Front Page News

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 September news.

9-30-02 Updates: 00:01, 01:48, 02:20, 11:55, 13:38, 14:25 ET.  Northern News Services, by Thorunn Howatt (Photo)-Today's throne speech will carry an encrypted message that will change the face of the North forever.   The federal government will tell the Aboriginal Pipeline Group (APG) it will get the loan guarantees it needs to raise cash for one-third ownership in a Mackenzie Valley pipeline. ...The federal government will give the APG its money partly because it stands to make back energy royalties. Then there's the thousands of jobs attached to the project.  (The Speech from the Throne will be delivered by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson in the Senate at approximately 14:30 PM, September 30, 2002. The moving and seconding speeches will immediately follow in the House of Commons.)     *     Tomorrow: We shall provide NGP readers with links to Canadian government's Consolidated Information Requirements for NWT pipeline.  Readers will also have latest government and industry speeches, delivered today/tomorrow to the Far North Oil & Gas Conference in Calgary.      *      'The Ear' also heard the ANWR Band, story & music demo below.    *      Bill Wicker, Communications Director, Senate Energy Committee tells us, "The House-Senate conference on the energy bill will cross the mall to the Senate side for its next meeting. That is Tuesday, Oct. 1, at 4:00 p.m. (TOMORROW-Here's a link.). Conferees will muster in 325 Russell Building, a.k.a. the Caucus Room. On deck: ANWR ... followed by other pending issues. Conference hasn't entered the home stretch, but it's rounding the final turn. For staff, that means weekend leave is canceled, it's sleeve-rolling time. Negotiators are firing offers and counter-offers at each other, ideas are being exchanged, meetings are breaking out everywhere Everything is now in play. Here's what remains, what we're working on: electricity/RPS ... ethanol ... climate ... tax issues ... research & development ... alt fuels ... oil & gas/ANWR ... hydro relicensing ... hydraulic fracturing ... geothermal ... and study provisions. We're far apart on a few key issues, but also ready to close on several others. All of these titles and sections are in varying stages of completion, so we're not starting flat-footed on anything. It's still a lot of work."     *     WASHINGTON (Dow Jones) - Congressional energy bill negotiators ... scaling back access to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in a Republican-backed plan to open the area to oil drilling.  (Our recent opinion.)        *      CBC-The American ambassador to Canada says the success of NAFTA may help Canada and the U.S. resolve other trade disputes.  "It will be an incentive for the U.S. and Canada to find common ground in areas excluded from this agreement," Paul Celucci told business delegates at a conference in Banff Thursday. (Earlier References)      *      Energy Information Administration-U.S. crude oil and natural gas proved reserves increased in 2001. Reserves additions exceeded production by 21 percent for oil and 31 percent for natural gas in 2001. This is according to the "Advance Summary: U.S. Crude Oil, Natural Gas, and Natural Gas Liquids Reserves 2001 Annual Report" released by the Energy Information Administration.  (Photo-Guy Caruso, Administrator, EIA: "The trust and credibility of EIA information is essential to the fulfillment of that mission." -O&GJ       *      Murkowski News-NPRA was set aside in 1923 as a repository for petroleum reserves to fuel the U.S. Navy. The oil industry is increasingly interested in producing from the petroleum reserve, and federal lease sales are scheduled for 2004. Estimates put the amount of recoverable oil in NPR-A at from 1.3 billion to 5.6 billion barrels. But the Campaign for America's Wilderness began an effort Monday aimed at designating NPR-A as wilderness, placing it off-limits to most human activity including development of natural resources.

9-28/29-02 Updates: Saturday, 16:19, 16:32, 17:30, 19:30; Sunday: 16:55 ET.  Peter Cook of Williams Energy News Live tells us: "It's crunch time for lawmakers on Capitol Hill trying to reach an agreement on an energy bill compromise.... next week. We could also see a final vote on drilling in ANWR. The Washington bureau will have updates starting Monday.     *     "Music for Energy Bill Conferees? (Demo Clip for NGP Readers)".  It had to happen.  A patriotic group of Alaskans with no outside funding has organized a rock and roll band called "ANWR", to help sway the U.S. Congressional vote in favor appropriate development of ANWR.  Band member and keyboard player Joan Massart-Paden explains, “Music is a grassroots element for most people. Our music is based on the premise that if the American public hears through music that real people support the drilling at ANWR, maybe some of the politicians opposing the drilling would change their vote.”  The band has currently written and recorded one song, aptly titled “Drilling – Yes or No”, and is attempting to get it distributed locally and nationally. The lyrics, written by Gary Webster and Connie Wilhelm, are meant to carry a strong but non-controversial message. “Drilling issues, we gotta face. We’re divided in the race. From this point where does it go? Is it drilling yes or no?”  The song also remembers the horrors of September 11 in the lyrics: “We can’t forget the terror that brought us all together. We raised our flags and sang the songs. The adversity made  us strong.”  (ANWR Band Position Statement & Contact InformationMedia welcome to re-run our articles and links.  Note: polling data shows most Alaskans prize their state for environmental reasons...and most favor responsible development of the small fraction of ANWR acreage which Congress is considering.  -dh)

9-27-02 Updates: 00:15, 00:20, 01:09, 01:38, 12:19, 13:41, 15:25, 15:36, 16:00 ET.  At mid day, today in Calgary, Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) Premier Stephen Kakfwi (Photo) criticized Alaska's gas pipeline policy for hindering GNWT economic development progress and said that lack of investment from Ottawa could diminish GNWT interest in resource development projects.  Speaking to industry executives, he said it was ironic that Alaska had been, "among the first to recognize our efforts. They have acted to block decisions regarding the timing and extent of northern gas development."  He recalled Alaska's passage of SB 164, saying "they passed a law banning the Beaufort Sea/Mackenzie Valley route – virtually negating the feasibility of transporting Alaskan natural gas to market via the Northwest Territories. This was followed by a similar amendment in the energy Bill still being discussed in the U.S. Congress. ... More recently, an amendment in the US Senate’s Energy Bill calls for U.S. taxpayers to provide Alaskan gas production with a price guarantee ....  This blatant inference in the North American gas market will benefit a few to the detriment of many. It is a poor and ill-conceived public policy that would have a negative impact on North American energy security."  Of Federal relations, Kakfwi said, "Unless NWT Aboriginal groups, communities, businesses and residents can realize real benefits, there is no reason for resource activity to proceed. In the absence of any benefits, and without an agreement on devolution and resource revenue sharing, you can understand why major resource development is of little value to the Government of the Northwest Territories."  He concluded by asking private industry executives present to, "assist and work with us to get this message to Ottawa."   (Readers may download the Premier's speech notes, courtesy of Drew Williams-Yellowknife.  Also, refer to Minister Antoine's recent letter and our related commentary: For The President and The Prime Minister )      *      ADN by Liz Ruskin-Washington -- It's horse-trading time on the energy bill, and the proponents of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge seem to hold conflicting views about what would make a good bargain.           *     Whitehorse Star-(Premier Pat Duncan) is scheduled to attend an oil and gas conference in Calgary early next week.  She has been scheduled and advertised for months as one of the two luncheon keynote speakers for the fourth annual Far North Oil and Gas conference at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel in Calgary.  However, government officials are trying to get a gas company to take the premier’s place as a keynote speaker.  According to cabinet spokesman Michael Hale, right now, there are discussions with Conoco Phillips to have someone from that company speak in the premier’s stead.  ... if someone from Conoco Phillips or British Petroleum spoke in the Yukon’s slot, that would show that industry is supporting the Yukon’s stance on natural gas pipelines.  ...hearing from someone in the industry supporting the territorial government’s stance for two natural gas pipelines – one along the Alaska Highway and the other along the Mackenzie River – carries more weight with media than the same statements coming from a politician.  If Duncan’s place at the conference is taken by a company, Cunning said the premier will still probably attend the event....   *     CBC-Environment Minister Lorne Taylor says the prime minister's plan to deal with ratifying Kyoto is haphazard and the federal government does not understand the implications of initiating the environmental treaty.  (Our earlier links.)

9-26-02 Updates:  01:30, 02:00, 13:06, 13:15 ET.  ADN by Liz Ruskin, Washington -- President Bush called House and Senate energy bill negotiators to the White House on Wednesday, pressing them to finish their work on the bill and restating his support for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. "The president said, 'I want an energy bill, and I want ANWR in it,' " Sen. Frank Murkowski, said afterward. ... He and Murkowski said provisions that might spur construction of a pipeline for North Slope natural gas came up in the White House discussion but only in a general way. The administration has said it opposes the price guarantees Murkowski attached to the Senate bill.  (Note: today, Conference Chairman Billy Tauzin called for another meeting on October 1, 3 p.m., 325 Russell, primarily to vote on offers each side has given the other.  Already, the September 30 deadline is being passed and the Energy Bill is on borrowed time. Our commentary.  -dh)

 (Alaskan Insight)  Juneau-591,537 Alaskans will receive a 2002 Alaska Permanent Fund dividend of $1,540.76.  Revenue Commissioner Wilson Condon (NGP Photo, 2-19-02) announced the amount of the 2002 dividend at last night’s annual meeting of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation in Juneau.  "We can expect smaller dividends for the next few years," Condon said.  "The dividend is based on the fund’s average earnings over five years, and it will take awhile to overcome these low market years in that average."  The fund’s total market value at the end of Fiscal Year 2002, on June 30, 2002, was $23.5 billion, down from $26.5 billion on June 30, 2000.  Due to its resource wealth (receiving 80% of its revenue from oil and gas severance, property and income taxes plus royalties) Alaska has no statewide sales tax or personal income tax.  However, with Prudhoe Bay production at half of peak volumes, Alaska is now depleting its savings to fund what would otherwise be a $1billion annual deficit.  The reserve fund source of that revenue will be depleted in the 2004 time frame absent dramatically higher oil prices.  Condon reminded citizens that change is coming.  "Though some may choose to avoid reality, we are quickly approaching the day when Alaskans will have to help pay for the society we enjoy", he cautioned.  Politicians are now debating tough choices on taxing citizens/tapping the Permanent Fund.  A gas pipeline will only produce a fraction of the projected deficit, and though it is a large fraction the revenue could not be 'on stream' until 2010 or later.  Soon, Alaskans will have to 'bite the bullet' and face the reality of which Condon spoke.  (Readers may download Condon's full speech text hereMore on Alaska's fiscal crisis.)           -dh    *     Whitehorse Star-The territorial Department of Energy, Mines and Resources will lead a delegation of first nations and Yukon Contractors Association representatives on a study tour to examine pipeline construction and operations in Alberta this week. ...“This is a unique opportunity to see a pipeline being built in terrain that is similar to the Yukon,” Energy Minister Scott Kent said in a statement. “Delegates will examine first-hand most aspects of pipeline construction such as clearing, ditching, stringing, bending, welding, lowering-in, river crossings and reclamation.”  TransCanada Pipelines is constructing a 63.5-kilometre extension to its Westpath pipeline system in southern Alberta and British Columbia.   ...  BP Canada Energy Co. will also provide participants with an update on that company’s efforts to get an Alaska Highway pipeline project off the ground.  The 36-member Yukon delegation includes representatives of the Council of Yukon First Nations, the Kaska Tribal Council and the business community. They left Whitehorse on Air North Monday and will return Friday.     *    Anchorage Daily News, by Wesley Loy-The Knowles administration and Exxon Mobil Corp. have signed an agreement to streamline permitting for the proposed Point Thomson gas field on the North Slope.  (Announced in Governor Knowles' Monday speech.) *    In response to yesterday's editorial, "For The President and The Prime Minister", we heard from several readers:

  • From a Calgary-based consulting firm manager to his employees: "Generally in this update to all of you, I try to put together something brief and concise that allows you to be updated but not inundated with too much verbiage. The VAST majority of my communication comes from one source, a public service website, Northern Gas Pipelines based in Alaska.  NGP...has put together an incredible editorial that weaves together much of the political, industry, and public commentary and dialogue, and ... the looming deadline of September 30th for the US Senate and House Conference on the Energy Bill. I suggest you all take a moment to read this piece. a very high level is the key to developing the right project, at the right time, and with the right players...."   Peter Jalkotzy

  • From an Houston oil industry executive: "Once again I am compelled to send a short note  congratulating you for your singular commitment to progressing an Alaska gas pipeline. Like you, I've been disappointed in what appears to be near-total disregard for communication and cooperation between the involved parties to bring forward a project that would benefit the public good. Your thoughtful commentary today was very good; hope it provides the necessary spark to continue forward. Your vision and counsel to involved parties continues to be clear and without prejudice and I for one appreciate your hard work and patience.

  • From a territorial executive.  As you know I'm from Inuvik in the N.W.T. originally, and now reside in Whitehorse where I manage oil and gas interests for the Yukon government.  I'm from "Yukon-uvik" as the News North newspaper so aptly characterized the relationship between Yukon and the Mackenzie Delta. I also enjoy many close friendships with my neighbors in Alaska. Like you I have been around the northern petroleum industry for some thirty years. In fact Justice Berger issued his final report on a Mackenzie Valley Pipeline the year I started my first year of University. I have always been concerned that the northern pipeline issue held the potential to divide rather than unite northern people, both in an inter-jurisdictional and intra-jurisdictional context. One only need witness the divisions in the Northwest Territories caused by the self interest of non vested parties for clear evidence of that.  I agree with my friend J.G., formerly of Gulf Canada and now ....  in Inuvik, that if northern pipelines aren't built this time (this time being the third for many of us) they won't happen for a very long time. Unfortunately the northern pipeline debate has been infused with so much rhetoric that it is hard for northerners or anyone else to understand what's really going on, or more importantly, to understand the context in which critical decisions will be made in the coming weeks.  Whenever one plays for "all the marbles" the risks are great and this is how the northern pipeline debate has been characterized. We are told that either Alaska, Yukon, or the Northwest Territories will "win" or "lose" amidst stranded gas, uneconomic projects or ill conceived project proposals. I believe the greatest risk to northern pipelines lies not in gas markets, but rather in the inability of northern stakeholders (broadly defined) to create an positive investment climate for projects to move forward. Unrealistic expectations, uncertainty, inequity and high costs present more of a threat to gas pipeline projects in northern Canada and Alaska than the fundamentals of the North American gas market.   -Greg Komaromi

9-25-02 News and Commentary Updates:  01:20, 02:33, 02:42, 11:29, 11:43, 12:28, 13:37, 14:00, 16:27, 17:18 ET.  Bill Wicker, Communications Director, Senate Energy Committee, advises that "today's Energy Conference meeting begins at 11:30 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn  (Here's your live link.It is anticipated that 1) the Senate will make an offer to the House on R&D provisions and 2) Senator Craig will move that the Senate make an offer to the House on hydroelectric provisions. There * may * be discussion on any or all of the remaining issues (electricity, ethanol, climate, ANWR, taxes, etc.), but nothing more than talk.  Today's meeting is likely to end at about 12:45 p.m., so Conference principals can attend a meeting on the energy bill with President Bush at 1:15 p.m. at the White House. (It appears the White House remains interested in the energy bill, which all of us see as encouraging.)(Note: Conference now over, 12:26 ET.  Chairman Tauzin said, "We are at a point that we could complete our work and conclude the conference by the end of the month".  Alaska issues did not arise today, but should in the meeting to reconvene tomorrow morning at 9:30, 2123 Rayburn. -dh)   *********    David Woodruff, Director of Communications, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, kindly informs us that US Senator Frank Murkowski is scheduled to join a bipartisan group of Senators at a meeting with the President today to discuss the energy conference.   The closed meeting gets underway at 1:15 p.m. ET at the White House.  It could foretell the fate of northern gas pipelines and is timely relative to today's commentary.  (Related news at bottom of commentary.)

Note:  Faithful readers know we truly support the work of all northern gas pipeline project advocates.  It is thus in a cooperative spirit that today's page represents hours of reviewing historical and current events in light of imminent decisions.  For whatever creative ideas these thoughts provoke, we are grateful.  For whatever criticism they generate, we can only fall back on our commitment to give you our best public service effort.  The next two weeks will be critical.  We ask divine guidance for all involved.  -dh

For The President and The Prime Minister

It is ewhitehouseasy for a non-combatant to criticize those in the arena...coat_of_arms.pngand often improper.  We therefore apologize for any impropriety in advance and do not mean to criticize.   This is just one humble witness from the wilderness recalling 30 years of Arctic gas pipeline inertia.  So, personalities aside, let's just agree that some of the world's largest energy projects awaiting destiny, now demand and justify the focused attention of country leaders.  Governors, commissioners, premiers, ministers and legislators are doing the best they can to work energy problems from the vantage point given them by their voters.  But when inter-jurisdictional disputes threaten ruin, national leaders must step in.   If they are content to captain gas pipeline policies adrift in swirling political currents, they can only achieve a chaotic outcome.  Last March, we counseled deeper involvement of country leaders.  While that was the imperfect recommendation of a neutral observer, we still support the thesis: communication.  Based on the conscientious positions taken by the distinguished yet subordinate leaders below, we now predict an unhappy outcome, complete with a few celebrants and many bitter losers.  Simply, the gas pipeline situation--influenced by US trade policy, ANWR and terrorism travails--must be addressed by President Bush and Prime Minister Chrétien along with their smartest advisors, beginning a new dialogue with no preconceived outcome.  (Someone like Congressman Billy Tauzin would make a fine facilitator.)  Presumably, those leaders will have their subordinate stakeholders in the anteroom, available for frequent consultation.  In this way, we might see an agreeable outcome for Continental gas pipeline policy that will strengthen rather than erode the relationship between these neighbors, these trading partner brothers.   An easy solution for politicians faced this month in Washington with the intransigent positions below, is do nothing, or do something based on constituent pressure.  The most difficult and right course of action is for elected leaders of countries to adopt the mantle of statesmanship.  They should undertake the Olympic effort and sacrifice required for diplomatic success.  Not all heroes are found on the battlefields of true war and some go without recognition, unsung.  Not all national emergencies are threats from abroad and some miss the media spotlight, unappreciated.   Absent a Herculean diplomatic effort by our principal leaders, the gas pipeline future could soon resolve itself through regional, political warfare: leaving broken projects, bitterness, winners and losers in its wake--like the trodden path of Mongol hoards who've sought to gratify their own self interests.  We see gasline saber rattling from coast to coast.  Where is the statesmanship, the leadership?  Where is the communication, the unity of purpose?  Is political dissention among friends the only answer Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister?  Respectfully,   -dh


The Washington Times published U.S. Senator Frank Murkowski's strong opinion last week on Canadian criticism of Congressional legislation being negotiated this month.  "Mr. Dhaliwal met with a number of my Senate colleagues trying to convince them that our national energy plan and its provisions to increase domestic energy production are bad for energy markets," he said.  "While U.S.-Canadian relations are strong and fruitful, the U.S. should not allow anyone to derail our efforts to strengthen our energy security and further ensure national and hemispheric security," Murkowski added. Yesterday, we obtained this letter to Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal from Government of the Northwest Territories Minister of Natural Resources Jim Antoine, requesting that the government,"...formally consider the legal status of certain treaties, agreements, decisions and Canadian statutes applicable to the transportation of Alaskan natural gas through Canada."  In essence, Minister Antoine questions the applicability of the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System and allied agreements.  This brings debate to a new and important level.  Full text here.


Last Friday, the Wall Street Journal attacked the Alaska position.  "There's a lot of gas up there in the frozen North and it makes sense to figure out a way to get it down to the lower 48," the Journal said.  "But isn't that a job for the private sector?  The Bush Administration thinks so, as does the government of Canada, and a private energy consortium is pushing for a shorter and arguably cheaper route through Canada.  However, Congress has a different idea, and the Senate version of the energy bill would do two  counterproductive things: First, require that a pipeline go through Alaska or not at all, and second, approve a tax credit to guarantee a floor price for Alaskan gas."  US Senator Ted Stevens said the editorial has eroded Congressional support for a proposed Alaska natural gas pipeline.  ( ADN) Monday night at the Alliance annual meeting, in the presence of US Energy Secretary, Spencer Abraham, Alaska Governor Tony Knowles read his response to the Journal, sent earlier in the day.  In part, it read, "No doubt there’s a lot of head-scratching about why the generally pro-business, pro-development Journal isn’t pushing for development of North America’s largest natural gas reserves.  This 35 trillion-cubic-foot, natural resource treasure on Alaska’s North Slope could help meet America’s need for this environmentally preferred fuel for 50 years. ... The route, along the existing Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline and then following the Alaska Highway through Canada, was already approved both by Congress in 1977 and by international treaty with Canada."


In a Hill Times position piece last February, Premier Stephen Kakfwi said, "As pipe dreams go, progress for the Canadian option over the past two years has been extraordinary. From the N.W.T. government's perspective, the formula for success has been relatively simple."  He said, "In contrast to the Alaska Highway pipeline approach involving tax concessions and prohibitive route legislation, the N.W.T. government has a straightforward plan.  Industry should make its pipeline route determination on the basis of economic feasibility, environmental integrity and the best deal for consumers," he said.


In a similar Hill Times piece, Premier Pat Duncan argued that, "The Alaska Highway Pipeline Project could lead northern gas development by securing the first critical market share for northern gas. ... The project is the subject of an existing Canada/U.S. treaty, certificates have already been issued in both countries, a unique regulatory regime is in place, and North Slope gas is plentiful and already being produced. ... Yukon has always maintained that northerners and Canadians are not confronted with a single northern pipeline choice, that two pipelines are both possible and probable, and that the market will support two projects in the long run.
While the 'over the top' route for gaining economies of scale by moving Alaska North Slope and Mackenzie Delta gas to southern markets is attractive from an engineering and financial viewpoint, its proponents face considerable opposition from Alaska Natives, the State of Alaska, the Yukon Territory and environmentalists, and have not attracted large constituencies from other industry, governmental or Aboriginal sectors.  Logically, it is not an option that this generation should prohibit another generation from considering.

Not involving Canada are several advocates for an "All Alaskan-All American" pipeline and LNG system for moving North Slope gas to Lower 48, Mexican, coastal Canadian and Pacific Rim markets.  While such projects are popular among the Alaskan populace, they have attracted little support as yet from economists, gas buyers, pipeline companies, government entities or gas producers.

The major issue facing government leaders right now is how, under what timetable, and under what circumstances an Alaska Highway Natural Gas Pipeline Project and a Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Project can achieve economic viability, political favor and regulatory support.   -dh   (Yesterday's related commentary.)

MORE WEDNESDAY NEWS: At the U.S. Chamber's Energy Summit yesterday, energy bill Conference Chairman, Billy Tauzin said an acceptable energy package was the Bush Administration's, "2nd highest priority."  He made an articulate and impassioned plea for a modest ANWR provision, saying he would be offering a "very attractive package" to the Senate, which our readers know did not include the ANWR provision in their version of HR 4.  Senator Jeff Bingaman noted the strong opposition in the Senate to ANWR, but said that a deal he couldn't disclose was in the works.  We speculate that the 'deal'  could be a primary focus of today's meeting between conferees and the President.  -dh  (From monitoring Stephanie Stanton's report on Williams Energy News Live via Windows Media Player.  300K)

9-24-02 Updates: 00:43, 02:30, 03:14, 03:31, 04:44, 05:06, 05:37, 06:07, 06:30, 07:13, 11:37, 11:53, 12:23, 13:06, 13:21, 16:40 ET.Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham (NGP Photo) visited Alaska yesterday, flying back to Washington last night in time for a Cabinet meeting and U.S. Chamber energy summit today.  Find links to stories and today's editorial, below.  -dh      *      BALLOT INITIATIVE NO. 3.  Yesterday, Anchorage Chamber Chairman George Vakalis, moderated noon presentations both for and against Ballot Initiative No. 3, first introducing Northern Gas PipelinesDave Harbour to provide an objective briefing on the initiative itself. (Note: in the near future, we shall be providing readers with an editorial opinion on this issue.  -dh)  Scott Heyworth (NGP Photo-r) spoke in favor of the initiative and Larry Houle (NGP Photo-l) opposed the initiative.  (PLEASE CLICK FOR OUR COMPLETE REPORT, PHOTOS AND PRESENTATION DOWNLOADS. -dh )     *     Honorable Spencer Abraham, U.S. Secretary of Energy (NGP Photo, 9-23-02-l), addressed the Alliance's 23rd Alliance Annual Meeting last night, surrounded by a big slice of Alaska's business and political leadership.  Alliance President, Bob Stinson welcomed Abraham and a sold out Sheraton Anchorage ballroom of executives from throughout Alaska, then invited Governor Tony Knowles (NGP Photo-R, 9-23-02) to the podium, who made a special announcement about Point Thompson.  ...  Stinson asked US Senator Frank Murkowski (NGP Photo-l), traveling with Secretary Spencer, to the podium.  Murkowski emphasized to the audience the importance of this week's energy bill Conference meeting, saying that some provisions may have missed the attention of Alaskans....  In his remarks, Abraham emphasized the importance of Alaska to President George Bush's proposed national energy policy, contained in separate House and Senate versions of HR 4.  "We need ANWR;" he said, "we need a new pipeline to bring Alaska gas to the Lower 48...."  The energy bill conference is meeting again this week to resolve differences.   (PLEASE CLICK FOR OUR COMPLETE REPORT, PHOTOS, PRESENTATION DOWNLOADS.....AND, OUR EDITORIAL COMMENT. -dh)      *      Bill Wicker, Communications Director, Senate Energy Committee, sent us a message last night: "The House Energy and Commerce Committee has indicated that the next Conferee meeting on the energy bill will be this Wednesday, Sept. 25, at 11:30 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn. We're told that it is Chairman Tauzin's hope that the conference will address a Senate offer on electricity, and such other matters as may be ripe for action. An official notice and agenda should follow soon.  (Note:  We expect Alaska issues to be on the agenda for Wednesday's meeting, or another meeting later in the week.  Congressional staff are working behind the scenes to identify compromises and areas of agreement that might facilitate Conference negotiations, debate. See last week's projection of action.   -dh)      *      For latest energy bill intelligence, Williams Energy News Live's Stephanie Stanton has this report: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will hold a summit on the national energy policy Tuesday (today) in Washington. A long list of policymakers and regulators affecting the energy sector will participate. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, FERC Chairman Pat Wood and the chief negotiators of the energy bill talks, Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA) and Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), are all scheduled to speak. We'll have reports from the summit throughout the day from the Washington bureau.       *    Reuters- ...Interior Secretary Gale Norton told Reuters that she would recommend the president veto an energy bill that did not include opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil companies. ... Fleischer declined to say if President George W. Bush would veto an energy bill without the Alaska drilling provision, saying only that the president was continuing to work with lawmakers.  "The president thinks it's even more important now than ever for the Congress to pass legislation that maximizes America's energy independence," he said.        *       Canadian issues are intertwined.  -dh  Northern News Services, Yellowknife - There will be no Mackenzie Valley pipeline until the Aboriginal Pipeline Group is on board. And the APG can't get on board until it has money. The $70 million question is: When will the APG have the money.  "Not within the next week or two," said former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed, but he added the feds will probably ante up within the next two months.  "You can't have this without aboriginal involvement," he said, referring to a pipeline that would carry Arctic natural gas southward following the Mackenzie Valley. ... The $70 million for research is probably the APG's biggest cash-related hurdle because there is nothing to secure the money with. Those funds are needed for community consultations, environmental and engineering studies before a rock-solid commitment is made. ... Imperial Oil Resources officials say they want gas flowing down the pipe before the end of 2007. The urgency is partly because of a competing proposal coming from Alaskans. Americans are pondering an energy bill that could include subsidies which make a natural gas pipeline following the Alaska Highway very attractive.  "If the Alaska pipeline goes ahead before a Mackenzie Valley pipeline then a Mackenzie Valley pipeline will be delayed a very significant number of years," said Lougheed.  The Americans have set a deadline for themselves to complete the energy bill by the end of the month.  If the Mackenzie pipeline project goes to the construction phase -- and it looks like it will -- the APG will need another $1 billion. "There are going to be a lot of twists and turns in the road," said Lougheed.  (Reference.)

9-23-02 Updates: 00:20, 00:51, 17:58 ET.  Today, Anchorage will host (and we shall report tomorrow) on two important events:

  • At noon, the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce  (Phone: 907-272-2401) heard advocates and opponents discuss Proposition 3, appearing on Alaska's election ballot in November.  Your author provided a review of the proposition.

  • This evening, US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham is scheduled to address members of the Alaska Support Industry Alliance (Phone:  907-563-2226) at the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel.  However, we are told the Secretary is recovering from an illness and was forced to cancel his North Slope trip today.

Northern News Services by Mike Bryant, Yellowknife - A proposed subsidy on Alaskan gas may not be dead after all.  Minister of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development Jim Antoine (NGP Photo, 11-29-01) was in Washington last week to convince the U.S. State Department, legislators, and oil and gas representatives, not to support a joint Senate-Congress energy bill that could give an Alaskan pipeline route up to $31 billion in subsidies and loan guarantees. ... Last June the U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham threw cold water on the energy bill, saying the Bush Administration was not in favour of subsidies and might veto the bill if legislators attempt to pass it. (Friday's Gas Pipeline Incentives Commentary.   Look in the weekend report below for more fallout on Friday's Wall Street Journal editorial.    *     CALGARY (CP) - Canada has renewed its fight against potential American subsidies for a future natural gas pipeline from Alaska, saying such efforts could depress prices and slow down future production. As U.S. lawmakers considered a new proposal for floor prices and loan guarantees to spur a multibillion-dollar pipeline project, Canada's ambassador to the United States, Michael Kergin, said such a plan would distort the gas market.     *  CBC, CALGARY - An announcement from one Alberta company to reduce spending in the oilpatch by $9 million has Alberta's Energy Minister trying to gage the outcome Kyoto ratification.  "I hope it's just a one-time issue," says Murray Smith (NGP Photo, 11-29-01). "But I'm not sure. This could be a signal."  On Thursday TrueNorth Energy Corp. announced plans to spend $5 million on a northern oilsands plant instead of $14 million. The company's president warns the $3.5 billion dollar project may be abandoned if the environmental treaty is ratified.     *     National Post, CALGARY - Murray Smith, Alberta's Energy Minister, yesterday launched a scathing attack on the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, saying it could cost the province up to $10-billion in future oilsands investment.    (Our earlier report & links.)

9-21/22-02 Weekend Updates.  Sunday Morning-Anchorage Times comments on WSJ editorial opposing mandated route and gas pipeline incentives.     *        ADN by Liz Ruskin, Washington -- A Wall Street Journal editorial has eroded congressional support for a proposed Alaska natural gas pipeline, said Sen. Ted Stevens (Photo). The House and Senate negotiators working on the national energy bill agreed last week to mandate a southern route, carrying the North Slope gas through Alaska on its way to markets in the Lower 48. Alaska's political leaders favor that route.  But Thursday's "malicious" editorial in the Journal -- titled "Alaska's Pipe Dream" -- reopened the matter, Stevens said Friday.  "The agreement, we're told, is off," he said. "There is no agreement right now on the right of way."  The editorial criticized both the route requirement and a financial incentive package intended to encourage construction of the $20 billion project. ... "I don't think you can get the bill moving as long as you have this position taken by an entity like The Wall Street Journal," Stevens said.  (See our report & link to WSJ article.)   (Please note WSJ first reference to current gasline issues: Kerigan Op-Ed piece last May.  -dh)    *    Reuters, WASHINGTON - The Bush administration on Thursday repeated its call for more domestic oil drilling to ease the nation's dependence on foreign oil as OPEC keeps a firm grip on oil production. ..."The (gasoline) price to the American consumer will go up. The price of oil will go up," said Republican Sen. Frank Murkowski of Alaska.  Murkowski said OPEC's decision shows the United States must reduce its dependence on Middle East oil, which he said was "controlled by those countries that basically have funded terrorism." ... Republican Sen. Conrad Burns of Montana also slammed OPEC's decision, saying the cartel only acts in its own interest.  ... "Basically, we're giving them the money to blow us up," Burns said. ... On Wednesday, Interior Secretary Gale Norton told Reuters that she would recommend the president veto an energy bill that did not include opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil companies. Democrats oppose drilling in the Alaskan refuge, citing potential environmental damage, while Republicans say the vast wilderness could be safely developed for oil rigs.      *     CBC-Inuvik, N.W.T. - Inuvik's mayor won't have any opposition for his bid for another term in the town's top job. Peter Clarkson (NGP Photo-6-02) is running unopposed in the upcoming town election.     *     ADN on Fiscal Gap.    *     David Reaume (Photo),  ADN Op-Ed -...The simple truth is that, barring a near miracle increase in crude oil prices, the state's only options are 1. politically impossible large cuts in state spending (recall how hard it was for the Republican legislative majority to cut a mere $250 million less than 10 years ago); 2. an impossibly large cut in Permanent Fund dividends (remember the recent referendum); or 3. new taxes. Faced with these choices a truth-telling candidate for governor of Alaska would lay it on the line.  ...neither candidate has a strong incentive to be a truth teller. The first one to tell the truth loses!

9-20-02 Updates: 01:35, 02:24, 02:44, 03:20, 10:03, 13:16, 13:57, 14:22 ET.   Globe & Mail, by PATRICK BRETHOUR and STEVEN CHASE-Kyoto Cited As Oil Sands Project Put On Ice. (Our opinion.)      *        National Post, by Tony Seskus and Claudia Cattaneo, CALGARY - Jean Chrétien came to the heart of the oilpatch yesterday to defend the Kyoto accord on climate change, promising to spread the burden fairly across the economy and the country.  (Reference: Our earlier links.)     *     Canadian Press-(When I read the term 'Economic Nationalism' in this article by Chris Morris, I thought of my home state, Alaska.  But the article referred to New Brunswick/Nova Scotia on the other side of our continent.  The NEB acted to temporarily restrain nationalism in favor of free trade for now, but, as in Alaska, self interest waits restlessly at the door, impatient with facts, free markets and the merits of an argument. -dh)     *      Whitehorse Star-Fast-tracking a Mackenzie Valley pipeline would place northern wildlife and traditional lifestyles at risk for the sake of big company profits, warns the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS).               *     Globe & Mail, 9-19-The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved a proposed underwater natural-gas pipeline between Vancouver Island and Washington state.        *      WASHINGTON.  While yesterday's Energy Bill conference did not address Northern Gas Pipelines issues, we learned more about Member interests by observing their debate live via web cam today and hope you joined us.  As a former Congressional and state lobbyist, I must say that following committee meetings via the web is very convenient.  We are also indebted to Bill Wicker, Communications Director, Senate Energy Committee, for his timely updates.  Rather than using my report, let's just use his, below.  (Also, the ADN's Liz Ruskin provides this good status report.)  -dh 

"The energy conference continued its progress {yesterday}, with major movement on two key issues: 1) agreement on a modest CAFE measure and 2) commencement of the great electricity debate.  1) Staff negotiators brokered the CAFE compromise that Conferees adopted {earlier}. It will require that minivans, SUVs and pick-up trucks in model years 2006 through 2012 use at least 5 billion gallons less gasoline than the 2002 model year fleet. Staff negotiators also removed a provision in the Senate-passed bill that would have exempted pick-up trucks from future mandated increases in mileage standards, and dropped Senate bill language that would have required the government to consider the effects that higher mileage requirements would have on vehicle safety and autoworker jobs. (That latter provision would have made it harder for the Transportation Department to develop stricter fuel economy standards.)  Also ... the House made an offer to the Senate on electricity. That makes electricity the pending business before the conference. The Senate will consider the House offer and act on electricity/RPS when Conferees next muster.

"NOTES: Today marks the end of once-a-week conference meetings. With a Sept. 30 deadline nearing, the pace will quicken, with multiple-day meetings next week. Chairman Tauzin says he would like to meet next Wednesday and Thursday, both at 10:00 a.m., and that he wants next week's agenda to include ethanol.  Staff work is also intensifying. For example, the much anticipated tax walkthrough with Senate Finance and House Ways & Means will take place tomorrow (presumably on gas pipeline incentives). Staff also is working hard on the other remaining Tier I issues, including climate change and oil and gas/ANWR. There are a handful of Tier II issues, too, that are near resolution."  -bw 

 (Gas Pipeline Incentives Comment.  So called 'tax' issues noted above, include reference to a gas price floor guarantee and a loan guarantee included in the Senate but not House version of HR 4.  Our readers know that some important voices have spoken against any market manipulation and that other alternatives have been discussed.  (Ref.  Ref.)  In August, we reported that one alternative was a floor guarantee priced at the wellhead ($1.35) instead of the Alberta hub (3.25), with payback provisions.  This week, staff members are discussing the alternative of a 'production tax credit' that begins to phase out at field prices above $0.83/MMBtu. At $1.35, the credit would be zero.  Such creative financing could, in effect, arrange for the taxpayer to provide guarantees that reduce financing charges (i.e. tariffs) and, ultimately, consumer prices.  Expect to hear more alternatives discussed as we approach the end of the month.  While the Senate version creates a potential $10 billion gas pipeline loan guarantee, staff is now discussing an alternative of making a loan guarantee apply to 80% of the capital investment, basically covering the debt portion of a typical, large project.  Thus, on a $20 billion project (simplified and generally stated), the government could guarantee up to $16 billion rather than up to $10 billion.  Most Members are aware that should the energy bill pass with no incentive legislation, America's energy policy for the foreseeable future will be one that doesn't include a conduit to the country's largest reservoir of proven gas reserves.  Critics say Alaska gas should only move south when market forces demand it without incentives/subsidies.  Still others counter that if taxpayers are not willing to provide 'modest' guarantees to allow creation of an Alaska gasline now, consumers (a class nearly identical to the 'taxpayer' class) will pay that amount and more purchasing offshore LNG and other more expensive gas supplies, not including a balance of payments penalty.  With a two week deadline, Congress must consider many complex and conflicting alternatives while performing in the spotlight on a public stage as November elections approach.   It is an historic and challenging time for them and for all of us.   -dh)

9-19-02 Updates: 00:12, 01:13, 11:32, 12:45, 16:41, 17:37, 18:12 ET.

Today's Energy Bill Conference Agenda & Webcast Link Below

Kyoto Erupts As Major Issue In Canada

Wall Street Journal Takes Position On Alaska Gasline Routing and Incentives

Canadian Ambassador Opposes New Gas Price Guarantee Formula

  Northern News Services by Thorunn Howatt (NGP Photo, 6-02), Yellowknife - The gap is widening in the race to build an Arctic natural gas pipeline -- and it looks like the NWT is way ahead.  Ex-Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed's visit to Yellowknife this week and Imperial Oil's aggressive push to move quickly on the project signal the Aboriginal Pipeline Group (APG) is closer to getting the $70 million it needs for its one-third portion of pipeline research.  "We're meeting with (Lougheed) in Yellowknife this week," said APG member Doug Cardinal ... "He's joined our team in helping us put that together," said Cardinal, adding the group will have more to say by week's end. ... Until now, solid aboriginal support was a missing ingredient in the attempt to build the line.  "Northern support is essential and clearly, Northern aboriginal support is a big part of that in the Northwest Territories," said Imperial Oil's Joanne Young The producers group's best chance of bringing aboriginals on board is by giving the APG a one-third ownership.   But the aboriginal group didn't have money for the expensive venture. ... On Imperial's front, Tim Hearn, the company's new chief executive officer said last week the pipeline will be up and running by 2007 if efforts to speed up regulatory reviews and construction are successful....     *     Financial Post by Claudia Cattaneo (NGP Photo, 11-01)-Indignation over the Kyoto accord may have led the agenda for Canada's energy industry this week, but the biggest development for the oilpatch -- one with equally far-reaching, and decidedly more positive impact -- was the news that Imperial Oil Ltd. is looking to accelerate construction of a Mackenzie Valley pipeline. ... More intriguing, the news seems to show that ExxonMobil Corp., Imperial's parent company and the owner of the biggest gas reserves in Alaska, wants the the Mackenzie pipeline built. And that could well mean that the race between the Mackenzie pipeline and the rival Alaska highway route is already over, and the promise of US$31-billion in loans and subsidies from the U.S. government to help it along is effectively irrelevant.  Tim Hearn, the new chief executive of Imperial, Canada's largest oil producer, told the Peters & Co. investment conference in Toronto this week that the pipeline could be up and running as early as 2007 if efforts under way to speed up regulatory reviews and construction are successful. ... By stepping up the tempo on the Mackenzie Valley project, Imperial and its partners, Conoco Phillips Canada and Shell Canada Ltd., have clearly put themselves in position to be the first to bring their natural gas to market, addressing a major concern that if the much-larger Alaska project had moved first, it would have put on the shelf a Mackenzie Valley pipeline for about a decade.  The move also lends support to industry speculation ExxonMobil Corp., the dominant decision maker in the Mackenzie Delta through its 69% ownership of Imperial, has permanently set aside the Alaska-highway option, while warming to an alternative, over-the-top route that would connect the two Arctic basins, rather than have them compete.  "The evidence keeps piling up that that's their plan," said Harvie Andre, chairman of Arctigas Resources, a proponent of the over-the-top plan. Said Wilf Gobert, research director at Peters & Co.: "The decisions Imperial Oil is making are telling us ExxonMobil believes the Mackenzie Delta is a standalone, high priority project. You could read between the lines that Exxon believes ultimately the best development of Alaska is to ... piggyback Mackenzie Valley."  ...  As Mr. Hearn put it, "Ultimately market forces will prevail in this whole process."  ....     *     Bill Wicker, Communications Director, Senate Energy Committee advised us last night that the next energy conference meeting will be today at 9:30 a.m. in Rayburn 2123.  Agenda for the meeting is 1) Senate consideration of the House offer on CAFE and 2) House consideration of an offer on electricity.  According to Wicker, "The Chairman expects roll call votes (Members).  He also said he intends to conduct the meeting under the House's so-called "five-minute rule," in which Conferees will be recognized for five minutes only in support of, or opposition to, specific matters before the conference."   Like last week, our readers can watch via a webcast -- here (Link now inactive, 17:37 ET -dh).  The link will become active at 9:15 a.m. ET.  Wicker provided us with a handy recap of what's been accomplished, and what's ahead:
"--  There have been three Conferee meetings to date: June 27, July 25 and Sept. 12.
"--  Two major issues before the conference have been resolved: pipeline safety provisions and reauthorization of the Price-Anderson nuclear liability act.
"--  We have substantially resolved numerous issues in 14 other areas covered in the House and Senate bills.  These are: energy efficiency; housing energy use; renewable energy; LIHEAP, state energy programs and weatherization; rural and remote energy infrastructure; nuclear energy provisions; energy development on Indian lands; streamlining the process of siting and building the Alaska natural gas pipeline; permanently reauthorizing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve; fuel economy of the Federal vehicle fleet; clean coal provisions; and programs related to personnel and training of the next generation of scientists, engineers and skilled workers to meet the energy needs of the country.
"--  Ahead are a mix of issues close to resolution, and others that will require more intensive work by Conferees.  Issues that are moving toward resolution include: R&D programs and provisions related to alternative-fueled vehicles (non-CAFE and non-ethanol).
"--  Major issues before the conference that still need to be addressed include: electricity/RPS; CAFE; climate change; ethanol/phase-out of MTBE; ANWR and taxes (which include the Alaska pipeline gas credit and loan guarantee provisions).
"Senator Bingaman believes that the progress made so far has been good.  He also acknowledges that there is a lot of work yet to be done before this energy conference can conclude."     *      The Report,
by Mike Byfield-FOR the first time since he retired as Alberta's premier in 1985, Peter Lougheed is wielding his full personal clout in the political arena (Ref.). His concern: the Kyoto Protocol, a proposed climate treaty whose ratification Prime Minister Jean Chrétien has just vowed to ram through Parliament. (Our opinion.)     *     The Wall Street Journal Weighs in on Congressional manipulation of gas pipeline route and gas price/loan guarantees...links ethanol (as we have).     *     Platt's-Canadian Ambassador to the United States Michael Kergin said Wednesday that Canada still opposes any U.S. tax credit for expediting an Alaska gas pipeline, including the BP plan outlined earlier this week ( GD 9/18).  Kergin, at a meeting of the Canadian American Business Council in Washington, D.C., asserted that price subsidy proposals being floated in Congress and by BP “could well retard North American natural gas development, both in Canada and the rest of the U.S.”  On Tuesday, BP, one of the three major Alaskan gas producers, said it is pushing a production tax credit under which producers would get a 52¢/MMBtu credit that would phase out when field prices are in the range of 83¢ to $1.35/MMBtu. That compares with a plan currently under consideration in the Senate energy bill that would provide a credit to the pipeline developers if the price of gas in Alberta drops under $3.25/MMBtu over the course of the project’s construction. That credit would have to be repaid by the companies after prices stabilize. Kergin told reporters that the BP plan does not take into consideration the “law of unintended consequences. We don’t know what the results of that application would be. From our preliminary view, [credits] don’t help much and still have an impact on pricing.”  (Ref.)

9-18-02 Updates: 00:17, 01:00, 02:05, 11:09 ET. CANADIAN EFFORTS ARE INTENSE WHILE WASHINGTON WORKS CBC, YELLOWKNIFE, N.W.T. - Not so fast – that's how some environmental and aboriginal groups are responding to reports that Imperial Oil wants to speed up development of a Mackenzie Valley pipeline.   Even the Northwest Territory's minister of economic development admits the prospect of moving gas down the Mackenzie Valley by 2007 may not be practical.  Tim Hearn, the new chairman of Imperial Oil, told investors last week he wants gas to flow down the Mackenzie Valley in five years' time. That's at least a year earlier than previous estimates.  Jim Antoine (NGP Photo, 11-01) the territory's minister of economic development, says the new schedule took him by surprise.   "Saying he's going to speed it up is a good sign, however we still do have our environmental review process that has to do its work," he says.   That environmental and regulatory review is expected to take between two and three years. On Friday, federal Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal indicated he could see the process moving smoothly for the energy giant.  "That's assuming that absolutely everything is done on time, which more than often never happens," says Kevin O'Reilly of the Canadian Arctic Resources Committee (CARC) , who plans to take part in the review.   Once the permits are in place, construction is supposed to take three years. But before any ground is broken, even before the regulatory process begins, the Deh Cho First Nations want to negotiate their own terms for the pipeline.   "It might very well not ever happen if they don't get down to serious negotiations with the Deh Cho on resource revenue sharing," says Chris Reid, their chief negotiator.   All of this adds up to a formidable list of obstacles that could dampen the enthusiasm Imperial's new head has for speeding the project up.   Meanwhile, a company spokesman has confirmed the company plans to file a preliminary information package by the end of the month. The package of 100-200 pages will provide an overview of the Mackenzie gas project.   Its purpose is to alert the Mackenzie Valley boards and the National Energy Board about what to expect from the application to build a pipeline.   That application is expected in the latter half of next year, and will run to thousands of pages.     *     Globe & Mail, by Patrick Brethour, Toronto — Imperial Oil Ltd. is aiming to jump ahead in the race to build a pipeline from gas reserves in the Canadian Arctic as support reportedly withers for U.S. subsidies to a competing pipeline from Alaska.  The company said Wednesday that it wants gas to start flowing through the pipeline as early as 2007, assuming it gets regulatory approval and that the consortium of Imperial and other producers then decides to go ahead with the megaproject. Previously, the consortium had set a goal of 2008, or earlier if possible. ... "Every effort is being made to advance this project as quickly as possible," said Tim Hearn, Imperial's chairman, president and chief executive officer. He added that the government has been "stellar" to date in working with the consortium.  Roland George (NGP Photo, 11-01), principal with oil and gas consultancy Purvin & Gertz Inc., said the 2007 goal is achievable, but only if no serious roadblocks emerge. "This is as aggressive a timeline as I've ever heard," he said. ... A day before Mr. Hearn discussed a stepped-up schedule for the Mackenzie pipeline, Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal said that key U.S. legislators told him they are worried about the economic distortion resulting from subsidies to an Alaskan pipeline. He also said lawmakers representing natural gas producing states were worried that energy firms in their states would ask for similar subsidies. "There will be huge pressure to say, 'Well, hold it, you're subsidizing that [Alaskan] gas field, but what about us?' " the Minister said. ... The Alaskan pipeline wouldn't take any longer to build than the Mackenzie project, but it does have to balance the interests of more governments, which could lead to delays, said Brian Prokop, an analyst at Peters & Co. "There's fewer moving parts and fewer stakeholders."  ...  Winfried Fruehauf, an analyst with National Bank Financial, said the approval process is hard to predict.  ... However, Mr. Hearn seemed sure Wednesday that the decision on each project will be based solely on economic factors. "Ultimately, market forces will prevail."     *     Northern News Services, Inuvik - Despite the speculation of a Mackenzie Valley pipeline, there is not much exploration activity planned this winter from most producers.   ... Imperial Oil spokesperson Hart Searle said this year's work in the NWT will be limited to Norman Wells.  "In our plan for next year, we're looking at drilling four in-fill wells in our Norman Wells field next summer," Searle said. "We do not have any exploration planned for the winter season."   ConocoPhillips' general manager of public affairs, Peter Hunt, said the company plans a "moderate-sized" 2-D seismic program on exploration license 384 and 385, near Parsons Lake.  ... Shell Canada's senior seismic supervisor, John Brown, said most of the work to be done this year will be based on the outcome of Shell's work last year.  "We're hoping to go ahead with a drilling program, but we're still doing the technical work on that," Brown said.   ... Rob Jefferies, manager of land frontiers for Anadarko Canada Corporation, says the company plans to continue a seismic program they started last year.   ... EnCana has up-coming community consultation beginning in Inuvik on Sept. 16 and would not release any details until then. ChevronTexaco spokesperson Delona Butcher said the company's Mackenzie Delta Partnership with BP and Burlington Resources, has sought approval to drill this winter.  "We'll be drilling one well on North Langley Island, which is on exploration licence EL-394," Butcher said. ... Heather Taylor, community and Northern affairs advisor with Devon Canada said they will be working with partners PetroCanada, but have not finalized plans for the winter program yet.   ... Devon's partner PetroCanada will take the lead on another well near Tuk, hoping for the same success they had with a 200 to 300 billion cubic feet of gas discovered at the M-18 well last year.   PetroCan spokesperson Chris Dawson said the Nuna well is located about 40 kilometres south of Tuk. ..."If you compare it to years past, I guess it is a bit of a slowdown for us this year," Dawson said. "We are in the midst of regrouping a bit to tailor our exploration in years to come."     *     Whitehorse Star-Energy, Mines and Resources Minister Scott Kent is continuing his lengthy push for the development of two northern pipelines at the annual Conference of Mines and Energy Ministers. The meeting began today in Winnipeg, and will end tomorrow. ... “The Yukon is poised to play a significant role in Canada’s energy future,” Kent said in a pre-conference statement. “I will be stressing the North’s critical role in supplying North America’s future energy needs and will continue to advocate the development of both the Alaska Highway and Mackenzie Valley pipelines.”    *     Northern News Services, Fort Liard  - ...  last week about 150 government officials, aboriginal chiefs and politicians joined business people to talk about energy exploration, a proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline and the business implications and opportunities for aboriginal Northerners. ... Last week's event was slightly reminiscent of a meeting in Fort Liard a little over two years ago. That's when aboriginal leaders from all over the NWT emerged with an optimistic and united front. Their dream was to own a piece of a Mackenzie Valley pipeline and maximize their benefits through business partnerships.... "We thought it was the right time. We thought everyone in the communities was in favour," said Fort Liard's Harry Deneron. He was a key instigator of oil and gas development of the Deh Cho region and a major advocate for ownership of a Mackenzie Valley pipeline. ...despite the dissension, economic spin-offs from energy exploration have to be optimized, insisted Deneron.  "This pipeline is going to happen. Someone is going to build it."   Imperial Oil is leading a group called the Mackenzie Delta Producers' Group, which wants to have natural gas flowing down a Mackenzie Valley pipeline by 2007.      *      ANCHORAGE-Gov. Tony Knowles this week welcomes to Alaska four Russian Far East governors, the American ambassador to the Russian Federation, U.S. and Russian government officials from Washington, D.C., and Moscow, and numerous other high-level business and government officials for the 7th Annual West Coast-Russian Far East Working Group meeting. Most of the sessions are being held at the Anchorage Sheraton Hotel.

9-17-02 Updates: 02:10, 02:40, 03:00, 03:12, 03:40, 11:45, 12:04, 12:31, 17:43 ET.  Yesterday, Chamber Chairman George Vakalis introduced this week's keynote speaker, saying it was Governor Tony Knowles' (NGP Photo, 9-17-02) farewell presentation to the Anchorage Chamber after 8 years in office.  While Knowles is deeply involved in final Congressional activity affecting the outcome of gas pipeline and ANWR policies, he is also rushing to complete longer term building and highway plans with assistance from Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner Joe Perkins and transition plans for a new administration.  Please see our special report here.    *    ENERGY BILL DEVELOPMENTS FOLLOW    *     Stephanie Stanton of Williams Energy News Live reports that, "A member of the Senate Energy Committee is calling for a reassessment of the U.S. energy policy - especially the country's dependence on foreign oil. Senator Conrad Burns is not only calling for an increase in domestic oil production, he also wants the U.S. to reduce oil imports from Saudi Arabia and the Middle East in favor of Russia and the Caspian region."  (Note: we hear that similar themes from other elected leaders assists in momentum of Alaska issues, though sufficient complexities and divergent interests may still cause deferral of the energy bill to next year.  -dh)    *    Last night, Bill Wicker, Senate Energy Committee Communications Director sent us a message that, "With last week's progress -- pipeline safety, Price-Anderson, energy efficiency, renewables, Alaska gas pipeline provisions, clean coal, etc. -- the energy conference again has momentum."  He said that staff members were working to develop as much informal agreement as possible in preparation for a potential Energy Bill Conference on Thursday, agenda as yet undetermined.  He said staff and Conference members could be close to dealing with remaining tax title and Tier I issues (i.e. in which Alaska is interested, including gas price and loan guarantees and ANWR.)     *      Congressional Quarterly-President Bush urged Congress today to get to work on legislation that has slowed or stalled, as the time runs out before both chambers plan to break for the Nov. 5 election. Speaking in Davenport, Iowa, Bush...also asked that Congress send an energy bill (HR 4) to his desk before the election.  (Comment: In our opinion the President is right to ask for a bill before the October break {'kick in the pants'}, but he could have rightly--and wisely--acknowledged the hard work of Conference Members and staff to date {'pat on the back'}.  -dh)     *     CBC, CALGARY - Officials in the oil industry and provincial representatives will be watching closely Monday when federal and provincial energy ministers meet to discuss the Kyoto agreement.  Many people in the oil industry say frustration is mounting because they don't have enough information about ratification (See our editorial, links and gas pipeline references).  "We continue to wait for more clarity from the federal government and the uncertainty continues to grow," says Pierre Alvarez (NGP Photo, 6-02), president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (Ref.).   Prime Minister Jean Chrétien says Canada will ratify the treaty to cut greenhouse gas emissions by the end of this year. But the Alberta government and many people in the energy industry are against ratifying the agreement. They believe ratification will have a drastic effect on this province's oil-rich economy.   Last week, Premier Ralph Klein (NGP Photo, 6-02) said the prime minister told him that ratifying Kyoto will have a 15 per cent negative impact on industry. Klein says he doesn't know what that figure means.  This is the time of year when oil companies do most of their budgeting and forecasting, Alvarez says. He needs more information, but he says he doesn't understand the 15 per cent figure Chrétien discussed with Klein.  "At this point, we have absolutely no idea whether this refers to revenues, emissions, production, activity levels or any of the other measures that we use," he says.  The energy industry invests $25 billion per year in capital spending across Canada, Alvarez says.  (Former Alberta Premier, Peter Lougheed, has been retained by Alberta to assist with Kyoto issues and by the Aboriginal Pipeline Group to assist with Mackenzie Valley Pipeline issues.  -dh)

9-16-02 Updates: 01:13, 01:49, 11:17, 11:37 ET.   Anchorage reader Ray Kreig, tips us to this thorough CBC review of Berger Commission background which we have added to our 'Quick Reference' section in the left gray border under 'Canada'.      *     Anchorage Chamber of Commerce-Governor Tony Knowles (NGP Photo, 1-02), whose second term of office concludes at the end of the year, will give a "Farewell Address" to Anchorage Chamber membership and the public.  We will report on gas pipeline related remarks.       *    Russian Far East Oil & Gas Opportunity, hosted by Governor Knowles: beginning tomorrow.  Special rates: Sheraton Anchorage Hotel and Alaska Airlines.  Also note the associated:  Alaska Energy Summit, IBC Energy @ Sheraton Anchorage, beginning today.    *     Yukon Director of Oil & Gas, Greg Komaromi (NGP Photo, 6-02), kindly offers us this viewpoint following our earlier story: "Mr. Lougheed has also been asked by the Province of Alberta to lead a constitutional challenge of the Canadian federal government's decision to ratify Kyoto. Kyoto may well become THE big issue on the Canadian energy landscape this fall. Provinces are going offside which means the federal government is going to have its hands full.  (Kyoto reference)"     *     National Post by Bill Curry-OTTAWA - Canadians are either "ignorant" or "in denial" about how the energy they use is produced, with 78% thinking it comes from relatively clean hydro-electric power. … In reality, only about 7% of Canada's energy comes from hydro-electric generation. According to the federal government, 41% of Canada's power comes from natural gas, 30% from oil, 12% from coal, 6% from nuclear power and 4% from renewable sources such as wind and solar power.  The recent public opinion studies show the government faces an uphill battle with Canadians as it attempts to reduce energy consumption in order to meet Canada's commitments under the Kyoto protocol.  Jean Chrétien, the Prime Minister, has announced that Parliament will vote on ratifying the international agreement, which would commit Canada to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly.  (Our editorial opinion.)     *     This week's Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Schedule of Meetings.  *    History of H.R. 4, Energy Bill, through last week's conference, 9-12-02.     *     Environment and Energy Daily - Conference resumes this week, probably Thursday.  The more politically difficult provisions in rival House and Senate energy bills move to center stage this week when the House-Senate energy conference resumes to resolve issues related to federal fuel economy standards.  Following votes last week on Price-Anderson Act reauthorization, pipeline safety and construction of a natural gas pipeline to Alaska's North Slope….  On pipeline safety, a deal wrought by Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) and Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) found Senate and House negotiators meeting somewhere in the middle of several counter proposals. Early in the debate, Breaux tried to insert language that would have required pipeline operators to inspect older pipelines at an accelerated rate, within 7.5 years of enactment, but Young resisted and conferees finally settled on a longer deadline. … Conferees also agreed to adopt language that would mandate use of the so-called "southern route" through the heart of Alaska for a possible natural gas pipeline to the North Slope. Action on about $11 billion in loan guarantees for the project was put off until later in the conference, probably when members take up more than $34 billion in tax credits included in the House energy bill, H.R. 4.  Markey tried but failed on two amendments that would have forced the pipeline project to establish a union labor agreement and use of U.S. steel for construction. The two-part rejection came after the president of BP, David Welch, sent a letter to Tauzin on Sept. 11 urging opposition to the steel and project-labor attempts. ….

9-14/15-02 Weekend Updates: While readers note our policy avoids reporting political campaign rhetoric, we do pick up on gas pipeline related remarks.  One of Alaska's candidates for Governor, U.S. Senator Frank Murkowski (NGP Photo, 11-3-01), held a press conference Saturday, in Anchorage, on transportation policy.  Following is the portion of the policy relating to a gas pipeline:

Alaska Gas Line 

Because natural gas has such potential to bring huge new state revenues and high-paying jobs, the Murkowski Administration will focus intently on bringing Alaska’s gas to market.  Marketing Alaska’s gas will share top economic priority with ANWR and NPRA oil development. 

Bringing the gas to market will mean using the Southern route through Canada, not the Northern tier route.  In addition to carrying natural gas to Lower 48 markets, Murkowski plans to use the Southern pipeline route as a springboard to a multi-modal system.  One transportation corridor could also carry a rail connection, a fiber-optic connection, power lines and other elements of a comprehensive link with the Lower 48 and Canada. 

Bringing the gas to market will also mean providing the option to bring Alaska’s gas to tidewater to meet LNG demand.  Murkowski will provide the leadership and experience in international markets in supporting the wishes of the Alaska people with an Authority if the All-Alaska gas line initiative passes in November.  The possibility of developing a petrochemical industry along with bringing the gas to tidewater is high on Murkowski’s agenda.

Murkowski sees both the Canadian gas line and the LNG projects as feasible.  “Alaska has more than enough gas to support both projects,” Murkowski states.  “I will hire the best people available to make these projects a reality.  I will make sure that we direct an intense effort on moving Alaska gas to market.  ”In addition," Murkowski said, "I am going to make myself personally available to go anytime, anywhere to help market Alaska’s gas.  And I’ve got one of the best little black sales books in the energy business.”

On Sept. 12 Murkowski announced the House-Senate Energy Conference Committee's approval of several proposals to facilitate construction of the trans-Alaska gas pipeline. These include major enabling provisions:

    • A streamlined permitting and expedited court review process to speed construction and limit unnecessary delays.
    • Provisions that allow Alaska to control in-state use of gas to facilitate use for heating or construction of petrochemical plants in Alaska.
    • A guarantee that the gas pipeline will accommodate other potential gas projects in Alaska, including a potential LNG plant to be developed at tidewater in Alaska.  Provisions to guarantee that current and future gas producers in Alaska will be able to compete to get their gas through the pipeline to market.  A provision that authorizes $20 million for worker job training and promotes Alaska hire.

(See our earlier report.)  (Anchorage Daily News report.)

9-13-02 Updates: 01:15, 01:49, 02:36, 03:20, 03:38,11:26, 12:03, 12:24, 12:33, 12:55, 13:00, 14:12, 14:30 ET.

Link now available for Bob Marshall (GNWT) presentation delivered earlier this week.

New release: Brian McCutcheon, Senior Consultant with Outcrop Communications Ltd. (NGP Photo-l, 6-02), kindly provides us with the Aboriginal Pipeline Group's latest newsletter.

Op-Ed on Alaska's Proposition 3, Scott Heyworth

Opinion: Until now Northern Gas Pipelines has found the Canadian position on gas pipelines, trade and the joint anti-terrorism partnership mostly meritorious.  We regret the Prime Minister's recent statements kowtowing to unreasonable Kyoto demands and to those who would oppose terrorism by appeasing or analyzing it.  Unreasonable, international regulatory requirements leave a legacy of diminished project economic viability and job creation; without decisive freedom from terrorism, all projects and ways of life are at risk.  (9-27 follow-up: Chrétien talked, Canadians cringed)-dh

CBC-Premier Klein re: Kyoto.   *     Canadian Press by James Stevenson-CALGARY - Having gas flowing from the Northwest Territories within five years is an achievable target for Imperial Oil and other energy companies behind a proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline, Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal said Thursday.     *     ENERGY BILL.  In the last two days, several readers have called for information on Energy Bill Conferees (link).     -     WENL-For the first time in weeks, progress is being made in Congress on a comprehensive energy bill.  (Yesterday, natural gas up .08 to $3.33.).  -  EENEWS-A chaotic yet productive Thursday at the House-Senate energy conference raised hopes that Congress may yet clear a comprehensive energy bill....  In a move bound to anger Canadian authorities and possibly the Bush administration, conferees also agreed to adopt language that would mandate use of the so-called "southern route" through the heart of Alaska for a possible natural gas pipeline to the North Slope. Action on about $11 billion in loan guarantees for the project was put off until later in the conference, probably when members take up more than $34 billion in tax credits included in the House energy bill, H.R. 4..... The official White House position on the project, as expressed by Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham in a recent Statement of Administration Policy, is firm opposition to predetermining an Alaska-only southern route in deference to Canadian wishes to let markets decide. The administration wants stripped from a conference report draft S. 517's $10 billion pipeline construction loan guarantee and a "safety net" meant to assist builders of an Alaska-only pipeline if the price of natural gas should fall below $3.25 per thousand cubic feet (Greenwire, July 22).   -    Realtime News report    -         Last evening, David Woodruff, Director of Communications for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee (Photo-l) sent us a statement U.S. Senator Frank Murkowski (Photo-r) offered the Conference during the meeting yesterday (See meeting agenda in the 9-12 report below).  Murkowski prepared the way for difficult upcoming Conference debate on ANWR by saying, “Global events have changed significantly since the energy bill first got underway more than a year ago. The growing threat of a restless Saddam Hussein only makes the need for an energy bill more clear....   We must seek to find middle ground on these issues" he said. "We must find an answer on ANWR that recognizes the unique responsibility the Federal government has to the Kaktovik natives who hold title to 92,000 acres. We can and must find the best way to develop the energy resources of this sliver of Arctic land while protecting the environment. Earlier this year, the USGS released a report that made suggestions on how development and environmental protection could occur – we should look at that report to guide us. We should also carefully consider how we are going to use the billions of dollars in revenue generated by lease sales."                    -                In another statement, Murkowski announced the Conference's approval of several proposals to, "facilitate construction of the trans Alaska gas pipeline."  These include major 'enabling' provisions desired by gas producers and some wanted by State officials, including: --A streamlined permitting and expedited court review process to speed construction and limit unnecessary delays--Provisions that allow Alaska to control in-state use of gas to facilitate use for heating or construction of petrochemical plants in state--A guarantee that the gas pipeline will accommodate other potential gas projects in Alaska, including a potential LNG plant to be developed at tidewater in Alaska--Provisions to guarantee that current and future gas producers in Alaska will be able to compete to get their gas through the pipeline to market--a provision that authorizes $20 million for worker job training and promotes Alaska-hire provisions in-state.  (Note: still outstanding: gas price floor and loan guarantees)    -  Realtime News-In a speech at the National Press Club, Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., called on the United States to distance itself from long-time friend Saudi Arabia and develop new energy sources, both domestically and in Russia and other producing areas of the world where there was less chance that oil revenues would end up in the hands of terrorists and anti-American regimes.     *          CBC, Yellowknife, N.W.T. - Travelers passing through Yellowknife's airport are going to experience more thorough security checks.  (NGP Photo-Yellowknife Airport)       *    TransCanada, owning half of Foothills PipeLines, Ltd., and with interest in progress of the Mackenzie Valley Gas Pipeline, has purchased Williams' Interest in Northern Border Partners, L.P.  One asset of the Partners, Northern Border Pipeline Co., was originally conceived in the 70s as the 'Eastern Leg' of the Arctic Gas project to provide North Slope gas to Midwest and eastern gas pipeline transmission companies and has subsequently evolved into a major U.S. transportation conduit for about 20% of Canadian gas imports.  New acquisition from El Paso: ManChief power plant.  -dh    *     Latest status: Trans-Alaska Pipeline System Right-of-Way Renewal.

9-12-02 Updates: 00:56, 10:16 ET.  Honorable Spencer Abraham, U.S. Secretary of Energy, will address the 23rd Alliance Annual Meeting of the Alaska Support Industry Alliance, 6-9:30 p.m.    *    Bill Wicker, Communications Director, Senate Energy Committee Energy provided us last night with an agenda bill conferees will work on today in the Conference meeting beginning at 9:30 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn.  We urge NGP readers to tune in on the webcast which will become active at 9:15 a.m. ET.  You may link through:  


1. Resolution of Tier II Issues: Senator Campbell amendment on Indian Energy; Clean Coal (H 2401, 5000-5008; S 1232); Pipeline provisions other than safety (H 701; S 701-715 (other than 710)); Energy efficiency (H 123, 125, 132, 142; S 903, 918, 920, 922, 925, 928); Personnel and training (S 1501-1507);  Renewable energy (other than RPS) (H 141A, 161; S 265, 1701); Rural and remote (electricity construction) (S 941-950); Resolution of Tier I Issues; Pipeline Safety (S 741-783; no comparable House provisions); Price-Anderson and miscellaneous nuclear matters (S 501-509, 511, 521; H 301, 304, 308-309); CAFE (H 201-203, 205-207; S 801-806, 811)

3.  Discussion (Only) of Remaining Tier I Issues: Climate (S 1001-1032, 1101-1111, 1301-1385; no comparable House provisions); Ethanol (H 501-504, 603-604; S 820-820B, 831-840); ANWR (H 6501-6512; no comparable Senate provisions); Renewable Portfolio Standard (S 264; no comparable House provision); Finish electricity (S 101-102, 201-259, 263-264, 271-272, 531, 1503, 1703; no comparable House provisions)

 Oil & Gas Journal, WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 11 -- US House and Senate lawmakers resume negotiations Sept. 12 on sweeping energy reform legislation.  Conference Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-La.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has tried to beat back growing pessimism that consensus can't be reached before the congressional calendar ends for the year. Votes are anticipated soon on relatively noncontroversial items, such as pipeline safety legislation and energy efficiency. During this latest energy bill markup, members will be allowed to comment on the other more prominent pieces in the bill, such as industry access to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain, clean fuel guidelines, and energy tax proposals.   …  The Independent Petroleum Association of America, for example, stressed that irrespective of ANWR, there is a plethora of items of interest to their members.  IPAA Chairman Diemer True acknowledged that some important issues, such as land access, will always be the target of litigation. Nevertheless, he argued that at a minimum for national security reasons Congress and the White House should pursue policies that encourage more domestic production.  True said he anticipates that a 2003 update of the 1999 National Petroleum Council study on natural gas supply and demand would further highlight the need for energy legislation designed to encourage domestic supply.  …  One issue expected to be resolved sooner rather than later is pending pipeline safety legislation.  Both the House and Senate passed legislation reauthorizing pipeline safety rules. Pipeline companies prefer the House version, (which is separate, stand-alone legislation and is not technically in the House energy bill (OGJ Online, July 25, 2002).  That bill includes what industry views as more flexible inspection timeframes and streamlined permitting option.  In the Senate version, companies support the adoption of a modified provision regarding community right-to-know, which industry says has been adjusted to shield security-sensitive information from public release.  Pipeline companies also called on lawmakers to support a new Alaska gas pipeline that would transport North Slope gas to the Lower 48.The Interstate Natural Gas Association of America also endorsed the "southern" route along the Alaska Highway that has been sought by key congressional lawmakers, arguing that such a route will have the best chance of being built, despite opposition from the Canadian government and some North Slope producers, who do not want to be told where to build the line.  The Senate bill includes incentives such as a loan guarantee and a floor price to encourage the construction of the line, but its potential cost could be a stumbling block.

9-11-02, Updates: 12:00, 00:01, 11:50, 12:36, 13:53, 14:00 ET.  This is a hallowed anniversary date, never to be wisely forgotten.

Tomorrow, the energy bill Conference will resume negotiations to produce compromise legislation from Senate and House versions of H.R. 4.  While we wish the Members success, we are concerned that the Herculean task of producing order from chaos (i.e. a reasonable bill)  within the stated end-of-month deadline is more than human endeavor can accomplish, given other Congressional priorities.  But with all that is stake a courageous, cooperative and diplomatic effort is justified.  On this special day, we recall that others have risen to higher challenges.  -dh   Last night, NGP friends at the Alaska Public Radio Network provided NGP readers with this Washington report (AUDIO CLIP BELOW)-US House and Senate negotiators meet again later this week in hopes of working toward agreement on a comprehensive national energy plan by the end of the month.  In the Thursday meeting, they may take up some non-controversial measures related to the proposed Alaska natural gas pipeline. Meanwhile, gas line supporters continue to negotiate possible alternatives to a price floor and tax credit incentive Senator Frank Murkowski pushed through the Senate early this year.  Top Bush administration economic and energy officials oppose that, arguing it will distort gas markets.  The North Slope producers continue to look for alternatives that will provide some cushion from gas price fluctuations.  Gas line issues were front and center for Canadian Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal during meetings with lawmakers and Bush administration officials yesterday and today.  Speaking to reporters this morning, Dhaliwal said anything like the Senate-passed Alaska gas incentives would be unacceptable to the Canadian federal government.  (Listen) …  And Dhaliwal says the Canadian federal government has not backed down from its opposition to House and Senate measures that mandate a southern-or Alaska Highway-route for the pipeline.  …  Dhaliwal says it's too early to tell whether Canada would hold up regulatory approval for a pipeline along the southern route.  But he says that could change if the Bush administration changes its 'route-neutral' position.  … Dhaliwal met with White House economic advisor Lawrence Lindsey,  House Energy and Commerce chairman Billy Tauzin of Louisiana,  and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico.  Earlier, related story links    *   We have urged US trade officials for a year to consider the gas pipeline big picture, which includes trade policy with Canada.  -dh  OTTAWA (CP by Sandra Cordon) - Two days of lobbying in Washington left Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal "not really optimistic" that the softwood lumber dispute with the United States will be resolved anytime soon. After meeting U.S. administration officials, trade advisers, senators and congressmen, Dhaliwal said Tuesday a deal to resolve the multibillion dollar trade war still seems a long way off.     *     Northern News Services, Inuvik Drum, Editorial Comment by Terry Halifax-It seems despite the attempts of the Gwich'in Development Corp. to research the best deal for the Gwich'in people in the proposed pipeline project, there are still some dissenters within the ranks.   James Firth says the Mackenzie Gas Project doesn't provide enough benefits to the aboriginal people and the ARC plan guarantees aboriginal ownership.   As Chief of the Inuvik Native Band and also as president of the Northern Route Gas Pipeline Corporation, James Firth has a fine line to walk. On the other side of the issue is Nellie Cournoyea, who is chair and CEO of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and chair of the Aboriginal Pipeline Group.   …  Without producer support in a pipe, there will be no shipping contracts, without the shipping contracts, there can be no bonds issued and without the sale of bonds, there will be no pipeline construction.   Should the ARC plan ever get to the sale of bonds, the real owners of the pipe would be the bond holders, so the issue of ownership is a moot one -- with either plan the aboriginal groups have to go into debt.   So, unsatisfied with the GDC report, now the Inuvik Native Band is having its own study done.   With money from ArctiGas, the band has commissioned a study that will no doubt give them the answer the want to hear.   …  Granted, the two pipelines are not like comparing apples to apples, but I think we all know that an "independent study" is generally dependent on finding the answers sought by the one paying for the study.   … This infighting is not making for good relations and certainly isn't inspiring the producers to think that even 25 years after Berger, the North is now open for business.    *     Northern News Services, Comment by Thorunn Howatt-  … The race to build a line carrying Arctic natural gas southward to American markets is tightening -- with no clear winner in sight. … Alaska is anxious to sell its energy and power up its nearly one million strong population. Alaskan politicians want a pipeline to follow the Alaska Highway. … Their reasoning is simple. They need to tap into the line, drawing energy to power up industry along the route. They would also benefit more from pipeline construction, royalties on a line running through the middle of the state. And the state is in a bad financial situation these days -- it needs the cash.  Right now, American politicians are wheeling and dealing to firm up an energy policy that could include subsidies supporting construction of the Alaskan path. Their deadline for a final strategy is at the end of the month.   The NWT, and the Inuvialuit in particular, are desperate to get their gas out. More than 25 years ago, a Northern energy boom went bust after Judge Thomas Berger said No to pipeline activity for 10 years.   … But talk of building both lines -- the $17 billion Alaskan and the $3.3 billion Mackenzie Valley project - is welcome. And it's justified. Gas consumption in Canada and the U.S. is projected to use up energy from both lines -- no problem.   TransCanada Pipelines, a candidate to construct the project, said if both lines go then the Mackenzie route would be the first up and running.   In about two weeks, when the American energy conference releases its energy policy bill, the picture will be much clearer.   That's the day when the pipeline race will become much closer or -- if American subsidies are trashed -- Mackenzie line proponents will continue to make progress.   (Please see our latest editorial.)

9-10-02 Updates:  01:55, 02:47, 03:10, 03:40, 12:20, 12:55, 14:46, 17:36 ET.  Steve Marshall (NGP Photo, 9-9-02), president of BP Exploration Alaska, Inc. addressed the Anchorage Chamber yesterday (See our Chamber page).  Saying his message mirrored a North Sea message BP Treasurer, Tony Hayward, delivered in June to the International Association of Energy Economists, Marshall pinpointed some of Alaska's key challenges: the need for regulatory and fiscal certainty and support for maximizing production from mature fields.  (Note: BP and other gas producers have consistently emphasized fiscal certainty as a pre-condition for construction of an Alaska gas pipeline.  He said the company was offering public officials in Alaska and Canada specific proposals for obtaining such certainty.  -dh)  He dismissed a myth that BP was diminishing activity in Alaska, saying this year's capital budget would hit $700 million.   "The 7 billion barrels of oil and gas resources in BP’s Alaskan portfolio – about a third of it proven and the rest of it still uncommercial – are the largest single source of already-discovered oil and gas in our entire global portfolio," Marshall said.  "We have high hopes for future satellite and viscous oil development on the North Slope. We’re investing hundreds of millions of dollars annually to transform that belief into new barrels, and with a stable tax climate, we’ll continue to invest aggressively in it."  He said the company would continue to increase community support activity and support local procurement programs.   The $5 million Alaska contributions budget will be the company's second highest.   Readers are welcome to download a copy of the presentation here.  Relates stories: Reuters.       -dh          *        NGP reader James Maxim (NGP Photo-r, 6-02, Inuvik) advised us that today, Robert G. Marshall, P.Eng. (NGP Photo-l, 4-02, Houston), Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), is addressing the Alberta Geomatics Group in Calgary.  Tomorrow he will repeat the presentation at the Edmonton Petroleum Club.  (For NGP readers who will be in Edmonton tomorrow, 9-11, the EPC is located at 11110 108 Street Edmonton and Marshall’s presentation will begin at 11:30.  The speech is entitled  "Canada's Pipeline----Benefits & Opportunities for Alberta".  In the speech, Marshall says Alberta’s gas demand will rise from about 3.1Bcf/d in 2000 to 4.5Bcf/d in 2010.  Less than half of that demand comes from residential and power generation customers in the industrialized province.  Of current Alaska gas price guarantees pending in Congress, Marshall said, “The subsidy would distort the North American gas market and encourage over-investment in the Alaska gas market at the expense of higher value activities.”   Marshall referred to a study completed in May for the GNWT by Purvin and Gertz, indicating U.S. taxpayers could be impacted by between $1.1 and $2.9 billion/year.  He then emphasized benefits of the proposed Mackenzie Valley Pipeline.  Readers may obtain Marshall’s presentation here. Reference: related statements by Hal Kvisle, president and CEO of TransCanada Pipelines and yesterday's report featuring other viewpoints.

9-9-02 Updates: 00:06. 01:14, 13:56 ET.   CBC, Yellowknife, N.W.T. - The Aboriginal Pipeline Group has hired a former Alberta premier to sell its business plan to Ottawa.  Peter Lougheed's job is to help the group get $70 million from the federal government. The money represents the Group's share of costs for the first phase of a pipeline down the Mackenzie Valley.  This phase includes developing an application for the pipeline and getting regulatory approval.  Wilf Blonde of the Aboriginal Pipeline Group says Lougheed was chosen because of his stature and credibility with the federal government. Blonde wouldn't say how much Lougheed is being paid, or for how long.   The aboriginal pipeline group is funded by the territorial and federal governments.  The other two-thirds of the cost of the pipeline's development phase is being paid by the Mackenzie Delta gas producers.    *    Vancouver Sun by Scott Kent (NGP Photo, 11-02, Calgary)-Thousands of B.C. jobs are being put at risk by the actions and words of Herb Dhaliwal, the federal natural resources minister and MP for Vancouver South-Burnaby....  This pipeline would be the largest private sector project ever built, with an estimated cost of $20 billion. Along the way, it would create about 375,000 person years of employment, 67,000 of which would be in B.C., and add about $30 billion to Canada's GDP....  (Note: this weekend, Iraq rhetoric and 9-11 memorial activity increased.  We earlier predicted that such unrelated matters of national priority will work against the Congress' September deadline for finishing complex negotiations and work on a national energy bill.  Yukon's MP will be carrying this message to Washington, too. -dh)     *     Globe & Mail, By DUGALD CARMICHAEL, Kingston, Ont. -- Major construction projects create vast amounts of greenhouse gases. Building a Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline would surely sabotage any sincere Canadian effort to comply with the Kyoto Protocol. Thus it is blatant hypocrisy for Prime Minister Jean Chrétien to oppose U.S. tax incentives for an Alaskan gas pipeline (PM Enters Northern Gas Fray), while simultaneously planning to ratify Kyoto this year.  Let the U.S. subsidize the burning of Alaskan gas at today's low prices, and let our children have the option of bringing Mackenzie Delta gas on line when the price, inevitably, will be very much higher.  (See Kyoto reference below.)     *     This year's CANADA GALA will take place on Friday 11 October at the Seattle Westin Hotel. Tickets are now on sale. $75 per person; $700 table of 10; $65 for CAS 2002 dues members (2 ticket maximum). Those desiring to stay at the Westin, the hotel is offering a Canada Gala rate of $139 - call toll free 888-627-8513.  (Anchorage Gala)

9-7/8 Weekend News.  Steve Marshall (NGP Photo, 6-02), president of BP Exploration Alaska, Inc. will address the Anchorage Chamber regarding BP’s activities in Alaska: Monday, noon, 4th Ave. Theater.   Pre-pay and reserve via the Web at,    *      Northern News Services by Terry Halifax-Inuvik - A recent study commissioned by the Gwich'in Development Corporation came out in favour of the Mackenzie Gas Project over the proposed ArctiGas "over the top" route. (Note: see our earlier stories and study downloads.       *    ADN by Weslie Loy-Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil development could pump $540 million to almost $1.3 billion a year into Alaska coffers, an economic consultant said Friday.  (Note: see our story below, 9-6, and download your copy of the study.)     

9-6-02 Updates: 01:22, 02:10, 03:26, 04:13, 04:40, 16:00, 16:08 ET.   Whitehorse Star-Yukon MP Larry Bagnell (Photo-l, with author, 3-02) will travel this week to Washington, D.C. to meet with Michael Kergin, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., as well as other embassy officials.  The meetings will be important, Bagnell said in a statement today. They will enable him to explain the benefits of several Yukon developments, such as the Alaska Highway pipeline project, the proposed Canada/Alaska railway project, and protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  Note: Alaska and the Yukon are united on gas pipeline policy, divided on ANWR.  Both issues come together in the energy bill being negotiated this month.  See ANWR report below, released 16:00 ET today-dh    *   Anchorage-A new report published today forecasts an end to Alaska’s fiscal woes if the ANWR coastal plain is opened to oil development.  Using federal government figures the report calculates that an average future price of $24.00 per barrel would realize state income of up to $1.3 billion a year fromcurtis.png ANWR crude, plus the creation of 38,000 jobs.  The study was conducted by the McDowell Group, an independent economic consulting firm in Alaska.  “This would have a profound positive impact on the State of Alaska’s future”, said Curtis Thayer (NGP Photo, 5-01), Executive Director of Supporting Alaska Free Enterprise (SAFE).  “I don’t think anybody has realized how beneficial ANWR development would be to the state”.  “It is outrageous that environmentalists are preventing Alaska from developing its resources and solving its fiscal problems”.  Jerry Hood  head of the Teamsters Union Local 959 in Alaska (NGP Photo below-Hood-r with Roger Herrera-l, 5-01) commented that the report is a very conservative assessment and herrerahood.pngprobably underestimates the number of high paying jobs that would be created by development.  “Teamsters and other Alaskan workers are well qualified to build the oil fields in an exemplary environmental fashion”, he said.  “Our children and grandchildren could look forward to career employment in Alaska for many decades.  It is madness not to open ANWR.”  Roger Herrera, longtime Alaskan geologist and expert on Alaskan oil production, said, “The study is serious, comprehensive and conservative. It draws on existing credible government data and information....” .    Supporting Alaska Free Enterprise (SAFE) says it commissioned the study because all the previous focus of ANWR was on the national impact.  SAFE said Alaskans should be exposed to the real, close at hand benefits from projects such as ANWR.  SAFE was incorporated in 2002 and is a 501 (c) 4 non-profit corporation whose principle purpose is to educate and inform Alaskans about the importance of economic opportunity, resource development, jobs and free enterprise.  (NGP readers may download the study here.)    *      CBC, CALGARY - Canada's Minister of Natural Resources met with a group of Alberta's oil executives in Calgary Wednesday. … Dhaliwal told members of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) to stop comparing Kyoto to the National Energy Program. … Pierre Alvarez (NGP Photo, 6-02, Inuvik), president of CAPP, says he was somewhat reassured. But he's still not convinced the government can meet its deadline. "I think the time frame is highly ambitious. I won't say impossible, but highly ambitious when you consider what's at stake. I'm not sure how the provinces are going to respond to a plan they won't receive until mid to late October."    (See Realtime News {Reuters} story)*     Anchorage Daily News by Ben Spiess-Democratic governor candidate Fran Ulmer (NGP Photo) called for new taxes to fill the state's budget gap when the state's cash reserves fall short.  (Please note our coverage of the fiscal crisis over the past year and its relationship to gas pipeline policy.)     *     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 Anchorage Chronicle newspaper (Photo).  You may download the 8-29-02 piece here: "Let's Lay Our Cards On The Table." -dh. (Chronicle subscriptions: 907-348-2425).     *    Soldotna, Ak.--Over 100 citizens attended the hearing held here last night regarding the draft environmental impact statement for the Unocal right of way permit application for new natural gas exploration in two new satellite prospects in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. We asked the Kenai Peninsula Borough's Oil & Gas Liaison Bill Popp (Photo) for a report, and he kindly obliged.  Northern Gas Pipelines is concerned about gas supply for Southcentral Alaska even though experts claim it has greater per capita reserves available to it than does Houston.  However, finite reserves in a remote area are a principle argument on gas line routing, coming under the category of, "in state use of Alaska North Slope natural gas".  Thus, it is an important motivator of Alaska's Congressional delegation and other elected leaders.  -dh  Popp's report:  Representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Army Corps of Engineers listened to nearly two hours of public testimony that was almost unanimously in support of granting the permits with reasonable and economic stipulations.  Participants included representatives from Unocal, Marathon Oil Company, Cook Inlet Region Inc., the Resource Development Council, the Alaska Support Industry Alliance, Peak Oilfield Service Company, the Kenai Peninsula Borough, the City of Soldotna, local state legislators, Cook Inlet Keeper, the Wilderness Society, the Alaska Center for the Environment and numerous local citizens.  Testimony covered a broad range of opinions including the long history of oil & gas exploration in Cook Inlet with no long term effects on local wildlife or the environment, the need for new gas exploration because of declining reserves in Cook Inlet, the positive economic benefits the oil and gas industry has had on the Kenai Peninsula, and the fact that with out the original discovery of oil and gas in the Swanson River field in 1957, Alaska likely would not be celebrating its 43rd year of statehood. The environmental organizations raised numerous concerns about impact on wilderness areas, the need to keep the refuge pristine, and concerns about pollution from oil and gas exploration causing mutated frogs in the refuge that were missing limbs.  Letters and resolutions of support have been submitted to the USFWS by the Kenai Peninsula Borough, the City of Kenai, the City of Soldotna, local chambers of commerce and other organizations supporting the permits.  Efforts are  continuing to build support from other communities and organizations in the Cook Inlet area that all have an interest in a continued supply of affordable natural gas for heating and power generation.  Partners in the project application included Marathon Oil Company and Cook Inlet Region Incorporated (CIRI). Because of the mineral rights owned by CIRI and their relationship to provisions in ANCSA, the USFWS must grant the right of way permits for this project. However, there are serious concerns that the permits may be burdened with unreasonable stipulations that may make the project economically non-viable because of proposed findings in the draft environmental impact statement currently under consideration.  A second and final public hearing will be held on September 17th at USFWS headquarters in Arlington, VA. (Download here: SWANSON RIVER SATELLITES PROJECT)     

9-5-02 Updates: 01:04, 12:04, 12:31, 13:08, 13:21 ET.  Reader Peter Jalkotzy of Inuvialuit Environmental & Geotechnical Inc. (IEG) sends us this "fall colors" photo, taken yesterday near Inuvik.  Farther south in Anchorage, the birch turned yellow then brown in late summer, due to a killing attack of 'leaf miners'.  Millions of acres of northern spruce have already been decimated by the spruce bark beetle while environmental extremists opposed defensive logging over the last decade.  Will the once verdant north be denuded by this combined infestation, leaving billions of upright rotting logs where forests once blanketed our lands?  We are rightfully concerned when a quart of oil spills onto a gravel drilling pad; where is our environmental concern when a major portion of the world's photosynthesis and oxygen generation is threatened?  -dh         * Lynchburg-Cavan Carlton (NGP Photo, 7-18-01, testifying before Joint Legislative Natural Gas Pipeline Committee.), former director of The Williams Companies' Alaska Gas Pipeline Project, has settled in Lynchburg.  He serves as an independent natural gas consultant along with long-time business associate, Andrew Miles.  Among other projects, they are marketing Detechtion Technologies’ ( natural gas compressor optimization and fleet management program called “Enalysis” to customers throughout the U.S..  Carlton, who worked and traveled extensively throughout Alaska and Canada, would like to maintain contact with former associates and can be reached here:”    *       HOUSTON --- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] yesterday named 16 directors to its board. The new company received final approval from all regulatory authorities and completed all necessary closing formalities late last week.  (See our report.)   *   CBC, Yellowknife - Yellowknife, N.W.T. - Despite increased costs, plans to build a bridge across the Mackenzie River at Fort Providence are moving ahead.      *     Whitehorse Star by Chuck Tobin-Premier Pat Duncan (NGP Photo, Calgary, 3-02) disagrees with Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.  The premier said today she hopes to meet with Chrétien during a trip to Ottawa later this month to argue her belief that provisions contained in the proposed U.S. Senate energy bill do not amount to subsidies for construction of the Alaska Highway gas pipeline.  “I disagree with the prime minister on the issues surrounding the energy bills,” she said in an interview, referring to the contents of a recent letter Chrétien sent to Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles (NGP Photo, 1-02, Anchorage), a letter which she has seen.  (See our recent reports and download the correspondence.)  ... Prince Edward Island Premier Pat Binns has told her the natural gas pipeline to Sable Island would never have been built if not for government assistance.  “And so as the Americans develop legislation on their own, Canada has to be extremely cautious as to what we criticize them for,” she said. “... And the fact of the matter is that Canada, and the U.S., and worldwide, it’s a fact of life that public policy and incentives have been used for every energy project.”  Duncan said ...  the U.S. tax credit being proposed for the Alaska Highway pipeline proposal is not different than the provisions that made Hibernia possible, the Sable Island pipeline, the Alberta Tar Sands, or the diamond mines in the Northwest Territories. ...The prime minister wrote Knowles in early July to explain his concern about what he described as “subsidies” contained in the proposed U.S. energy bill, in response to the letter Knowles wrote him in May.  Knowles was inquiring about comments made by federal Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal (Photo). ... Those who favour the construction of a Mackenzie Valley pipeline before an Alaska Highway line fear that if a highway pipeline goes first, it would flood market demand and subsequently strand Mackenzie Valley reserves of natural gas. Provisions of the U.S. bill unfairly subsidize the highway proposal to the detriment of the free-market conditions that surround the Mackenzie proposal, they argue.  Producers of the huge reserves of natural gas on Alaska’s North Slope have indicated the estimated $20-billion cost of the highway proposal is too expensive, but could be made workable if provisions that provide financial and regulatory certainty are achieved in things like the U.S. energy bill. ... Chrétien said the federal government has grave concerns over the proposed U.S. energy legislation and its impact on open natural gas market. ... Chrétien wrote in his letter that he is in support of the development of Alaska’s natural resources, though he went on to say: “The Government of Canada is concerned, however, that the U.S. Senate energy legislation includes provisions that could significantly distort the dynamics of our integrated North American natural gas market.” ... The premier said she’s not sure what impact Chrétien' s letter will have in the overall scheme of things.  ... Yukon Energy Minister Scott Kent (NGP Photo, 11-02, Calgary) declined to comment on the Chrétien letter ... But he was adamant that comments by Dhaliwal, suggesting Canada may implement regulatory sanctions of the provision of the U.S. energy bill are allowed to stand, were unacceptable, he reiterated.  Kent said the time is now to seize the opportunity to push ahead with pipeline development through the north, for both the Alaska Highway and the Mackenzie projects. ...The minister said the pipeline construction industry is in support of the two projects, and he’s asked that the companies parleé that support in Ottawa.

(More on the Energy Bill in yesterday's report, below.)

9-4-02 Updates: 01:34, 01:51, 03:35, 04:07, 12:27, 13:00, 13:41 ET.  (Commentary below.)   Energy Central by David Kozlowski, senior editor - Meanwhile, the president's once-ballyhooed National Energy Policy Act has faded into the hands of Congressional conferees. Those conferees - 44 representatives and 16 senators - are attempting to create a compromise bill that could bring billions of dollars in tax incentives to facility executives, energy suppliers and technology manufacturers. Unfortunately, the political reality is that the Senate and House passed such different versions of the bill that the odds of seeing those incentives come to fruition are shrinking.     *     Oil & Gas Journal, 9-3-02, Cal Hodge, consultant says, "A US federal ethanol mandate does little for energy, harms the environment, and reinforces an oligopoly. Congress should ban, not expand the use of ethanol in gasoline."       *     Williams Energy News Live-With Congress back in session, work continues within a House-Senate Conference Committee on the first comprehensive energy legislation in a decade. The Independent Petroleum Association of America will hold a news conference (today) in Washington to draw attention to domestic production issues.   *     Energy Central, By Tom Doggett WASHINGTON, (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers, returning this week from a summer recess, face a tougher task than before of passing a broad energy bill as congressional staff were unable to finalize language on Alaska oil drilling, ethanol use and other key provisions in the legislation during August. ... One of the most controversial issues in the energy bill is whether to open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

Commenting on September: Time is Short and Stakes are High.

During August when Congress was in recess, Energy Bill Conference staff worked diligently with White House and Energy Department counterparts (and lobbyists) to identify as much agreement as possible, preparing the way for return of their bosses.  One staff professional told Northern Gas Pipelines that most staff effort was devoted to less controversial issues, leaving the more difficult energy bill provisions for Conference resolution.  Among those issues are ANWR, gas pipeline incentives and ethanol (to name only a few).  The South Dakota Senate Majority Leader opposes ANWR, supports gasline incentives and ethanol (note his farming constituency.)  Many Republicans oppose ethanol and support ANWR but a few oppose certain Alaska gas incentives.  The White House supports ANWR, but struggles with ethanol, Alaska gas price floor guarantees and prohibition of the northern route.  Canada's Natural Resources Minister will be visiting Congress this month to lobby against gas pipeline incentives and prohibition of the northern route and, most probably, ANWR (see yesterday's story, below & Hill Times background).  Even as Congress left Washington in early August, we gave passage of the energy bill only an even chance in 2002, recognizing the fundamental and solid disagreements outlined (and perhaps oversimplified) above.  Congress has scheduled September as the month for work on the energy bill and the environment for its passage looks more difficult now than we surmised a month ago, for several reasons.  Detailed formation of the Homeland Security Department is requiring significant effort.  Senate ratification of Presidential appointments is becoming more confrontational.  The unpleasantness with Iraq is coming to a head, making all other issues trivial by comparison.  The November elections and political aspects of all legislation takes a toll on schedules, concentration and the merits of any votes, including those affecting Alaska.  Finally, though 9-11 memorials and meditations were fully anticipated, perhaps not full credit was given the distraction it will require of elected officials trying to meet routine schedules.  Since gas producers and others have not yet identified an 'economically feasible Alaska gas project' we believe the only current window for an Alaska project rests on Congressional incentives...then Alaskan and Canadian 'fiscal certainty' follow up.  If Congress does not take advantage of current momentum and pass a bill, no one can say when the momentum will build again.  Experts giving advice to producers and Alaska, might counsel on the strategic importance of a back up plan.  The reason is this.  Any energy bill passing this year under these circumstances will likely represent the LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR, devoid of many controversial issues such as those wished by Alaska.  No player will be very happy with a meaningless Energy Bill.  Thus, odds are a new Congress will inherit energy policy responsibility next January, or critical unresolved provisions.   Based on scenarios of a Democrat House, a Republican Senate or a Congress controlled exclusively by Republicans or Democrats, one would be wise to have at least four action plans in mind (not including the possibility of a new, separate bill/vehicle to carry gas pipeline language) .  Execution of those plans could begin now with candidates and after November with Congress' freshman class-elects.  Execution of any plan should recognize the reality that Canada's Mackenzie Valley Pipeline project is moving steadily ahead and likely in today's world to be built before an Alaska project.  Passage of Alaska provisions of the Energy Bill this month or next year could at least position the state for a North Slope gas project, as the Mackenzie line releases its call on pipeline steel production and skilled pipeline labor.  Absent a bill soon, however, or a decisive but unexpected upward gas price trend, North Slope gas commercialization could be the destiny of a fresh generation.  Offshore LNG, deep water Gulf of Mexico, off-shore Canadian reserves, etc. will strive to satisfy demand in the interim.  Time is short, stakes are high and today's window is closing.  -dh

Last night, Bill Wicker, Communications Director, Senate Energy Committee, sent us the update below, slightly edited.

Pipeline Safety: Between July 29 and Aug. 30, staff met numerous times to resolve differences between the pipeline title in the Senate-passed energy bill and the pipeline safety bill passed by the House. Staff-level agreements have been reached on about 80 percent of the issues. Minor clarifications are still being worked out.

Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy: The Conferees adopted staff agreements on most (but not all) of the efficiency provisions and some renewable provisions when they last met, on July 25. About a dozen, though, didn't quite make it. During recess, House and Senate staff met to resolve these remaining issues.

Rural and Remote Energy: Staff met 3-4 times in August on the energy grant/community development subtitle. More work is needed.

Alaska Gasline: In recess discussions, minor changes were proposed, so staff is tinkering with some of the provisions. Explanatory report language to clarify some of the issues is being considered. The loan guarantee provision was set aside pending resolution of the tax issue.

Electricity/RPS: Probably the least rewarding part of our working recess. Little got done. Hopefully, having the Members back in town will create new momentum with this key part of the bill.

Research & Development: A great deal of work has gone into this title. About 80 pages of text have been worked out. Much of the brush has been cleared, and staff is down to a finite list of issues that remain to be resolved.

Clean Coal: Staff participated in 2-3 meetings on this topic. Slow but measurable progress noted.

Nuclear Issues: Advancements made on the various nuclear issues which had not been adopted at the July 25 Conferee meeting. Price-Anderson likely will be elevated to the Member level for resolution.

Fuels and Vehicles (non-CAFE and non-ethanol): Partial progress been made on these provisions. Key issues include amending EPACT, biodiesel, use of alt fuels in duel-fueled vehicles, some studies, HOV exceptions, clean school buses, alt-fuel demo program, truck idling and railroad efficiency.

There will be a major attempt this week to bring these discussions to closure -- something that hopefully will be aided by having Members back in town to vet staff agreements. Also, we will have some new Tier II discussion on topics where we could not get staff together during August, mainly on non-ANWR oil and gas issues.

Lest I present too rosy a picture, don't forget that the Tier I issues remain to be reconciled. These include ANWR, CAFE, electricity/RPS, climate change, ethanol and taxes. We're going to give it all we've got to get to an energy bill, and we expect to get there. Date of the next Conferee meeting will be announced soon.

9-3-02 Updates: 02:34, 02:53, 03:32, 12:15, 14:31, 16:18 ET. 

25 years ago: On Sept. 3, 1977, The Globe and Mail reported that Canada and U.S. negotiators reached agreement on broad principles of co-operation on the construction of an Alaskan Highway natural-gas pipeline across Canada.

Below, we repeat the Financial Post story on Dhaliwal posted this weekend, adding for your reference these important, related references: 1.  Last Friday's Globe & Mail story describing gas pipeline communication between the Prime Minister of Canada and the Governor of Alaska; and  2.  the actual, scanned correspondence available for your download, mentioning Dhaliwal.    Financial Post, CALGARY - Herb Dhaliwal (Photo), the federal Minister of Natural Resources, will hold discussions with key members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives next month to fight for the removal of proposed Alaskan natural gas subsidies from a controversial energy bill.  (Don't forget background tariff issues.  -dh)    *    CBC-EDMONTON - The Alberta government and the petroleum industry are rallying against the federal government after the prime minister announced plans to ratify the Kyoto accord within the year.     *      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 Anchorage Chronicle newspaper (Photo).  You may download the 8-22-02 piece here: "Probably 90% of Alaskans including this writer would prefer a trans-Alaska or Alaska Highway gas pipeline, with the construction boom and gas access advantages.  But observing past lessons, I now conclude our most pressing need is revenue." -dh. (Chronicle subscriptions: 907-348-2425)    *    Northern News Services by Paul Bickford, Hay River Reserve - ...Georgina Fabian said there are huge social problems in Northern communities -- alcohol and drug abuse, gambling, fetal alcohol syndrome and school drop-outs. ...Doug Cardinal (NGP Photo-r) of the Aboriginal Pipeline Group, which hopes to have a one-third interest in the project, stressed its positive impacts, especially the many jobs it would bring.  ...  Randy Ottenbreit (NGP Photo-l) of Imperial Oil described the last two years of feasibility study and the current "project definition" stage.  Project definition will take three to four years, and involve engineering studies, environmental field work, public consultation, Northern benefits plans, and regulatory applications and review.  Such a project won't come along every day, he said.

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- ...Alaska, however, will remain an important part of the business, the executives said, suggesting their company might be in a stronger position to fulfill Alaska's long-held dream of a long pipeline to carry the North Slope's huge natural gas stores to Lower 48 markets.  "We're uniquely positioned to make that happen," Dunham said (Archie Dunham, Photo-l is Chairman of the merged company's board of directors). Phillips had a major Alaska presence, he said, while Conoco had interests in western Canada, where another large storehouse of gas resides in the ground at the Mackenzie River delta.  Alaska and its Canadian neighbors have been debating for months a variety of proposed pipeline projects that could connect one or both of the gas fields to markets. Generally, Phillips favored a line down the Alaska Highway and then across Canada toward Chicago, while others want a line from Prudhoe Bay east to Mackenzie and then south.   Regardless of route, Dunham sounded optimistic a project can happen.  "We believe the U.S. market desperately needs natural gas," he said.  (Additional reference: Oil & Gas Journal by Sam Fletcher)


Natural Gas & Oil Prices

Upcoming Conferences: IOGCC, 5/11 -13;

Newspaper Front Pages--WORLDWIDE

Our view of South Central Alaska's imminent Energy Crisis

 Linking to Us!

Founding Publisher's  2002 Editorials and 2001; magazine & newspaper articles; Seattle Chamber of Commerce Speech, 5-8-02, CBC Interview




Yours is visit # Hit Counter to this website.

Contact the Webmaster

Site planning: September 2000 - Site construction initiated: January 1, 2001 - Site uploaded to Internet: March 31, 2001 - Founding publisher, 09-00/1-03 and 3-08/present


© 2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009 Northern Gas Pipelines 

Web pages herein are protected by the Copyright laws of the United States of America and the Internet Copyright Act.

This Website is provided as a public service.