Benefits of Alaska LNG

Mar 29, 2018 | Arctic, Energy, Oil & Gas

KEITH MEYER

Keith Meyer
Credit: Keith Meyer

The gasline is a vital component of Alaska’s future and has the ability to transform our economy. The Alaska LNG project will be the nation’s largest energy project. This project will bring thousands of jobs to Alaskans, decrease the cost of energy in our communities, and allow Alaska’s proven but stranded natural gas resources to help secure energy dominance for our country.

Alaska’s oil and gas industry is the largest private economic employer, including companies who explore, produce, and assist in operations for this vast resource. For decades, Alaska has been monetizing oil found on the North Slope, but the state’s natural gas resources have remained stranded. Developing the Alaska LNG project will allow our gas to be brought to market and will result in jobs for Alaskans and revenue for the state. The benefits to Alaska’s economy will be wide spread and be enjoyed for generations.

The Alaska LNG System design guarantees energy for Alaskans. Developing Alaska’s extensive gas resources will create a stable source of economical natural gas for Alaska homes and businesses. Getting affordable energy to Alaskans is a priority. The gas will be treated on the North Slope and will be ready to use straight off the 807-mile pipeline. The capacity of the gasline is larger than the LNG plant by 500 million cubic feet per day, which is more than twice the current demand in Alaska. Alaskans will benefit from access to our resource, a stronger economy, a less expensive energy source, and cleaner burning fuel.

Once the pipeline is constructed, Alaska gas will go to Alaska communities before making its way to Asia. Access to this new source of energy could reduce the cost of energy in communities like Fairbanks by half or more. Thanks to State Senator Lyman Hoffman, 20 percent of the revenue from the state’s ownership royalty share will go toward a rural capital energy fund so even communities off the pipeline corridor will benefit. The fund provides a source from which the legislature may appropriate funds to develop infrastructure to deliver more affordable energy to areas of the state that are not expected to have direct access to the natural gas pipeline.

Alaska is blessed with an abundance of natural and renewable resources across the state that can be developed for clean, affordable energy. Progress has been made in many communities in shifting a portion of energy production from expensive diesel to energy from renewable sources like wind, biofuels, river energy, and solar. This shift to renewables provides not only a cost benefit but helps reduce emissions and provide for greater energy security. Dedicating a stream of revenue to continue this progress will have a lasting impact in Alaska for the life of the Alaska LNG project.

Our guiding principle is simple: Alaska First. Alaska’s workforce will have jobs during and after construction. Now is the time to learn more about career fields related to the project. This new demand for trained workers is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Alaskans to enter into the oil and gas industry.

With detailed engineering, procurement, and pre-construction activities expected in 2019, now is the time to train, recertify, and ensure Alaska workers have the right qualifications to work safely. We anticipate up to 12,000 direct jobs during construction. The range of direct and indirect occupations involved in this project will require a workforce from across the state. The Alaska State Department of Labor and Workforce Development published the Gasline Workforce Plan, found at jobs.alaska.gov/energy .

This Plan identifies labor markets, anticipates workforce needs, and summarizes Alaska’s training capacity. The Plan outlines solutions to meet the goal of training and educating an Alaskan workforce for the Alaska LNG project.

For Alaskans to meet the employment needs of this project, we must continue to expand the capacity of Alaska’s training programs and institutions. Alaska businesses and resident workers will be first in line to benefit. The State of Alaska’s Alaska Bidder and Alaska Hire policies and a strong project labor agreement will make certain this happens. Alaskans are already training for the various roles this project will require. I am proud of our network of in-state Joint Apprenticeship Training Centers, career and technical education providers, registered apprenticeship programs, and the University of Alaska system. Did you know Fairbanks is home to our nation’s only comprehensive pipeline industry training center? Alaska is at the top of the game for training!

Alaska LNG will supply stable, economically priced natural gas for all current and future Alaska demand. Alaska LNG has received extraordinary interest from around the world due to the state’s unique ability to deliver energy stability at competitive prices along with reliability and shipping advantages. At this point AGDC expects customers from China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and other markets across the Asia-Pacific region. The State of Alaska and in-state entities will also have the opportunity to invest in Alaska LNG, but participation in not required in order to move the project forward.

As we move into 2018, propelled by our regulatory and commercial accomplishments of the past year, AGDC will rely on the expertise of individuals and companies that have successfully advanced similar world-class projects. Now is the time to complete what was envisioned decades ago: the construction of a natural gas pipeline and infrastructure necessary to bring Alaska’s vast, proven, North Slope natural gas resources to market.

Mr. Meyer is a seasoned executive with more than 35 years of global energy industry experience. He has served in senior management positions in both Fortune 500 and smaller, faster-growing energy companies. He has led multi-disciplinary teams in the development of large-scale infrastructure projects spanning four continents to include LNG terminals, natural gas pipelines, power plants, gas liquids plants, storage, and gas separation projects. Mr. Meyer is an MBA graduate of Rice University.

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