Thursday, January 22, 2009

Alaska's Natural Gas and Oil can benefit the U.S., or not.

Former Gov. Walter Hickel wrote an editorial in another paper that tried to demonstrate that there was a basis for an all-Alaska pipeline from Prudhoe to Valdez. His premise was that Red China, and I mean RED China must be acknowledged as a potential player in any future natural gas market for Alaska natural gas. His editorial was also critical of the Palin Administration backing of the only AGIA applicant, Trans-Canada, a Canadian company that has proposed a 4.5 billion cubic feet per day natural gas pipeline from Prudhoe through Canada to the U.S. market.

He quoted Sen. Charlie Huggins as holding to the philosophy of positive engagement through world trade rather than exclusion as the route to economic prosperity and peace.

Red China, or the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), Japan and the rest of Asia are heavily dependent upon imported fuels and natural gas. These economies are in competition with Europe for the world’s oil and natural gas.

The principle suppliers of oil and natural gas being the Middle East, Russia, and Indonesia.

Brazil may become an oil exporting nation, provided the recent discoveries off the coast can be developed.

I agree with the need in Asia for Alaska NG, which is just part of the justification for an all-Alaska NG pipeline to Valdez. The fact that NG is exported from Nikkiski is a demonstration of the viability of the Asian market. A market that Alaska could certainly develop. However, I agree only if the U.S. continues to be stupid and refuse Alaska gas and oil development to ease dependence upon foreign oil and natural gas.

Alaska, as a sovereign State in the Union of States should have the opportunity to develop its resources to benefit Alaska, if the U.S. fails to understand that the primary desire of Alaskans is for our oil and natural gas to be used to benefit the U.S. first, and foreign markets second.

It has always been a paradox as to why natural gas was being exported to Japan from Cook Inlet reserves by LNG tanker, but Alaska could not develop its North Slope reserves to ship to U.S. markets by LNG tanker?

Were all of Alaska’s NG produced exported to foreign markets, Alaska could reasonably export by LNG tanker up to 4.5bcf per day, or the expected import of foreign NG into the U.S. market.

Alaska’s NG would most certainly affect the U. S. market by displacing largely imported Middle Eastern NG, and, because of competition, result in a lower price to the U.S. consumer of natural gas. A situation unremarked by the Producers in any discussion of marketing Alaska’s natural gas.

It is this displacement of foreign natural gas being imported at exorbitant prices into the U.S. market that is the dream of every Alaskan. Not just the benefits to the State: jobs, infrastructure, income, and, if a portion of the liquids are retained, industry from those liquids.

The energy policy of the U.S. can be viewed as insane on one level, and shrewd on another. If we suck the Middle East dry of oil and gas, then, we eventually eliminate the benefit of the income provided to those oligarchies who then contribute to the jihadis that want nothing more than to kill us infidels. On the other hand, we are paying high prices for oil and gas that is funding our enemies. That is the insane part, especially in the face of ANWR, off shore, and U.S. and Canadian oil and gas potential. Alaska could supply the 4.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day that will be imported from Qattar, Indonesia, and Saudia Arabia by the end of 2012. Alaska’s natural gas reserves would completely displace Middle Eastern supplies.

Let the PRC buy those Middle East supplies and also take in the thousand of young wahabbist Saudis that now come into the U.S. under the deal brokered by G.H. Bush along with the $50 million spent each year by the Sauds to build new mosques in the U.S.

Somehow, we (the U.S.) are expected to absorb this burgeoning 5th column of Islam and continue on without any affect upon our economy or society. I would think the pictures of police carrying fully automatic M16s and HK MP5 variants in full body armor would clue someone that this policy is costing us. Especially since most of the hijackers who commandeered the jets on 9-11 were Saudis. This shortsightedness has cost the U.S. billions and will continue to cost us billions to keep the threat of now home grown jihadis in check. Yet, we still import oil and gas from the Middle East to fuel this hate.

The U.S. has more coal than anywhere in the world. Under the North Slope of Alaska is a high grade, low sulfer bituminous coal. It is my understanding that this field extends across most of the North Slope. Add that to the U.S. reserves, and there is no raw material shortage for fuel or gas.

The U.S. military is pioneering the development of new coal to diesel and kerosene jet fuels for aircraft. This is an extremely promising development in my mind and a significant policy shift. The question is, will the Obama Administration allow these projects to go forward?

Off shore reserves of oil and gas are just now being realized. New technologies in drilling and production are making deep sea recovery possible. The large reserves off of Brazil are an indication that oil exploration is far from over on the continental shelves around the world. Off of Israel new gas reserves verify this, even in the Mediterranean.

Unfortunately, Obama is now considering one again denying off shore development.

Yes, Alaska can send its hydrocarbon resources elsewhere, if necessary. Or, Alaska can contribute to the reduction of the impact of foreign oil and natural gas to the detriment of our security, economy, and culture. Alaska’s hydrocarbon resources can fuel Red China, a burgeoning enemy, or the U.S.

Your decision.

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