Big LNG announcements continue in North Kenai as ConocoPhillips Alaska has officially filed with the U.S. Department of Energy to resume exports from its LNG facility in North Kenai for two years.
The DNR Commissioner Joe Balash had previously asked COPA to reopen the facility, indicating that “local utility demands will be supported by contracts that cover the next five years, or until 2018.”
At the time, ConocoPhillips Spokeswoman Amy Burnett said the current export license had expired in March of this year…
Burnett: “We appreciate the state’s input and we share their interest in promoting local energy security while supporting the local economy and ConocoPhillips has said previously that we would consider pursuing a new export authorization if local gas needs are met and there is sufficient gas available for exports. So we take the state’s request that we apply for a new export license very seriously and we will be working with local stake holders to further evaluate the feasibility of resuming LNG exports from this facility”.
COPA announcement yesterday they’ve filed to reopen, saying “the industrial gas market offered by exports will help keep natural gas fields producing and provide a potential economic basis for exploration and the development of new supplies.” They export volumes of up to 20 BCF per year.
The company says they remain committed to “putting local gas needs first” and would divert equity and third party gas to local buyers “in times of peak need.”
In 2011, ConocoPhillips and then-partner Marathon, who has since sold their assets in the facility, announced plans to close the Kenai plant, citing declining market conditions. One month after the announcement, an earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan, a tragedy that also created market opportunities for imported LNG.