Proponents of energy development are in Anchorage for the 10th annual Alaska Oil and Gas Congress. Canada’s Northwest Territories Premiere Bob McCloud says Alaska and the Territories have a lot in common – great resources that are stranded in remote locations.
Premiere McCloud says he is closely watching how Alaska goes about pushing for marketing LNG. McCloud says it’s frustrating that the Northern Gateway pipeline and the Keystone pipeline are not moving forward. The McKenzie Valley pipeline in his region has been in development for decades but is also on hold.
“Now it’s proven uneconomic because the world price of natural gas because of the preponderance of shale gas is not high enough to make that pipeline economic,” McCloud said. “So the key for us is to find other markets.”
Such as Asia or Europe, McCloud says. He says after last year’s resource congress, he went back to Canada and instituted a new energy program.
“We decided to do a pilot project and haul LNG from Delta BC to Inuvik and use it for electrical generation,” McCloud said. “We found out it was cheaper to do that, haul it all that distance rather than use expensive diesel. Now we’re planning on using LNG for all the communities that have road access.”
The pilot project hauls LNG more than 1500 miles.
McCloud says in talks with former Governor Frank Murkowski this week – Murkowski encouraged him to research trying to get oil and gas from the southern part of the Northwest Territories to the existing TransAlaska Pipeline to Valdez.
McCloud says the Northwest Territories struggle with the same economic problems as rural Alaska. High energy costs and low employment opportunities. The Oil and Gas Congress runs through Thursday.