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Politics as much at play as economics for Russian LNG

Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects
For more information and updates, please visit our website: Arcticgas.gov.
 

As Alaskans look around the world at potential competitors for natural gas sales to Asia-Pacific buyers, Russia stands out.

Russia already has one LNG export terminal, with three others being considered for the market. The government wants the revenue from increased sales; Russian oil and gas companies want the business; Asian buyers want more supply options; and, like Alaska, Russia wants to promote economic development in its remote regions.

Were it that easy. One Russian project needs a 2,000-mile-long pipeline. LNG tankers departing another would encounter ice-blocked shipping lanes most of the year, diverting them to a much longer 40-day voyage.

Still, even the unlikely can happen in Russia. “The minute you think you understand it, you’re in trouble,” said a global energy analyst at a recent workshop in Washington.

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