JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - The State of Alaska approved ExxonMobil's plan to expand the Point Thomson North Slope gas project, as of Dec. 22.
"Our approval of the Point Thomson to Prudhoe Bay pipeline plan adds to the momentum of the Alaska LNG Project and demonstrates the commitment of the Point Thomson working interest owners to move gas from Point Thomson into Alaska Gasline Development Corp.’s 800-mile pipeline," said Gov. Bill Walker in a news release. "The expansion project also helps build a Stronger Alaska, because it will increase oil production out of Point Thomson by 50,000 barrels per day."
Walker, who has been a strong advocate for developing an Alaska-owned pipeline for decades, reiterated that the Trump Administration and the Chinese government are also in support of the Alaska LNG Project.
"Interest in this project has grown immensely in the last 45 days, due to the historic Joint Development Agreement between the State of Alaska, Sinopec, the Bank of China and the Chinese Investment Corp.," Walker said.
Previously, ExxonMobil's expansion-related plan had been denied by The Division of Oil and Gas. On Aug. 29, the division requested that the company provide "additional information."
According to Division of Oil and Gas Director Chantal Walsh, initial issues the division had with the expansion project's Plans of Development (POD) included instances of "conditional language" involving work and funding, along with "lack[ing] sufficient detail" in five of its planned activities.
By Oct. 12, ExxonMobil provided new information that addressed the division's concerns. Approximately two months later, the division approved the Revised Expansion Project Planning POD.
"It's clear that ExxonMobil is committed to commercializing North Slope gas, particularly from Point Thomson," stated Natural Resources Commissioner Andy Mack. "This helps align the company’s work in Alaska with the State of Alaska and AGDC."
To read the division's approval letter, click here.