Saturday, September 6, 2008

Pipeline News

From GARY JACOBSON / The Dallas Morning News: 

        Palin's Alaska pipeline dream Not a Reality Yet:

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin boasted this week that she stood up to Big Oil in advancing a decades-old ambition to bring natural gas to the Lower 48. But experts say she'll eventually have to sit down with the oil giants if she wants her pipeline dream to become a reality. (LINK)
From Barry K Worthington, Financing The World Energy Industry Requires $22 Trillion
Meeting the world's energy needs over the next several decades represents incredibly complex challenges on many fronts. These include access to the resource base for fossil fuels; availability of an adequate workforce, specifically engineers and skilled tradesmen; siting every variety of energy facility; dealing with climate change challenges; stability and predictability of regulation; and attracting $22 trillion ($22,000,000,000,000) into the sector. Never before, on a global basis, has the energy industry been expected to site, finance and manage the construction of infrastructure on this scale. It is doubtful that any other industry has ever been compelled to deal with this level of capital investment. (LINK)


Matt said...

Great Blog. I'm a Civil PE who works in the biz and I am concerned about the chant to drill everywhere. If there is drilling in more places offshore down south wouldn't that make the gas line less appealing to build? Or I missing something?

AK Engineer said...

The main economic case for the Alaska Gas Pipeline is for Tar Sands Oil.

Gas is needed to produce the tar sands. Tar sand oil is needed to replace diminishing supplies of heavy crudes from Mexico, Venezuela and other fields.

In the short term more drilling will help, but a light crude stream from a new find would not make the best economic use of refineries designed for heavy crudes. Those refineries represent big assets to the same folks that hold the leases on gas in Alaska.

For example: ConocoPhillips gas goes in the line in Alaska and produces tar sand oil for Wood River Illinois, Exxon produced gas could yield heavy oil streams find their way to Chalmette, LA.

On the big scale society needs to plan for the end of easy oil. The trends are pretty clear - We're talking decades and Trillions of $$$.

cc said...

Here's the question I'd like to see some engineers tackle - energy costs for the following:

1) A natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to a LNG terminal in Valdez, with California's Sempra Energy delivering from there by tanker to California.

2) A natural gas pipeline direct to California from Alaska - I see the figure of 40,000 hp compressors every 150 miles to keep gas flowing?

3) A natural gas pipeline to Alberta, followed by heavy tar sand crude production, then pipeline transport to U.S. refineries, and transport to California.

Is there some reason why the best option for Alaskan natural gas isn't LNG transport? That seems to be the cheapest option.