State’s natural gas needs should be the priority

Posted: Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A recent phone survey asked me whether or not I thought the proposed gas line should go through Canada via one of two routes. I believe the caller also asked if I thought the Valdez NGL plant option should be considered. One option was missing that really disturbed me. I don’t think that one cubic foot of natural gas should leave Alaska until the needs of Alaska (specifically the Cook Inlet) are provided for.

Companies have considered locating in the Cook Inlet area, but have declined to do so due to a shortage of natural gas. I would think that the smelting of ore locally would be more attractive if the fuel existed in adequate, economical quantities.

In response to the “We in Alaska could never use the 4.5 billion cubic feet of gas a day that the pipeline could transport, even if we tried” quote from Ms. Pease (gas line advisor from the governor’s office) on Wed. April 19th: At the present time, there appears to be a shortage of natural gas in the Cook Inlet region. I don’t know how much of the 4.5 billion could be used locally, but I do know that natural gas liquefaction consumes approximately 250 mmscfd. What will be the demand for methane in Alaska 10-20 years from now?

I don’t know about you, but my natural gas bill went up substantially this past winter. More methane production could mean more NGL production and possibly a more reasonable price for propane. I know, dream on. Let’s sell all the methane we can, but not at the expense of lost industry investment and jobs in this area.

John Camp


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