Clarion file photo The Arctic Sun takes on a load of liquified natural gas bound for Japan in 1998. The shipment was ConocoPhillip's 1,000th to leave the Nikiski dock. On Monday, the company announced plans to resume shipments of LNG from its Nikiski facility.

Clarion file photo The Arctic Sun takes on a load of liquified natural gas bound for Japan in 1998. The shipment was ConocoPhillip's 1,000th to leave the Nikiski dock. On Monday, the company announced plans to resume shipments of LNG from its Nikiski facility.

ConocoPhillips to resume LNG exports

  • By TIM BRADNER Morris News Service-Alaska
  • Monday, April 14, 2014 11:37pm
  • News

ConocoPhillips is restarting its liquefied natural gas plant on the Kenai Peninsula and will resume shipments of LNG in May, the company announced Monday. Five shipments are planned this year, ConocoPhillips spokeswoman Amy Burnett said.

The announcement came as the U.S. Department of Energy issued its approval of exports, also on Monday. DOE authorized the shipment of 40 billion cubic feet of gas over two years.

“This is great news for the cradle of Alaska’s oil and gas industry on the Kenai Peninsula,” said Alaska U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, who worked with the DOE on the approval. “With plenty of gas available to meet local needs through at least 2018, we’re seeing the kind of job growth responsible oil and gas development can provide.”

The federal agency had agreed earlier that ConocoPhillips could export to nations that are in Free Trade Agreements with the U.S., such as South Korea. Exports to those nations are approved by DOE with a streamlined process.

The April 14 approval by DOE, however, extended that to countries who are not in free trade agreements, such as Japan. ConocoPhillips has mainly exported LNG to Japan in the past although there have been shipments to Korea.

Begich had pushed the DOE to process the ConocoPhillips application to ship to non-Free Trade Agreement countries outside the queue DOE has set up for non-FTA LNG export projects.

“DOE has approved only six applications from Lower 48 projects in that queue since 2012, and at least 24 applications remain in the queue,” Begich said in a statement.

Except for Alaska’s project, LNG export proposals seeking DOE approval are all Lower 48 plants. Those have sparked sharp controversy over the possibility that exports could result in higher domestic prices for natural gas, and opposition to exports from U.S. industries, such as chemical manufacturers, that benefit from low-cost gas used as feedstock.

Begich pressed the case for Alaska being treated differently

“I asked Acting Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, Chris Smith, to visit the plant last summer, and familiarize himself with our industry, our workforce and the unique situation of our country’s only LNG export plant with a safe track record spanning four decades,” Begich said. “That visit is paying dividends today.”

Burnett said the reopening will not result in any significant increase in employment at the LNG plant because most of its employees were retained when the plant went into mothball status.

Exports were stopped in 2012 because of shortages of natural gas in Cook Inlet fields. The gas supply situation has now improved due to new drilling to the point that a surplus would be available for export during summer.

In winter, however, gas production will be reserved for local utilities.

Tim Bradner can be reached at tim.bradner@alaskajournal.com.

More in News

Kenai Peninsula Education Association President LaDawn Druce, left, and committee Chair Jason Tauriainen participate in the first meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s Four Day School Week Ad Hoc Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
4-day school week committee adjourns

The committee will deliver recommendations to school board in July

Soldotna Elementary School Principal Dr. Austin Stevenson points out corroded insulation outside of the school building on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 in Soldotna . (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna Elementary awaits action on approved bond

Almost two years after public OKs bond, borough asking for more time

Soldotna Police Chief Dale “Gene” Meek stands in his office on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna police chief resigns

The resignation was effective immediately on Friday, City Manager Janette Bower confirmed Monday

A sign along a trail to Exit Glacier marks the spot to where the toe of the glacier reached in 2010, photographed on June 22, 2018. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Exit Glacier reopened for summer, snow and bears reported

Visitors should check the park website for updated conditions and ensure they are prepared before visiting the area

Dale Chorman stands with his wife, Dianne. (Photo provided by Tom Kizzia)
Long-time Homer resident, photographer dead after Sunday moose encounter

Troopers on Monday identified the victim as 70-year-old Dale Chorman

A sign warning of a June 28, 2021, bear attack is placed at the head of the Kenai River Trail on Skilak Loop Road in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on June 30, 2021. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Federal wildlife officers seek information about early-May black bear poaching

Officials think the poaching happened near the east entrance of Skilak Loop roughly 2 miles from Jims’ Landing

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Ninilchik woman dead after Tuesday collision

The woman was attempting to cross the Sterling Highway from Oil Well Road when she was struck by a pickup truck

Graduates listen to Connections Homeschool Principal Doug Hayman speak during the school’s commencement ceremony on Thursday in Soldotna. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Graduates listen to Connections Homeschool Principal Doug Hayman speak during the school’s commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 16, 2024 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Expect a lot from yourself and from others’

Connections Homeschool students accept diplomas at commencement ceremony

Most Read