ConocoPhillips willing to build gas pipeline from Alaska
By John Porretto, AP Business Writer
HOUSTON — Oil exploration and production company ConocoPhillips (COP) said Friday that it has proposed to develop a multibillion-dollar pipeline that would transport natural gas from Alaska's North Slope to the lower 48 states and Canada.
The company said it's "prepared to make significant investments, without state matching funds, to advance this project."
ConocoPhillips spokesman Charlie Rowton said the company's best estimate for the entire project, including the pipeline from Alaska's North Slope to Chicago, is between $25 billion and $42 billion.
The pipeline would provide an important avenue for bringing Alaska's massive stores of natural gas to U.S. markets that rely on it for fueling home heaters and other uses. It would move about 4 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.
The North Slope has 35 trillion cubic feet of known natural gas, and is believed to hold many more times that in undiscovered reserves. But there is no method for shipping natural gas and the staggering cost of such a project has left the resource stranded thousands of miles from markets.
Now with natural gas prices high, a national market eager for cleaner-burning energy, Alaska seeking new participants in its energy industry and mature North Slope oil fields ripe for conversion to gas production, the time may be finally right for the long-desired project, said Marty Rutherford, deputy commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.
The state's Alaska Gasline Inducement Act calls for competitive proposals from energy companies for the right to launch what residents hope will be the next Alaska pipeline boom.
In a statement, ConocoPhillips Chairman and Chief Executive Jim Mulva said the company hopes to work directly with the state to advance the project as quickly as possible.
"We also expect to approach other parties to explore ways through which their participation could add value to this effort," Mulva said.
Specifically, Rowton said ExxonMobil and BP would be logical participants as the project moves forward. "We think it makes sense for their to be other owners," he said.
ConocoPhillips said it is already gathering data to support the pipeline permit application.
During the initial phase of the project, Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals will provide construction and design support, the company said.
Do you see the numbers? $25-42B to build the pipeline. Yet the Democrat party wants to tax excess profits, whatever that means. Those profits go toward projects like this one. They're expensive and risky but will enable us, along with other efforts, to become energy independent. Now what would the democrats do with the excess profits? More social engineering, more redistribution of wealth and more interference with market forces? (Tim)