April 03, 2001 --- Vol. 7, No. 36April 2001

NWT premier accuses Alaska senators of

Editor's Note: Senate Bill 164, which prohibits leases under Alaska's submerged lands in the Beaufort Sea, passed the Alaska Senate yesterday.

A bid by Alaska senators to block an undersea gasline link from the North Slope to the Mackenzie Delta is inconsistent with free trade and a continental energy policy, said Northwest Territories Premier Stephen Kakfwi.

He said the bill by the 19 senators to prohibit construction of a Beaufort Sea link would prevent North Slope and Delta producers from making their own decisions on the best way to deliver gas to Lower 48 markets.

Speaking to a natural gas conference in Houston, Kakfwi said the bill would also undermine President George W. Bush's campaign for a North American energy policy to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

"A continental energy policy, developed to ensure a secure supply of reasonably priced energy to North America, is not compatible with parochial interests," he said.

"Whatever happened to free enterprise? The Americans are supposed to be the champions of free enterprise, yet they are wiping out options for major gas producers."

Kakfwi said that despite an agreement he reached with Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles and Yukon Premier Pat Duncan in Calgary last month to keep each other posted on developments in the Arctic gas debate, the Alaska legislation "came completely out of the blue."

Knowles and Duncan are also scheduled to speak at the Houston conference, but an NWT government spokesman said there have been no plans for the three to meet.

DGGS doing shallow seismic shoot at Fort Yukon

The state Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys has begun a high-resolution shallow seismic survey shoot in Fort Yukon to image the coal encountered in a 1994 climate hole drilled by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Jim Clough of the division said the presence of the coal suggested the possibility of shallow coalbed methane. The study, expected to take about two weeks, is through a cooperative agreement with the Kansas Geological Survey which has a mini-vibrator unit being used for the survey.

Coalbed, shallow gas resources workshop offered

A workshop on Alaska coalbed and shallow gas resources has been scheduled by the West Coast Petroleum Technology Transfer Council, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Pricing, details and registration are available from the West Coast PTTC at or by phone at (213) 740-8076.

The program begins April 30-May 1 with a two-day field trip to look at late Tertiary geology on the Kenai Peninsula. Conventional natural gas exploration and production and shallow gas exploration will also be discussed.

The rest of the sessions will be at the Anchorage Marriott Downtown and include a one-day short course on the technology of hydraulic fracturing, a one-day short course on horizontal drilling and completion (May 2 and 3), a dinner workshop May 3 and an all-day workshop May 4.

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