Exxon Mobil considers its own gas pipeline option

Posted: Thursday, September 07, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. says it's considering building its own pipeline to the Lower 48 to get the company's share of the massive North Slope gas reserves to market.

Exxon holds almost 40 percent of the North Slope's 35 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Exxon has a pilot plant in Louisiana to study technology for converting natural gas to a liquid form that could move through the 800-mile trans-Alaska oil pipeline.

But natural gas prices in the Lower 48 have risen about 60 percent over the past year, prompting renewed interest by companies like BP Amoco and Phillips Petroleum in a new pipeline from the North Slope into Canada and the Lower 48.

Exxon spokesman Bob Davis said in an e-mail message last month that ''Exxon Mobil is re-examining the option of commercializing the gas via a pipeline to serve Lower 48 gas markets. If a pipeline is built, it will not rule out a gas-to-liquids project since there are sufficient gas resources to support multiple projects.''

Most natural gas now produced with oil gets reinjected into the ground. That helps add pressure for pushing up still more crude and the gas can be saved for later production.

Until recently, world gas prices have been too low to justify a multibillion-dollar project to get the resource off the Slope.

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