Kenai Conversation: AK LNG with Keith Meyer and Frank Richards, AGDC

Aug 8, 2018

 


This week, we’re talking about the AK LNG Project with the president of the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, Keith Meyer and AGDC’s senior vice president of program management, Frank Richards.


Interview higlights:

On the Trump administration’s trade war with AK LNG’s largest potential customer, China:

 

“First of all, when we look at LNG globally, it is a growth market. The fastest growth market in LNG globally is China and it’s largely because of market share. What they’re doing is retiring a lot of the coal plants and replacing them with natural gas. They’ve become the number two importer (of LNG) in the world, but on a very rapid growth pace to get there over the last ten years. What China has said to the U.S. is we want to buy more stuff from the U.S., but, we want to buy the stuff that we need. It turns out LNG is one of the things they need...Recently, LNG has been mentioned as one of the things that may be impacted (by tariffs). It’s not yet, but it may be, so it’s something we’re watching.” - Keith Meyer

 

On the growing markets for natural gas-based energy:

 

“One of the sectors to watch is the transportation sector. It has long been held captive by the petroleum sector; gas and oil. What you’re seeing now is this electrification of the transportation sector where you’re getting electric cars. They’re trying electric trucks. China has talked about implementing a policy of forbidding gas or diesel fueled cars and going to electric vehicles. Well, that electricity has to come from somewhere. What we’re looking for is not so much a change in total demand, but a shift in how their energy is getting to them” - Keith Meyer

 

On building a major infrastructure project in the Arctic’s quickly warming climate:

 

“We’ve had to look at our construction sequencing. So if we start at the top of the project, we’re in Prudhoe Bay, we have to bring in large modules to construct a gas treatment plant. (Those modules) will be built in other locations, probably in Asian fabrication yards, and then barged into Prudhoe Bay. The open water season for those barges to come into Prudhoe Bay is critical. What we’re seeing is that open water window is maybe getting larger. We will design all of the components of the project to into account the issues of permafrost, the issues of heat into the permafrost and what that does in regards to potentially thawing it or trying to keep it in a more stable condition...we’ll just have to make sure that as we go through those areas, we put in place suitable strength pipe to be able to handle (freeze-thaw cycles).” - Frank Richards