MESA COUNTY, Colo. - Two Mesa County leaders are headed to Washington D.C. to tout the "massive potential" of the Piceance Basin, a shale and natural gas deposit underneath a sizable portion of Western Colorado.
"From our perspective, in Northwest Colorado, it behooves us to figure out a way to smooth out the business cycle so that whatever we can do to open up new export markets for our natural gas are things we need to be doing." said Derek Wagner, the Vice President of Government and Community affairs at Colorado Mesa University, speaking on behalf of the institution's Unconventional Energy Center.
The Unconventional Energy Center-- funded in part by the Federal Mineral Lease District, a program that distributes money from extraction energy, predicts that with 13,000 wells instead of the current roughly 2,000 $130 Billion in Natural Gas over 25 years.
"In Japan in particular, they're looking at [Liquefied Natural Gas] as their long-term energy supply." said Kristi Pollard, the Executive Director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.
Japan, importing 35% of the world's natural gas, does deal down the road with a reported 70% LNG Deals are considered long-term (Reuters). The trend maybe changing as the nation's largest company that imports the most Japan's LNG, Jero Co. tells Reuters News Agency, by 2030, they expect to cut 42% of long term deals. The government of Japan on the other hand, wants 20% of the commercial truck to switch to Natural Gas.
"There have been some letters of intent from some of the partners in Japan to the Federal Regulatory Commission about their intentions." said Pollard.
In order to get the Natural Gas to Japan, it needs to get to the Pacific Ocean. Pollard and Wagner will join a delegation from Western Colorado to advocate for the completion of the Jordan Cove Project, which would in part, provide access from Colorado to a port in Oregon.