The Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Project has been under consideration in the Alaska north for more than three decades. Finally the pre-work has begun.
According to TransCanada, which was awarded a contract by the state of Alaska, the new pipeline will originate on the North Slope near Prudhoe Bay and follow the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) south to a location near Prospect Creek. The pipeline will then diverge from the TAPS route and continue south-east following the Alaska Highway to the Alaska-Canada (Yukon Territory) border near Beaver Creek. Once in Canada, the proposed pipeline will follow the Alaska Highway through the Yukon crossing into British Columbia near Watson Lake. The pipeline will continue to run south-easterly through British Columbia, crossing into Alberta near Boundary Lake. Once in Alberta, the pipeline will interconnect with other existing pipelines at what is referred to as the “Alberta hub.”
The total length of the proposed TransCanada-built pipeline would be approximately 1,715 miles. The Alaska portion of the proposed pipeline is 750 miles of 48-inch diameter pipeline. The Canadian portion of the proposed pipeline is 965 miles long. Most of the pipeline will be buried below ground, except at compressor and metering stations, river and certain highway crossings and major fault lines.
The pipeline’s design would allow it to carry more than four billion cubic feet (bcf) of North Slope natural gas a day.
TransCanada’s application states heavy construction would start in 2015 and that gas flow would begin by November 2017.
Why build the pipeline?
The Alaska gas pipeline project will bring Alaska’s great natural gas resources from the North Slope to consumers, where it can be used to heat home and power industry. For Alaska, the benefits include new revenue to the state – up to $2 to 3 billion dollars a year – increased Alaska permanent fund dividends (that nice bonus check you get after living as an Alaska resident for two years, don’t forget to apply for that one!), thousands of new jobs, in-state access to the gas and new oil and gas exploration development, which will create even more jobs. For Alaskans, and for the U.S., and Canada.