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Marathon Oil Corp. has announced an agreement to supply more than 60 Bcf of natural gas between 2009 and 2018 to Alaska-based utility ENSTAR Natural Gas Co. Financial details were not disclosed. ENSTAR, a subsidiary of Michigan-based SEMCO, delivers gas to about 327,000 customers in Alaska. Earlier this year, it said it was considering importing liquefied natural gas to deal with projected shortages in the southeastern part of the state. The utility relies on contracts with gas producers for its supply, and it said in May it had enough gas to supply all of its customers through 2009. Overall pricing under the new contract is indexed to prices at the Henry Hub, Marathon said. The agreement is subject to approval by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.

An opening hearing last Monday at city hall in Long Beach, CA on a joint draft environmental impact report (EIR) on Sound Energy Solutions proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal in the Port of Long Beach drew a crowd of about 150 people, 35 of whom spoke, and the split was about even between those favoring and opposing the plans for the terminal. The $700 million project would be built at a former U. S. Naval installation in the Long Beach Harbor by subsidiaries of Mitsubishi Corp. and ConocoPhillips. It would deliver 1 Bcf/d to the California gas market. Written comments on the EIR are due to the Port by Dec. 8. Two more public hearings will be held in other parts of the city on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 before a four- to six-month process of finalizing the EIR, according to a Port official. All of the comments must be taken into account and responded to in the final document prepared jointly by the Port and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The earliest a final determination could be made by FERC and the various state agencies would be late next year, a Port official said, noting that the final element before starting to develop the project would be completion of a lease between the Port and Sound Energy Solutions.

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