Monday, June 22, 2009

Palin's Pipe Dream: R.I.P?

Alaska Govonor Sarah Palin has made the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline a centerpiece to her political ambitions. However, with America practically overdosing on shale gas and plenty more in tow, the question begs: do we really need to squander billions building the pipeline?

No so, claims T. Boone Pickens. Pickens believes with practically an unlimited supply (for a long time anyway) of shale gas here in the continental US, he feels America is better fit drilling closer to home vs. piping afar.

Read below:

Billionaire oil investor T. Boone Pickens said on Wednesday he doubts a $26 billion natural gas pipeline from Alaska will be built any time soon as abundant new shale gas supplies reduce the need for the expensive project.

Pickens, who is promoting a plan to boost investment in wind power and natural gas to cut U.S. oil imports, said at a Calgary appearance that he sees little need for Alaskan gas given massive shale gas discoveries in the Barnett shale play in Texas and elsewhere.

"All the proven gas on the Arctic coast is 39 (trillion cubic feet). That's not as much as you have in the Barnett shale," Pickens said at a Calgary speech. "I don't think a pipeline from Alaska through Canada to the lower-48 makes sense."


Still, with the Barnett shale containing as much as 50 trillion cubic feet of gas, and new plays in Louisiana, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, British Columbia and elsewhere showing the potential to be even bigger, the need for an Alaska line is questionable, Pickens said.

"I don't think that pipeline gets built right now," he said. "I don't think the pipeline will be built for 10 to 15 years."

Added: It appears Alaska isn't the only place with dreams "going up in smoke;" Canada's Mackenzie Valley Pipeline also appears to be uncertain. Because of why?

The emergence in the last couple of years of large new deposits of shale gas close to major markets is seen as the latest stumbling block for Arctic resource development, although Mr. Sykes said natural gas in the Mackenzie Delta is competitive with most shale plays in North America.

- Brewskie

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