Friday, June 19, 2009

Enbridge Gets in On the Don't Need it Campaign on the Alaska Pipeline

First there was T Boone Pickens on the Alaska gas pipeline.

Now competitor to Transcanada, Endbridge is mimicking T Boone Pickens on shale gas cutting the cost on natural gas to the point that, a 30 billion dollar pipeline from Alaska to the Lower 48 won't be needed.

Enbridge moves 15% of the natural gas in Texas, the largest producing state in the United States.

The Calgary-based company, Canada's largest oil pipeline operator, is proposing the $1.5-billion LaCrosse Pipeline.

That pipeline would link shale gas producers in the Fort Worth, Barnett and Haynesville regions of Texas and Louisiana to the U. S. southeast, where power markets are developing. Enbridge also runs a large offshore pipeline system in the Gulf of Mexico.

There is that Barnett field coming up in these articles. Pickens talked about his investments on natural gas, but wouldn't go into detail on where his investments were made.

But when you consider this headline:

Pickens Plan could benefit TransCanada, Enbridge, you know the answer is yes to the writer's question So, is Mr. Pickens blowing hot air?.

Analysts at Calgary-based First Energy seem to give the plan merit.

They note in their review released this week that industry group Global Wind Energy Council has already said North American-wide capacity could reach 366 Giga-Watts by 2030 under its "moderate" scenario.

"This is an independent confirmation that the Plan's 309 GW of installed capacity in the U.S. is at least possible," the analysts said.

Heavy use of natural gas for transportation would benefit the companies that move it around to high-demand areas — which would increase. TransCanada Corp. is one of those companies. Its existing network of pipelines already move the fuel from its U.S. gas fields to market, and it has planned a high-voltage direct current power line called Northern Lights that would connect Alberta to the U.S. power grid.

Enbridge Inc., which owns part of the Alliance Pipeline, is another. The Alliance line imports natural gas from Canada, while Enbridge is proposing expanding with a line that joins the Rockies to Chicago.

Barnett alone, is not the panacea for natural gas consumption. And neither is Alaska's natural gas resources, because much of Alaska's natural gas resources are in the form of gas hydrates that are in areas of the state that have not been developed and are costly to develop.

Moreover, in areas gas hydrates are found, heavy oil is part of the equation in developing the natural gas hydrates deposits. Those cost are similar to what the costs are to develop the tar sands in Alberta.

“The gas hydrates are in similar geographic locations (to heavy oil) on the North Slope,” Hunter said.

The location of gas hydrate deposits above producing oil fields might also enable hot fluids from the oil fields to be piped through the gas hydrate reservoirs.

Chemical methods of disassociating the hydrates involve pumping materials such as salt or methanol into the reservoirs.

“None of this has been field tested but all hold some promise,” Hunter said.

The same is true for the gas shale in many places in the Lower 48.

However, to develop the gas shale in an economical manner, the shale deposits that contain both gas and oil, the leases have been canceled by the Obama administration.

So what does this all mean? It means we need to continue with a variety of means in developing our natural resources in an economical manner and self-interested parties need to quit with their rhetoric.

No comments: