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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The northern portion of North America – Alaska and Canada – is far from the immense energy markets that constitute the Lower 48 states and Mexico. However, the region is rich in oil and gas and represents huge potential.


Prudhoe Bay in Alaska is one of the largest conventional oil fields in the world. What is less known about it is the 30 trillion ft3 of associated gas, plus another 16 trillion ft3 in other deposits. For several decades, various LNG plans have been promoted in an effort to monetise that stranded gas. Last year, the state’s Alaska Gasline Development Corp. (AGDC) filed an application with the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to develop an Alaska LNG project.

The AGDC, in conjunction with Alaska North Slope (ANS) producers BP, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips, intend to spend up to US$45 billion on a system that will include a gas processing plant at the Prudhoe Bay field, an 800 mile, 42 in. pipeline capable of carrying up to 2.55 billion ft3/d from Prudhoe Bay to a port on the Kanai Peninsula, eight compression stations, and a liquefaction plant capable of producing up to 20 million tpy of LNG.

In 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with President Donald Trump, Alaska Governor Bill Walker and AGDC President Keith Meyer in Anchorage to discuss the potential sale of LNG to China.

In May 2018, AGDC and BP signed a gas sales agreement. The latter owns 26% of the Prudhoe Bay gas deposits and 32% of the nearby Point Thomson field. “We are very pleased to be part of the state’s vision to bring Alaskan natural gas to new and expanding markets globally,” said Bob Dudley, BP Chief Executive. “We think this is good for the state, good for BP and good for the environment.” If all goes according to plan, first shipments are expected to take place in 2023 – 2025.

Alaska, which has seen oil production in the Prudhoe Bay area drop from 2 million bpd in 1989 to under 500 000 bpd in 2018, has been heartened by significant discoveries in recent years...

Written by Gordon Cope, Contributing Editor.

This article was originally published in the August issue of Hydrocarbon Engineering. To read the full article, sign in or register for a free trial of the magazine.

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North America downstream news