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Vol. 12, No. 49 Week of December 09, 2007
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

AEnergia not new to Alaska gas line

Burkhard says North Slope pipeline would go to Calgary AECO hub, and support ancillary line to Kenai or Valdez, including LNG

Kay Cashman

Petroleum News

One of the five proposals received under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act to build a gas pipeline from Alaska’s North Slope came from AEnergia, a recently formed Alaska limited liability corporation with a Sacramento, Calif., address.

While the LLC might be new, its members have been working on getting a gas pipeline built since 2001under the joint venture name of GSS/TC.

But the experience of AEnergia’s members with an Alaska gas line proposal dates back much further than that. During the original effort to build an Alaska natural gas pipeline in the late 1970s and early 1980s, AEnergia core members were working for the consulting firms that provided the earth sciences design expertise.

AEnergia executive Bill Burkhard told Petroleum News in 2003 that by “project’s end, we had completed about 70 percent of the alignment geology, 50 percent of the surface and groundwater hydrology, 30 percent of the geotechnical engineering including thermal modeling and climatology, and a substantial portion of the environmental work.”

In 1982, after the project was terminated, “we went on to further our careers with other firms,” he said. “Although we moved to positions throughout the West and Midwest, several of us kept in touch because of the strong relationships built during our ‘pipeline’ days. … We’ve wanted to see a North Slope gas line built for 30 years.”

Reunited in 2001

Burkhard and his associates contacted their previous employers “to see if there would be any possibility of continuing work” on the latest proposal for a gas line. “We discovered they had essentially moved on and had no apparent interest in pursuing the work again,” he said. So, in the fall of 2001, Burkhard reassembled the “core group” and created “a new team to pursue the earth sciences design work should a pipeline project actually start up again” – a team that included most of the senior and staff-level personnel working on the first gas line project’s the earth sciences.

GSS joint ventured with Taber Consultants, becoming GSS/TC, “for business support and project management expertise.” Burkhard said Taber is “one of California’s oldest geotechnical firms.”

Andy Taber, president of Taber Consultants, has participated in the presentations Burkhard has made to companies interested in seeing an Alaska gas line built.

Goal to get pipeline built

Burkhard told Petroleum News this Dec. 1 that since 2001 he has met with “Williams, BP, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, JPO, DNR, a few different commissioners, Bechtel and WorleyParsons. (Among others), I’ve had conversations on the phone with Fluor, Gulf Interstate, Michael Baker, Parsons, Duke Energy, Alaska Gasline Port Authority, TransCanada and Ken Thompson.”

GSS/TC’s goal has been “to get the pipeline going,” he said.

Although Burkhard was unwilling to provide details about AEnergia’s AGIA proposal until the Palin administration’s review was complete, he did say AEnergia’s proposed pipeline would go from the North Slope to Calgary’s AECO hub where the gas would be distributed to the Lower 48 through existing infrastructure, and that AEnergia’s proposal would “support an ancillary project to Kenai or Valdez,” including an LNG project.

If AEnergia’s proposal gets a green light from the State of Alaska, Burkhard said the company would begin fieldwork by April or May.



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