gas resources. WesPac also hopes to
buy Cook Inlet gas for its facility and
has signed a preliminary agreement
with BlueCrest Energy, a Texas-based
independent with plans to develop an
offshore Cook Inlet gas discovery at
Cosmopolitan, near Anchor Point.
WesPac is a company with experience
in development and operation of regional fuel terminals, and the company
has moved more recently into projects
to supply LNG as a transportation fuel.
The company has signed a contract, for
example, with Totem Ocean Trailer Express, or TOTE, to supply LNG in Florida to two TOTE ships operating in the
Caribbean. TOTE’s vessels would be the
first large US ships to convert to LNG,
and the company also plans to convert
its two vessels that serve Alaska from
the Port of Tacoma.
Meanwhile, for REI, does having two
LNG plants of about the same size on
Cook Inlet, REI’s and ConocoPhillips’,
make sense? Does it also make sense
with the looming possibility of a very
large LNG plant, many times the REI
size, also planned for Nikiski, although
the timing for it is a decade away?
REI, a venture of several Japanese
technology companies and regional
municipal governments, believes it
does make sense.
Own and Control
What is most important is that the
Japanese entities involved in REI want
to have their own source of imported
LNG and want to not have to depend
on the big Japanese trading companies.
They also want to own and control the
source of the LNG, which means owning the plant and owning part or all of
the natural gas that would flow to the
plant for the manufacture of LNG.
Through owning and controlling
the supply source, Japanese companies
hope to secure the lowest possible prices for their LNG. They also do not want
to be beholden to larger US companies
who own Alaska gas and have a goal to
extract the highest prices.
Although REI is not in competition
with the large Alaska LNG Project,
the Japanese company sees advantages
in its “start small” strategy compared
with the large project. The Japanese
company believes that being first into
the market, at least with a new Alaska
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