Headlamp – LNG Friday: Fairbanks LNG, Kenai LNG, China LNG

IGU and Siemens looking at coal-bed methane resources. The Interior Gas Utility and Siemens Government Technologies, a U.S. division of the German firm Siemens, are discussing a potential contract for the delivery and purchase of liquefied natural gas. Siemens approached IGU in fall 2017 to signal its interest in supplying Interior Alaska with LNG from an undeveloped site near Houston, between Wasilla and Willow on the Parks Highway. Siemens has given IGU’s board of directors’ multiple presentations about its desire to construct liquefaction plants, harvest natural gas, and transport and sell it to the Fairbanks market. The company hopes to tap into coal-bed methane resources on 3,000 acres of Knikatnu Village Corp. land. Siemens proposes funding all project development, and in turn has requested a development agreement with IGU. Kelly Laurel, director of energy and infrastructure for Siemens Government Technologies, said the proposed development agreement asks IGU for assurances that the project will move forward if gas can be provided at or below a certain price. Laurel said Siemens is willing to shoulder the risk by funding project development to determine if the gas will meet target prices.

When Nikiski talks….Alaska LNG will listen. Nikiski residents now have a direct line to the Kenai Peninsula Borough government and the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation to voice their concerns about the Alaska LNG Project. The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly approved the formation of the Alaska Liquid Natural Gasline Project Advisory Board at its meeting Tuesday, intended to give the community of Nikiski a forum to discuss issues related to the Alaska LNG Project. The planning for the project, a state-sponsored megaproject that involves an approximately 800-mile pipeline to bring natural gas from the North Slope to a liquefaction plant in Nikiski with the intent to export it to markets in Asia, has been stirring discussion in Nikiski for the last several years.

What’s good for China is great for Alaska LNG. China surpassed South Korea to become the world’s second-largest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2017, according to data from IHS Markit and official Chinese government statistics. Chinese imports of LNG averaged 5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2017, exceeded only by Japanese imports of 11 Bcf/d. Imports of LNG by China, driven by government policies designed to reduce air pollution, increased by 1.6 Bcf/d (46%) in 2017, with monthly imports reaching 7.8 Bcf/d in December. China’s imports of natural gas have grown to meet increasing domestic natural gas consumption, which has been primarily driven by environmental policies to transition away from coal-fired electricity generation. The Chinese government has also implemented policies to convert several million residential households in China’s northern provinces, which traditionally rely on coal heating in the winter, to use natural gas-fired boilers instead. Natural gas storage capacity in China is relatively limited, estimated at just 3% of total natural gas consumption. China’s seasonal peak demand is met primarily by natural gas imports, either by pipeline from Central Asia or by shipments of LNG. Despite increases in China’s domestic production and in pipeline imports in 2017, natural gas shortages in northern China led to record levels of LNG imports during the 2017 winter. Overall, natural gas imports accounted for 40% of China’s 2017 natural gas supply, and LNG made up more than half of those imports.

“RDC’s Portman sees economic potential for Alaska in Arctic waters.” Alaskans gathered in downtown Anchorage on Wednesday night to weigh in on the Trump administration’s proposal to open almost all Alaska waters to oil and gas development. The Wednesday night meeting was the only opportunity for Alaskans to comment on the draft proposal in person, and many showed up to speak out against it. Adrienne Titus helped organize a protest outside the meeting. “When it comes to oil and gas development in our water and on our land, it’s going to highly affect not just our land and our water, but our people, our cultures, who we are — our identity, our food security,” said Titus, who is with the nonprofit Native Movement. But another group of Alaskans showed up to support more offshore drilling opportunities. Resource Development Council deputy director Carl Portman says his group doesn’t necessarily want to open up all the areas proposed by the Trump administration. But Portman sees a lot of economic potential for Alaska in Arctic waters. “23, 24 billion barrels. That’s huge. But that’s a very long-term prospect,” he said. “But if you have children here in Alaska that want to make Alaska home and raise their children here, then this is something you need to be paying attention to.” The Interior Department expects to make a final decision on the offshore plan by the end 2019


First Reads:

Alaskans comment on Trump draft proposal to open state waters to oil, gas development
KTOO Public Media, Elizabeth Harball, February 22, 2018

Interior Gas Utility in talks for more LNG
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Robin Wood, February 22, 2018

Borough establishes advisory board for Nikiski residents on LNG project
Peninsula Clarion, Elizabeth Earl, February 22, 2018

China becomes world’s second largest LNG importer, behind Japan
American Journal of Transportation, Victoria Zaretskaya, February 23, 2018