Alaska needs an energy referee
August 2, 2010
By Tim Bradner in the Anchorage Daily News: The year 2014 is hanging over Southcentral Alaska like the Sword of Damocles. That’s the year the natural gas runs out, at least in a manner of speaking, or so some experts believe. It’s when the annual production of gas from our depleting Southcentral gas fields may no longer meet annual demand. This shortfall is different from the shortfall in production during cold winter days we now have, when gas is diverted from the Kenai liquefied natural gas plant to meet the utilities’ demand. This is different. Gas production might fall to the point that there just isn’t enough, period. And there might no longer be an LNG plant to cover the deficit.
Sounds scary, and it is. Fortunately it could come a year or two later than 2014, and there are a lot of people working on new energy supplies. Our Legislature had the wisdom this year to enact some powerful incentives for new exploration and gas development in Southcentral, an obvious first step. We’ll know in the next two years if there’s enough new drilling to make a difference. Read more