Saturday, May 3, 2008

A Detailed Look at the Point Thomson Decision

The Alaska Journal of Commerce has a detailed analysis of the recent decision of State Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin rejecting ExxonMobil's development plan for Point Thomson.

Here's a link to the decision

This decision is key in understanding the relationship between the North Slope producers and State of Alaska.

Irwin's comments were not focused on the technical or economic details of plan. The comments seemed focused of a perception that Exxon would not keep it's end of the deal. It's a bad sign that the State cannot work with the producers and hammer out deals that put people work and get the gas flowing.

For the time being only lawyers are working on the Point Thomson project.

1 comment:

Charles Wilson said...

First, Thomson cycling Will NOT save the NGLs, e.g. (today's prices): Reservoir has: $100 Billion in Thomson "Gas" (CH4), $30B NGLs (propane, etc), & $5.6B Oil
... When pressure drops to 500 psi or so where the "dense phase", a near-liquid, collapses, Gas comes out & leaves the liquid NGLs. Say you started at 1000 psi & "recover" 80%: you lose 30% of the NGLs.
But Thomson is 10,000 psi, so an 80% recovery only drops to 2000 psi & so loses NOTHING.

Second, Irwin blithly states a gas pipeline is the "ONLY" way ... did we DREAM the S.S.Manhattan's 1969 trip? As the pipeline's price overran a factor of 3, the TANKER was the better deal.
For 30 years I've been trying to get this into Politicians' & Managers' heads & they DO NOT LISTEN. They tell me LNG tankers would freeze to the Dock.
Well, it's Qatar's tankers that make EXXON hold out for Over-the Top, as all SMALL pipelines have cost-per-gas higher. And Russia's are soon to be near half that.
... A "backdoor" approach to Chicago via Hudson Bay is half Russia's distance and thus can NEVER be under the cost of ANY import.
Energy has been " BOOM! & BUST! " for 150 years. Any other Plan will go BANKRUPT when the Price is in the "BUST" part of the Cycle. You'll lose your Permanent Fund, Alaska ! -- taking the Prudhoe Gas loses $100+ Billion of Oil. You think you don't have to PAY that ! Fortunately Tankers can take the other Gas along the coast, estimated at 10 times Prudhoes', but unreachable without COSTLY pipe extensions -- remember it is the Northmost third of the Oil Pipe that overran in 1978.