Alaska LNG backers tout environmental benefits
Adopting similar arguments advanced by other potential exporters of natural gas to Asia, backers of the 20mn mt/yr Alaska LNG project released a report October 7 detailing the “significant environmental and climate benefits” the project would achieve.
“Alaska has some of the world’s strictest environmental laws, and Alaska natural gas should be a key component of any realistic energy roadmap to a cleaner climate,” Alaska governor Mike Dunleavy said. “This report documents the substantial climate benefits that clean-burning Alaska natural gas has for our environment here at home and around the world.”
The report, prepared for the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) by an independent team of third-party air quality, environmental and energy experts, documents how exports by Alaska LNG would cut annual CO2emissions by a representative Asian regional coal supply chain by some 77mn metric tons, a reduction of about 50%.
GHG emissions from the Asian coal supply chain would reach nearly 160mn mt of CO2-equivalent (mtCO2-e)/year, the report said; emissions from the Alaska LNG supply chain would be less than 80mn mtCO2-e/year.
“The world is increasingly focused on the climate impact of new high-volume, reliable energy projects,” AGDC president Frank Richards said. “This timely assessment uses respected and transparent methodologies to quantify the value of replacing high-emissions energy sources in foreign markets with low-emissions Alaska LNG.”
The report also compares expected emissions from Alaska LNG to comparable facilities in Louisiana (a representative liquefaction of Appalachian shale gas shipped from New Orleans and exports from Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass terminal) and Australia (representative liquefaction of conventional gas shipped from Darwin) that have also undergone similar lifecycle analyses of emissions. Emissions intensities were measured based on LNG delivered to and regasified in Shanghai, China.
New Orleans to Shanghai yielded an emissions intensity of 1.92 metric tons of CO2-equivalent (mtCO2-e)/metric ton of LNG (mtLNG). Darwin to Shanghai yielded an intensity of 1.8 mtCO2-e/mtLNG, while a Sabine Pass cargo yielded an intensity of 1.19 mtCO2-e/mtLNG. The Alaska LNG intensity, however, was 0.88 mtCO2-e/mtLNG for LNG liquefied at the terminal on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula and delivered to Asian regas terminals.
“Alaska LNG’s relative emissions efficiencies reflect Alaska’s close proximity to target Asian markets, which reduce round-trip shipping times by about a month, efficiencies resulting from shared facilities for North Slope oil production, the utilisation of a single pipeline and compressor system, and fewer gathering and boosting emissions required by the North Slope’s compact production footprint,” AGDC said.