Governor Walker Discusses LNG in Japan
September 15 2015
(SitNews) - Governor Bill Walker on Monday kicked off a week long series of meetings in Japan about taking Alaska’s natural gas to market. He and members of his team met with officials of a leading Japanese trade company, a governmental financing organization and two major utilities. They also met in Tokyo with U.S. Department of Energy officials and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy.
Governor Walker, Department of Natural Resources Deputy Commissioner Marty Rutherford and Gas Team General Manager Audie Setters discussed Alaska’s liquefied natural gas potential with the presidents of Itochu Corporation, a trade company; Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, a government agency that provides financing for Japanese companies interested in natural gas exploration; Tokyo Electric Power Company, the largest in the country; and Tokyo Gas, which serves more than 11 million customers in seven cities.
Tuesday: Governor Walker signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalize Alaska’s relationship with the prefecture of Kyoto. Governor Keiji Yamada also signed the document.
“I want our trade partners and customers to know Alaska is serious about taking our rich natural gas reserves to market,” Governor Walker said. “Alaska has vast untapped natural resources available to meet in-state demand, as well as the needs of Japan.”
The earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 disabled the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, which provided energy for much of the country. Since then, Japan’s need for liquefied natural gas has grown.
“In Prudhoe Bay and Point Thomson lie 33 trillion cubic feet of natural gas—and those are just the proven reserves,” said Marty Rutherford, Deputy Commissioner of Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources. “Upsizing the pipeline from 42 to 48 inches lowers the overall operating costs and increases deliverability for our customers.”
Alaska’s relationship with Japan dates back to 1969, when the first natural gas shipment was delivered from Nikiski.
“When Phillips Petroleum Company began shipping LNG to Japan from Nikiski 46 years ago, we provided 100 percent of Japan’s liquefied natural gas supply, but today we are supplying less than 1 percent,” Governor Walker said. “I’m here in Tokyo this week to change that, and to continue the mutually beneficial relationship.”
In his meeting with U.S. Department of Energy officials, Governor Walker was briefed on the growing need for LNG in Asian countries like Japan, Korea and Singapore. Governor Walker discussed with Ambassador Kennedy the potential of developing the vast resources of methane hydrate on the North Slope of Alaska.
Tuesday, Governor Bill Walker and his team wrapped up his second day of high-level meetings discussing Alaska’s liquefied natural gas potential with top-ranking executives in Japan, including the chief executive of Marubeni Corporation, a leading liquefied natural gas trading company, the governor of Kyoto Prefecture and former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.
“Alaska can point to 40 years of proven deliverability of our rich natural gas supply to the Asian market,” Governor Walker said. “We have the capacity to provide decades more to millions of customers to our Pacific neighbors.”
Governor Walker also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalize Alaska’s relationship with the prefecture of Kyoto. Governor Keiji Yamada also signed the document.
“Kyoto has experienced many energy challenges since the earthquake and tsunami of 2011,” Governor Keiji Yamada said. “This MOU will not only benefit our prefecture, it will greatly benefit the surrounding prefectures in Japan.”
Governor Walker, Department of Natural Resources Deputy Commissioner Marty Rutherford and Alaska Gas Team General Manger Audie Setters presented briefings on Alaska’s LNG potential during the Alaska Oil and Gas Opportunity Seminar. The seminar was organized by Resources Energy, Inc., and sponsored by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Institute of Energy Economics, Energy Resources, Inc.., and Japan Institute for Overseas Investment.
On Wednesday, Governor Walker will deliver a keynote address at the LNG Producer-Consumer Conference, and meet with the President and CEO of Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS), the world’s largest corporate buyer of LNG.
Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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