Aurora Gas finds niche in Cook Inlet

Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Ever since oil and gas was discovered in the Cook Inlet, it has taken the financial might of a major corporation to develop and profit in Alaska's oil and gas industry, but today Alaska seems to be offering opportunities for new and smaller independent companies. According to Ed Jones, Executive Vice President of the newly formed and privately owned Aurora Gas Company, there are almost unlimited opportunities to find natural gas on the Kenai Peninsula. "We are a natural gas developer and producer and we see lots of opportunities here. Many gas reserves have been found and not developed, and many reserves are yet to be found," said Jones, who addressed the Kenai Chapter of the Alliance last week. Aurora Gas plans to market the gas they develop to their parent company Aurora Power that sells gas to large industrial users in South Central Alaska, Anchorage, and the Kenai Peninsula. Aurora Gas has spent about two and a half million dollars in the last six months on the Kenai Peninsula with Alaskan companies, and Jones anticipates they will spend twice that much in the next year.

If markets continue to develop Jones believes more independents will come to Alaska to develop new supplies of natural gas that are now dwindling. "The more demand there is the more opportunities there will be for others to come in and spend money to develop the reserves that are here," said Jones. Aurora Gas is a small company with three employees who are also the owners of the company. However, they do utilize support people from Aurora Power, and a number of contractors and consultants as well.

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