Bio Conference Attracts Oklahomans

More than 60 Oklahomans attended the BIO 2009 trade show at the Georgia World Congress Center, providing a big presence for the state at one of the world’s largest industry networking events.
The Oklahomans sought to connect with potential business partners, clients and investors among the 20,000 people at the annual convention of the Biotechnology Industry Organization.
The Oklahoma contingent is a mix of economic development officers, researchers and entrepreneurs from across the state.
They want to showcase Oklahoma’s flourishing life sciences community in front of a vast industry audience.
“It’s an opportunity for Oklahoma scientists and early stage companies to find people to collaborate and partner with,” said Robin Roberts-Krieger, executive vice president of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. “It’s very unusual in an industry where you can go to one place and bring everyone together.”
The show featured more than 170 breakout sessions, partnership forum, a keynote speech by Elton John and a giant trade show with more than 2,000 exhibitors.
The Oklahoma contingent operated under the OKBio banner and greet visitors to the state’s large exhibition space on the convention center floor.
Producers, Utah Counties Challenge Interior Decision
Three independent producers and three Utah counties filed separate lawsuits challenging Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s decision in February to withdraw 77 oil and natural gas leases from development in Utah, saying that the secretary had exceeded his authority.
Carbon, Duchesne and Uintah counties filed suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, saying that they could lose thousands or millions of dollars in oil-and-gas royalties from Salazar’s decision to rescind 77 of the leases. Lawyers for Questar Exploration & Production Co., Impact Energy Resources LLC and Peak Royalty Holdings LLC of Heber City also filed a separate lawsuit that day.
Salazar in February voided the leases auctioned off in December because they were too close to Utah’s redrock parks, he said. But lawyers for the drillers contend Salazar was misled about the proximity of the parcels to Arches and Canyonlands national parks and Dinosaur National Monument.
Gas, Electric Distributors Get Chunk of Allowances
State-regulated local natural gas distribution companies would receive 9 percent of the emission credit allowances for free under an allocation plan proposed by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Rep. Edward Markey D-Mass., in their draft legislation to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide.
The cornerstone of the bill is a plan to cap carbon dioxide emissions blamed for contributing to global warming.
Alaska Utility Contracts Avoid Looming Gas Shortfall
Alaska’s Chugach Electric Association struck a seven-year gas supply contract with ConocoPhillips to head off a significant supply shortfall that had been expected by the utility.
As part of the deal, Chugach, the largest electric utility in the state, dropped a challenge to a liquefied natural gas license extension that had been awarded to Alaska producers.
In all, Chugach expects to buy 66 billion cubic feet of gas under the contract.
Most of the gas will be priced according to a Lower 48 index, Chugach said.
As part of its deal with Conoco, Chugach has agreed to withdraw its appeal of last year’s federal approval for Conoco and its partner Marathon Oil to continue exporting liquefied natural gas from a plant at Nikiski, Chugach said. That plant is the largest consumer of Cook Inlet-area natural gas, and Chugach had argued that Southcentral Alaska natural gas needs should be ensured before exports are allowed. If the LNG plant isn’t taking gas, Chugach might get a lower price for the gas it buys.
ConocoPhillips Sees Gas Prices Between $4 to $8
ConocoPhillips forecasts that natural gas prices will be in a range of $4 to $8 per million btu, and oil prices will average $60-80/bbl over the next five years, CEO Jim Mulva said.
Substantial Natural Gas Discovered in Gulf
High saturations of natural gas hydrates have been discovered within reservoir-quality sands in the Lower Tertiary of the Gulf of Mexico.
The landmark discovery was reported by the Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

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