Monday, May 25, 2009

National Energy Security Act

Here's a news item that's received little notice (yet). Senate Bill S. 774: National Energy Security Act of 2009 includes this section:

Section 116(c)(2) of the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act (15 U.S.C. 720n(c)(2)) is amended by striking ‘$18,000,000,000’ and inserting ‘$30,000,000,000’. (LINK)
This would increase the federal loan guarantees for the Alaska Gas Pipeline (LINK). The bill is in the Senate Finance Committee. It's worth keeping an eye on. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Byron Dorgan [D-ND].

Saturday, May 16, 2009

More Denali Progress

Another sign of progress on by the Denali Pipeline team - This week the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Office of Energy Projects selected Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne) as the third-party contractor to assist the FERC staff in preparing the environmental impact statement for the Denali Pipeline Project. (LINK)

The Third Party program helps FERC by providing resources at the expense of the applicant.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Denali Project Update

Denali Project Update (LINK). Bullet points from the report:

• Completed a significant field program in Alaska.
• Established a Tok field office.
• Advanced engineering in the areas of route reconnaissance, thermal modeling, river crossings, and pipeline design.
• Awarded a multi-million dollar contract for preliminary engineering for the gas treatment plant (GTP) in February 2009 to Fluor WorleyParsons Arctic Solutions with CH2MHill as their exclusive Alaska subcontractor.
• Awarded a multi-million dollar contract for preliminary engineering for the mainline project in April of 2009 to Bechtel.
• Initiated stakeholder engagement in the U.S. and Canada.
• Pre-filed with the FERC in June 2008.
• Filed for a right-of-way across federal lands in Alaska.
• Actively began workforce development.
• Initiated conversations with regulatory agencies and governments at both local and federal levels in the U.S. and Canada.
• Conducted hydrology field studies in Canada.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Drilling at Pt. Thomson

According to an anonymous comment to this blog drilling has started at Point Thomson.

This is great news not only because Point Thomson gas will one day flow in the Alaska Gas pipeline but because it's putting people to work now. Thanks for the heads up.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

TransCanada CEO "Upbeat" on Alaska Pipeline

TransCanada CEO gives the Alaska Gas Pipeline the edge over the Mackenzie Gas Project in the Northwest Territories (Full story by Lauren Krugel, THE CANADIAN PRESS)"

Five or six years ago, we were much more optimistic about Mackenzie than about Alaska," Hal Kvisle told reporters after his company's annual general meeting Friday.

"All the cards were stacked in Mackenzie's favour at that point in time."

The Alaska pipeline will traverse 2,760 kilometres of rugged terrain, require mind-boggling amounts of steel and is not expected to start carrying natural gas until around 2017.

Mackenzie, on the other hand, is less than half the length of Alaska - 1,220 kilometres - and would carry about a fifth of the daily volume Alaska would.

It was originally to have been in service this year.

"Things did not proceed over that period the way they should have, and here we are in 2009 and we're not yet through the greatest regulatory process that mankind has ever mounted," Kvisle said with a wry laugh.

"It's almost beyond belief the quagmire that we continue to work through."

One factor working against Mackenzie at this time is the fact that the natural gas fields have not yet been developed.

"The fields need to be completely drilled up. All the production facilities need to be constructed. Ominously, all the regulatory permits need to be received to do that kind of work," Kvisle said.

By contrast, the Alaska producers, BP, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips have been drilling in the Prudhoe Bay area of Alaska for several years.

"The field has reached a state of maturity where it's time to go ahead with the gas pipeline and the predictions by people like ExxonMobil have always been 2016-2018 would be the right time from a reservoir engineering point of view to bring that gas on production," Kvisle told shareholders.