A 9:00am Saturday coffee klatch AK LNG informational meeting turned out about 80 community members as well as the Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Chenault to hear an update from project managers. With concerns about global LNG markets being discussed among elected officials as they might relate to delays of the AK LNG project, Community Stakeholder Advisor Josselyn O’Connor told the meeting, “Our marching orders are to get through and complete the pre-FEED this year,” she said. Pre-FEED being the acronym for Front End Engineering & Design needed to decide the feasibility of the 800 mile pipeline to deliver North Slope natural gas to liquefaction facility to be built in Nikiski. Jeff Raun LNG SSHE Advisor for the project said, “First and foremost I want to thank the community for turning out to continue the dialog on the project and building the facility in Nikiski. In respect to work we have done in our geo-tech and geophysical program in 2015 wrapped up successfully and we are planning another program in 2016. So again this summer you’ll see some geo-technical drill rigs that will drill bore holes to advance some scientific and engineering work to continue proving the suitability and benefits of building the proposed plant site in Nikiski,” said Raun. According to Raun the success of the 2015 program was that we operated it safely with no incidents. We operated closely with the community and commercial setnetters in the area to insure that our operations if they would interact with commercial setnet fishing that we would work through any challenges that were presented. We were also successful in our data that we gathered. An example of that success is that the program will be smaller in 2016. We have gathered a lot of data that will inform the resource report and engineering work to prove the benefits of the proposed plant site on the properties that it holds to house an LNG plant moving forward,” he said. According to Raun the project calls for the submittal of the resource reports in 2016 that will include information on the data that has been gathered for the site in Nikiski.
Regarding questions about what might happen to the land acquisitions that have already been made if the project does not go forward Raun responded that in terms of the property management plan he was not aware of a clause that stated what to do if the project didn’t go forward. Larry Persily, advisor to Borough Mayor Mike Navarre on LNG issues said that it was necessary for the FERC application to show that they had enough property under contract purchase option to show control that they control it. In an interview following the meeting Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Chenault of Nikiski, who flew home to attend the meeting said he didn’t hear any new information on whether the project was moving forward or backward, but that the meetings were an important vehicle to be involved with, “They don’t have all the answers yet, but this is a project that is three, five maybe ten years down the road and they are continue to do the work necessary to hopefully get to completed project in the future.”
Regarding the special session for a proposed Alaska Constitutional Amendment the speaker said the problem was needing to have the pieces all in place from the producers in order to see what a contract might look like before asking the people to vote on it. Current information on the AK LNG project is available at www.aklng.org.