NEWS BULLETIN

January 10, 2013 --- Vol. 19, No. 5January 2013

Southcentral utilities leaning towards the use of diesel fuel

The Southcentral Alaska utilities are considering the use of diesel fuel for some power generation, in the event of a predicted utility natural gas supply shortage around 2014-15, Robert Gibb, associate director of Navigant Consulting, told the Mayor’s Energy Task Force in Anchorage yesterday. Gibb is helping the utilities and the planned Donlin Creek gold mine evaluate the options for dealing with the pending Southcentral gas supply crisis.

The utilities have been investigating the potential import of liquefied natural gas or compressed natural gas into Southcentral to cover the gas shortfall. But with some significant uncertainties associated with these options, the utilities now tend to favor the diesel fuel option as a safe means of dealing with the problem in the short term, despite the fuel’s high cost. The utilities will also seek a cost-effective long-term solution, Gibb said.

—Alan Bailey

See story in Jan. 13 issue, available online at 11 a.m., Friday, Jan. 11 at www.PetroleumNews.com

Second coastal area open for tundra travel

The western coastal area of the North Slope is open for tundra travel, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Mining, Land and Water said yesterday.

The eastern coastal area met the criteria for opening (6 inches of snow and colder than minus 5 degrees C soil temperature at 30 centimeters depth) Jan. 8.

The openings apply only to operators with valid off-road vehicle travel permits to operate on state-owned lands on the North Slope.

The division said that while overall snow cover is good, it may be thin in some areas and those areas should be avoided, or special construction methods used to protect the tundra surface.

—Kristen Nelson


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