Alaska LNG Gains Milestone With Export License

The federal Energy Department announced today it will license Liquified Natural Gas exports from Nikiski, even to countries that don’t have a free trade agreement with the U.S.

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The authorization is conditional on winning final approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. But Sen. Lisa Murkowski says it’s a big boon for the project to bring North Slope natural gas to market.

“When you distill it down to, ‘what exactly does that mean?’ as one reporter asked, it basically means we can start selling our gas to anybody. So Japan: come on up. Taiwan? I don’t care where you’re coming from. Know that this project is real,” she said, at a luncheon today of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association.

Alaska LNG would be authorized to export up to 2.55 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day for 30 years. Alaska LNG is a partnership of the state, the producers and pipeline company TransCanada. The project, including a new trans-Alaska gas pipeline, are forecast to cost as much as $60 billion.