Multi-billion Alaska LNG Project, Including 1287-km Gas Pipeline, Sidelined

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Multi-billion Alaska LNG Project, Including 1287-km Gas Pipeline, Sidelined

Mon, 12/05/2016 - 09:50
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Multi-billion Alaska LNG Project, Including 1287-km Gas Pipeline, Sidelined
Multi-billion Alaska LNG Project, Including 1287-km Gas Pipeline, Sidelined

The vaunted $45-$65 billion Alaska LNG Project, intending to pipe nearly a trillion cubic feet of gas from the North Slope of Alaska each year for liquefaction at Nikiski before further shipment to customers in the Asia Pacific, was dealt a serious setback when Conoco Phillips, BP and ExxonMobil, all up to now partners in the undertaking, left the project.

After reaching $115 per barrel in mid-2014, global oil prices have more than halved and are hovering in the mid-$40s range, with little hope of market equilibrium in sight. LNG prices, which largely track oil prices, have fared even worse.

Indeed, LNG prices in the Pacific Basin have fallen sharply since Alaska LNG was first proposed, and consultants Wood Mackenzie recently concluded that Alaska LNG was "one of the least competitive" LNG projects worldwide – at least, assuming the typical ROI for oil majors. The State of Alaska is looking to move the project forward on its own by soliciting third party investment at a lower interest rate.

The project envisioned a Gas Treatment Plant on the North Slope, an 1287-km pipeline, and a liquefaction facility and export terminal in Nikiski. The project also foresaw off-take points ("Gas for Alaskans") at locations yet to be determined. In light of dismal project economics the Alaska LNG Project has been placed on hold.

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