ExxonMobil committed to Alaskan gas line

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Jan. 25
-- ExxonMobil Corp., while seeking to expand its interests in unconventional gas resources in North America, remains committed to a gas pipeline from Alaska to the US Lower 48.

“Now is the time to demonstrate leadership and take action in Alaska in support of the pipeline project,” ExxonMobil Production Co. Pres. Rich Kruger told the Alaska Support Industry Alliance in Anchorage on Jan. 22.

Kruger referred to the 5 bcfd pipeline his company proposes to build in partnership with TransCanada from Alaska’s North Slope to the pipeline hub in southern Alberta.

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission expects to receive open season applications this year from that project and a proposal for a 4 bcfd Alaskan gas line by the Denali joint venture of BP PLC and ConocoPhillips (OGJ, Sept. 14, 2009, p. 31).

Kruger said the Alaskan pipeline with TransCanada “provides the best avenue to commercialize Alaska’s North Slope natural gas.”

ExxonMobil has announced plans to acquire XTO Energy Corp., Fort Worth, which has large interests in shale gas and other unconventional oil and gas resources, in an all-stock deal worth $41 billion (OGJ Online, Jan. 21, 2010).

The size of the North American unconventional gas resource, with estimates of recoverable volumes as high as 500 tcf, has raised questions about the need for an Alaskan gas line.

But Kruger noted the large gas resources at Prudhoe Bay and Point Thomson fields, where his company is drilling two wells under a conditional agreement with the state government, and said, “ExxonMobil is ready and willing to commit to projects such as this because the fundamentals point to natural gas being a necessary and fast-growing component of the global energy mix” (OGJ Online, Dec. 10, 2009).

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