Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), ConocoPhillips (COP), BP PLC (BP, BP.LN) and TransCanada Corp. (TRP) said Friday they plan to develop a natural-gas pipeline from Alaska's North Slope to a port where the gas would be prepared for export as part of a project expected to cost $45 billion to $65 billion.
The companies provided some details for the proposed Alaska gas pipeline in a letter to Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell.
Under the companies' plan, or "concept," an 800-mile pipeline would be built with the capacity to ship 3 billion to 3.5 billion cubic feet of gas to an area near a port where the gas would be turned into a liquid. The liquefied natural gas would be stored in tanks and loaded onto tankers from a loading jetty with two berths, according to a plan attached to the letter. In addition to those facilities, a natural-gas treatment facility would be built on the North Slope, near Prudhoe Bay, near where the gas would be produced.
The liquefaction plant would be built on a 400-acre to 600-acre site and be able to process 15 million to 18 million tons of gas a year, executives with the comapnies said in the letter.
"We remain committed to responsibly developing the State's considerable resources and will keep you advised of our progress," read the letter, which was signed by Randy Broiles at Exxon Mobil, Trond-Erik Johansen at ConocoPhillips, Janet Weiss at BP and Tony Palmer at TransCanada.
If built, the gas pipeline and export facility would be one of the largest LNG projects in the world, said Mr. Parnell, who has strongly supported development of Alaska's gas and a pipeline to ship the gas to overseas markets. As part of an agreement with the state, the companies promised to provide periodic updates on their pipeline-development plans.
"I am pleased the companies met the benchmarks," Mr. Parnell said in a statement. "I look forward to working with them as they advance this public-private partnership."