Thursday, June 26, 2008

FERC approves Review of Denali Pipeline

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has agreed to allow pre-filing activities to begin on the Denali gas pipeline.

This is good news from the standpoint of one of the competitors actually getting work done and moving forward.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Alaska Gas Pipeline - News and Views

It looks like free market economics might just produce an Alaska Gas Pipeline after all, maybe more. Here's a hand full of links from the mighty interweb:

The Voice of the Times is comparing Alaska's glam governor with Hugo Chavez. It's a good comparison, and it's been made before. Time will tell how well the anti-business, anti free market approach works.

The Denali Pipeline folks are getting down to work. Good!

Andrew Halcro is speaking beyond his blog.

Point Thomson is still in legal limbo but ExxonMobil plans to start drilling. Point Thomson is considered key to the development of the Alaska Gas Pipeline.

More information is coming forward on the TransCanada gas line proposal. Apparent $5/MMBTU is considered a good price by Governor Palin's team. That's a tough pill to swallow even for TransCanada supporters.

Wally Hickel supports the idea of exporting Alaska Gas as LNG to Asia via an All-Alaska Gas Line. That option avoids the risk of letting Canada control the project. He may not be the prettiest governor Alaska ever had, but what he says makes a lot of sense.

Friday, June 20, 2008

New Life for the All-Alaska Option?

I didn't see this coming - wow! Great News. This will allow competition between LNG buyers and Tar Sand producers in Canada.

Competition equals better prices for the gas and a sense of urgency to get the pipeline built.

It never hurts to have multiple outlets for your product.

The LNG option also secures markets without the potential for delays caused by foreign governments.

The project includes a spur line to Anchorage.

Read the Fairbanks News-Miner story here.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Big Week For ExxonMobil

The Supreme Court could issue a decision in the Exxon Valdez case this Monday. After 19 years the case may finally be settled.

Link to Supreme Court Decisions

One thing the case proves is that Exxon will spend years litigating. A good point to keep in mind as ExxonMobil and the State of Alaska head back to court to haggle over Point Thomson.

Link to Alaska Journal Point Thomson Story

Link to the Fairbanks News Miner Point Thomson Story.

Update - The Supreme Court did not rule this week - stay tuned!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Palin Pushes AGIA Agenda

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin continues to push the A.G.I.A. (Alaska Gas Inducement Act) with this opinion piece in the Anchorage Daily News.

Palin is bound and determined to promote the proposal from pipeline builder TransCanada (Re-named "TC Alaska" by Palin to deemphasis the Canadianess of TransCanada).

In the past Republicans favored and promoted free market solutions and reduced government involvement and taxes.

Palin contends that the State of Alaska should give TransCanada a $500 million inducement to push the pipeline process along.

The AGIA process has morphed into an anticompetitive, anti-free market program. Palin has proved that she is a Republican In Name Only (R.I.N.O.).

ConocoPhillips and BP are actively pursuing the Denali pipeline. They are motivated by free market forces. This pipeline will follow roughly the same route to support oil sand production in Alberta.

Neither project will initially include the All Alaska LNG route to Valdez.

Both projects are subject to permitting delays by Canadians similar to the delays suffered by the Mackenzie Pipeline.

Ultimately one of these pipelines may get built and provide jobs to Alaskans, Canadians and Okies, and tar sand oil for the lower 48. In all likelihood TransCanada and Denali may form a partnership similar to the Keystone Pipeline (a TransCanada & ConocoPhillips partnership). Again free market forces drive firms to spread risk and exploit synergies.

Some Alaskans question Palin's approach and conclusions: Jay Ramras, Ralph Samuels, and Lyda Green to name a few. U.S. Senators Murkowski and Ted Stevens have had next to nothing to say about the A.G.I.A. process, the free market Denali project, or the TransCanada project proposal.

With Oil at $130+/bbl and Gas @ $12+/MMBTU it's time to give the free market a chance or get out of the way.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Denali Gas Pipeline Picks a President

The BP-ConocoPhillips Denali Pipeline has selected Bud E. Fackrell of Anchorage as President of Alaska Gas Pipeline LLC.

According to the Denali Pipeline website

Fackrell is a seasoned oil and gas industry executive, serving as Senior Vice President for BP’s Alaska Consolidated Team until today’s announcement. He had responsibility for all of BP’s operations on the North Slope except Prudhoe Bay (including Endicott, Liberty, Milne Point, and North Star & Badami). He held this post since his arrival in Alaska in August, 2006.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

TransCanada Pipeline Plan Blasted

Good story by Fairbanks News-Mine's Stefan Milkowski: Fairbanks’ Ramras Blasts TransCanada Pipeline Proposal.

Tell us how you really feel Jay!

FYI - I think Texan Randy Quaid can play Jay in the upcoming film "Gasline" - A tale of shattered dreams and BTUs.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Gazprom to Join Denali Gas Pipeline?

The most interesting Alaska Gas Pipeline News of the week - Russian Gas giant Gazprom wants in.

According to this Reuters story, Gazprom is talking to ConocoPhillips, BP and TransCanada.

This isn' t the first ConocoPhillips partnership with Russian firms. ConocoPhillips currently partners with Lukoil.

Exxon also wants to partner with Gazprom on projects such as the East Coast LNG project. Maybe we'll see more of Gazprom in the future?

This may be good news as equity positions in the gas line reduce the overall risk exposure to any single partner.

On the other hand how much foreign help is needed to develop our own resources?

Update: TransCanada "Bewildered" by Gazprom interest.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Exxon Committed to Point Thomson Development

Looks like Exxon wants to get to work on Point Thomson.

According to Alaska production manager Craig Haymes,“Litigation is not what we want to do,” “We have a plan for development, and we want to settle.”

This Fairbanks News-Miner story by Rena Delbridge has more of Mr. Haymes' comments.

In other Exxon news -Exxon plans to built a Gas-To-Liquids in Nigeria.

What's all this mean? - ExxonMobil will invest and produce when the rates of return make sense.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Canadian Gas Reserves Have Plateaued

I've always contented that Alaskan gas is needed to develop the Canadian tar sands.

This article by WENDY WEIRAUCH, Managing Editor of Hydrocarbon Processing
puts the Alaska Gas Pipeline capacity in perspective in terms of how the Alaska Gas will help fill demand as the Canadian fields decline.

Bottom Line: Weirauch compares the Canadian oil reserves to Saudi. Alaskan gas is part of equation to produce that oil.