Pipeline Report: The $12 Billion Gas Treatment Plant

June 2011 Vol. 238 No. 6

The Office of Federal Coordinator for an Alaska natural gas pipeline added another in-depth report to its website, focusing on the $12 billion gas treatment plant that would be needed at Prudhoe Bay.

The massive gas treatment plant would be built on the North Slope and would be covered by 270,000 tons of modules that will make up the complex. The report also discusses the costs associated with building the treatment plant to remove carbon dioxide and other impurities from the gas stream for the pipeline.

“The vast North American pipeline network is choosy about the gas it handles. Different gas fields and different pipeline companies all feed into the network, and for the system to hum every molecule of gas must be nearly identical in chemistry to every other molecule,” the report said.

“There are many steps natural gas must go through as it is processed. It needs to be cleaned, chilled and compressed before it can be shipped to the local distribution facilities,” Federal Coordinator Larry Persily said. “This report looks at the gas treatment plant that will take the gas through these steps. Building the plant isn’t an easy task. It is nearly double the size of the largest such plants around the world and will cost roughly $12 billion.”

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