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Thread: Running out of Oil & Natural Gas???

  1. #1
    Member G3_Guy's Avatar
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    Default Running out of Oil & Natural Gas???

    So I've been reading several posts lately on various threads about the condition of AK and the possibility of the state running our of Natural Gas and/or shutting down the oil pipeline for various reasons. I'm curious to know what these posts, claims and comments are founded on? Is this really an area of concern for AK residents? I'm not trying to sound like a smart-elic with these questions but living in the lower 48, these are not issues we normally hear a lot about. However, with me considering a move to AK in the next year or so, it's definitely something I want to know about.

    Thanks in Advance & God Bless!
    G3 Guy
    "...with God all things are possible." - Mark 10:27

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by G3_Guy View Post

    Is this really an area of concern for AK residents?

    Not even on the the radar, No one wants to talk about it, and for sure no one wants to hear anyone else talk about it. We just put our hands over our ears and loudly sing: La La La La La La.

    The oil pipeline will have to be shutdown if the flow continues to drop. Chevron is leaving Alaska, The Cook Inlet field needs new wells urgently. There is a shortage now, and there will be a critical shortage of Natural Gas for Anchorage by 2014.

    There is some hope that the smaller companies can develop new Natural Gas fields in Cook Inlet, but the return on investment and risk is not there for the large companies like Chevron.

    The trans Alaska Pipeline was designed to last (20) twenty years. They have managed to extend the life of the line with lubricants. But it is just a matter of time till there is a large catastrophic failure, due to corrosion. They should have built a redundant parallel line 15 years ago to use for both gas and oil. The biggest risk now is the lead time to bring new fields on line before the volume drops so low that the line is not functional.

    The sad thing is this is JUST the knows.

  3. #3
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    AGL4now is right on. The northslope needs more fields to come on line, but the TAPS needs major overhaul work even though large sections of it have been replaced. Its through put has been reducing for two decades. One more decade with no increase in volume and they will have to close it down. Of course if Northslope oil goes over $100/bbl and stays there the profits will fund all kinds of stuff to keep it alive.

    The main issue for Cook Inlet NG is that there is no storage facility like there is in the L48. The gas is sent out daily depending on demand so in the winter it can get dicey during cold snaps. A large storage facility will solve part of the problem and make it easier to moderate the demand. They are looking into injecting NG into an old formation in the Kenai area rather than build a LNG above ground storage system.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Based on what I'm seeing regarding the oil companies investing in upgrading their infrastructure on the slope, they certainly aren't planning on shutting off oil flow in the next 5-10 years. Their upgrades are based on another 20-30 years of pumping oil down the pipeline, and they wouldn't be investing billions in upgrades that won't get them another drop of oil if they were planning on shutting down in another 5 years.

    Natural gas in cook inlet could get interesting in the near term, but I personally don't see the doom and gloom others fear.

  5. #5
    Member Derby06's Avatar
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    Default It'll be OK

    I agree with Paul H. Is everything gonna be rosy and easy...NO...but all (or 60+%) of the jobs aren't just going to suddenly end with no replacements in the next decade either...
    And if they do, then I truly will be able to live off the land and not have to hope I draw for a hunt or compete with other dip/set netters for my share....
    Just better pay the house off just in case.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Based on what I'm seeing regarding the oil companies investing in upgrading their infrastructure on the slope, they certainly aren't planning on shutting off oil flow in the next 5-10 years. Their upgrades are based on another 20-30 years of pumping oil down the pipeline, and they wouldn't be investing billions in upgrades that won't get them another drop of oil if they were planning on shutting down in another 5 years.

    Natural gas in cook inlet could get interesting in the near term, but I personally don't see the doom and gloom others fear.
    I pray you are correct......sadly I fear the worse. Much of their reinvestment is tax motivated. I don't think the oil companies are bad or evil. I think they but on a smile and pray that the Spit does not hi the fan, because so much is outside of their control.

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    Member Bsj425's Avatar
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    Not to mention it is pretty much impossible to even get a permit for exploratory drilling with the current administration in the white house so for the time being we are stuck with what we got. They have made it so difficult with rules and regs that it isnt even worth peoples effort to try.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bsj425 View Post
    Not to mention it is pretty much impossible to even get a permit for exploratory drilling with the current administration in the white house so for the time being we are stuck with what we got. They have made it so difficult with rules and regs that it isn't even worth peoples effort to try.
    This is the problem as I understand it. The Flow in the line is dropping year after year. My understanding is that in as little as four years there could be too low of a flow for the line to function. And that it takes 7 to 10 years from start to production to bring a new field on-line. Some think it is already to late. I don't know.

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    AGL4now,
    Can't natural gas be run through the pipeline, or perhaps a combination of natural gas and oil?
    Steve
    PS I see you're a Peggy Lee fan.
    Tomorrow's a mystery, yesterday's history, today is a gift, that's why it's called the present!
    Approach life like you do a yellow light - RUN IT! (Gail T.)

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockdoc View Post
    Can't natural gas be run through the pipeline, or perhaps a combination of natural gas and oil?
    The oil pipeline is not a high pressure line. It was engineered for warm fluid transport based on 1960's technology. The control systems are fairly modern now, but the mechanical systems are still 1960's technology.

    All one has to do is review the current state of the national gas infrastructure and their explosions in neighborhoods and then think about how many seconds the 40 year old oil pipe would last once they opened the valve. At least it is not under anyones house.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockdoc View Post
    PS I see you're a Peggy Lee fan.
    Who isn't a Peggy Lee fan (except for 3/4 of this forum that was still in diapers when she was popular)?
    Capitalism will win out if the socialist leaners can be pushed out of the way and sent back to their college professorships and community organizing. It will probably take a major world crisis to make the American public wake up enough to realize what needs to be done. Or, maybe it will just take cold homes and parked SUVs and toys to get their attention, and be able to move on with sensible development of carbon fuels. A lot of folks in the L48 are probably wishing for some global warming right now.

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