Administration reviewed, didn’t pursue gas-to-liquids pitch

JUNEAU — Gov. Bill Walker’s administration had a consultant evaluate a pitch to turn North Slope gas to gasoline and ship it through the trans-Alaska pipeline, but a Walker spokeswoman said the idea was scuttled because it didn’t pencil out.

Walker spokeswoman Katie Marquette said the administration felt obligated to review the proposal since it had the potential to bring billions of dollars in revenue to the state if it worked.

But consultant Greengate LLC determined the proposal from Saturn Ferrostaal Gas Chemicals LLC would require higher oil prices to make financial sense and the administration decided it would not pursue the idea further, Marquette said.

Saturn Ferrostaal made the pitch in late 2014, shortly after Walker took office. Walker has been a long-time advocate of developing Alaska gas and shipping it to market. Part of the idea was that adding gas would raise the value and quality of the oil.

Marquette said by email that the proposal was unsolicited and would not have competed with the major liquefied natural gas project the state is pursuing. It’s not uncommon from groups or businesses to contact the administration with different ideas, she said.

The contract with Greengate ran from February 2015 through June 2015. The amount was increased from $50,000 to $100,000. Of that total, $23,710 went toward reviewing the gas-to-liquids proposal, Marquette said. The rest went for work on the Alaska liquefied natural gas project, she said. Part of the Greengate contract was for “other oil and gas consulting services.”

The contract was one of 15 professional services pacts let by the administration between Dec. 1, 2014 and Jan. 31, 2016, according to documents provided through a records request. Two of those contracts had extensions.

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