UPDATE: Tokyo Gas Co. looks to purchase LNG from AGDC

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - UPDATE, 10:10 p.m.: The Alaska Gasline Development Corp. has announced that a Letter of Intent regarding the sale and purchase of LNG from AGDC to Tokyo Gas Company, Ltd., has been signed.

In short, Tokyo Gas Co. has agreed to collaborate with AGDC to explore purchasing LNG from Alaska and look at other opportunities surrounding LNG in the Last Frontier.

Tokyo Gas Co. is one of the largest energy utility groups in Japan, reported to be the principal service provider to 11 million people in the Greater Tokyo Area according to AGDC.

The LOI doesn't affect any current deals with the LNG project.

ORIGINAL STORY: With nothing set in stone, the only certainty with the Alaska LNG project is this: Questions abound.

The House Resources Committee held a public hearing Monday evening focused on the liquefied natural gas project, during which the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. delivered something between an update and an explainer on the project and its current status. The meeting followed a tentative agreement with multiple Chinese firms, which came just a few months after a visit from the Chinese President Xi Jinping himself.

"There's certainly more interest now since the China visit," said AGDC President Keith Meyer in an interview ahead of the event Monday. "They look at Alaska and see short distance, direct route, proven reserves that can all be managed on a very stable basis."

Meyer, along with Senior Vice President Frank Richards, answered questions from state representatives from across Alaska at the new Anchorage Legislative Information Office, located at 1500 W. Benson Blvd. Updates every so often each year are guaranteed via Senate Bill 138.

While the investment group from China has inked a tentative agreement with Alaska, it's still not a done deal. A Japanese energy group with plans to construct a one billion dollar LNG export facility at Port Mackenzie, for example, decided to halt the project and withdraw from Alaska completely back in March.

"Neither party is bound to enter definitive agreements, so we've got a lot of work to do," Meyer said, specifically citing thousands of pages of paperwork and hours of legal counseling that have yet to be done.

No matter the outcome, much remains to be figured out.

An AGDC Board of Directors meeting is set for Wednesday, Dec. 6.

The presentation began around 6 p.m. Alaska time in the hearing room on the second floor of the LIO building, and was said to be scheduled as such so that the public might be more able to attend. It continued past 8 p.m. You can see meeting documents here.