Nikiski residents face uncertainty over Alaska gas project

  • Saturday, October 22, 2016 10:05pm
  • News

JUNEAU (AP) — Nikiski residents say they’ve been left in limbo by the state and its partners’ decision to suspend plans for a giant natural gas liquefaction plant in the Kenai Peninsula community.

Several homes in the area were razed to make way for the project.

The state’s oil company partners — ExxonMobil, BP and ConocoPhillips — bought about 630 acres to build a plant where North Slope natural gas would be processed and exported.

But those plans are on hold after the oil companies announced they won’t invest in the project’s next stage. The decision was brought on by low oil and gas prices, Alaska’s Energy Desk reported.

Resident Bill Warren said the project “ruined” the village and left community members feeling uncertain about how the area will look going forward.

“We were a bona fide village here with people and businesses, and they just cut a swath through here. Cut 600 acres out, tore the houses down and left us, and I don’t like it,” Warren said.

To move forward with permitting the project, the state must prove to the federal government that it has access to the land, through ownership, a long-term lease or the option to buy it, said Larry Persily, an oil and gas adviser for the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

“Without land, just like without a pipeline, without gas, without financing, you don’t have a project,” Persily said.

The state has released no details on how it plans to move forward. It’s also unclear whether the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, which is heading the state’s effort, has the money to buy nearly $30 million worth of land.

Corporation spokeswoman Rosetta Alcantra said in a statement the organization is in negotiations with the producers.

Warren, who has lived in Nikiski for nearly 50 years, has been speaking out against the project’s effects on the community.

“I’m fearless. What the hell can they do to me? I’m 75 years old, and they can’t withdraw me from work or anything, and I pay my taxes, so they gotta listen,” he said. “Imagine cutting a swath through Anchorage like that.”

More in News

Bradley Walters leads the pack up Angle Hill on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at the Salmon Run Series at Tsalteshi Trails. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Summer races kick off at Tsalteshi

The annual Salmon Run Series 5K races start on July 6 and continue every Wednesday through Aug. 3

Central Emergency Services staff wait to receive doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly mulls bond for new CES fire station

Replacement of the current station is estimated to cost $16.5 million

Buldozers sit outside of the former Kenai Bowling Alley on Thursday, June 23, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Old Kenai bowling alley comes down

The business closed in 2015

Landslide debris surrounds part of Lowell Point Road on Friday, June 3, 2022, in Seward, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly looks to mitigate future Lowell Point Road dangers

Assembly members approved legislation supporting agencies working to address the “repetitive hazards”

The Alaska Department of Health And Social Services building in Juneau has no visible signs indicating the department is splitting into two agencies as of Friday. Top officials at the department said many of the changes, both physical and in services, are likely weeks and in some cases months away. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Little sign of big change for DHSS

No commissioner at new department, other Department of Health and Social Services changes may take months

Nate Rochon cleans fish after dipnetting in the Kasilof River, on June 25, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
King closures continue; Kasilof dipnet opens Saturday

The early-run Kenai River king sport fishery remains closed, and fishing for kings of any size is prohibited

An "Al Gross for Congress" sign sits near the driveway to Gross’ home in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, after he announced plans to withdraw from the U.S. House race. Gross has given little explanation in two statements for why he is ending his campaign, and a woman who answered the door at the Gross home asked a reporter to leave the property. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Alaska judge rules Sweeney won’t advance to special election

JUNEAU — A state court judge ruled Friday that Alaska elections officials… Continue reading

Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion 
Soldotna City Manager Stephanie Queen listens to a presentation from Alaska Communications during a meeting of the Soldotna City Council on Wednesday, March 9, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska.
ACS pilots fiber program in certain peninsula neighborhoods

The fiber to the home service will make available the fastest internet home speeds on the peninsula

Most Read