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LNG from Prudhoe Bay not in the cards

February 13, 2014

North Slope producers are actively considering a gas pipeline from the North Slope to Nikiski, on the the Kenai peninsula, then building an LNG export facility. They have also looked at the option of exporting LNG directly from the North Slope, but have ruled out that option.

North Slope producers ExxonMobil, BP and ConocoPhillips have teamed up with pipeline partner TransCanada to look at a $45 billion to $65 billion project to pipe gas 800 miles to tidewater, where it would be liquefied and loaded aboard tankers for Asia.

In an article published by the Office of the Federal Coordinator, Stan Jones cites a few factors why the North Slope would not be a good place to site an LNG facility:

Cook Inlet, for example, lies about 3,800 miles from Yokohama, a major port in central Honshu, Japan’s main island. The area is home to Tokyo and several LNG import terminals. Yamal is double that — about 7,800 miles away. The proposed Kitimat project in British Columbia is almost 4,700 miles from Yokohama.

In Canada, energy companies are flocking to British Columbia to build LNG export terminals catering to Asian markets. The Canadian government this summer approved three export licenses, and applications for four others have been filed. Still more projects have been proposed. But none of the projects has started construction. The BC government has delayed announcing its proposed tax structure until the Fall.


A port on the North Slope for LNG exports would save the cost of a pipeline, but other factors including cost and a short shipping season render this option non-viable.