$10 Billion Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline Gains Key Federal Approval

Alaska Gasline Development Corp (AGDC) received the last major federal permit needed on March 4th for its proposed $10 billion Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline (ASAP) to supply natural gas to in-state consumers, the company said on Wednesday.

The ASAP is a 733-mile project designed to deliver gas from Alaska’s North Slope to customers in Fairbanks, Anchorage and other parts of the state.

ASAP is part of state-owned AGDC’s proposed $43.4 billion Alaska LNG project. It is designed to liquefy 3.5 billion cubic feet per day of gas for sale to customers in the Asia-Pacific region from a facility to be built in Nikiski on the Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage, which includes an 807-mile pipeline.

“We see Alaska Stand Alone as a backup plan. We are mostly focused on Alaska LNG,” said AGDC spokesman Tim Fitzpatrick.

The company has planned to make a final investment decision to build the LNG project in early 2020 that would enable it to enter service in 2025, said AGDC in the past.


Alaska's New Governor Won’t Have a Say on $43 Billion Project Until It is Fully Examined

Alaska’s Governor Mike Dunleavy will “withhold judgement” on the $43 billion liquefied natural gas project until the “administration can fully understand the costs, risks, and potential benefits.”

The 800-mile pipeline will move North Slope gas to Nikiski at a plant that would liquefy it for shipment. Sales will be mostly targeted to buyers in the Asia market.

Dunleavy is the third governor to oversee the project which launched in 2012.

An approval for the project is not expected until February 2020.

Houston Chron

China Linked to Hacking of Alaska State Government Over North Slope Natural Gas Pipeline

Cybersecurity experts believe that Chinese hackers targeted the Alaska state government during negations over a major natural gas pipeline.

In a report, experts stated that hackers based at Tsinghua University in China found a way to gain “illegitimate access” in the days prior to Alaska Governor's visit to China as he was leading a trade delegation in May. His trip was part of a longer-term effort to build a pipeline that would connect Alaska’s North Slope to the Chinese market.

Alaska’s North Slope is one of the world’s largest natural gas reserves and holds more than 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

The firm "Recorded Future" disclosed that hackers scanned computers belonging to Alaska Communications, the state Department of Natural Resources, Alaska Power and Telephone, TelAlaska, and the governor’s office.

If the report is correct, China is using surveillance developed to monitor the Tibetan minority, an ethnic group native to Tibet, and repurposing it to target American interlocutors. 

“The spike in scanning activity at the conclusion of trade discussions on related topics indicates that the activity was likely an attempt to gain insight into the Alaskan perspective on the trip and strategic advantage in the post-visit negotiations,” Recorded Future assessed.

Washington Examiner
Miami Herald

800-Mile Trans-Alaska Pipeline to Experience Shutdowns in Summer for Maintenance

The 800-mile Trans-Alaska oil pipeline will shut down three times this summer for scheduled maintenance starting June 15, according to the pipeline system's operator.

Alyeska Pipeline Service Co said the three shutdowns along the pipeline that moves oil from the North Slope to the company's terminal in Valdez will allow for several maintenance tasks to happen at once.

The pipeline shutdowns should last between 12 and 18 hours and be complete after July 6.

President of Alyeska Pipeline Service Tom Barrett said in a statement that major maintenance on the line plays a critical role in sustaining the pipeline for the future.

The state could see an additional 800-mile LNG pipeline project in the coming years as Alaska Gasoline Development Corp works to get approval for a proposed natural gas pipeline from the North Slope for sale abroad.


Alaska Signs Major Pipeline Project Deal With China

The state of Alaska signed an agreement with interests from China that will attempt to advance Alaska's major natural gas pipeline project from the North Slope to Asia.

The agreement was signed Thursday with Sinopec, China Investment Corp, and the Bank of China, giving the approximately $43 billion project a jolt of life after major oil companies backed away from the project. It does not guarantee that the pipeline will be built, but it is a major step forward in the process.

All parties will work on various aspects of the project with a status check in 2018.  The goal is to have construction begin in 2019 with the pipeline operational by 2024 or 2025.

Alaska praises the step forward as the pipeline project could help bring economic certainty to the state amid declining oil production in the North Slope.

Houston Chronicle

Oil Company Announces Large-Scale Discovery off Alaska North Slope

Dallas-based Caelus Energy Alaska LLC announced Tuesday its discovery of 6 billion barrels of light oil off Alaska’s North Slope on its state leases.

According to Chief Operating Officer Jim Musselman, the discovery is large enough to help sustain Alaska’s oil industry for the next several decades.

The company has not yet flow-tested either well but instead collected extensive side-wall coring that showed sandstones containing oil. The company plans for another appraisal well and seismic work to better estimate the amount of oil there, which could be up to 10 billion barrels, according to the company.

The company predicts oil flow from the wells to the trans-Alaska pipeline by 2022, assuming the required and extensive regulatory process relating to the discovery goes well.