Alaska may send LNG to Asian markets

Sept. 24, 2012 at 9:04 AM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Shale natural gas development in the Lower 48 states suggests Alaska may find an attractive market for LNG in Asian economies, an industry consultant said.

Top executives at BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil have considered liquefied natural gas deliveries to Asian markets as an attractive option for Alaskan reserves. Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell called on the three companies to deliver LNG export plans by the end of September.

Kevin Book, managing director of consultant ClearView Energy Partners, told Bloomberg News the natural gas market in the Lower 48 may be saturated by the shale boom in the United States.

"So the next most logical place to take it is to liquefy it and ship it (from Alaska) at significant price premiums to Japan, China and throughout the Pacific Rim," he said.

Alaska is the only U.S. state that exports LNG. The existing facility can process around 240 million cubic feet of gas per day. Bloomberg reports a new facility may have the capacity to produce around 3 billion cubic feet per day.

Asian demand for natural gas is expected to increase dramatically over the coming years. Japan imports LNG exclusively.

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