AGDC issues updated in-state Alaska gas line report

Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, July 6 -- Alaska Gasline Development Corp. (AGDC) has issued an updated project plan for the Alaska Stand Alone Gas Pipeline (ASAP), outlining projected costs and timelines for the proposed 737-mile, 24-in. OD line intended to bring North Slope gas south for consumption by Alaskans, and calling on the legislature to considers its proposals promptly.

The report called for public ownership of the line, noting that the lower borrowing costs would allow for the lowest possible tariffs structure, with a private company to both build and operate the system. The report also noted the apparent commercial feasibility of a 500 MMcfd LNG liquefaction anchor tenant for ASAP. The report estimated the cost of the pipeline at $7.5 billion, with a 30% margin of error and noted that it would no longer be complete by the initially targeted yearend 2015 date, instead shipping first gas in 2018, and firm volumes in 2019.

The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has voiced its intent to require special permitting for the line, which AGDC noted could increase both the costs and timeline of the project. AGDC called on the Alaskan legislature to consider its proposals as promptly as possible, saying that failure to consider the public ownership aspect in particular would be taken as de facto acceptance of private ownership instead.

The updated report, ordered by the Alaskan legislature in 2010, also called for setting aside roughly $200 million to advance the next stage of preconstruction work on the project.

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell did not immediately call for a special session of the legislature to consider the updated AGDC report. Parnell said ASAP could function as either an option to a larger gas pipeline shipping to the Canada and Lower 48, a spur of such a line, a stand-alone project, or part of a larger integrated system.

The system as proposed will run from Prudhoe Bay following the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) and Dalton highway corridors to near Livengood, northwest of Fairbanks, at which point it would follow the Parks highway corridor south to its terminus interconnect with the Beluga Pipeline near Big Lake (part of the Enstar Beluga distribution system). The system would include a 35-mile, 12-in. OD lateral to Fairbanks, with a capacity of 60 MMcfd.

Gas and natural gas liquids would be received from the Prudhoe Bay Central Gas Facility and be conditioned at the new-build ASAP Gas Conditioning Facility (GCF) at Prudhoe Bay. NGLs would be removed at a new Cook Inlet NGL Extraction Facility near Big Lake. NGLs would then be delivered fractionation plant.

The project will initially include two compressor stations, one at Prudhoe Bay and the other at Mile Post 286, with additional stations to be added if required to expand capacity beyond 500 MMcfd based on either open season results or future demand.

AGDC assumes ASAP’s principal inlet connection to be Prudhoe Bay, but its report left open the possibility of other inlet along the pipeline route. The report described the most likely interconnects as occurring in the Brooks Range Foothills (Gubik field), near the Yukon River (Yukon basin), and from the Nenana basin south of Dunbar. AGDC expects the need for any such interconnects to emerge to an open season for ASAP.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.



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