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
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.