OFrom August 17 to 21, the delegation of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy visited Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth. The delegation members consists of 6 parliamentarians; The Honorable Mr. Taku Yamamoto (Chairman of the Committee), The Honorable Mr. Taimei Yamaguchi (Executive Director of the Committee), The Honorable Mr. Ichiro Tsukada (Vice Chairman), The Honorable Ms. Naomi Tokashiki, The Honorable Mr. Hideki Murai and The honorable Ms. Miki Yamada.
In Houston, the delegates visited Freeport LNG Export Project, with which Chubu
Electric Power Co. and Osaka Gas Co are the major international partners. In May of last year, the US Department of Energy approved LNG exports to non-FTA countries and as early as 2017, LNG will be exported to Japan from Freeport for the first time. The members were briefed about the activities of Freeport from Freeport Inc. officials and took a tour of the Freeport Quintana terminal which has LNG liquefaction facilities. They also visited the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston.
In Fort Worth, the members visited Quicksilver Resources Inc. In March of last year, Tokyo Gas Co. entered into a contract with Quicksilver Resources Inc. to acquire the interests of the Barnet Shale Gas Project. They met with Congressman Marc Veasey, who was elected from the region, and Mayor Betsy Price there as well. After being briefed about the project, they took a field trip of Shale Gas drilling and processing sites with the escort of Quicksilver. In Dallas, they also visited the Sixth Floor Museum, which chronicles the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy.
In this visit, the delegation has demonstrated their political support for the two natural gas development and export projects mentioned above. The expectations for these two projects have been on the rise due to Japan’s current energy situation. The delegation members also helped to strengthen the exchange between Japan and the State of Texas.