The U.S. Department of Energy said Texas-based ConocoPhillips has been approved to ship liquefied natural gas exports from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula facility, The Associated Press reported. The company will be allowed to export 40 billion cubic feet of LNG from the Nikiski plant, which was shut down two years ago, to countries overseas for two years.
Alaska's Department of Natural Resources had requested ConocoPhillips restart exporting LNG to support the state's local economy and ensure Southcentral Alaska's natural gas supply, Reuters reported. In the past, ConocoPhillips said it would export LNG again from Cook Inlet if there were adequate supplies of natural gas for Southcentral Alaska utilities.
"Today's announcement by DOE ... highlights the growth that's occurring in Cook Inlet, where there is now ample gas supply to both meet local needs and help out our friends overseas," said Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who serves as the top Republican on the Senate's energy committee, according to Reuters.
ConocoPhillips expects to begin exporting LNG in the spring. Japan is expected to be the primary buyer of LNG from Alaska.