The only other companies that think on this scale of investment are the mining behemoths. BHP Billiton was thinking of putting $20-25 billion into their Olympic Dam project before the markets turned and the idea was scrapped.
A pipeline and plant that would ship natural gas from Alaska's North Slope to international markets could cost between $45 billion and $65 billion, according to the companies pursuing the "mega-project."
The estimate results from joint studies into the feasibility of a liquefied natural gas plant to ship gas to Asia conducted by Alaska's three major oil producers -- Exxon Mobil Corp and partners BP Plc and ConocoPhillips -- and Canadian pipeline operator TransCanada Corp.
The three oil producers agreed in March to work with TransCanada on the project, which seeks to find a market for gas currently stranded in the remote North Slope oil field.
The cost estimate includes a liquefaction plant and shipping facilities to serve a fleet of 15 to 20 tanker vessels that would transport the LNG abroad, according to a letter sent to Alaska's governor, Sean Parnell.
The amount is in addition to the 800-mile (1,290-km) pipeline and a gas-handling plant contained in a 2010 project proposed by TransCanada and estimated to cost up to $26 billion, the Canadian company said.
"Individually, each of these components would represent a world-class project," said the letter to Parnell, which was released by his office late on Wednesday. "Combined, they result in a mega-project of unprecedented scale and challenge."...MORE