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Alaskan Governor discusses potential for LNG in Japan

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LNG Industry,

The Governor of Alaska, Bill Walker, has begun attending a number of meetings in Japan with Itochu Corp., Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp., and Tokyo Electric Power Company. These meetings concern the potential for taking Alaskan LNG to market in Japan, which is particularly necessary since the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown in 2011 left a gap in the market for energy companies. Walker will meet the CEO of the Energy and Metals Group of Marubeni Corp., and will also give a speech at the 4th LNG Producer-Consumer Conference concerning Alaskan LNG potential.­­­­­

Walker has stated: “I want our trade partners and customers to know Alaska is serious about taking our rich natural gas reserves to market […] Alaska has vast untapped natural resources available to meet in-state demand, as well as the needs of Japan.” Walker also wants the US to take a bigger share of the Japanese market, as he claimed: “When Phillips Petroleum Company began shipping LNG to Japan from Nikiski 46 years ago, we provided 100% of Japan’s LNG supply, but today we are supplying less than 1% […] I’m here in Tokyo this week to change that, and to continue the mutually beneficial relationship.”

Marty Rutherford, the Deputy Commissioner of Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources, added: “In Prudhoe Bay and Point Thomson lie 33 trillion ft3 of natural gas – and those are just the proven reserves […] Upsizing the pipeline from 42 to 48 in. lowers the overall operating costs and increases deliverability for our customers.”

Japan is not Walker’s only concern, however, as in a meeting with US Department of Energy officials, he was informed on other Asian countries’ (such as South Korea and Singapore) need for LNG. Walker responded by discussing with the Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, the possibility of developing methane hydrate resources in northern Alaska.

Edited from press release by David Rowlands

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