Members of the board of directors of the Resource Development Council (RDC) in Anchorage came to the Kenai last week to help kick-off the first meeting of the Kenai Peninsula chapter of the RDC. The new local chapter is beginning member recruitment and is planning to hold monthly meetings, according to Jack Brown, Borough Business Development manager.
The keynote speaker for the meeting was Bill McMahon, Commercial Manager for ExxonMobil Alaska Gas Production Pipeline Team (AGPPT). According to McMahon, AGPPT is fully engaged in a joint program to evaluate and move forward with a large, modern pipeline from Alaska to Canada and the lower 48 states.
Thus far the group has spent $75 million dollars assessing the economic viability of a pipeline project with the focus on route evaluation, "We know that there is a growing market for Alaskan gas, but we must be cost-competitive and environmentally responsible to be a viable project," said McMahon. The team is still working to improve economics by lowering costs, but current analysis indicates that the project is not presently economic due to cost uncertainty, market volatility, regulatory/political, and fiscal risks, McMahon told those assembled at the Merit Inn in Kenai.
"No route decisions have been made at this point, but preliminary data indicates that the northern route could be built for less," said McMahon. The team however, hopes to complete the technical study/route comparison by the end of the year and develop an economic project through cost reduction, risk mitigation, and application of leading-edge technology.
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