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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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











Northern Gas Pipelines: Extended news items, 2002

12-25-02.  Anchorage Daily News.  Opinion
The Christmas Story

(Published: December 25, 2002)

It was Christmas Eve of 1969 when we were desperately struggling for words to express the joys and spirit of Christmas in an editorial. We finally went into the boss' office for help. Larry Fanning thought for a moment and said, "The best Christmas message I ever read was in St. Luke. If it's still there, let's reprint it." It was there, and we reprinted it. To commemorate the holy day for Christian readers, we have every Christmas since:

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country, shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: And they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came in haste, and found Mary, Joseph and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

-- Luke 2:1-20

11-27-02.  Today, outgoing Governor Tony Knowles performed one of his last significant official acts by joining with Natural Resources Commissioner Pat Pourchot in signing a lease renewal permitting the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) to operate across 344 miles of state lands for another 30 years. 

Pourchot served as master of ceremonies at the Anchorage Museum function, attended by top echelons of government and industry leaders.  He was generous with his praise saying, "The renewal process is a success story in federal-state cooperation and efficiency.  JPO brings together seven State and six Federal agencies with related management responsibility or regulatory authority for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System and other oil and gas pipelines in Alaska and provide “one-stop” shopping for lease renewal.  I Want to give special thanks to the State Coordinator of the JPO John Kerrigan (NGP Photo-left) and former Coordinator Bill Britt (NGP Photo-lower left, 4-01) and their staffs and to the Federal Authorized Officer for the JPO, Jerry Brossia (NGP Photo-right), and his staff.  He complimented David Wight and Steve Jones of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company for the, "...extensive information provided to agencies during the process."   (Pourchot Outline

In aabill1crop.pngbrief remarks, Knowles congratulated participants and said, "We should have the same sense of confidence we did some 30 years ago.  The Trans-Alaska pipeline has performed as safely as it did thirty years ago...after a few bumps in the road: a bullet hole...and earthquake...(audience laughter)."  He concluded with his administration's oft-repeated slogan, "Alaska remains open and ready for business."  (Knowles release)

Alyeska Pipeline Service Company President, David Wight (NGP Photo-left, with ConocoPhillips' Kevin Meyers and ExxonMobil's Jack Williams-right) said, "TAPS has met operating standards, either internally driven or required in state and federal law, that are demanded of no other pipeline.  These men and women - and the system they care for – have been tested, whether in response to a bullet hole or an earthquake, or the day to day challenges of the pipeline’s passage through the Alaskan environment.  The people and the system continue to meet the high expectations Alaskans and the nation require."  (Wight remarks)

BP Pipelines President Al Bolea (NGP Photo) said the TAPS Owners started preparing for the renewal about four years ago, "just about the time Governor Knowles began his second term in office.  Normally," he said, "pipeline renewals are routine permitting events; rarely, if ever, require completion of an Environmental Impact Statement.  In recognition of the significance of the pipeline, the TAPS owners formed a task force in 1998 to prepare for renewal. Since then, thousands of man-hours have been dedicated and  $30 million invested in reviewing every aspect of the system.  In recent weeks, we even ordered a once-in-700-year earthquake...just to make sure it could withstand a good shake. … It’s a tremendous tribute to everyone associated with this effort – not only that we’re able to conclude renewal – but that it has been achieved on schedule.  This would not have been possible without the personal commitment of Governor Knowles and his staff; those in the Joint Pipeline Office, the Departments of Environmental Conservation, Natural Resources and Fish and Game.  I’d like to specifically thank John Kerrigan, State Pipeline Coordinator and Marti Rutherford, Deputy Commissioner with DNR."  (Bolea remarks)

ConocoPhillips Vice President-Pipelines, Meg Yaege (NGP Photo) is incoming chair of the TAPS owners' committee. She emphasized the importance of a continuing investment in the pipeline: "The companies have spend more in the last 15 years on the pipeline than its original construction costs," she said.  She also illustrated the importance of the pipeline to her company.  "Twenty-five percent of ConocoPhillips' worldwide production moves through the pipeline."  She said Alaska was the company's most important producing area.

Jack Williams (NGP Photo-above, with Wight), who manages ExxonMobil's Alaska investment, thanked Governor Knowles and Commissioner Pourchot, then said, "ExxonMobil, in conjunction with the other owners, is progressing engineering and permitting activities for the Point Thompson project.  If it is developed," he said, "this project will  recover gas condensate, projected to peak at 75 kBD, for shipment to markets through TAPS.  Reauthorization of the TAPS  right-of-way is important to the economic basis for this project that is estimated to cost over $1 billion."  He said the renewal, "... will support continued investment, job creation, utilization of local goods and services and provide government revenues through taxes and royalties."  (Williams remarks)

Unocal's Chuck Pierce (NGP Photo, 7-02) said that, "safety and environmental protection have been key factors and will continue to be as we go forward."

President of Cook Inlet Region, Inc., Carl Marrs (NGP Photo), remarked that this renewal signing constituted one of Governor Knowles' legacies after 8 years in office and said that "TAPS is central to Alaska solving its fiscal challenges."  Marrs said he was in high school when the original lease was signed.  "Today sets the stage for the next generation."  He said the pipeline allows Alaska Native people to live in 'both worlds', stay in Alaska, maintain cultures and provide a subsistence lifestyle.

Doyon Regional Corporation President Orie Williams (NGP Photo-left, being interviewed after the ceremony by KNGA radio's Steve Johnson) said he had the honor and privilege of taking part in original construction of the pipeline.  He called the oil industry "good partners," and "good neighbors and members of our community."    He said that, "Doyon and our family of companies work daily to make Alaska a better place by partnering closely with Alyeska and its owner companies..  I pray that I'm here 30 years from now to see the renewal signed for another 30 years," he said.

BLM State Director Henri Bisson (NGP Photo) made remarks similar to those given the Resource Development Council for Alaska (RDC) recently: "Relative to transportation and infrastructure, we are near completion of the right-of-way renewal for TAPS.  There are currently two federal rights-of-way in place for an Alaska natural gas pipeline project.  If we get additional applications for a new gas line, we will work as hard as we can to expedite that process."  (Bisson remarks, based on similar, recent presentation to RDC)

Alaska's new 17th Coast Guard District Commander, Rear Admiral Jim Underwood (NGP Photo), attended the event along with other TAPS-interested government and industry executives. 



Note: We include this oil pipeline coverage and photos of the event below, since many participants are also concerned with various Alaska gas pipeline projects.  -dh

Construction of the pipeline took place from 1974 to 1977 and has been called a "modern wonder of the world."  This engineering feat was recently put to the test during a magnitude 7.9 earthquake. The 800-mile-long oil pipeline supports over 95 percent of the oil production in Alaska. The oil industry directly and indirectly provides a third of the jobs in the state.  About $6 billion dollars a year in personal income can be attributed to the benefits of the oil industry. The Bureau of Land Management announced last week the completion of the final environmental impact statement for the renewal of the Grant of Right-of-Way that analyzes continued TAPS operations on federal lands. A federal renewal decision will be made early next year.  In addition to renewal of the TAPS lease, five North Slope pipeline lease renewals were also signed.  The Endicott, Kuparuk, Kuparuk Extension, Milne Point and Oliktok pipelines have been renewed for an additional 30 years.  These pipelines deliver 60 percent of the oil that is transported down TAPS.


11-22-02.  Valdez Star by Pat Lynn--In a strange turn of events, the Alaska Gasline Port Authority, which was formed to build a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to Valdez, contributed $15,000 toward an effort to defeat that same measure at the polls Nov. 5.

The $15,000 payment to the anti-pipeline drive came to light during a check of records at the Alaska Public Offices Commission which keeps track of campaign spending.

The check was sent to the Alaska Support Industry Alliance which created a lobbying effort known as "People Against Pipeline Politics" which spent $40,000 total in a failed effort to defeat proposition No. 3 which calls for an all-Alaska pipeline from the North Slope to Valdez.

Despite their efforts, the measure was adopted by the voters by a margin of 61 to 38.

The $15,000 contribution to fight the gasline to Valdez caught Valdez members of the Port Authority flat-footed.

"Are you sure about that," said Mayor Bert Cottle when told about the contribution by a Star reporter Monday night. "I know we talked about that but nothing happened."

Councilman Dave Cobb, one of the creators of the gasline Port Authority and, like Cottle, member of the board of directors, said, "we haven't sent a check to that effect. I'm not aware of any money that changed hands."

But, in fact, a $15,000 check from the Port Authority did go to the lobbying effort against the pipeline to Valdez. It was signed by Charlie Cole, a member of the board from Fairbanks, and sent to the lobbying group by Rhonda Boyles, Mayor of the Fairbanks/North Star borough, who is also a member of the Port Authority board of directors.

Mayor Boyles did not return our phone calls for comment on Friday of last week.

The $15,000 contribution towards defeat of Proposition No. 3, the pipeline measure, paints a confusion picture at Valdez city hall.  Late last summer, the City of Valdez, gave $20,000 to Scott Heyworth, the Anchorage longshoreman who led a successful petition drive to get Proposition No. 3 on the ballot.

In effect, Valdez city fathers find themselves on both sides of the fence--in favor of a pipeline to Valdez and against a pipeline to Valdez.  Valdez city manager Dave Dengel, who also serves as executive director of the Port Authority, remembers things differently. He says the board voted unanimously at a telephone Oct. 2 meeting to make the $15,000 contribution.

The Port Authority, he said, favors the Y-line concept where a natural gas line would run south to Delta and then along the Alaska Highway into Canada with a spur line to Valdez.  The board felt that ballot Proposition No. 3 "would just muddy the waters." The vote of those present to send the $15,000 to the lobbying group was unanimous, he said.

The Port Authority, said Dengel, "supports the Y-line proposal because one needs the other to be economically sound."

The man who led the battle against Proposition 3 was Larry Houle, general manager of the Alaska Industry Support Alliance.

"The Port Authority got all excited when they saw us coming out against the plan," he said.
The gasline to Valdez is flawed, says Houle. There's no West Coast market for liquefied natural gas (LNG), there are no facilities to accept the gas, and the Far Eastern countries have abundant supplies of natural gas at tidewater in Indonesia, Australia, Sakhalin Island and other locales, he says.

He did agree, however, that the overwhelming voter approval of the all-Alaska natural gas line poses a dilemma for state lawmakers must snow grapple with the issue.

Friday, August 30, 2002 – Print Edition, Page B1
ZURICH and CALGARY -- Prime Minister Jean Chrétien has warned the United States that proposed U.S. government subsidies for Alaskan natural gas would erode American energy security, in part by depressing northern Canadian gas development.

In a letter sent last month to Alaskan Governor Tony Knowles, and obtained by The Globe and Mail, Mr. Chrétien said the proposed subsidies would distort the free market for energy in the northern United States and Canada by suppressing and delaying the exploration for and extraction of northern Canadian gas supplies.

"The government of Canada believes the proposed subsidies have the potential to artificially depress gas prices, slowing development and production elsewhere in the [United States] and in Canada," Mr. Chrétien wrote.

While Canadian and U.S. politicians have been sparring over the issue for several months, this is the first real indication that the Prime Minister is stepping into the fray.

"The decrease of Canadian gas imports will weaken U.S. energy security, one that is linked to the energy supplies of its trading partners such as Canada," Mr. Chrétien said.

The bluntly worded letter was in response to a missive Mr. Knowles earlier sent Mr. Chrétien asking him to address what the Governor called "threatening" comments by Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal. Mr. Dhaliwal had attacked the proposed government aid and suggested it could strain Canada-U.S. relations over northern development.

"I am hoping . . . that you can explain comments made by Minister Dhaliwal when he referred to the credit . . . as a 'subsidy' and stated that if this were included in the final legislation, your government 'would have to reconsider our current position,' " Mr. Knowles wrote in a May 28 letter obtained by The Globe and Mail.

"His tone appeared threatening, even prompting some writers to use the words 'trade war.' "

Mr. Knowles also implied that Canada's opposition to government aid runs contrary to its own track record of underwriting energy megaprojects, such as Hibernia and the Western Canadian oil sands.

"Clearly, you recognize, as do I, that taxpayers and consumers benefit when governments provide a stable environment for private sector investment in large energy projects," Mr. Knowles said.

"I assume your minister's words were spoken in the heat of the moment and were based on incomplete information and that upon reflection, he would recognize that this tax mechanism is in keeping with similar Canadian efforts to providing [sic] the certainty the private sector requires to invest," he said.

There are two rival pipeline proposals, one carrying Canadian gas from the Mackenzie Delta in the Northwest Territories to southern markets, the other transporting gas from Alaska.

Proponents of the Alaskan pipeline argue that both pipelines can be built; but Mackenzie Delta pipeline supporters fear that the Alaskan line could flood the market with product if it is built first, thereby stranding NWT gas.

That fear abated earlier this year when Alaskan petroleum producers announced they did not think their $20-billion (U.S.) pipeline was affordable in the current market environment.

But it has flared again as a result of the U.S. Senate energy bill proposing billions in tax incentives to support the Alaskan pipeline.

This week, NWT Premier Stephen Kakfwi said he is worried the Liberals' leadership woes could distract Ottawa from the Mackenzie Delta pipeline and further sap the momentum of the project.

"I just want to get the goddam thing on the road," he told the Canadian Press.

Energy companies are mulling whether to proceed with the Mackenzie Delta pipeline and they can't make a decision until Ottawa clarifies the rules, he said. That includes settling the issue of whether and how control of northern resources will be transferred to northerners.

Mr. Kakfwi said Ottawa also needs to pony up money to upgrade infrastructure in the territory, especially for roads that are disintegrating under the heavy-truck traffic associated with northern resource development.

The producers' group, led by Imperial Oil Ltd., said it has identified many energy companies interested in shipping gas on the proposed pipeline system.

3-14:  CALGARY -(Dow Jones)- No one wants to say the game is over, but it looks like only sudden death overtime might save the volatile Alaska natural gas pipeline play - and its benefits for Canadian interests in the Yukon.  The latest U.S. move requiring producers to build a pipeline along the more expensive Alaska Highway route has Canadians assuming a fake hardiness,  like a coach trying to rally a losing team.  "I think the Yukon is like the third guy who comes into a fight in the Stanley Cup playoffs," Yukon Premier Pat Duncan said at a conference in Calgary on Friday.  

"It's often the third man in who ends the fight and gets everybody's attention back to the puck. I can tell you from the Yukon , we came to play." 

The sparsely populated and rugged territory has much to win from an Alaska pipeline running through its lands on the way to Alberta and the U.S. One Yukon - sponsored study indicates an Alaska Highway pipeline project could bring the territory 32,000 person years of employment, and C$10.3 billion in business investment for Canada .  

But analysts are saying political meddling by Alaska and the U.S. will kill northern natural gas prospects. For example, the so-called "southern" route chosen by the U.S. Senate precludes alternative plans linking to Canada in the north, either by land or under the Beaufort Sea into the Mackenzie Delta. 

And while it would still transverse Yukon , British Columbia and Alberta, bringing economic benefits to all, the massive undertaking to bring Alaska 's 4 billion cubic feet a day production south has already been branded by producers as too expensive.  

In Washington , Canadian officials have been urging both the U.S. administration and Congress not to play favorites with any route. "In Canada 's view, North American energy markets are better served if industry is allowed to determine the nature and timing of pipeline development," Rodney Moore, Canadian embassy spokesman said Friday.  

"Industry hasn't made a specific commitment to a pipeline proposal, and we know that mandating a routing of a pipeline or subsidizing its construction through loan guarantees, guaranteed prices or other means, would certainly have an effect on, or distort North American energy markets."  

Canada was already concerned a flood of Alaska natural gas would strand the more modest reserves found in the Mackenzie Delta. However, a proposed pipeline through the Northwest Territories now seems to have more momentum than an Alaskan one, be it southern, or northern through the Beaufort Sea.

 While Duncan believes an over-the-top offshore route would meet enough opposition to slam the brakes on northern gas development, she emphasized the North American market is big enough for both Canadian and American pipelines.  

"I believe two complementary projects, staged over time, are good for the north, for industry, and for consumers," she said. And timing, as any team player knows, is everything.  Natural gas demand is expected to reach 30 trillion cubic feet a year in North America by 2020, from about 23 trillion cubic feet at present.  Northern natural gas is seen as needed to feed the incremental demand fueled mostly by generation projects and increased calls for cleaner burning fuel.

 Alternative fuel sources like liquid natural gas and coalbed methane could challenge that  position, and increase the odds against tapping into the region's vast natural gas resources. 

Political oppositions closed the window of opportunity to develop northern natural gas in the 1970s, and northerners fully realize it could happen again.

 "It's clear to me, having lived through it once before, and representing people who lived through it that we don't want to go that route again," Duncan told Dow Jones Newswires. "It's time the North was given its rightful place."

 Providing regulatory clarity is one crucial step to provide certainty for producers and investors, she said. Resolving aboriginal land claim issues and having realistic expectations for development are also crucial.

 BP Plc. (T.BP), ExxonMobil (X.XOC) and Phillips Petroleum (NYSE: P - news) Co . (P) have already invested $100 million in a feasibility study to be released at the end of the month. But their protests that any pipeline route out of Alaska is too expensive are seen by some as postulating to wring out huge tax incentives to shore up a 15% rate of return on a natural gas system.

Oil executives and government officials are playing hardball behind cabinet doors, with producers cutting staff in Anchorage as a warning they might pull out, and politicians coming up with schemes that already have analysts checking out possible violations to the North American Free Trade Act.

 "The (price guarantee) is quite outrageous," Harvie Andre, with ArctiGas Resources Corporation, said in Calgary . "And one is tempted to dismiss it as reflecting only ... political maneuverings."

 Andre, a former federal minister, is promoting a sub-sea route under Prudhoe Bay, linking Alaska gas with Canadian. The ArctiGas proposal has U.S. backers, offers 100% aboriginal ownership, and claims to be the cheapest route to southern markets without prejudicing Mackenzie Delta production. 

A Senate-mandated route and a state bill barring offshore construction would take Canada completely out of the loop, Andre said.

 "If you add to that a guaranteed floor price for Alaska producers, the damage to Canadian interests would be enormous," he said.  

-By Dina O'Meara, Dow Jones Newswires; 403-531-2912

(This story was originally published by Dow Jones Newswires and forwarded to Northern Gas Pipelines by a Canadian Reader.) 

2-6: CALLING ALL EXPLORATION COMPANIES:  The Minerals Management Service is seeking companies interested in exploring Norton Basin for oil and gas, possibly as a means to bring natural gas to western Alaska communities.  MMS is proposing a new process for leasing federal OCS tracts in this frontier area.  "The areas off Western Alaska, although largely unexplored, may contain substantial natural gas resources that could be used for local communities, as well as export," MMS Alaska Regional Director John Goll said.  "Communities, such as Nome, are seeking new energy sources to improve their economic outlook.  They are intrigued about the possibilities this sale could offer.  What we hope is some enterprising company can find an economical way to make this happen."   The Call for Information and Nominations is the first step in an 18-month "special interest" process.  The Call, published in the Federal Register on January 22, 2002, seeks comments on the proposal from industry and the public and requests that industry nominate small, very specific areas where they are willing to commit to exploration.  MMS will use the information received to make the decision whether to proceed with leasing.  If there is no industry interest this year, MMS will defer the sale for one year and reissue the Call next year.  This process will continue throughout the 2002-2007 5-Year Program until there is sufficient interest to hold a sale and that the area nominated is deemed appropriate for leasing.  Only one round of leasing will occur during this 5-Year Program.  If a company is interested, MMS will ask them to identify the area of interest.  MMS would then proceed through steps to hold a sale, with
competitive bidding, in the general area of interest. One of the terms will be a commitment from industry to explore the area leased within a specific time period.   Sale 188 is included in the MMS Proposed 5-Year Plan being considered by the Department of the Interior and is tentatively scheduled for 2003.  The Call area is located offshore Alaska in Norton Sound and the northern Bering Sea, west and south of the Seward Peninsula, and covers
about 25 million acres ranging from 3-320 miles offshore. Water depths in the area range from 25 feet to approximately 650 feet.   Although the area open for nomination is relatively large, the purpose of this "special-interest" process is to identify and offer only small-focused areas where industry has a significant interest in exploration.   In addition to identifying specific blocks to be included in a possible lease sale, comments are sought about particular economic terms and conditions of a sale, geologic, environmental, biological, archaeological, or social and economic conditions and other information that might bear on potential leasing and development in the area.  Nominations and comments must be received by April 22, 2002.  You may mail comments to the Regional Supervisor, Leasing & Environment, Alaska OCS Region, Minerals Management Service, 949 East 36th Avenue, Room 308, Anchorage, AK 99508-4363, or hand deliver them to the Alaska OCS Region, 949 East 36th Avenue, Room 308, Anchorage, Alaska.  For more information about the proposed sale or the Call, contact MMS Alaska Region at 907-271-6070, toll-free at 1-800-764-2627.   MMS is the federal agency that manages the Nation's natural gas, oil and other mineral resources on the Outer Continental Shelf in federal offshore waters.  The agency also collects, accounts for, and disburses mineral revenues from Federal and Indian leases.  These revenues totaled
nearly $8 billion last year and more than $110 billion since the Agency was created in 1982.  Annually, nearly $1 billion from those revenues goes into the Land and Water Conservation Fund for the acquisition and development of state and Federal park and recreation lands.  The federal offshore leasing program also provides all of the funding for the Coastal Impact Assistance Program and the National Historic Preservation Fund.


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