Alaska LNG project applies to pre-file with FERC

Below is the press release that Gov. Sean Parnell sent out about the Alaska LNG Project’s request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, to begin the process to officially file for the natural gas project. The release also says that the state entered into an MOU with Japan.

The Japanese MOU doesn’t mean all that much. MOUs come and MOUs go. However, if played right, it could be used by Parnell to help inoculate himself against candidate Bill Walker’s accusations that Parnell is allowing the producers to control the fate and the market for Alaska’s natural gas. Don’t, however, hold your breath.

The pre-FERC filing is more substantial, and at the very least indicates that the companies still see a market for Alaska LNG, said Larry Persily, the Federal Coordinator for an Alaska North Slope natural gas pipeline.

However, we’ve been here before. Two projects in the last four or so years have also been through the pre-FERC application process, and both gave up before they got to full FERC because the gas market in the lower 48 tanked.

Neither of those projects were LNG projects and both of them had the Lower 48 as the market. And also, neither of them cost at least $60 billion.

According to Persily’s press release, (read that here), the companies said in the pre-filing that construction would start in 2018-2019 and operations could begin 2024-2025.

Here’s how Persily described the process:

The development team has started preliminary front-end engineering and design work, with a decision anticipated late next year whether to proceed to full engineering, design and permitting. The preliminary work is estimated at $500 million, with full engineering, design and permitting estimated to cost $2 billion-plus…Project teams already have begun gathering the volumes of baseline environmental and other data that FERC regulations require under the National Environmental Policy Act. This includes information on soils, vegetation, wetlands, fish, wildlife, geologic hazards, air and water quality, cultural and archaeological sites, subsistence activities, expected economic impacts and other ways the project will affect Alaska and its residents.

Here’s Parnell’s press release:

Governor Sean Parnell today welcomed news that the Alaska LNG Project reached another milestone with its formal request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to begin the pre-file process for the natural gas project. In doing so, the project triggers FERC’s National Environmental Policy Act permitting process.

Governor Parnell also announced today the State of Alaska and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) signed a Memorandum of Cooperation regarding the Alaska LNG Project and other natural resource development opportunities in Alaska.

“This agreement is yet another key milestone in the State’s rapid advancement of the commercialization of our world-class North Slope natural gas resources – to Alaskans first and then to markets beyond,” said Governor Parnell, noting that Japan is the world’s largest importer of LNG.

Natural Resources Commissioner Joe Balash and METI Agency for Natural Resources and Energy Commissioner Takayuki Ueda signed the agreement on Sept. 8 in Tokyo.

“It is an extremely positive development that the government agency that sets Japan’s energy policy and works closely with Japan’s utility market has taken a strong interest in the Alaska LNG Project and the State’s overall natural resources portfolio,” Balash said.

The Alaska LNG Project is a consortium of the three major North Slope producers, pipeline builder TransCanada Corp., and the State of Alaska.

The project formally entered the Pre-Front End Engineering and Design (Pre-FEED) stage in July, during which the Alaska LNG Project is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on design and engineering and creating hundreds of jobs. Also during this stage, the producers and the State are beginning to engage the LNG sales market. In August Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz exempted the project from a rule that has slowed the approvals for Lower 48 LNG export projects.

The memorandum with METI is part of the State’s ongoing efforts to engage the LNG markets in Asia, and it builds upon an existing agreement the State signed with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) in January. JBIC is a public financial institution that plays a critical role in financing and securing Japan’s LNG imports.

Contact Amanda Coyne at


15 thoughts on “Alaska LNG project applies to pre-file with FERC

  1. CRUDE is RUDE

    Lynn… I’ll make a point of stopping in, next time I’m in Anchorage.

    OK, now that you goog’d: agdc saic ….
    next, goog: saic fraud

    SAIC split into two different companies in 2013, after they got hundreds of millions from Parnell .. the new offshoot is called LEIDOS..

    SAIC [Leidos] & Blackwater [Xe] are both deep black in Alaska now…
    like a bad cancer.
    ……..cancer can be cured

  2. CRUDE is RUDE

    Lynn… some of Walker’s guys know how to quickly build a cost effective pumping system for putting a suction on that 3 miles by 2 miles by 600 feet deep plume of sulfolane.

    Parnell is clueless, all he can think about is “$65billion gasline & PebbleMine”…

    Before 1975 my dad & I built 200 houses in Fairbanks in preparation for TAPS, so that 2000 pipeliners wouldn’t have to sleep in tents.
    Parnell can’t even prepare Alaska’s healthcare system for his $65billion GasBoom he wants…. who did Parnell hire to be the designer for his AGDC project ???
    Answer: SAIC
    goog: agdc saic … this should peel your eyelids over the top of your head.

    wish I had the time to help you on #557

  3. CRUDE is RUDE


    Jon… Walker has many good plans for getting great value and benefit for Alaskans from our gas. Outside influences changes often, only flexible diversified planning offers us a chance to compete.

    The global gas game changes fast; Last week Putin just signed the first piece of pipe for a whopper gasline into China promising to supply a 30year gas contract at a cutrate bargain.
    Balash is in China this week, but he’s 10 years too late…
    …Walker was on-time 10years ago, but Alaska was too stupid to see Bill’s point of view.

    The global gas game changes fast, the TransCanada flop failed for more than one reason. The published excuse is blamed on the fracking boom, and the unpublished excuse is it was a bloated bankrobbery boondoggle trying to tie Alaska’s gas to the goofy tar-sands project. The pipeline into Canada’s tar-sands debacle was loaded with all kinds of bad-deals for Alaska, theft of our gas-liquids is just one of the scandals. Exxon wanted to aim Pt.Thomsen gas to Exxon/Imperial in Ft.McMurray since the first day they bought the Pt.Thomsen lease, and at first they wanted to build their own gasline across the top from Kaktovik to Inuvik then run it south down the Mackenzie River….
    That gambit was too “over the top” for Hickel.
    …stupid sneaky Exxon, they never thought of using a hydrogen plasma-gasifier to make syngas from the bitumen in Canada, to eliminate any need for importing more gas into the tar-sands operation.
    Exxon is too stupid to realize that the failed WIPP facility can be easily replaced with a Transatomicpower molten-salt WAMSER located 5000′ deep under the stable 3billion year old desert bedrock east of Yellowknife.
    If Exxon wants to make a trillion$$, this is what they should be doing.

    One example out of 100;
    — a polymer twin-48″ subsea gasline offshore SEAK & BC from Valdez to Seattle is much cheaper to build than a steel gasline Deadhorse to Nikiski.
    The plastic-pipe can be made in Alaska from our own ethane/propane gas-liquids. Maybe you have heard of FLNG, but I doubt you have ever heard of FPOP. I know how to build an FPOP at most efficient price.
    These are in-state facilities for longterm sustainable jobs statewide for all Alaskans.

    Monetizing methane is like selling freshwater to fish.

    DOE’s Moniz is clueless.

  4. Lynn Willis

    Who could have controlled the deficits given his Constitutional authority to veto appropriations? It was Sean Parnell and that fact is irrefutable. For that alone he should be defeated.
    Regarding the gas line, I agree we are at the “determine if the project is feasible” once again and wonder how many hundreds of millions we can afford to keep determining? Then, if this project is a “go” will we simply spend the income as we did with oil and be just as desperate 30 years from now?

  5. Jon K


    You support a man who has no plan to deal with the deficits – at least not one that I have seen. All we know is that he wants to expand Medicaid (which I support) and build a pipeline and LnG project. Both will cost money.

    But we don’t know how he will get us gas and we don’t know how much it will cost the state. We also don’t know if he wants to gather all of the necessary engineering and baseline data so we can get a cost estimate and make it through the NEPA process – from what I can gather bill walker says we don’t need to get this data and the Parnell approach is wasting money on “studies”. Anyone who knows how projects like this work understands that such a statement may play well politically, it is crazy and he is misleading Alaskans. We need baseline info on air, wetlands, geotechnical, water flows, habitat, subsistence and culture, labor etc. to get an EIS. We need engineering studies on the gas treatment plant, pipeline, offtake points, liquefaction, storage, docks, etc to get a good cost estimate so we can determine if this project is feasible. This will be the largest infrastructure project in North American history – you don’t just build it overnight and you certainly don’t just rely on incomplete and stale studies from the 1990s – Yukon pacific for example never even examined gas treatment which is a major component of the project and will cost around $10 billion.

    On AGIA you are wrong. A ton of money was spent on the gas treatment plant and the first 450 miles of the pipeline – in fact most of the money was spent on these components of the project. Because of all of this work, and the fact that a project team had been established, the current AK LNG had tremendous momentum and could commence the FERC and DOE processes as soon as it did. AK LNG is building on AGiA. The money wasn’t wasted.

    Finally, Parnell was not insisting on Canada. What AGIA did was allow the market to decide if Canada or Valdez was the proper destination for the gas. If AGPA and Walker had a credible project, AGIA gave them a perfect vehicle – it was willing to build a pipeline to Valdez. Walker never showed up during the open season in 2011. Nor did his Asian customers. If he did deliver during the open season, TC and Exxon were obligated to move forward with precedent agreements. Didn’t happen.

    Walker is all talk. He doesn’t have a credible plan to deal with the deficits and he doesn’t have a credible plan to get Alaskans gas. If I’m wrong, please point me to these plans.

  6. Lynn Willis

    Where else could we sell our gas now but Asia? Where else could I have suggested? Parnell was the last great hold out for Canada and the lower 48. You are apparently now trying to promulgate the myth that Trans Canada provided all kinds of valuable data based on the over 300 million dollars we gave them. The only possible useful pipeline date would be regarding the route to Livengood and who hasn’t engineered a route to Livengood starting with Yukon Pacific. After Livengood AGIA headed east into territory nobody cares about now. Perhaps you remember Parnell’s refused to admit the failed open seasons and in his state-of-the-state challenge to Trans Canada to specify the details of their project he did not mention of a destination for the pipe as late as 2013.
    I don’t support Walker for his gas pipeline idea. His is as valid to me as Parnell’s. I support Walker because after five years of Governor “Spends-A-Lot” we are in desperate fiscal shape. Walker is not so blinded by party loyalty that he would actually hurt Alaskans as he has with his hatred of Obamacare. Walker hasn’t already tried to get out of Alaska as a US Congressman as has Parnell.
    On a personal note what about the value of my property near North Pole that is suspect of having Sulfolane contamination. Who do I thank for that Jon, other than your boy who ignored the spill for his entire term until this spring to the point that it now has contaminated an area described as 3 miles by 2 miles by 600 feet deep?
    I also have, since the 2010 Dahlstrom hire scandal, been convinced Parnell has no ethical tether as was recently reinforced by his failure to protect the Alaska National Guard even after several very credible people including Fred Dyson tried to motivate him to act earlier.

  7. Jon K


    What this MOU does do is put an end to the lie that the Parnell Administration has ignored Asia. This is the third MOU that the Administration has entered with Asia customers / players. The Administration has had extensive outreach to Asia since 2011. It would be nice if folks on your side would stop misleading Alaskans about Parnell turning his back on Asia.

    But more importantly, the FERC application is a big deal. It highlights how projects like this move forward. Companies spend a ton of time, money, and resources on engineering and gathering baseline data, so they can get solid cost estimates and make it through the NEPA process. People want to know where our AGIA money went – well a lot of it went into gathering all of the information needed to make it throught the FERC process so we could submit a credible application.

    If you are so convinced that this project won’t happen, why are you supporting a candidate who is absolutely convinced that we can get North Slope gas to Asia – from what I can gather this is the animating rationale for his candidancy.

  8. Lynn Willis

    Amanda, you hit the nail on the head: “The Japanese MOU doesn’t mean all that much. MOUs come and MOUs go.” This is hardly newsworthy unless you are grasping at any straw that might indicate this is going to work. This is comparable to the announcement of Kodiak Space Port Director last week claiming his only launch in years was a “success” even though the rocket was destroyed 4 seconds into the flight.

  9. CRUDE is RUDE

    Walker/Mallot – 2014

    Jon k … I’m just one of many old pipeliners & construction guys who supports Walker/Mallot – 2014
    I’m just one voice of many……..

    Your question overstates the reality of handling permits for realistic projects of rational design.

    Total cots of TAPS was $8.8billion including tremendous construction inefficiencies, sloppy bookkeeping, and tons of cost overruns that in part cost Bechtel it’s position as prime contractor halfway thru the project…
    …we built TAPS thru the wilderness without cellfones, satphones, computers..
    and building the haulroad was the hardest part.

    Now the ROW is firmly established, why does Parnells gang of gas-clowns think it’s gonna cost $65billion ???

    Any oldtimer like sees thru this BS… permitting can easily be kept to a bare minimum cost..
    ..far far less than you suggest.

    An efficient statewide gasline system is not a megaproject, it’s a lot of little projects combined, which keeps CAPEX-exposure to below $500million at any given time. And it produces far better results for building a sustainable diversified 200year economic plan.

    Walker/Mallot – 2014

  10. Jon K

    For all of Walker’s supporters, can you please explain whether Walker believes his LNG project would need to follow the same rigorous steps as every other mega-project? That is, does he think his project will need to spend the billions on engineering, permitting, and data gathering before the project gets sanctioned? If so, who will pay for all of this work on feasibility and costs?

  11. QPHP

    The LNG poject is moving well and systematically thru the process. The Parnell administration has made great strides in advancing the project including holding Exxon’s feet to the fire at Pt. Thompson and getting commitments to develop the leases. The work to get here is more substantial and reliable than past efforts. I salute Parnell and his team.

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