(Reuters) - ConocoPhillips (COP.N) said on Friday it was in the process of selling its Kenai liquefied natural gas export terminal in Alaska.
The plant entered service in 1969 and for 47 years was the only LNG export terminal in North America, ConocoPhillips’ spokeswoman Amy Burnett said in a statement. Nearly all of the LNG produced at the plant has been sold to Japan.
ConocoPhillips, the largest independent U.S. oil producer, said its efforts to market the Kenai plant are consistent with regular reviews of assets to ensure the company is optimizing its portfolio. Burnett said the company will open a “data room” associated with the sale in January.
“Our current focus is on our North Slope operations,” Burnett said, referring to the company’s activities in northern Alaska. In 2016, ConocoPhillips Alaska has a capital budget of nearly $1 billion and has accepted delivery of two new drilling rigs this year.
In 2015, the Kenai plant operated for six months, ConocoPhillips said, liquefying 20 billion cubic feet of gas and delivering six cargoes. It has the capacity to liquefy 0.2 bcf per day of gas, according to federal energy regulators.
ConocoPhillips said it has not exported any gas so far in 2016 because of market conditions. The Kenai plant, however, remains operational and ready to resume exports.
The United States exported on average 0.08 bcf per day of LNG from Alaska in 2015, according to federal data. That is expected to rise to 0.44 bcfd in 2016 and 1.44 bcfd in 2017 as more units at Cheniere Energy Inc’s (LNG.A) Sabine Pass LNG export terminal in Louisiana enter service.
The first 0.65-bcfd liquefaction train at Sabine Pass entered service in February 2016.
For comparison, the United States is expected to produce about 72 bcfd in 2016, according to federal data.
Reporting by Scott DiSavino; editing by Grant McCool