Forbes reported that Alaska has given ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), ExxonMobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM) and BP plc (LSE:BP) until the end of October to develop a plan to transport natural gas from the state’s North Slope to a port where it will be condensed into liquefied natural gas and exported to Asian markets.
As quoted in the market news:
We think that feasibility needs to be examined from financial, political, and business perspectives. According to a 2010 estimate, an 800 mile pipeline project from northern Alaska to a southern port may cost between $20 billion and $26 billion. As per industry estimates, the total project cost could lie anywhere between $40 billion to $50 billion, factoring in a pipeline and liquefaction plant. A project of this scale and complexity entails phenomenal capital commitment which can only be justified if the terms of the contract are stable and competitive, according to Exxon and others. According to estimates submitted by these companies, the North Slope holds more than 35 trillion cubic feet of discovered gas. We think that this ought to take care of any concerns regarding adequate availability of gas for export.