Cook Inlet is optimal tidewater for large gasline
MAT-SU—Delivering natural gas from the North Slope to Cook Inlet through a high-volume gas pipeline would benefit Alaska in both domestic and world markets. That high volume gasline to Cook Inlet could be a marriage of both concepts, the ASAP gasline and the Alaska Gas Pipeline project.
Right now, the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline is proposed to deliver natural gas from the North Slope to the Point MacKenzie area. Under a contract agreement between the State and TransCanada Corp., any gasline—other than the large line authorized by AGIA to the MidWest—is limited to 500 million cubic feet per day. Matanuska-Susitna Borough Mayor Larry DeVilbiss said a larger line to Cook Inlet fits well with Gov. Sean Parnell’s announcement last October to develop the Trans-Canada option of bringing gas to tidewater. Cook Inlet is the optimal tidewater, DeVilbiss said.
The Borough Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution in January.
If this project is unleashed and a high volume of natural gas was delivered to Cook Inlet through the future pipeline, several benefits would come, DeVilbiss said.
“While there is an immediate need for gas to generate electricity and to heat homes, let’s not overlook the need for gas in great enough quantities and values that will sustain and expand current liquefied natural gas production to the Pacific Rim. A high volume line will spur a new generation of industry in-state and will deliver gas at rates that will make us competitive in the global market,” he said.
On the domestic front, large projects are coming on line in the Cook Inlet region that would benefit from cheaper energy sources.
The Donlin Creek mine project is poised to invest approximately $1 billion into a gas line from the Cook Inlet gas infrastructure to the Bethel region.
Port MacKenzie, with its rail extension under construction, will attract high volumes of natural resources that could be further developed and exported given a source of cheap energy. Port MacKenzie’s 14 square miles of industrial area has the space required for value-added processing of natural resources.
The new gasline could tap into the existing natural gas infrastructure of Cook Inlet.
Delivering high volume, globally competitive gas to Cook Inlet would service more than half the state’s population. The Cook Inlet supply of developed gas is, for now, close to the end of its ability to handle peak loads. Two winters in a row, the Southcentral area municipalities teamed up to practice lower energy consumption.
“New Cook Inlet discoveries will assuage the immediate local gas needs but fall short of the mid- to longterm potential,” DeVilbiss said. Photo by Stefan Hinman/MSB