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    Alaska LNG touts environmental, security benefits

Summary

A supplemental environmental impact statement says project could enhance global energy security and reduce emissions. [Image: AGDC]

by: Dale Lunan

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Alaska LNG touts environmental, security benefits

Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC), the state-funded agency leading the development of the 20mn mt/yr Alaska LNG project, said June 29 a new report from the US Department of Energy (DoE) confirms the project’s environmental and supply security benefits.

A draft supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) published by the DoE on June 24 examines the effects of Alaska LNG and validates previous federal authorisations for the project. It also confirms that ample volumes of North Slope gas are available to feed the project over its expected lifespan and identifies important socioeconomic benefits that would flow from Alaska LNG.

“With this report, the Biden administration confirms that Alaska LNG can deliver environmental benefits globally and provide environmental and socioeconomic benefits for Alaskans,” AGDC president Frank Richards said. “As the world turns away from Russian energy, LNG investors, developers, and customers are all searching for reliable, low-emissions energy sources, and Alaska LNG, the only permitted LNG project on the US west coast, is poised to safely deliver to allies across the Pacific and enable other US LNG projects to strengthen service to European nations in need.”

The SEIS notes two distinct environmental advantages held by Alaska LNG over competing Gulf Coast projects: reduced emissions during transportation reflecting the shorter shipping routes to Asia and the lower emissions intensity of Alaska natural gas, which is produced along with North Slope crude oil.

“The shortest distance between the Gulf Coast and China is 140% longer than the route from Alaska to China,” the SEIS said. Gas and oil produced independently of each other, the SEIS said, generate higher overall emissions; about 75% of North Slope gas is associated gas, versus about 40% of gas supplying Gulf Coast liquefaction terminals.

The DoE also confirmed that about 41.1 trillion ft3 of natural gas is “readily available” on the North Slope, exceeding the volume required by Alaska LNG for in-state and export use.

“Enough natural gas is produced on Alaska’s North Slope each day to meet the daily energy needs of California, Oregon, and Washington,” the AGDC says. “Today, however, this gas is reinjected into the ground because there is no present infrastructure to deliver it to market.”

The DoE is expected to publish a final environmental impact statement for Alaska LNG on November 14 and issue a record of decision on February 13, 2023.