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Oil Reservoir & Environmental Technologies

Natural Gas Resource Development and Utilization Study on Alaska's North Slope

Alaskan North Slope

Alaskan North Slope

The recoverable natural gas available for sale in the developed and known undeveloped fields on the Alaskan North Slope total about 26 trillion cubic feet (TCF), including 22 TCF in the Prudhoe Bay Unit and 3 TCF in the undeveloped Point Thomson Unit. Work published in December 1999 identified and explored the effect of applying new technology to the economics of a proposed gas-to-liquid (GTL) plant, evaluated the potential of a slower-paced deployment of GTL technology, and evaluated the effect of GTL plant location on economics (393 KB PDF).

Results indicate that the slow-paced GTL scenario on the Alaskan North Slope had a higher net present value than a fast-paced GTL development located either on the Alaskan North Slope or in southern Alaska. The slow-paced GTL development would allow cost savings on subsequent expansions. These cost savings, along with lowering the transportation tariff, combine to distinguish the slow-paced GTL development scenario, for marketing Alaskan North Slope gas, from the other scenarios. Critical variables that mostly influenced economic outcome included the GTL plant cost, the GTL product premium, and operating and maintenance costs. Further study of these variables is recommended. In addition, a study to quantify the benefit of a pipeline tariff reduction (resulting from the addition of product from a North Slope GTL plant) to the economics of other current and future oil-producing fields on the Alaskan North Slope is recommended.

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