A Memo Does Not An Energy Project Make, according to Paul Jenkins who provides this viewpoint in an ADN op-ed piece this weekend.  -dh


Memo to: bla, bla, bla. Non committal. Bla, bla. With conditions. Bla, bla. If economically feasible. Bla, bla. We’d love to have Alaska gas under the right economic conditions. Bla, bla. Assuming pipeline/LNG tariff and taxes and producer prices are acceptable to us. Bla, bla….  “This project is Alaska’s get well card,” bla, bla….

Reading the breathless news that Korea Gas Corp. and the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. have inked yet another in a long line of memorandums of understanding for the proposed $45 billion Alaska LNG Project, one could be forgiven for thinking things were going just swimmingly.

In reality, the memorandum was little more than state officials putting lipstick on their favorite pig. The non-binding agreement — and the administration, some say, expected much more — amounts to diddly.

The Walker administration is pressing hard to build the massive project aimed at moving North Slope gas south through a pipeline to a liquefaction plant in Nikiski and then to Asian markets by ship. This, despite its three partners, ExxonMobil, BP and ConocoPhillips, bailing out after spending hundreds of millions of dollars. The project, they said, did not pencil out.
The announcement of the MOU — an informal agreement signifying little more than an exchange of business cards and a free drink – smacks of public relations spin.

The truth is Korea’s state-owned Korea Gas Corp., or KOGAS, is seeking investments in potential LNG projects not only in Alaska, but in Texas and Louisiana. Why the push?

South Korea, the ninth-largest importer in the world, is Asia’s fourth-largest economy. It is the world’s second-largest LNG buyer, with Qatar and Australia providing most of it, LNG World News reports. KOGAS is the world’s largest LNG-importing company and operates four LNG regasification terminals and 2,900 miles of natural gas pipelines in South Korea. KOGAS is hustling to ensure future supplies — and has been busy.