The export of LNG from Alaska would be an effective way to monetize the state’s natural gas resource, David Keane, vice president policy and corporate affairs, BG North America, Caribbean and Global LNG, told The Arctic Energy Summit in Anchorage, Alaska, on Oct. 18. BG, a major international natural gas company, entered the Alaska oil and gas industry in 2006 and has since acquired substantial net acreage in northern Alaska oil and gas leases.
“One way to monetize those (Alaska gas) reserves may be by developing another LNG or liquefied natural gas export facility,” Keane said. “LNG, I believe, is an industry that holds the key to the future evolution of gas markets worldwide and I believe that Alaska can be a critical part of that world market.”
Worldwide, the shipping of LNG has become increasingly viable and that factor is moving LNG trading from a regional focus into a truly global market, Keane said.
“The supply and demand sides of the market should clear at an equitable price, representing development of an efficient global market, where LNG promotes economic stability, provides energy security and maximizes market growth for gas,” Keane said.
Already, a significant secondary natural gas market has developed, in which LNG suppliers remarket their cargoes to different importers. This secondary market works, in effect, like a spot market for gas. The flexibility of a global market would enable the possibility of selling Alaska LNG into Asia-Pacific markets, Keane said. That LNG would displace LNG derived from Atlantic basins, with the Atlantic LNG then supplying the United States, Keane said.
Keane also said that BG supports Gov. Palin’s Alaska Gasline Inducement Act as a vehicle to provide a means of exporting gas from the North Slope. Keane would not speculate to Petroleum News on a possible site for a future new LNG facility in Alaska — he characterized BG’s current involvement in Alaska as “an exploration and production opportunity.” However, Keane said that, if there is as much gas in Alaska as people estimate, a pipeline to the Lower 48 and a new LNG export facility could both prove viable.
Editor's note: Watch for the full story in the Oct. 28 issue of Petroleum News, which will be available online on Friday, Oct. 26 at www.petroleumnews.com