The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation is reducing its staff by two third and refocusing its mission.
By August, the agency that had 26 staff members in the 2019 fiscal cycle under Gov. Bill Walker will be down to eight, plus some contractors who will provide technical work. 12 current employees of the agency are being laid off; others are already gone.
AGDC will pursue the permitting for an Alaska liquified natural gas project, but will once again look to the private sector to shoulder the development and risk of the project, which is estimated to cost between $43 and $60 billion and involves two major processing plants and an 800-mile gasline from the North Slope to Nikiski.
Under Walker, AGDC was the lead on the project and the owners of Alaska gas — BP, Exxon, and ConocoPhillips — were chased off because they were not moving fast enough for Walker. Walker had signed agreements with China, as well as Japan, and Korean entities to buy the gas, and had all but put China in the driver’s seat as the project developer and financier.
The CEO of the agency, Joe Dubler, released this statement on Wednesday:
“AGDC is restructuring to reflect our primary focus on completing the FERC permitting process to advance the Alaska LNG project. AGDC will continue to pursue (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) authorization, expected in June 2020, with an eight-person technical staff plus contract support as needed, and reduce employee headcount by twelve. Completing the permitting process will substantially de-risk Alaska LNG and open the door to a wider range of potential project parties with the broad expertise required to unlock the value and manage the risks associated with a project of this magnitude.”