Dunleavy in Texas for energy conference, meeting with potential partners

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) — Gov. Mike Dunleavy and senior staff members and department heads held a teleconference from Houston, TX on Thursday to answer questions about the future of Alaska's energy industry. Participants on the call gave details about their trip to CERAWeek 2019 — a conference attended by leaders in energy from around the globe.

Dunleavy has already met with representatives from Madrid-based energy firm Repsol earlier in the week. He called the meeting "very productive." His senior policy adviser Brett Huber says that representatives from the company claim they are "willing to make a company-sized bet in Alaska."

Dunleavy's team also responded to questions about two major projects for the State of Alaska: drilling in ANWR and the long-awaited Alaska LNG project.

Huber attributed forecasts to the U.S. Department of the Interior which predict the earliest lease sales in ANWR could begin taking place as early as September.

Huber says there could be answers on the Alaska LNG project within 60 days. Dunleavy says he believes it would be a difficult time to procure major investments in a project of this scale.

"It would appear that right now there's a tremendous amount of gas available," he said. "We don't hear of a lot of investments at this time moving into large scale gas projects."

The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, which is tasked with overseeing the Alaska LNG project, announced last week that it had signed an agreement with BP and ExxonMobil to find ways of moving the stalled project forward.

Up next, AGDC will present its updated spending plan to a Joint House and Senate Resource Committee hearing on March 22.

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