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A pipeline too far ?

October 28, 2013

For the past five years ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, BP and TransCanada, have worked together on the Alaska Pipeline Project, to bring north slope gas to Asian markets. The proposed route was announced this year, terminating at Nikiski on the Kenai peninsula. 

At the onset the companies acknowledged that “Commercializing Alaska natural gas resources will not be easy. There are many challenges and issues that must be resolved, and we cannot do it alone. Unprecedented commitments of capital for gas development will require competitive and stable fiscal terms with the State of Alaska first be established.” (source a).

The Alaska Gas Pipeline specifications:

~800 mile, 42” diameter pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to LNG terminus in Nikiski, Alaska*
Up to 8 compressor stations
Gas Treatment Plant located in Prudhoe Bay with processing capability of 3.0-3.5 Bcf/day sales quality gas

Estimated Project Cost:

$45-65 Bill. (2011 dollars)

Liquefaction Plant:

Capacity: 15-18 MTA (million tons per annum)
Facility: 3 trains
Footprint: 400-600 acres
LNG Site Location: Nikiski, Alaska

The indicated resource on the North Slope is 35 Tcf, with likely 75-100 Tcf still to be found. (The entire US uses about 25 Tcf per annum).


One can see why a gas pipeline is so attractive to Alaskans—the Alyeska oil pipeline has provided prosperity to the State in the form of taxes, and high paying jobs for the past 35 years. At the time the construction project was the largest in the world. While, the large multi-national corporations that are the proponents have the expertise and the deep pockets to build the line a number of unanswered questions remain.






Source: Alaska Gas Pipeline Office