Alaska Pipeline Project files open season plan

Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, Jan. 29 -- The Alaska Pipeline Project (APP) filed its plan with the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for approval to conduct its open season on a potential pipeline to move natural gas from the Alaskan North Slope to Alberta and on to the US. Members of the public can provide comment through the month of February. Pending approval, APP will finalize its open season and provide it to potential shippers at the end of April for assessment through July.

Two options will be submitted for shipper assessment in the open season. The first option is a 1,700-mile pipeline from ANS to Alberta, from where the gas could be delivered on existing pipeline systems to the US. The second option would transport gas 800 miles from ANS to Valdez, Alas., where it would be converted to LNG in a facility to be built by others and then delivered by ship to North American and other international markets.

Both options would allow off-take by Alaskan customers. Both also would include a gas treatment plant and a 58-mile pipeline from Point Thomson fields to the plant and main transmission line.

The results of the open season will determine the preferred development option. The open season process initiated with FERC applies to the US portion of the project. A separate but coordinated open season will occur for the Canadian portion of the project.

Updated cost estimates for the project are $32-41 billion for the ANS-to-Alberta option, and $20-26 billion for the Valdez option. Both options have an expected in-service date of 2020 and would provide capacity of either 4.5 bcfd (Alberta) or 3 bcfd (Valdez).

The project is a joint effort among TransCanada Corp. and ExxonMobil Corp. under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act. ExxonMobil reaffirmed its commitment to this project, despite recent North American unconventional gas acquisitions, earlier this week (OGJ Online, Jan. 25, 2009). 

Denali—a consortium of BP PLC and ConocoPhillips—will submit its open season package to FERC in April.  

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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