Alaska LNG project

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Description

A map of the possible Alaska natural gas pipeline route.

A map of the possible Alaska natural gas pipeline route. Source: Alaska LNG (Click to enlarge.)

The Alaska LNG export project would be among the world’s largest natural gas-development projects.

The sponsors are North Slope producers ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and BP, as well as pipeline company TransCanada and the state of Alaska. The companies estimate a cost of $45 billion to more than $65 billion (2012 dollars) for a project that includes a massive plant to cleanse produced gas of carbon dioxide and other impurities; an approximately 800-mile pipeline from Alaska’s North Slope to the liquefaction plant; and an LNG plant, storage and shipping terminal at Nikiski, 60 air miles southwest of Anchorage along Cook Inlet.

The 42-inch-diameter pipeline would be built to carry 3 billion to 3.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. Alaskans would use some of this gas, and running the pipeline and LNG plant would consume some. The plant would have the capacity to make up to 20 million metric tons a year of LNG, processing 2.5 billion cubic feet a day of gas.

The project is in the pre-front-end engineering and design (pre-FEED) phase, which is expected to be completed in late 2015 or 2016.



Project news

The project at a glance
Sponsors: ExxonMobil /ConocoPhillips /BP /TransCanada /state of Alaska
Estimated cost: $45 billion to $65 billion
(2012 dollars)
Components:
  • Construction of gas treatment plant at Prudhoe Bay to remove carbon dioxide and other impurities from produced gas.
  • Construction of 58-mile pipeline from Point Thomson gas field to Prudhoe Bay.
  • Construction of 800-mile pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to Nikiski.
  • Construction of LNG plant, storage and tanker terminal at Nikiski.

Status: The project is in the pre-front-end engineering and design phase, or pre-FEED.

On Nov. 21, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy granted authority to Alaska LNG for exports to countries covered by free-trade agreements with the United States. South Korea is the only significant liquefied natural gas importer on the list. Asia's big LNG consumers — Japan, China, India and Taiwan — do not have free-trade agreements with the United States, and approval for the Alaska project to export to those nations is pending. Public comments on Alaska LNG's export application closed Nov. 17.

On Oct. 1, 2014, Alaska LNG filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission two required reports to help initiate the environmental-impact review. Preliminary Draft Resource Report 1 includes a 39-page discussion of the project and the sponsors' initial plan on how to build it, plus about 400 pages of appendices that include topographical maps and aerial images that show generally where the pipeline and other facilities will be located. Preliminary Draft Resource Report 10 is a two-page outline of the alternatives to the LNG project and its components the sponsors will study.

On Sept. 29, 2014, the project team leader updated Alaska state legislators on the status of Alaska LNG’s export application to the Department of Energy, its filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, its staffing and contracting work, and its summer 2014 field season.

On Sept. 5, 2014, the Alaska LNG project sponsors filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to begin the environmental and safety review needed for federal authorization to build the project.

On July 18, 2014, Alaska LNG, a partnership of ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and BP, applied to the U.S. Department of Energy for permission to export liquefied natural gas for 30 years. The 212-page filing seeks permission to export up to 20 million metric tons a year of LNG, the equivalent of about 2.5 billion cubic feet a day of natural gas.



Permitting

The Alaska LNG project needs many major federal permits.

In 2014, Alaska LNG formally began to seek two important permits.

In July 2014, the project sponsors filed with the Department of Energy for permission to export up to 20 million metric tons of LNG annually for 30 years. The department assigned it Docket No. 14-96-LNG. To follow the filings in that public docket, click on this link.

In September 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission accepted the project into what is known as “pre-file status.” This begins the lengthy environmental and safety review required for federal authorization to build and operate the gas treatment plant, pipeline and liquefaction plant. FERC assigned it Docket No. PF14-21 (“PF” stands for “pre-file”). The FERC docket can be searched several ways:

  • From FERC’s eLibrary general search, enter the date range you want to search, then enter PF14-21 in the “Docket Number” box, then click the “Submit” box at the bottom of the page.
  • From FERC’s eLibrary docket search, enter PF14-21 in the “Docket Number” box, then complete the date range you want to search, then click the “Submit” box at the bottom of the page.
  • From FERC’s eSubscription site, you can register to get an email every time something new is filed in Docket PF14-21. There is no charge for this service.


Featured White Papers

Link to Tall stack of authorizations await Alaska LNG project.

Tall stack of authorizations await Alaska LNG project

We provide a brief guide to the federal agencies handling the major authorizations Alaska LNG would need.

Link to  Alaska’s frigid climate could give state an edge in LNG market

Alaska’s frigid climate could give state an edge in LNG market

What is it that brings misery, numb toes and frozen pipes to Alaska residents but warms the hearts of people designing a liquefaction plant? The state’s cold weather.

Link to LNG carriers called ‘floating pipelines’

LNG carriers called ‘floating pipelines’

The story of LNG shipping is a tale of massive investment, sophisticated technology, engineering wizardry and repeated efforts to tame the ocean's mayhem.

 



Featured presentations

Link to presentation September 2014 Alaska LNG project update.

September 2014 Alaska LNG project update

A presentation by senior project manager Steve Butt of Alaska LNG to the Alaska Legislature's House and Senate Resources Committees

Link to presentation on Q&A with the Federal Coordinator about Alaska LNG.

Q&A with the Federal Coordinator about Alaska LNG

Federal Coordinator Larry Persily discussed the project, markets and competition in an interview with trade publication Petroleum News, August 2014.

Link to Natural gas market outlook & fundamentals of LNG business

Natural gas market outlook and fundamentals of LNG business

A January 2014 presentation to the Alaska Budget & Audit Committee by energy analysts Enalytica, a consultant to the Alaska Legislature.

 

 



Featured documents

Link to LNG export approval – November 2014.

Export approval – November 2014

The Department of Energy approved Alaska LNG exports to nations that have free-trade agreements with the United States. Approval for exports to non-free-trade nations is pending.

Link to Alaska LNG project state legislation – April 2014.

Alaska LNG project description – October 2014

A preliminary regulatory filing that describes the project and sponsors’ initial plan of how to build it, with maps showing generally where facilities will be located.

Link to Alaska LNG FERC pre-file – September 2014

Alaska LNG FERC pre-file – September 2014

Alaska LNG project sponsors filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to begin the lengthy environmental and safety review required for federal authorization.

 



Featured videos

Link to video on the Alaska LNG project taped on September 29, 2014 for the Alaska State Legislature.

Alaska LNG September 2014 update

Steve Butt of Alaska LNG presented to the Alaska State Legislature Joint Resources Committees Sept. 29, 2014.

 

 

Link to video on the Alaska LNG project taped on February 4, 2014 for the Alaska State Legislature.

February 2014 Alaska LNG project update

A presentation by project manager Steve Butt of ExxonMobil at a “Lunch and Learn” program that the Alaska House Resources Committee sponsored. Butt discussed the project’s developments and challenges.

Link to video on LNG export laws

Alaska LNG Exports

Video on federal laws governing Alaska North Slope natural gas exports, prepared by the Institute of the North with assistance from the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska gas projects.

 



Featured maps and images

Link to proposed Alaska LNG project liquefaction plant image.

Proposed liquefaction plant

An LNG-export plant at Nikiski could look something like this illustration, provided by the Alaska LNG project sponsors.

Link to proposed Alaska LNG project liquefaction plant image.

Proposed gas treatment plant

A gas treatment plant at the Prudhoe Bay field could look something like this illustration, provided by the Alaska LNG project sponsors.

Link to proposed Alaska LNG project map of the pipeline route.

Alaska LNG project map

This map, provided by the Alaska Gas Pipeline Project Office, shows the components of an Alaska LNG project.

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