Draft study on Alaska LNG to be released at the end of the month

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Published: Feb. 20, 2019 at 3:52 PM AKST
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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is scheduled to release a draft version of the Alaska LNG pipeline project Environmental Impact Study at the end of this month. It's been a decades-long process to get to this point, with the $43 billion, 800-mile long pipeline, which would transport natural gas across the state.

Larry Persily is the former U.S. Federal Pipeline Coordinator. He still follows the daily happenings of the oil and gas industry and says that despite any progress made, the Alaska LNG pipeline is a pipe dream, at least for the time being.

"Since '01 the state has spent close to a billion dollars on this, all well-intentioned; All well-meaning," said Persily. "It will not be something that we see anytime soon."

The Alaska Gasline Development Corp. is the state-led agency responsible for overseeing negotiations in the Alaska LNG project. It requested a 60-day extension last month for the negotiations between the state and a group of Chinese investors that have expressed interest in Alaska's vast supply of natural gas.

While Persily acknowledges that China has steadily been increasing its usage of natural gas exponentially, he maintains that there are other more cost-effective options that will steer investors away from Alaska LNG.

"Companies, entities and banks in China are looking for LNG projects around the world, but they're just looking. They're shopping," said Persily.

It remains to be seen whether or not the draft environmental impact study from FERC will paint a more enticing picture of Alaska LNG.

Once the draft EIS is released, work on a final draft will begin. The report is set to be published sometime in November.