ConocoPhillips recently restarted exports of liquefied
natural gas (LNG) from its plant in Kenai, Alaska, with a
shipment to a Japanese utility in May.
The company plans to send four or five cargos of LNG from
Kenai to Japan this year.
ConocoPhillips and partner Marathon announced in early 2011
their plan to close the older facility, citing problems with
securing natural gas feedstock from the mature Cook Inlet
basin and the failure to sign a shipping contract with the
The plant was closed over the winter, making the May
shipment the first since autumn of 2011.
However, fresh demand for Alaskan LNG arose in the aftermath
of the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in
March 2011 and disabled the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
In September 2011, ConocoPhillips bought Marathon's 30%
share in the plant, making it the sole owner of the
Although shipments have resumed for the year, the plant's
operational status beyond 2012 will depend on local demand and
on Cook Inlet gas production volumes or, alternatively, the
availability of gas feedstock from Alaska's North Slope
via pipeline, the company said.