Alaska Signs Natural Gas Export Deal

March 2014, Vol. 69 No. 3

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 then on to Asia, reports Reuters.

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 10 years to build, according to the state. 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 recent statement.

Currently, 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, “[t]his is truly a historic achievement.” The agreement will be subject to public review by the Legislature.