Jan 16 Alaska has signed an agreement with major
oil and gas firms to build an 800-mile pipeline to bring natural
gas from the state's North Slope to a proposed export plant and
on to Asia.
The project, expected to cost between $45 billion and $65
billion, would be one of the largest projects of its kind in the
world and would free gas stranded for decades without a market.
The project, which would liquefy the gas for shipment in
tankers overseas, is expected to take ten years to build,
according to the state.
Asian nations like Japan and South Korea are spending
billions to buy liquefied gas from North America to meet growing
demand for energy now that nuclear output has fallen after the
Fukushima accident in 2011.
Energy companies have proposed building 30 LNG export
terminals in North America over the next decade or so, including
the Alaska project, though it is unlikely that all these will be
The Alaska deal was signed with TransCanada Corp
and the three major producers of Alaskan North Slope oil - Exxon
Mobil Corp, BP PLC, ConocoPhillips, and
allows the state to invest in the project, Alaska Governor Sean
Parnell said in a statement Wednesday.
Producers have been re-injecting about 8 billion cubic feet
per day of gas back into fields as the original plan to send it
to other U.S. states was derailed by the shale gas boom
"This commercial agreement...is Alaska's roadmap to
developing our vast gas reserves," Parnell said. "This is truly
a historic achievement."
The project aims to supply the Alaskan domestic market in
addition to the Asian markets, the governor said.
The Heads of Agreement, signed by the commissioners of
Natural Resources and Revenue and Alaska Gasline Development
Corp (AGDC) includes the state as an equity partner.
The deal would also provide gas to Alaskans, lays out
proposed fiscal terms, and will allow third-party access to all
of the project components, including possible construction of a
new LNG train at the liquefaction plant, the governor said.
Parnell said the agreement ensures Alaskans' interests are
protected by outlining significant participation by AGDC and
recognizes that AGDC will continue to pursue its own Alaska
Stand Alone Pipeline instate gasline project.
The agreement will be subject to public review by the
Legislature this session, the governor said.