A Sausage Factory with Money to Blow
|Left to Right: Gov. Sean Parnell, Ryan Lance (ConocoPhillips, CEO), Robert Dudley (BP, CEO), Russ Girling (TransCanada, CEO) & Rex W. Tillerson (Exxon Mobil, CEO)|
That totals out to around $11,250,000,000 (for the investment and tax break) plus $6.00 for every margarita – I am assuming at least 4 margaritas for each CEO involved so $24.00 + tax + $11,250,000,000.00 = $11,250,000,024.00.
1,715 or 800 Mile (or Both) Pipe Dream
Walter Hickle (2nd/8th Gov. Alaska and 38th U.S. Secretary of the Interior) kept alive the LNG project and thereafter was taken up by that hockey mom ray of sunshine that keeps giving, Walker Wasllia Ranger Sarah Palin. Actually, more accurately Hickle championed the LNG pipeline through Alaska and Palin awarded TransCanada $500,000,000 in startup money to delve into the project to connect Prudhoe Bay and Alberta.
With the latest deal signed by Gov. Parnell (still needs to get the go ahead from the legislature this legislative session) Alaska is investing in the LNG line and processing plants while the other oil company partners are focused on the line through Canada to Alberta and on down into the lower 48 – i.e. where probably the most money is. This is the “Y” proposal that you see in the map above that lops off part of Alaska.
Natural Gas not from your ass
|Source: Gas Pipeline Project Office|
Unlike most of our flatulence which is only made of 0-10% of methane, natural gas is made of 70-90% methane. Just think of the youtube videos!
Natural gas is a non renewable fossil fuel formed over millions of years from dead plants and animals being covered and buried and over a vast amount of time being exposed to extremely high pressure and heat. The pressure and heat work out much of the water and create magio-fantastically [sic] coal, oil, and natural gas.
The natural gas pipeline out of Prudhoe Bay would be pulling up natural gas out of the already drilled wells for crude oil and turning it into liquified natural gas. This process involves doing a bunch scientific shit that I don’t completely understand, but in general, the natural gas recovered has certain components removed like dust, acid gases, helium, water, and heavy hydrocarbons (note, I’ve no real idea what heavy hydrocarbons are) and then is cooled to a nice Arctic temperature of -260 degrees Fahrenheit and pressurized, which even more fantastically turns the natural gas into a liquid.
That liquified natural gas then hops on a tube train of destiny. The Alaskan section would pipe 800 miles that liquified natural gas down through Alaska where presumably some of it would be transferred back into a gas where communities along the way could use it to produce electricity, heat their homes, and light stuff on fire.
The excess would then be piped all the way down to Nikiski (yeah, not Valdez, I am confused too) and then put on huge LNG tankers which would then cart the stuff across the Pacific into Asian countries where facilities there would convert the liquid into a gas where they would use it for electricity, cooking rice and lighting stuff on fire.
Natural Gas Jesus
Now, there is something that even monkey wrenching environmentalist terrorist have to accept – this project will be pushed through. No matter how much screaming or ever so smart PowerPoints highlighting the fact that this project will still contribute green house gas emissions, will undoubtably have environmental effects on plants and animal life, will probably trample first nation and indigenous land rights in Alaska and Canada, will further commit Alaska and the nation to non renewable energy resources, and will further entrench the idea that humans are invincible in the face of energy crises due to their good looks and massive craniums – this project will happen.
There must also be a recognition that this natural gas pipeline will bring jobs, hopefully cheaper energy, and has the possibility of lessening Alaska’s own carbon footprint. That doesn’t mean we should all jump on the wagon hitting peace pipes and having tremendous socialist orgies, but we should take those things in account.
Unremarkable AkCenozo Recommendations to take into account:
- Since the agreement has to be passed by Alaskan legislators, is there any way to work in a commitment to take a portion of the tax revenue dedicated to the permit fund bank and set it aside to build up capital for greener more sustainable energy projects in the future?
- Is there anyway to ensure that funds and plans are set aside and made to ensure that if a LNG tanker blows up in or around Nikiski, or if there is a pipeline leak, or any number of other mishaps that could happen, we have the capital and know-how in dealing with such a disaster?
- With such a large commitment by the Alaskan government, would it be possible to have legislators that sign-on add-on commitments by the State of Alaska to make their facilities and operations 45-70% more energy efficient?
- If Sean Parnell and other right leaning folks in Alaska are committed towards investing in energy projects that benefit Alaska, why not create a business incubator program which is specifically dedicated towards financing startup costs for sustainable energy Alaskan businesses?
There they are and there they went. We’ll try and keep up on developments related to the natural gas pipeline and share thoughts and ideas on this space. Stay tuned.
Natural Gas: Education & Extraction
- http://www.energyquest.ca.gov/story/chapter08.html (Note: This one is for kids from California, kinda fun)
- http://www.quoddyloop.com/savepassamaquoddybay/documents/newspaper_inserts/insert-7.pdf (Note: The folks who wrote this report are either batshit [sic] crazy or extremely safety conscious, probably the latter)