DOE approves Alaska gas exports

The Alaska LNG Project LLC won approval May 28 from the U.S. Department of Energy to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S.

The conditional authorization is subject to environmental review and final regulatory approval for the project at Nikiski on the Kenai Peninsula. Alaska LNG could ship up to the equivalent of 2.55 billion standard cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas for a period of 30 years.

Federal law generally requires approval of natural gas exports to countries that have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the U.S. For countries that do not have an FTA, the Natural Gas Act directs the Department of Energy to grant export authorizations unless the Department finds that the proposed exports “will not be consistent with the public interest.”

DOE officials considered the Alaska application separately from other currently pending LNG export applications in the lower 48 states due to the relative geographic isolation of the natural gas resources on Alaska’s North Slope.

“North Slope gas has been a stranded resource unavailable to commercial markets,” the DOE said in announcing the decision. “The project proposed by Alaska LNG includes a pipeline intended to make North Slope gas accessible to consumers.”

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