters, kindly directs us to The Hill Times, presenting this recent series describing current gas pipeline issues in Canada:
On August 26, we linked to a Northern News Services story reporting that in a study, "...commissioned by the Gwich'in Development Corporation, the Canadian Petroleum Engineers say the plan proposed by the producers group and the Aboriginal Pipeline Group (APG) offers more in benefits than the proposal from the Northern Route Gas Pipeline Corporation (NRGPC) and its subsidiary, ArctiGas Resources Corp. (ARC)." Yesterday, NRGPC sent us a copy of their response which readers may download here. Obtain NRGPC's fall newsletter below. (APG's 5-02 & 7-02 newsletters)
8-29 Updates: 02:48, 11:33, 11:49, 15:44 ET. Download the Northern Route Gas Pipeline Corporation (NRGPC) fall "newsletter", issued today (Photo: route map). *
Alaska Energy Summit, September 16 & 17 Sheraton Anchorage Hotel. Speakers: Pat Pourchot, Commissioner, Department of Natural Resources State of Alaska; Deborah Sedwick, Commissioner, Department of Community & Economic Development State of Alaska; Michele Brown, Commissioner, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation; Johnnie Burton, Director, US Department of the Interior Minerals Management Service (MMS); Mark Myers, Director, Division of Oil & Gas, Department of Natural Resources State of Alaska; Bill Van Dyke, Petroleum Manager, Division of Oil & Gas, Dept of Natural Resources State of Alaska.
8-27 Updates: 02:00, 02:51, 03:07, 10:44, 13:30, 14:09 ET. Commentary: "Moody's Outlook Negative On Alaska". Please review the Moody's analysis, which we received late yesterday. It is a warning to the state, a 'red flag', if you will. "The State of Alaska's (Aa2 Issuer Rating) credit outlook has been revised to negative, from stable," the report begins, "reflecting the significant budgetary stress the state continues to face due to its fiscal dependence on the oil extraction industry." We suggest that public officials have been devoting precious time and attention to dictating gas pipeline terms to the Alaska gas producers and less attention to their $1 billion/year revenue shortfall. It is now time to stop dictating terms to industry and begin asking industry for advice as to how Alaska may support the building of any economically feasible gas pipeline project. The single most important thing Alaska officials could have been doing last year was solving the state's fiscal crisis. It could have created the 'fiscal certainty' gas producers requested. Instead it spent millions of dollars conducting gas pipeline hearings around the state, the thrust of which was to intimidate and place demands on industry. Many sticks were waved in the faces of gas industry executives, and few carrots. Deputy Commissioner, Larry Persily, responded to Northern Gas Pipelines last night that the rating bias should not have a big impact on upcoming bond sales. "The worst thing that can happen is when rating agencies downgrade the state, but Moody's didn't. The second worst thing is when they put a state on 'credit watch', but they didn't," he said. Persily said that in order to avoid one or both of the above outcomes, the state must come to grips with its fiscal crisis soon. We asked Persily what prompted Moody's commentary now. "Moody's generally issues reports like this on all the states twice a year." According to the report, "Absent draconian budget cuts to ongoing state programs or changes to the state's revenue structure, the state will continue to be forced to rely on CBRF (Constitutional Budget Reserve Fund) draw-downs to balance its budget. However, the CBRF - which is now funding about 35% of total general fund spending - will be entirely exhausted by Oct 2004 or July 2005 (fiscal 2005) depending upon price and economic growth assumptions. This potential near-term eventuality highlights the need for the state to develop a long-term solution to its structural imbalance. The state remains deadlocked over how to address future sizable projected budget gaps...." In short, Moody's red flag signals that while the state's bond rating is unchanged, the agency will downgrade Alaska's creditworthiness absent fairly immediate changes. State officials have forecast that Alaska will have depleted the CBRF account from which the $1 billion/year deficit comes by fall of 2004. If Alaska takes a bond rating hit through continued inaction, the interest rates we pay on bonds for roads, schools and other projects will increase. The interest rate increase will effectively increase the cost of projects and of general government. At a time when Alaska's revenue falls so far short of expenses, an increase in the cost of borrowing would exacerbate the fiscal crisis and bring the end closer. Readers should also note that a gas pipeline is no budget panacea. Pipeline and gas sale revenue will only make up a portion of the shortfall and a gas pipeline will not be operating under even the best conditions before the end of the decade. Accordingly, the years between 2004 and 2010 will be among the most challenging Alaska has faced since statehood. Citizens may not delight in the news Moody's Investors Service brings this week, but Moody's is only the messenger. Alaska's elected leaders have known this day was coming for a long time. The University of Alaska's Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) advised government leaders in the early 80s that action was needed to provide a 'soft landing' for Alaska's economy in the oil pipeline's third trimester, when the lower production of today was predicted. No action was initiated then and the landing, accordingly, will now be a 'hard' one. One would respect a lame duck legislature and administration, after November elections, for calling a special legislative session to deal with the crisis. Realistically, a brand new governor and legislature will inherit the mess in January. By then, perhaps the crisis we have been describing here for many months will seem real enough to attract attention. After all, the new legislature and governor will also be in office for the FY 2004 budget cycle and self interest is a strong motivator. -dh (Further reference: Governor Tony Knowles' press release; Anchorage Daily News story by Joel Gay.) * CBC, VANCOUVER - U.S. trade officials (were) in Vancouver Tuesday for exploratory talks aimed at reaching a truce in the softwood lumber disagreement. (Please see links to our earlier stories and relevance to northern gas pipelines, and our editorials.
A 27 per cent duty on lumber exports to the U.S. has battered the Canadian industry, pushing thousands of people out of work. In British Columbia alone, 4,000 forest industry jobs have been lost. Smaller companies have been especially hard hit by the loss. Rick Doman says he's had to lay off half of his staff on Vancouver Island. He says the U.S. is at fault. "The U.S. knows that they won't win at WTO (World Trade Organization), but they're prepared to go all the way because they know we have to keep putting up money every month, and they know a lot of players can't afford to do it," said Doman.
Small company owners south of the border say they're hurting, too. Dick Bennett says his sawmills are either operating at a loss, or at a break even point.
"Everybody's trying to outlast the others. I think it's a very good opportunity for large companies to drive the nail into a lot of smaller companies. I'm afraid that's what we're really looking at," said Bennett. But a B.C. industry analyst says the American producers may end up better off in the end. Doug MacArthur, with the University of B.C., says any settlement will mean more security for the U.S. softwood lumber industry. "The Americans right now are seeking protection. If they can get it through an export tax that's supplied by Canada under an agreement, they'll take that. And that's one of the things they're pursuing," said MacArthur. Representatives from the Canadian government describe the talks as preliminary, and have no further negotiations planned for the week.
8-26 Updates: 00:10, 01:04, 10:54, 11:22, 11:41, 16:29 ET. Northern Gas Pipelines has always respected the dedication and professionalism of Northern News Services journalists. Today's gas pipeline reports display part of the NNS dream team at its best: Thorunn Howatt, Terry Halifax and Derek Neary. -dh
News Services, by Thorunn Howatt,
8-24/25 Weekend Updates: 00:32, 02:00, 02:13, 03:02, 03:43, 04:43, 19:00 ET. Author provides gas pipeline articles to various publications in the U.S. and Canada. Some are opinion pieces. The latest is a commentary prepared for the new Anchorage Chronicle newspaper. You may download the 8-15-02 piece here: "If the gas pipeline debate doesn’t reach peaceful conclusion soon, it’s likely Alaska’s next generation will still be struggling to commercialize North Slope gas" -dh. (Chronicle subscriptions: 907-348-2425) * Tulsa World by Russell Ray - A request to prohibit Phillips Petroleum Co. and Conoco Inc. from completing their proposed merger was denied Thursday by a federal judge in Tulsa. (Note: Phillips is one of Alaska's major gas producers while Conoco has Mackenzie Delta interests.) * For an electronic copy of the DEIS, visit the TAPS Renewal EIS website at: http://tapseis.anl.gov. The Proposed Determination is available online at http://www.tapsrenewal.jpo.doi.gov. * Gov. Tony Knowles recently announced the appointment of 17 Alaska leaders to the Alaska-Alberta Bilateral Council. The Council is the creation of a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation that Knowles and Alberta Premier Ralph Klein signed in Anchorage in June. It is designed to advance areas of cooperation between Alaska and Alberta, from energy development and improved transportation links to aboriginal issues and northern health improvements. See our coverage of the 6-02 MOA signing. NGP Photo: Knowles-l and Klein. * Speaking before a meeting of the Alaska Miners Association this weekend, Senator Frank Murkowski (NGP Photo, 2-20-02) presented his plan, “A Brighter Future for Alaska’s Miners,” which includes several specific proposals to protect and encourage the mining industry. Download proposal paper here. * Financial Times, by Sheila McNulty-BP's exploration programme in the US could be damaged by an investigation into an explosion at its Alaskan operations that seriously injured a worker and caused a spill. ... Paul Laird, BP spokesman in Alaska, said Don Shugak was seriously injured when sent to work on a well that BP noted was recording "high pressure". A gas leak resulted in a "fire explosion" that took six hours to extinguish by pumping sea water into the well, he said. ... Mr Laird said the company was investigating whether other wells had similar problems.
8-23 Updates: 08:33, 10:10, 11:00 ET. ANCHORAGE -- Frank Murkowski, Republican candidate for governor, will announce plans to help improve the state’s minerals industry in a presentation to the Alaska Miners Association today. We will report. * Whitehorse Star-The Yukon government is taking measures aimed at ensuring northern Canadian gas is not stranded or otherwise disadvantaged as northern pipelines are constructed. “The Yukon government has been a strong supporter of building two northern pipelines and access to pipelines is a critical requirement for the Yukon’s oil and gas industry and for the economic well being of the Yukon,” Energy, Mines and Resources Minister Scott Kent (NGP Photo) said in a recent statement. “That is why I delivered a letter to Imperial Oil Ltd., and to the federal government, about the risk of stranding Yukon gas and the opportunity for delivering gas from north central Yukon to a Mackenzie Valley pipeline.” (See our earlier story and the letter here. -dh)...Several oil and gas companies have interests in north central Yukon, which Kent believes could be compromised if access to a Mackenzie Valley pipeline is not possible because the design of the project doesn’t consider the resource potential of under-explored basins such as Eagle Plains, said Kent. “It is important that Yukon interests are well-represented in any process that leads to pipeline development in northern Canada,” David R. Thompson, president of Northern Cross (Yukon) Ltd., said in the statement. “We believe that there is more than enough gas potential in North Yukon to warrant a connection to the Mackenzie Valley,” said Kent. “This, of course, will not be possible if the design of the pipeline does not take that potential into account. ... The gas reserves in Yukon’s Peel Plateau and Eagle Plain basins alone are currently estimated at 3.4 trillion cubic feet. The Eagle Plain basin is home to three significant discovery licences, and many industry analysts believe the potential of the region is greater and work has begun on a new resource assessment. The Peel Plateau has seen limited exploration, but several wells have shown gas potential and the Yukon government recently awarded an exploration permit in the area. “Since taking control of oil and gas resources from the federal government in 1998, we have been working hard to support and encourage investment in our growing oil and gas industry,” said Kent. “Besides the promising potential in north Yukon, we have two wells in southeast Yukon that have ranked among Canada’s top producers and provide ample evidence of Yukon’s resource potential.” Since 1998, the Yukon government has conducted three oil and gas dispositions in north-central Yukon and subsequently awarded several exploration licenses. A fourth disposition including land in north Yukon and the Whitehorse Trough is planned for this year. * Personal note: Moving back toward Portland from S.F. we encountered what may be the best Mexican food restaurant on the west coast, in an unlikely place.
Thursday, 8-22, our public service web site was honored with its 100,000th visitor and we are delighted to send reader appreciation prizes:
8-22 Updates: 06:32, 07:16, 07:40, 08:51, 10:35 ET. CBC-Chrétien says he won't run again. (The Chrétien administration has joined the U.S. administration in opposing U.S. efforts to provide financial incentives for an Alaskan gas pipeline and outlaw a northern route. It is unlikely that any successor will change that position. -dh) * We note the retirement of Bill Corbus, longtime friend. Bill has managed his family business since I first met him over 20 years ago. He was one of the most active members of the Governor's Alaska Highway Natural Gas Pipeline Policy Council last year. -dh (ADN story) * Congressional Quarterly-...the Republican National Committee gave the Alaska Republican Party $534,000 this spring to help put a Republican in the governor's mansion for the first time in 20 years. An RNC spokeswoman said Sen. Frank H. Murkowski's gubernatorial bid is the national party's "primary focus" in Alaska. (Related ADN story.) * Anchorage Daily News by Jon Little- ... (Nels) * Personal Note: Our last day in San Francisco.
8-21 Updates: 08:07, 12:51 ET. ANCHORAGE, by Ron Irwin -- The Joint Committee on Natural Gas Pipelines gaveled in Monday to discuss recommendations they will submit to the Twenty-Third Alaska Legislature when it convenes in January. Draft recommendations were distributed Monday afternoon following a full morning of testimony from oil and gas industry representatives. The recommendations call on the next legislature to retain the Joint Committee and to continue supporting a southern gas line from Prudhoe Bay to the lower 48. The committee will also recommend hiring their own pipeline experts, if the next administration continues to impede the legislature's ability to protect the interests of Alaska by withholding information, as was the case under the Knowles/Ulmer administration. "This committee will have a new face next year, but I believe we are leaving a good legacy and a road map for our successors to utilize and improve upon," said Rep. Joe Green, committee vice-chair. "This gas line is not a panacea, as it will not produce a fraction of the revenue we have seen generated by the Trans-Alaskan oil pipeline, but it will be a needed economic shot in the arm." The committee also adopted two proposals of support, which committee chair, Sen. John Torgerson (Photo, 6-02) and Rep. Green will carry to Washington D.C. and lobby in favor of sometime in mid-September. The two issues are supporting the "Tax Mechanism," which oil and gas giants Phillips and BP say must be in place for the gas pipeline project will go forward. And lobbying for support of the Senate version of the Alaska Pipeline Act, which includes provision banning the so-called over the top route and would provide access to gas for in-state consumption. The provisions of the act also include access to use of the pipeline by gas exploration companies other than just the major producers. "We are going to D.C. in an attempt to garner assurances that the final committee bill, now being discussed in a congressional conference committee, retains all of the current provision of the Alaska Pipeline Act," said Sen. Torgerson. "We don't want to see any changes to this delicately balanced legislation, which could further impede the construction of this pipeline." The Joint Committee on Natural Gas Pipeline plans to meet one more time shortly after the general election. The committee will say good-bye to Sen. Torgerson, Sen. Rick Halford, Sen. Pete Kelly, Rep. Brian Porter and Rep. Green. * Personal Note: Still in San Francisco.
8-20 Updates: 11:00, 12:00 ET. (Personal note: Coos bay to San Francisco today. Gas pipeline news sparse but coming.... -dh) * CBC, OTTAWA - Canada's manufacturing sector took a slight hit in June due to duties reinstated on softwood lumber exports to the United States, Statistics Canada reported Monday. (Note: during this energy bill negotiating period we continue to urge U.S. officials to be mindful of the big picture, to include U.S. trade policy. References. -dh)
8-19 Updates: 09:30, 10:00 ET. CALGARY, Alberta - TransCanada PipeLines Limited Friday announced it has completed the acquisition of a subsidiary of The Williams Companies Inc., for US$12 million. The acquisition provides TransCanada with a general partnership interest in Northern Border Partners, L.P. (NYSE: NBP), a publicly held U.S. limited partnership, and increases TransCanada's indirect ownership interest in Northern Border Pipeline Company. "TransCanada considers Northern Border Pipeline to be one of the preferred routes to move gas from the North to market in the future," said Hal Kvisle, TransCanada's chief executive officer. "While the acquisition is not of a large scale, it provides TransCanada with a strategic opportunity to participate in the management of Northern Border Partners." ... As a result of the acquisition, TransCanada ...is entitled to a 17.5 per cent vote on the partnership policy committee of Northern Border Partners. Two affiliates of Enron Corp. own the remaining general partnership interests in Northern Border Partners and are entitled to an aggregate 82.5 per cent vote on the partnership policy committee. ... Northern Border Partners owns 70 per cent of Northern Border Pipeline. The other 30 per cent of Northern Border Pipeline is owned by TC PipeLines, LP, whose general partner is a wholly owned subsidiary of TransCanada. The acquisition does not impact TransCanada's 33.41 per cent ownership interest in TC PipeLines or TC PipeLines' ownership interest in Northern Border Pipeline. TransCanada indirectly owns approximately 10 per cent of Northern Border Pipeline through its interest in TC PipeLines. TransCanada and TC PipeLines now effectively designate two members of the four-member management committee of Northern Border Pipeline and control an aggregate 42.25 per cent of the voting power on that committee. Northern Border Pipeline is a 2,010-kilometre (1,249-mile) interstate pipeline system that transports natural gas from the Montana-Saskatchewan border to markets in the midwestern United States. (Note: TransCanada has always played strategic and leading roles in developing Northern gas projects. In the 1970s, TCPL was a member of the Arctic Gas consortium, which developed the Northern Border Pipeline concept to be the "Eastern Leg" for the system. The so-called eastern and western legs of the old Arctic Gas system were built to transport initial volumes of Alberta gas, but designed to later carry Alaskan and Mackenzie Delta reserves. TransCanada and Williams have both participated in Alaska Highway Gas Pipeline Project planning. TransCanada also has a Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Initiative. -dh.) * Personal Note: Portland to Coos Bay.
8-17/18 Weekend Updates: 04:01, 11:15 ET. NGP reader Daniel Munroe passes on this Edmonton Journal article by David Howell...a sign of new technology applications benefiting the oil and gas industry and citizens they serve. -dh) A new automated phone system will give 20,000 residents of the Fort Saskatchewan area prompt notification of any industrial accident. "If the public is impacted, either by sight, smell or sound, they would be informed as to what is going on," said Dave Worman, director of protective services for the City of Fort Saskatchewan. "This will allow us to automatically send a canned message, or customize a message and fan it out to those residents who are impacted. At the same time they will get a contact number or Web site address to get further information."... An explosion and fire at the BP Canada petrochemical plant last August highlighted communication needs. Residents complained they were not notified for nearly 10 hours after the fire started. ... A subsequent report by the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board said petrochemical plants in the area need to do a better job of notifying nearby residents of accidents. ... Last month, Northeast Region Community Awareness and Emergency Response -- a 40-member group of municipalities, industries, industrial associations and regulatory agencies -- signed a contract with Telus. Telus Geomatics will develop a phone system capable of delivering recorded messages to at least 1,500 residences per hour. Members of the emergency response group will be able to call as few or as many residents as they need to reach. BP Canada has agreed to pay the $140,000 startup costs.... * Personal note: beginning trip with Portland stop.
8-16 Updates: 02:28, 02:47, 11:21 ET. Pipeline companies urge caution on Kyoto, CBC, Yellowknife, N.W.T. - Oil companies who want to build a pipeline down the Mackenzie Valley say the Canadian government should think hard about the economic consequences of ratifying the Kyoto protocol. The Kyoto protocol commits the countries that signed it, including Canada, to do something about global warming by reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Those levels are supposed to be down to six per cent below 1990 levels in the next ten years. The N.W.T. and Nunavut governments have strongly supported the Kyoto agreement. The Yukon government has taken a more cautious approach, and not formally endorsed all aspects of the plan. But while supporters of Kyoto focus on the costs of climate change, the oil companies proposing a Mackenzie Valley pipeline talk about the costs of Kyoto. Shell Canada spokesperson Tim Bancroft says the federal government does not yet have enough information to make a good decision. "It's got to be one that's got to be made after the full consultation, as much consultation as possible, with all Canadians from all walks of life," he says. ... Imperial Oil says it already knows the answer to those questions -- the demands will be far too high. And Conoco believes Kyoto will threaten economic growth and the continued rise in living standards. "Climate change has far-reaching environmental and economic and social implications," says Carlton Adams, a spokesperson for the Houston-based company. "The key is to identify and implement effective gas reduction policies that don't diminish the quality of life or the economic well-being of the world." Both Imperial and Exxon/Mobil question whether the burning of fossil fuels and other human activity are driving climate change....Related Links: CBC Backgrounder: The Kyoto Protocol; Website: MapleLeafWeb: The Kyoto Protocol; Website: Alberta Government's Alternatives to Kyoto * Reminder: Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline meeting in Anchorage, State Legislature Information Office, Monday, 8-19, Room 220, 10:00 a.m. ("Committee Recommendations to the 23rd Legislature, Federal Energy Policy Act of 2002"). * Thursday's closing gas price: $3.127/mmBtu, up $.217. * On TAPS Renewal, only a few days remain to comment - The seven public hearings have concluded. The public comment period closes Tuesday, August 20, 2002. Mail must be postmarked no later than August 20. For an electronic copy of the DEIS, visit the TAPS Renewal EIS website at: http://tapseis.anl.gov. The Proposed Determination is available online at http://www.tapsrenewal.jpo.doi.gov. * Personal note: begin Portland to S.F. round trip.
8-15 Updates: 09:05, 09:23, 11:19, 12:10 ET. Financial Times by Nancy Dunne-Enron, Avista Corporation and El Paso Electric came under formal investigation on Tuesday by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.... (Note: Enron and El Paso were parties to the MOU establishing key principles for re-enlisting in the Alaskan partnership to construct the Alaskan portion of the Alaska Highway natural gas pipeline project. The MOU has ceased to reflect continuing joint interest of all the parties. -dh) * Personal note: author will be on the road for a few days, but has arranged for continuing coverage here. With election fever overtaking Alaska, there is much posturing (See ADN story below) but little breaking gas pipeline news to report. With Members of Congress in recess, private gas pipeline negotiations between energy bill conference staff and White House staff receive little public attention, though we report what we can. This week, many of those staff members are also on vacation. Meanwhile, the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline project moves steadily ahead. -dh * Anchorage Daily News by Liz Ruskin-
8-14 Updates: 01:30, 12:15, 13:00 ET. Last Sunday we saw the first part of a two-part segment of "Capital Focus", hosted by Bill McAllister (Photo-right). The topic was natural gas, and the panelists included Alaska DNR Commissioner Pat Pourchot (NGP Photo-l, 5-01), Yukon Energy Minister Scott Kent (NGP Photo-lower right, 4-02), and Dr. Harvie Andre (NGP Photo-lower left, 2-8-02) of ArctiGas in Calgary participating by telephone. Host, McAllister opened the program calling the subject "...one of the most difficult issues in modern politics." We will provide a report and analysis after both segments have been aired. The second segment of Capital Focus on Gas Pipelines will appear next Sunday, August 18 and will feature Alaska State Rep. Jim Whitaker and Scott Heyworth of the all-Alaska gas line initiative. The next show airs at 5 p.m. on ABC throughout Alaska (including KIMO in Anchorage). For information, contact McAllister at "Capital Focus", (907) 364-3812. * CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Devon Energy Corp. is considering a C$400 million ($253 million) oil sands project in northern Alberta, expanding the roster of international petroleum companies targeting the remote but huge reserves of tar-like crude. The Jackfish oil sands project near Christina Lake could produce 35,000 barrels a day of bitumen, a type of heavy oil, by 2007, said John Richels, president of Devon Canada. "If we're going to be active in this (petroleum) basin for the long haul, which we are, bitumen is a prevalent resource and we're going to run into it many times," he said. "This is a long-term strategic move." (Note: In October 01 we reported FirstEnergy's finding that all Mackenzie Delta gas production, "...and more", will be required for northern Alberta bitumen development. -dh
8-13 Updates: 01:15, 02:35, 11:56, 12:42 ET. Northern News Services by Thorunn Howatt, Yellowknife - It's like the tortoise and the hare. On the Canadian side, backers of an all-Canadian $3 billion Mackenzie Valley pipeline have been pushing along, slowly but surely, working toward submitting a permit application. But Americans are rushing before the end of September, hoping to come up with a new energy bill. That's the legislation that could decide if the U.S. will subsidize an Alaska Highway pipeline. "They have agreed amongst themselves to get this done before Oct. 1 when there is an election," said Purvin and Gertz Inc. pipeline consultant, Roland George (NGP Photo, 11-30-01) … The Americans are in a hurry to decide a new energy policy because there is an election coming up in their country. Even though it isn't a presidential election year, senators and members of the American House of Representatives (Congress) will be voted in. So the committee building the new energy bill has decided the deadline is the end of September -- before the elections. … And even though the Alaska Highway pipeline is an important part of the document, the bill is full of all kinds of other types of energy related matters that have nothing to do with pipeline. One critical and contentious ingredient in the energy bill is a tax credit that would guarantee rebates to energy companies who would be shipping down the line. If natural gas rates fall below $5 CDN per gigajoule, ($3.25 US per thousand cubic feet) they'd be reimbursed. In other words they'd get tax money back if the gas price got too low. The companies would have to repay the credits if gas prices rose to $7.50 per gigajoule. … In June, U.S. secretary of energy Spencer Abraham wrote a letter to the energy committee saying he, as well as the rest of the administration including the president, opposes a floor price subsidy because it would distort markets. … On the Northwest Territories front, Mackenzie Valley line supporters, including producers like Imperial Oil and the Aboriginal Pipeline Group (APG), have been continuing with engineering work as well as consultations with aboriginal community residents…. (See our reports, yesterday and earlier. -dh) *
8-12 Updates: 01:55 ET. Regarding status of Energy Bill conference discussions re: gas pipeline and other issues, Communications Director of the Senate Energy Committee Bill Wicker, tells us that "...staffs are talking, negotiations are occurring, language is drafting, progress is being made. But, beyond that, there's not much more we're authorized to discuss. Conferences are not as transparent as the floor, the experience being that negotiating in public is not conducive to getting a bill." (See links to earlier reports.) *
8-10/11 Weekend Updates: Alaskans should watch the gas pipeline show on Sunday: see details below. For Canadian and Lower 48 friends, we'll provide a report here. * Bechtel Enterprises-Shell and Bechtel, two companies with a long history of energy projects in California and throughout the world, believe a facility integrating a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import terminal and an electric power plant can help meet California's future energy needs in an environmentally responsible way. (Note from Scott Heyworth, photo below: "No markets for our LNG? found on this on google...hope you run this....another opp for our LNG! this project alone would take up all our export capacity." The story makes little reference to economics and cost of competitive gas supplies. -dh )
8-9 Updates: 00:05, 00:42, 01:27, 11:35, 11:46 ET. JUNEAU-Coming is a most unusual two-part segment of "Capital Focus" scheduled this Sunday, August 11, and the following Sunday, August 18. The topic is natural gas, and the panelists include Alaska DNR Commissioner Pat Pourchot (NGP Photo-l, 5-01), Yukon Energy Minister Scott Kent (NGP Photo-middle left, 4-02) Alaska State Rep. Jim Whitaker (Photo-middle right) and Scott Heyworth (NGP Photo, lower right) of the all-Alaska gas line initiative. Dr. Harvie Andre (NGP Photo-lower left, 2-8-02) of ArctiGas in Calgary will participate by telephone. The shows air at 5 p.m. Sundays on ABC throughout Alaska (including KIMO in Anchorage). For information, contact: Bill McAllister (Photo-upper right), Host, "Capital Focus", (907) 364-3812. * In a message to Northern Gas Pipelines today, Communications Director of the Senate Energy Committee, Bill Wicker, confirmed our earlier reports of daily energy bill conference negotiations. He said, "...at the staff level we are following up on our recess assignment from Chairman Tauzin and Sen. Bingaman. Staffs from both sides of the Capitol and from both parties are meeting and discussing a range of issues in the House-passed bill and Senate amendment to that bill. For example, last week there were meetings on energy r&d, yesterday there was a staff meeting on pipeline safety and today there is one today on electricity. The aim of these meetings is to make as much progress as possible on the remaining topics and come up with joint recommendations/language that the Conferees can consider when they next meet on Sept. 9." We earlier reported that these meetings also include gas pipeline incentive negotiations. -dh * Oil & Gas Online, (Gas Processors Report/PBI Media via COMTEX) -- Williams Companies is considering selling its natural gas processing and liquids extraction operations in Western Canada to strengthen the Tulsa hybrid energy company's financial flexibility. "We have received unsolicited expressions of interest in these assets," Phil Wright, president and chief executive officer of Williams' energy services unit, said last week. "In light of our balance sheet strengthening plan, we believe we must consider selling them to parties for whom they may be a better strategic fit." Terms of a potential sale are not known at this time, he added. * FROM THE JOINT PIPELINE OFFICE-TAPS Renewal: Comment Period Remains 45 Days - A number of environmental and Alaska Native groups requested an extension of the public comment period. The Bureau of Land Management and State Department of Natural Resources reviewed and responded to the requests. The original 45-day schedule for review of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and Commissioner's Statement of Reasons and Proposed Written Determination on renewing the right-of-way for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) was confirmed. An extension was not granted in large part because TAPS has been operational for 25 years and virtually every aspect of its operations and related environmental impacts are closely and continuously scrutinized by a number of state and federal agencies. This is not a new construction project with alternate routes or new impacts. For an electronic copy of the DEIS, visit the TAPS Renewal EIS website at: http://tapseis.anl.gov. The Proposed Determination is available online at http://www.tapsrenewal.jpo.doi.gov. North Slope Pipeline Renewals: The Commissioner's Statement of Reasons and Proposed Written Determination for renewal of the Endicott, Kuparuk, Kuparuk Extension, Oliktok, and Milne Point pipelines may be viewed on-line at http://www.corecom.net/JPO/. * Alaska Legislature Gas Pipeline Meeting-August 19. Anchorage Legislative Information Office, Room 220, 10:00 AM. Committee recommendations to the 23rd Legislature, Energy Policy Act of 2002. * Reuters News Agency, by CAROLYN KOO, NEW YORK -- Williams Cos. Inc. yesterday said it had secured $2-billion (U.S.) in financing from banks and billionaire investor Warren Buffett and sold $1.8-billion in assets, resolving the cash-strapped energy company's near-term money needs.
8-8 Updates: 01:54, 02:11, 02:21 ET. Northern News Services by Thorunn Howatt (NGP Photo, 6-02), Yellowknife - A battle was won last week in the U.S.-Canada trade war. It's good news for a proposal to build a Mackenzie Valley pipeline. Canadian premiers sent a message to the federal government on trade issues. They agreed to oppose all trade distorting subsidies last week at a premiers conference in Halifax, N.S. "What the premiers agreed on is the principle that if there are trade-distorting subsidies, we have to oppose them all," said NWT Premier Stephen Kakfwi. "We can't pick one or the other simply because some of us disagree on what is a subsidy, and what is fair and unfair." That means the group is against an American subsidy proposal that would entice energy companies to build a natural gas pipeline from Alaska southward following the Alaska Highway. Construction of an Alaskan line would surely mean a proposed Mackenzie Valley pipe would be put on the back burner. The $3 billion Mackenzie line would carry Canadian gas southward but a $17 billion Alaskan line would bypass and strand NWT gas. The Alaskan line would pass through the Yukon and is generally considered not economical. But the Alaskan government wants to subsidize the line and make it more attractive. Last week Yukon Premier Pat Duncan asked premiers not to link energy to other U.S. trade issues. … She would love to see jobs that would accompany pipeline construction through her territory. But Kakfwi has been supporting a Mackenzie line very firmly in recent months. Energy subsidies are just one issue that has caused clashes between Americans and Canadians. Saskatchewan, Alberta and Ontario are angry about American agricultural subsidies and British Columbia's economy has been hurt since taxes were imposed on Canadian lumber exported to the U.S. (Follow our related stories & links. -dh) * NORTHERN GAS PIPELINES SPECIAL REPORT, Denver-Burlington Resources Chairman, President and CEO Bobby S. Shackouls (Photo) gave an encouraging natural gas report this week to the Rocky Mountain Investment Forum. Saying the Company was “poised for top-tier performance,” Shackouls touted the Company’s extensive North American and International resource base (about 11.8 TCFE), with slow declining assets, a low cost structure and solid financial returns. While not elaborating on significant Alaska North Slope ‘foothills’ lease holdings (related background), he pointed out that by the end of 2001 Burlington had 1.9BCF/D in gas production. He believes that while gas prices will continue to be volatile, price equilibrium will range from $3-4. You may download Shackouls’ presentation here. * RigZone-Plans are being made to drill a minimum of four wells on Alaska's North Slope later this year. At least two of the gas hydrate wells will be drilled on Anadarko's Prudhoe Bay lease. There has been not firm decision made on where the other wells will be drilled. Anadarko has "several options'' in the form of existing permits for wells in the Brooks Range foothills, the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and the western North Slope, according to Anadarko spokesman Mark Hanley (NGP Photo, 9-01). Anadarko also is in the process of filing 15 more permits for other Foothills wells. (Our earlier reference.) * CBC, Cambridge Bay, Nunavut - People pushing for a road and port to be built in the central Arctic say they can learn a lot from a similar project in Alaska. Six people from the Kitikmeot Inuit Association have returned from a trip to the Red Dog mine, and its related road and port, in the northwestern part of the state. Charlie Lyall, the president of the Kitikmeot Corporation, says the Delong Mountain Transportation System is similar to Nunavut's proposed Bathurst Road and Port. He says the Bathurst port would be built about 50 kilometres southeast of Cambridge Bay. The proposed road would stretch 215 kilometres west to Contwoyto Lake to an existing winter road. The road would link several proposed mine projects in Nunavut, and offer an alternative supply route to the N.W.T.'s diamond mines. Lyall says the Bathurst project and Alaska's D.M.T.S. project are both run by aboriginal organizations. He says what's happening in Alaska is a good example for Nunavut to follow. "We wanted to take a look at a successful organization and we want to learn from what they did right and if there's any mistakes that were made we want to be able to learn from those," he says. Lyall says the group toured the Red Dog mine and met with representatives from the Inupiaq organization, N.A.N.A.. Lyall says the two organizations will continue to talk. Construction on the Bathurst road and port could begin in 2004.
8-7 Updates: 02:59, 03:18, 03:40, 13:03, 14:41 ET. Anchorage Daily News- * ELECTRIC POWER NEWS-It's called the congressional "recess," but some of Louisiana's members of Congress - and more often their staffs - have work to do in August. … House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin, will chair the conference committee tackling the national energy policy legislation. … The many issues in dispute include proposals to open an Alaska wilderness area to oil and gas drilling, impose new fuel consumption standards on vehicles, deregulate the electricity industry and give tax breaks and other federal incentives to both the fossil-fuel and alternative-fuel industries. * Former Alaska Governor Steve Cowper ((NGP Photo, 4-02) sent us the article link below featuring Apache's Steve Farris, with this observation: "Increasingly I am coming to believe this abuse is a major reason why the Alaska gas pipeline isn't going to be built any time soon. The producers (like Apache and, of course, the Alaska big three) can't tell what will happen to prices over any time frame, let alone 30 years." (Note: Trading volatility may be a new, post-Enron argument favoring federal gas price floors for U.S. & Canadian Arctic gas projects: stability at the lower end of price fluctuations and reimbursement at the higher end. -dh) GAS NEWS-Apache President and COO G. Steven Farris (Photo-left) argues that excessive midstream influence tramples producers' and consumers' interests, threatens outlook for 'Fuel of the Future' … If not checked, Farris told the joint gathering of the IPAA and the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association, extreme gas-market volatility could stunt long-term gas- - demand growth, encourage consumers to switch to competing alternative fuels, put companies in the oilfield service sector at risk, and drive more energy investors to more stable opportunities overseas. "I think we all ought to be serious about (the possibility that) we might be killing the goose that laid the golden egg," Farris said, after recounting the vagaries of gas-market volatility. "The fact of the matter is, the 'Fuel of the Future' may not have a future. "We think the current natural gas market is flawed," he added. "There is a significant conflict of interest between those who live off the volatility and consumers, producers and royalty owners." … "(But) we have among the fewest drilling rigs running - I think this morning, we actually have 634 gas rigs running in this country - at a time when if you looked out and saw $3.30 gas, there's a real opportunity to make money in this business," he said. "The problem is, we don't know what the price is going to be tomorrow, so despite recent record activity, U.S. natural gas deliverability has decreased." Farris said his purpose in calling attention to excess volatility was not to fuel calls for more regulation of U.S. gas markets. "I am not talking about regulations, I'm talking about transparency," he said. "It's not about regulating anybody. What it's really about is doing things right. "Consumers are fed up and they ought to be," he advised. "It's time for good people to stand up."
8-6 Updates: 02:45, 03:00, 03:15, 11:57, 13:37, 14:00, 14:10 ET. Anchorage Daily News-Karl Francis (NGP Photo) gives ANWR strategy analysis (Photo-Central Arctic Caribou have prospered with North Slope development.) -dh --" * CBC, Whitehorse, Yukon - ...The Caribou Commons Project called on the city's residents to walk along the Yukon River to support a new effort to protect the Refuge. ... Ken Madsen, a founding member of the group, says the fight to protect ANWR didn't end with the decision earlier this year not to drill in the refuge. Madsen says they still want to get wilderness designation for the caribou calving grounds. ... Madsen will be taking part in a walk from Seattle to Washington D.C. later this month to build grass-roots support for protection of the refuge. (See related report on Congressional ANWR strategy.) We encourage Alaskan readers to contribute to BP Alaska's survey. It will only be available online TODAY AND TOMORROW. BP will use the survey to help them determine how the way they do business affects individuals and companies in Alaska. All survey responses are confidential and anonymous. Readers may access the survey here. * GAS PIPELINE AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE ISSUES ARE JOINED. Last week we reported on gas pipeline discussions at the Premiers Conference. We have in these pages urged our Washington readers in Departments of State, Commerce and Energy to consider broad trade implications on Alaskan gas projects for many months. -dh Whitehorse Star by JASON SMALL - Northwest Territories Premier Stephen Kakfwi (Photo) got what he wanted at the national premiers’ conference this morning. In a press conference this morning from Halifax, Kakfwi said the premiers agreed to put out a joint statement about trade issues with the U.S. Yukon Premier Pat Duncan (NGP Photo) said, going into the conference, that she didn’t want the issues of U.S. trade subsidies for softwood lumber and agriculture, linked with proposed subsidies for the Alaska Highway pipeline project. While Duncan is against the subsidies for agriculture and softwood lumber, she supports the proposed subsidies for the pipeline project, because part of it would be built in the Yukon. Kakfwi is opposed to the subsidy for the pipeline project because he feels it would unfairly affect the market price for natural gas. He fears a subsidy to encourage the construction of the Alaska Highway project would, in turn, affect the market price so a pipeline taking natural gas out of his territory’s Mackenzie Delta would not be economic. Kakfwi wants a Mackenzie Valley pipeline built before an Alaska Highway line. Since Duncan went to the conference opposing the connection of the other two issues with the pipeline subsidies, Kakfwi proposed that the statement from the premiers not include any examples, allowing each premier to use his or her own examples. After what Kakfwi called “quite a lively discussion”, that’s what the premiers decided to do. “The compromise was to take it all out. Which was something I was pleased with,” Kakfwi said this morning from the Nova Scotia capital. The statement calls on Ottawa to do something about market distorting trade practices by the U.S., but it lists no specific industries. Among the statements in the press release, the premiers call on Ottawa to reach “out to American legislators and the American people to let them know that these punitive duties hurt them directly.” Kakfwi said this allows Saskatchewan Premier Lorne Calvert to use agricultural subsidies as his example, B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell can use softwood lumber as his example, and the N.W.T. premier himself can use Alaska Highway pipeline subsidies as his example. “(Leaving all out) gives me the green light to use it (the Alaska Highway pipeline) as my example,” he said. The subsidy, proposed in a bill which passed the U.S. Senate, pledged money for natural gas companies if natural gas prices dropped below $3.25 US per thousand cubic feet, in exchange for constructing the Alaska Highway pipeline. The producers would have to pay back what they were given only when the price would rise above $4.60 US per thousand cubic feet. While the Yukon government has argued this is not a subsidy, Kakfwi countered that it’s not just him who is referring to this proposal as a subsidy. “It’s the U.S. (presidential) administration, the Prime Minister’s Office (and others),” the N.W.T. premier said. The U.S. energy secretary wrote that the president is against that specific subsidy because it could cost the U.S. government $1 billion a year and may cost Canadian cooperation in constructing the pipeline. Prime Minister Jean Chrétien himself told the U.S. president to allow market prices decide where the pipeline will be built. * Whitehorse Star by By JASON SMALL - The Yukon government is also claiming it was successful in the battle over words with the N.W.T. at last week’s premiers’ conference in Halifax. On Friday, Northwest Territories Premier Stephen Kakfwi was claiming a victory on the issue of trade with the United States, at the conference. The official statement from the 13 premiers called on Ottawa to fight unfair U.S. subsidies that hurt Canadian industries. The statement did not specify any industries. Kakfwi said the lack of specific industries allows him to use whatever example he wants, which will be the proposed subsidy to encourage construction of the Alaska Highway pipeline. … He has argued the subsidy is just as unfair as those in the U.S. for softwood lumber and agricultural, which have angered various Canadian governments. … Yukon Premier Pat Duncan wanted to ensure that energy subsidies for a pipeline would not be linked with those for softwood lumber and agriculture. Duncan wants the Alaska Highway project built, and supports the proposed U.S. tax break…. * Northern News Services by Chris Puglia, Yellowknife - The federal government's apparent decision to award a lucrative contract to former cabinet secretary John Bayly and Terriplan Consultants for community consultations on a Mackenzie Valley pipeline is drawing fire. Chief Charlie Furlong of the Aklavik Indian Band said Friday the government has breached its Gwich'in land claim obligations by ignoring proper tendering procedures. He said the aboriginal community should have had a chance at the $500,000 project. … "I am contacting the leaders along the valley to jointly submit a proposal to Indian Affairs, that will see Gwich'in, Sahtu, and Deh Cho companies and individuals doing this work for the government in our traditional areas," he said. "The government will do the right thing -- if they don't they will be in breach of their obligations." … Kevin O'Reilly, research director with Canadian Arctic Resources Committee, said the $500,000 could have gone to the Northern regulatory boards commissioned to conduct environmental assessments for the Mackenzie Valley pipeline. … "There seems to be a fair bit of overlap between what the boards are doing and what's going into the contract. I don't want to hear any excuses from DIAND that they don't have any funding for participants in environmental assessment if they can find money for this kind of contract," O'Reilly said…. * Williams Energy News Live-The FERC will wrap up a two-day settlement conference between power suppliers and Western states on Tuesday. The groups are trying to resolve a legal dispute over long-term contracts signed during the power crisis in the West. The FERC judge presiding over the talks is optimistic that deals are within reach. (See our related report.)
8-5 Updates: 11:25, 11:55, 12:03 ET. Energy Central-After many months of debate, technical conferences, and trial runs, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has indicated it will release what most in the industry consider the largest notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) with the most profound implications for electricity markets, in the commission's history. (Note: Northern Gas Pipelines monitored a Thursday press conference with FERC Chairman Pat Wood (NGP Photo, 8-1-02). A reporter asked how Wood believed FERC could remobilize the energy sector. Wood said answers lay in settling California issues, Western States distribution and, "the Commission's ongoing investigation of potential market manipulation in the West, back in 2000-2001." On this page, we recognize that national policy affecting power demand impacts gas pipeline commercialization because the trend in recent years is conversion of power generation energy sources to natural gas. -dh) * Baton Rouge Advocate-A federal proposal to set nationwide rules for power sales is drawing opposition from state regulators, including Louisiana, where the utility commissioner for the Baton Rouge area says the plan could hurt ordinary ratepayers by making it harder for states to respond to local needs. * Spokane Spokesman Review-Utility commissioners from 15 states Wednesday condemned a federal proposal that would centralize control of the nation's transmission grids. * CBC, KIMMIRUT, NUNAVUT - Canada's Navy has begun its first visit to the country's Far North in 13 years, as part of a campaign to reassert sovereignty over the region.
8-3/4 Weekend Updates: 25 years ago: On Aug. 3, 1977, The Globe and Mail reported that a federal commission inquiry recommended that a natural gas pipeline not be built across the Yukon for at least four years. * WASHINGTON, (Greenwire) - Republicans on the House-Senate conference committee on energy policy plan to join the White House in a "public relations campaign" after the August recess to open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling by linking the issue with the threat of war with Iraq. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin and Senate Energy Committee ranking member Frank Murkowski say ANWR drilling could produce enough oil to offset the amount that Iraq exports to the United States. ... Tauzin said he will use the congressional recess to gather more support for ANWR drilling. "Every year we decide not to produce this reserve for America is another year we send Saddam Hussein a $20 million check," Tauzin said. Democrats on the conference committee have used similar opposition to Middle East oil to argue against opening ANWR to oil drilling, saying it would only prolong the country's oil dependence. "If national security is the question, then fuel economy standards that are much higher for SUVs are the answer," said Rep. Ed Markey. "If we want to deal with that issue, then drilling in the Arctic is not the answer".
8-2-02 Updates: 00:15, 00:42, 12:25, 13:34, 13:52, 17:48 ET. CBC, Yellowknife, N.W.T. - A former top civil servant in the N.W.T. may be receiving a half-million dollar paycheck from Ottawa to consult with communities about the Mackenzie Valley pipeline. The federal government has announced it wants to give the contract for the consultation project to former principal secretary John Bayley without going to tender. … It lists Bayley's work on the Berger Inquiry and the Dene Metis claim as examples. The department will put the contract out to tender if another company submits a bid listing similar qualifications. The contract is to design and implement a consultation program in northern communities and with aboriginal organizations. The department says it recognizes some consultation has already been done, but says public involvement is important to good governance. * Alaska Oil & Gas Reporter-Anadarko Petroleum plans to drill at least four wells on the North Slope this winter -- two gas hydrate test wells and two conventional gas exploration wells. * CBC-Whitehorse, Yukon - The status of the Kaska land claims remains in limbo in the Yukon, despite a federal deadline for negotiators expiring more than a month ago. (Note: earlier reference, Foothills relationship.) * Yesterday, Northern Gas Pipelines monitored an analyst conference call as Williams' chairman, president and CEO Steve Malcolm announced major progress on Williams' balance sheet strengthening plan. In a series of transactions, the company has successfully raised a total of $3.4 billion — enough to resolve current liquidity issues. "We will be a smaller company," Malcolm said, "but clearly ready to move forward on a stronger foundation." Williams will still have operations in most of the states in America. The company will continue to provide a vital link in the country's energy infrastructure and delivery system. "In many ways, Williams will be about the same size it was in 1995," Malcolm noted. "And, this company has a history of adapting itself to current realities. We are as positive about our future now as we were then," he said. During the conference call, Malcolm said the company has been “actively pursuing” several dozen bids for company assets in the last few weeks. While some sales were announced yesterday, he said more will occur over the next several months. He also said the value of offers has been generally consistent with book values of the assets. Stock price has risen from under $1 last week to over $3.50 in the last few days. Williams is one of Alaska's major employers, a long-time participant in Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System (ANGTS) planning, and commissioned a petrochemical feasibility study associated with an Alaska gas pipeline, final results as yet inconclusive. See Williams information here. -dh * Congressional Quarterly-The Senate is pushing to wrap up its work for the week so members can leave Washington tonight for the August recess. (Note: Soon after the recess, in September, the energy bill conference will strive to complete work on most difficult consensus items by month's end, including gas pipeline enabling and incentive legislation and ANWR. -dh) - Financial Times story by Sheila McNulty
8-1-02 Updates: 01:31, 02:00, 12:07, 13:00, 13:19, 14:53, 17:29 ET. * Inuvik, NWT – Chief Charles Furlong, President of Nehtr’uh Development Group Inc. (Nehtr’uh”), announced the establishment of a major joint venture agreement with EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd. Furlong stated: “The work near Gwich’in communities will be done by local Gwich’in individuals and businesses, wherever possible.” (Photo and full text here) * Greenwire by Colin Sullivan-The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Wednesday laid the groundwork for restructuring the nation's electric utility system from the ground up, proposing a series of sweeping power market reforms in a 600-page document designed to avert a repeat performance of the 2000-2001 California power crisis. * Anchorage-The Bureau of Land Management today confirmed the original 45-day schedule for review of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on renewing the right-of-way for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). A number of environmental and Alaska Native groups earlier requested that the comment period be extended. In announcing the decision to maintain the original review schedule, which ends August 20, BLM Director Kathleen Clarke said, “I acknowledge that the DEIS is a lengthy document and that the public has a keen interest in the safe operation of the TAPS and renewal of the right-of-way. However, an extension of the comment period is unnecessary for a right-of-way renewal situation where the existing system has been in place and fully operational for 25 years. This is not a new construction project with alternate routes and major new impacts.” (Download complete statement.) * JUNEAU-The Alaska Coastal Policy Council approved a comprehensive regulation revision package to improve the permitting process for development projects proposed in Alaska's coastal zone on July 24, 2002. For information: Julie Penn, (907) 465-3500.
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