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Petroleum News: Oil Patch Insider

King Ralph promotes King Coal; Pac Com’s oil and gas speaker list heating up, includes Shell
King Ralph — as Alberta’s premier is often labeled — has designs on becoming King Coal. In his annual televised address to Albertans in February he plans to lay out details of a strategy to put coal on the same footing as the oil sands.
Klein said Alberta has enough coal supply to last several hundred years and provide a “source of long-term prosperity” for his already rich province.
Describing himself as a “coal guy,” Klein told the Alberta Chamber of Resources he has learned enough about coal over recent years to convince him that the resource can “play a big role in Alberta’s energy future.”
A breakthrough in developing clean coal technology is key to unlocking coal’s potential, while coal gasification to create synthetic fuel gas would help ease concerns about pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, he said.
Klein said that in addition to using coal to generate power, the resource can also be processed for use in petrochemical and fertilizer industries.
Coal Association of Canada Executive Director Allen Wright, although surprised by Klein’s impending announcement, said his association has taken every opportunity it could in recent years to make a case for coal’s potential.
Currently the resource pumps about C$5 billion a year into the national economy and employs 56,000 directly and indirectly.
National production ranges from 60 million to 70 million metric tons, about 30 percent of which is exported.
British Columbia tops the export list at about 25 million metric tons a year, 5 times greater than Alberta.
—Gary Park
NAC sale announced
Northern Air Cargo and its subsidiaries have been sold to Saltchuk Resources, a privately owned holding company based in the Pacific Northwest. In separate but related transactions, Saltchuck also purchased the Sholton family’s Fairbanks airport facility and supporting ground equipment as well as the remaining assets of Northern Air Fuel.
See the full story in the next Petroleum Directory.
— Kay Cashman
Pac Com’s oil and gas speaker list shaping up nicely, includes Shell
Although still a work in progress, the oil and gas speaker list for Pac Com 2006 — Pacific Construction, Oil and Mining Exposition — is shaping up nicely.
Held in Anchorage’s Sullivan Arena Feb. 22 and 23, the annual Pac Com conference and trade show has nabbed Dave Houseknecht, top research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, to present an update on the state’s natural gas potential with a focus on the latest estimates for northern Alaska.
Houseknecht is speaking on Feb. 23 when the oil and gas portion of the conference will be held in Room 1NE.
Other oil and gas speakers include those listed below. (All the presentations allow time for questions from the audience.)
• For companies looking at bidding in the State of Alaska’s Beaufort Sea and North Slope areawide oil and gas lease sales on March 1, Bill Van Dyke, acting director of Alaska’s Division of Oil and Gas, will talk about the geologic potential of the areas being offered in the sales.
• Former Alaska Department of Natural Resource officials Tom Irwin, Marty Rutherford and others will brief Alaskans on what to watch for in a gas pipeline contract between the state and the North Slope producers.
• Blair Murphy, commercial manager of Alaska North Slope Gas for ConocoPhillips, will talk about the development of Alaska’s natural gas, focusing on the construction of a pipeline.
• Danny Davis, president of Escopeta Oil and Gas, will present an update on the status of a jack-up rig for the Cook Inlet, as well as talk about the basin’s oil potential.
• Shell officials (looks like new appointee to Alaska office Cam Toohey and possibly new asset manager for Alaska Rick Fox) will be on hand to discuss their company’s re-entry into Alaska and the U.S. Minerals Management Service’s 5-year plan for the federal offshore.
Chevron officials have also been invited to talk about their company’s plans for the newly acquired Unocal assets in Alaska.
On Feb. 22 there are also two speakers of interest to the oil and gas industry:
• Kam Shah will talk about business opportunities in the Middle East. Shah is the project manager for the Middle East and North Africa Business Information Center with the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C.
• Bernard Coakley with the Geophysical Institute University of Alaska Fairbanks is making a presentation about the geology of the Arctic Ocean. (See related story in next week’s Petroleum News.)
To find out about the mining and construction speakers at Pac Com, go to or call (907) 277-7469 in Anchorage.
—Petroleum News

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