Morning Headlamp — AKLNG’s hidden costs

$10 billion no one wants to talk about. The Alaska LNG megaproject has a $10 billion challenge — a huge volume of carbon dioxide must be prevented from entering the atmosphere where it may speed up global warming. Steve Butt said the project’s partners — Exxon, ConocoPhillips, BP and the state of Alaska — will never support venting 400 million to 500 million cubic feet of carbon dioxide into the air daily. The Alaska LNG project was initially estimated to cost $45 billion to $65 billion. Production isn’t expected to begin until 2025. The plant to remove the carbon dioxide represents about one-fourth of that cost, he said. “It’s about $10 billion at the low end,” he said. The gas treatment plant would be built on the Slope. Butt said the plant would essentially be a “giant CO2 recovery system,” removing the carbon dioxide before the gas is shipped in an 800-mile pipeline to Nikiski. It is worth noting that CO2 venting prevention isn’t required by law.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce chairman John Hopkins made a visit this week to Ketchikan, where he called on the presidential candidates from both major parties to focus on growth amid low oil prices. He said the chamber is concerned about where the national political discourse on energy is headed, The Ketchikan Daily News reported. “Our message is very clear to both candidates: If you want America to succeed, focus on growth,” Hopkins said, “that’s how we pay our bills, defend our country and keep the American dream alive.” Hopkins’ visit came after an appearance in Anchorage in late July, when he announced the U.S. chamber’s endorsement of Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Headlamp applauds Chairman Hopkins and the U.S. chamber of Commerce for championing industry growth amid low price conditions. With any luck, both presidential candidates will listen.

According to an analysis released Friday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), jobs in the oil and gas industry are down 26 percent since peaking two years ago. “Not all production jobs are directly related to drilling—the majority of the jobs are actually for extraction or support activities, which include the operations of drilled wells, exploration, excavation, well surveying, casing work, and well construction,” says the EIA. “This also includes the maintenance of already producing wells.”

 

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First Reads

Here’s the $10 billion reason for the high cost of Alaska LNG
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, August 7, 2016

US chamber chairman talks oil woes, election on Alaska trip
Associated Press, August 7, 2016

My Turn: Has Alaska cut the fat out of the budget?
Juneau Empire, Win Gruening, August 5, 2016

Oil and gas jobs down 26 percent since 2014
State Impact, Marie Cusick, August 5, 2016