Monday, December 20, 2010

We Need More Jobs and a Stronger Economy: Support Offshore Oil & Gas Development in Alaska

Dave Harbour, Northern Gas Pipelines

Right now, Alaska stands ready to safely develop its abundant offshore energy resources, particularly in the Beaufort Sea.

Though Shell’s 2010 Exploration Plan in the Beaufort Sea was approved by the Administration and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal government is once again requesting further public input to a proposed addition for Shell’s revised Exploration Plan in 2011. The revised plan includes provisions to reduce drilling discharges to the marine environment – changes that not only strengthen the exploration plan but ensure that industry can and will drill responsibly.

While this comment period relates to Shell’s specific exploration plan, it is a critical step for energy production and domestic energy jobs in the Arctic. If Shell is unable to move forward with its 2011 Exploration Plan, there is a very real possibility that the Arctic will be closed to all oil and gas development.

In an effort to urge the federal government to continue its plans for safe energy production in the Alaska and the Arctic, Consumer Energy Alliance is calling upon the public to show their overwhelming support for energy development by preventing further delays in offshore operations in the Beaufort Sea and continuing with them as planned – Alaska and the nation need this to happen.

Take Action:
To help ensure that the federal government moves forward with the reasonable development of Alaska’s rich offshore energy resources, please let them know that you support the production of offshore oil and natural gas which will help provide Alaska and the nation with jobs and stable energy supplies. Please submit a comment and feel free to use the sample text below; the comment period closes December 22, 2010.

Sample Letter to cut and paste.

Email to, or by fax to: (907) 334-5242

December 2010

Regional Supervisor, Leasing and Environment
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement
3801 Centerpoint Drive, Suite 500
Anchorage, AK, 99503

RE: We Need to Develop Oil & Gas Resources in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to urge the federal government to approve Shell’s 2011 revised Exploration Plan and proceed with the development of oil and natural gas resources in the Beaufort Sea off the coast of Alaska.

With Shell’s revised plan, drilling discharges to the marine environment will be reduced, ensuring that industry can and will drill responsibly. More importantly, this exploration plan is a critical step for energy production and domestic energy jobs not only in Alaska but in the Arctic region as well.

It is critical that the federal government brings Alaska’s vast oil and natural gas reserves back online. Jobs in Alaska and across the nation depend on the opportunities that offshore oil and gas production can and will provide.

In Alaska, approximately 43,454 jobs are supported by the industry. These jobs add $6.1 billion to Alaska’s gross state product, or 16.6 percent of its wealth. With the unemployment rate already up to 8.9 percent in Alaska, we simply cannot afford to ignore opportunities that encourage job promotion and economic growth.

Furthermore, not developing our offshore natural resources is projected to cost energy intensive industries nearly 13 million jobs and cumulatively decrease the nation’s real disposable income by $2.34 trillion, according to a new report issued by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

In conclusion, I strongly believe that the federal government should promote energy policies that will secure our energy and economic future. Allowing for Shell to safely develop oil and gas resources in the Beaufort Sea in 2011 will help do just that.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Senator Lesil McGuire presents to World Energy Council - Montreal

Lesil McGuire is proud to have be presenting today at the World Energy Congress in Montreal. She will speak about the future of oil production in Alaska and potential for offshore development in the breakout sessions titled Hydrocarbons from Arctic Sources. She hopes to bring global attention to the opportunities and challenges facing offshore development in Alaska and to present initiatives that are taking place currently in our state.

The World Energy Congress is an event that happens every three years and it is put on by the World Energy Council (WEC). The WEC is the foremost multi-energy organization in the world today with Member Committees in nearly 100 countries, including most of the largest energy-producing and energy consuming countries. The organization covers all types of energy, including coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydro, and renewable.

This year’s Congress will focus on addressing the main concerns present in the energy community, global leaders, and the general public. Each day will focus on a separate aspect: Accessibility, Availability, Acceptability, and Accountability. Senator McGuire’s topic falls under the category of Availability which poses the question of “what is the right energy mix for long term stability?”

The World Energy Congress represents an opportunity for participants to better understand energy issues and solutions from a global perspective. There will be almost 5000 leaders from the field of energy, coming from industry, governments, and international organizations, as well as the media, universities and energy industry associations in attendance.

For more information on the events happening at the World Energy Congress, visit their website at:

The destructive effect of Alaska's oil industry production tax

Dave Harbour, Alaska Northern Gas Pipelines

Yesterday, Alaska Standard Publisher Dan Fagan summarized the destructive effect the oil industry production tax, ACES (Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share), is leveling on Alaska’s economy. We can add that ACES massively changes the “rules of the game” after investors have made capital investment decisions. Changing tax laws to take much more money from your major investors is an obvious deterrent to future investment—aside from any fairness or ethical concerns.

Let’s look at ACES’ economic effect on the state right now, because if it is as bad as Dan says, politicians are collecting ill-gotten wealth for redistribution to various constituencies that our children will pay for later when they inherit an anemic, unsustainable investment climate. We’re an oil state. Nearly ninety percent of Government’s budget and 1/3 of Alaska’s entire economy depends on oil. Doesn’t it seem logical that we’d want to pass that economic strength down to our kids?

Dan Fagan - The Alaska Standard Article
Northern Gas Pipelines

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Southcentral utilities to build $180M natural gas storage facility

Ted Land, Channel 2 News

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Anchorage natural gas provider Enstar and other local utilities are about to break ground on a new gas storage facility. They say it will help keep the lights on and heat homes during very cold winter days, but it comes at a cost of $180 million.

In an update sent to lawmakers Wednesday, the utilities say they plan to start building the storage facility next month. It will take shape underground near the mouth of the Kenai River, run by the joint venture Cook Inlet Natural Gas Storage Alaska.

The storage facility will look much like others found in the Lower 48. The plan is to drill five wells into a mostly depleted gas reservoir, then pump excess gas into it during warm months when supplies are strong. The basin will hold the gas until winter, when demand peaks on very cold days and the supply runs short.

Project managers seem confident the gas should allow Southcentral Alaska to avoid an energy emergency. What they're less certain of is what the cost of the project will do to customers' gas bills.

“The impact to the customer should be relatively neutral, depending on that commodity cost and how we're able to buy the gas,” said Enstar president Colleen Starring. “If we can buy the gas in the summer, competitively when production of the wells is relatively steady and there isn't a market for it, there's excess capacity -- we may be able to achieve a far better price than we are now.”

Another challenge is state oversight. Some lawmakers have expressed concern that there are too many overlapping permits and regulations -- something the state Division of Oil and Gas says it's trying to streamline.

Contact Ted Land at,0,3452952.story