Alaska looks to get natural gas to Asia

Oct. 31, 2011 at 9:56 AM

JUNEAU, Alaska, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- A move to consider getting natural gas from Alaska to markets in Asia represents a welcome shift in strategy, lawmakers said.

Alaskan Gov. Sean Parnell is said to be considering shipping his state's natural gas to western ports for processing into liquefied natural gas for Asian markets.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said she welcomed the idea to explore new markets for Alaskan natural resources.

"The world is seeing massive changes in terms of natural gas supply and markets, and Alaskans must be able to adjust to those changes," she was quoted by The Anchorage Daily News as saying.

TransCanada and Exxon Mobil are entitled under the 2007 Gasline Inducement Act to get $500 million in reimbursements from the state. TransCanada said, however, hasn't had any luck in attracting customers to a proposed natural gas pipeline to the Lower 48 states.

Denali, a joint venture between BP and ConocoPhillips, announced in May that it was giving up on plans to build its rival natural gas pipeline, saying development of shale gas resources in North America "created a very difficult environment" to get financial commitments from potential customers.

Alaska's state Sen. Kevin Meyer, a Republican, said Parnell was on the right track.

"I think everybody's come to the conclusion, and many people have a long time ago, that shipping our gas down to the Lower 48 isn't going to work," he was quoted as saying.

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