Alaska LNG project
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.
|The project at a glance|
|Sponsors: ExxonMobil /ConocoPhillips /BP /TransCanada /state of Alaska|
|Estimated cost: $45 billion to $65 billion
|Status: The project is in the pre-front-end engineering and design phase, or pre-FEED.|
On March 4, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued ato prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed Alaska LNG project. The NOI opens a nine-month "scoping" period during which the commission asks the public and government agencies to comment on the scope of issues that the environmental impact statement will address. Through the end of scoping on Dec. 4, 2015, FERC will accept written or verbal comments, and its staff will hold meetings to hear from the public.
On, Alaska LNG filed 12 draft resource reports with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. These required reports provide baseline information on the project and the environment it would impact, including soils, vegetation, wildlife, wetlands, seismic hazards and socioeconomics, along with maps of affected areas. Alaska LNG plans to revise the reports in 2016 before finalizing them later that year. FERC intends to use them in preparing an environmental impact statement later for the project.
On Nov. 21, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energyfor 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.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. is a two-page outline of the alternatives to the LNG project and its components the sponsors will study.
On, 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, 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, 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.
The Alaska LNG project needs
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,.
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 , 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 , 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 , 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
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.
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.
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.
February 2015 Alaska LNG project update
A presentation by the Alaska LNG team to the Alaska Legislature's House and Senate Resources Committees Feb. 18, 2015.
January 2015 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 Jan. 30, 2015.
Legislative consultants’ update
A project overview and update by enalytica, consultants to the Alaska Legislature, presented to the House and Senate Resources Committees Jan. 28, 2015.
Agency comments – December 2014
Government regulators provide feedback and request more information in response to Alaska LNG’s October 2014 preliminary description of the project and plan to build it.
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.
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.
Alaska LNG September 2014 update
Steve Butt of Alaska LNG presented to the Alaska State Legislature Joint Resources Committees Sept. 29, 2014.
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.
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
Proposed liquefaction plant
An LNG-export plant at Nikiski could look something like this illustration, provided by the Alaska LNG project sponsors.
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.
Alaska LNG project map
This map, provided by the Alaska Gas Pipeline Project Office, shows the components of an Alaska LNG project.