Alaska lawmakers back governor on plan to export North Slope gas

JUNEAU, April 21 Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:35am IST

Related Topics

Stocks

   

JUNEAU, April 21 (Reuters) - Alaska's legislature on Monday approved Governor Sean Parnell's plan to join four energy companies in moving ahead on plans to build infrastructure to transport and market 35 trillion cubic feet of North Slope gas to be shipped by an 800-mile pipeline to a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant.

The project is valued at between $45 billion and $65 billion for the line and gas treatment facilities. Should it come to fruition, gas could hit local and foreign markets in the mid-2020s, according to the state's projections.

Companies are increasingly seeking to ship LNG from growing U.S. gas reserves to Asia and Europe, where demand is surging. Companies have complained about red tape in seeking federal approval for U.S. facilities to export LNG.

Alaska has a history of exporting LNG dating back to the 1960s, but from basins in Cook Inlet south of Anchorage.

Lawmakers passed legislation proposed by the governor, authorizing him to work with North Slope leaseholders Exxon Mobil Corp, BP Plc, ConocoPhillips and pipeline company TransCanada Corp in drafting a project development contract.

By the end of 2015, the governor is expected to come back to the legislature to ratify a contract. Meanwhile, project teams will begin front-end engineering and design work.

"Alaskans have waited a long time for a gas line, and for the first time in our history, we have alignment, authorization from the legislature, and a clear path forward," Parnell said in a statement. "The Alaska LNG Project has begun."

Previous efforts by Parnell's two predecessors failed. Like many of his colleagues who served under those administrations, House Finance Co-Chair Bill Stoltze, a Republican from Chugiak, Alaska, was cautious.

"I have the same mix of skepticism," Stoltze said. "This is what iteration of efforts? There is probably more promise than hope. I will not say stars aligned, but there are less things to stop this than things in the past."

Officials said more work was in store.

"This is giving us permission to do a lot more work. As we do that work, we'll get a better sense of whether or not this project is a contender," Natural Resources Commissioner Joe Balash said. (Reporting By Steve Quinn; Editing by Terry Wade and David Gregorio)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Markets

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Segway in India

Segway in India

Segway’s India business pegs hope on tech-savvy Modi  Full Article 

Power Outage

Power Outage

Mumbai hit by power cuts  Full Article 

Commodities

Commodities

Gold imports, premiums to jump on festive demand - top refiner  Full Article 

Economic Worries

Economic Worries

Pakistan's promises to IMF in doubt as protests sap economy   Full Article 

Islamic Finance

Islamic Finance

Basel III deposit challenge looms over Islamic banks   Full Article 

Antitrust Probes

Antitrust Probes

U.S. business lobby says concerned China antitrust probes unfair.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage