Design and engineering of a major new pipeline to deliver natural gas from Alaska’s North Slope to Alaskans and the export market is set to begin following the signing of a commercial agreement between the state, three North Slope oil and gas producers and a pipeline company. With the July 2nd agreement, the project now enters the pre-front end engineering and design (pre-FEED) phase, a milestone no previous Alaska gasline project has achieved, according to Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (R).
The estimated cost of the Alaska LNG project (AKLNG) is staggering—$45 billion to more than $65 billion. The concept, which the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects calls one of the world’s largest natural-gas development projects, is ambitious. It embraces construction of a gas treatment plant that will gather, and remove impurities from, natural gas from two North Slope producing fields, construction of a pipeline approximately 800 miles long to carry the treated gas to a terminal on south-central Alaska’s Cook Inlet and a plant to be built there, probably at Nikiski, 60 miles south of Anchorage, to liquefy the gas for export to Asian markets. Up to eight compressor stations will maintain pressure and temperature along the pipeline route. At least five off-take points will allow Alaska municipalities along the way to tap the pipeline for their own markets.