Alaskan Governor talks LNG in Japan

Governor Bill Walker kicked off meetings in Japan about taking Alaska’s liquefied natural gas to market.

Governor Walker, Department of Natural Resources Deputy Commissioner Marty Rutherford, and Gas Team General Manager Audie Setters discussed Alaska’s LNG potential with the presidents of Itochu Corporation, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, Tokyo Electric Power Company, and Tokyo Gas, according to a statement by the Governor’s Office.

They also met in Tokyo with U.S. Department of Energy officials and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy.

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.

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.

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.

Governor Walker will meet with the Chief Executive Officer of the Energy and Metals Group of Marubeni Corporation, an energy trading company, and deliver a keynote address about Alaska’s LNG potential at an LNG conference in Tokyo.

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