The AK LNG project seems to be picking up some steam. A former partner in the project, BP, came back aboard last week with an agreement to supply North Slope gas to the 800-mile trans state pipeline.
Exact figures of that deal haven’t been released, as the state-owned Alaska Gasline Development Corporation continues negotiations with other North Slope suppliers. Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District executive director Tim Dillon says keeping details on a multi-billion dollar project away from public scrutiny is to be expected.
“They want to operate confidentially (because) their competitors, stockholders, a variety of different people have different interests. We have been involved in a variety of different meetings over the past year and we just kept feeling very positive about what the governor’s team had been doing. Hopefully, as people start to hear some of the positive things that are really going on out there, they’ll get a better feel for it. Unfortunately, this is the way this operation had to run. They couldn’t do everything in the public eye.”
Representatives from Alaska will be traveling to China at the end of the month, where another delegation went late last year to come to some preliminary terms on a partnership for the pipeline. As it stands, for its investment, China would get 75% of the gas coming off the line to sell there. Alaska would keep the remainder. Dillon says this latest trade mission will be about more than just LNG.
“The LNG project is just one piece of all the other things we have going on, whether it be seafood or tourism or any of the other pieces. It’s a lot better to be selling overseas than having to absorb everything in-state. So it’s a real positive thing and hopefully it will help our economy in a good way.”
Representatives from across the state will be going, though no one will be representing the Kenai Peninsula Borough. Dillon says even though there’s been plenty of political posturing on an international level, meetings of this sort are still a step in the right direction.
“Our president has gotten people to the table. And that’s the big part we weren’t seeing, is being able to get people to the table, have a discussion and then compromise. I think that’s a real positive thing.”
The Alaska delegation to China will be traveling May 19th through the 30th.