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Agreement outlines new direction for Alaska LNG project

By Kirsten Swann 8:30 AM January 16, 2014

A 2013 study estimates the project could cost an estimated $45 billion and be completed by 2024.

ANCHORAGE – An agreement finalized Tuesday could move Alaska’s long-awaited liquefied natural gas project one step closer to completion.

The Heads of Agreement between the State of Alaska, the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, BP, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and TransCanada Corp. anticipates the state’s share in the energy project at 20-25 percent and outlines broad initial terms of the multi-billion dollar project.

It describes the regulatory and legislative issues pertinent to the project, and affirms the state’s central role in future development.

The agreement comes after decades of gas line talks and more than five years of fitful progress under the auspices of the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act.

After AGIA was signed into law in 2007, TransCanada was awarded a license to pursue development of a gas line and partnered with ExxonMobil to form the Alaska Pipeline Project. But last week, Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell announced the state was ending its arrangement with the Canadian corporation and would instead “partner with the company in a more traditional commercial agreement.”

Tuesday’s agreement focuses on development of a gas line with at least five offtake points statewide.

While previous plans called for a line to Alberta, the new agreement hones in on export opportunities stemming from an in-state line. The agreement details several components to the project: a gas line, an LNG plant, a gas treatment plant and transmission lines to Prudhoe Bay and Point Thompson. According to a November 2013 Black & Veatch study, the project would generate billions in state revenue.

The same study claims the completed project would cost at least $45 billion. The recent HOA estimates the next phase of project development – including preparing key project agreements, engineering studies and technical and commercial documents – will cost around $400 million.

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