Armstrong Cook Inlet believes it can bring the North Fork unit online as early mid-February, if Alaska regulators give the independent permission to operate a new pipeline.
“The pipeline could be ready for operation as soon as mid-February and initial commissioning and testing cannot occur without operation of the pipeline,” Ed Kerr, vice president of Armstrong, wrote in an affidavit.
“For this reason, Anchor Point Energy hopes to begin deliveries of gas via the pipeline as early as mid-February, 2011, or within several weeks thereafter. Enstar wishes to receive service as soon as possible.”
Anchor Point Energy, created by Denver-based Armstrong and its four partners, plans to market North Fork natural gas through a new pipeline, called the North Fork Pipeline.
The 7.4-mile dual pipeline will run from a production pad at the North Fork unit to Anchor Point, where it will connect to an extension of the Kenai Kachemak Pipeline.
The North Fork unit is in the southern Kenai Peninsula, 10 miles north of Homer.
Anchor Point Energy completed the first phase of the pipeline last year, according to the State Pipeline Coordinator’s Office.
The first phase covered about one sixth of the total length of the line, more than a mile of standard steel piping. Anchor Point Energy conducted hydro-testing on that portion of the pipeline in mid-December 2010.
Surveying and pre-construction site work is already under way for phase two. The remainder of the pipeline will be constructed from Fiberspar LinePipe. That material is already on site, and Anchor Point Energy is in the process of preparing the right of way.
Because the North Fork Pipeline crosses state land, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources is requiring it to be regulated as a common carrier pipeline, even though Armstrong and its partners would be the only customers on the pipeline for the foreseeable future, and Armstrong said the pipeline “functions as a gathering pipeline.”
That means Armstrong needs a certificate of public convenience and necessity, a process that can take up to six months to complete under existing regulatory timelines.
Armstrong wants the Regulatory Commission of Alaska to either expedite its decision or give Armstrong temporary authority to begin pipeline operations. Armstrong said that final testing requires the pipeline system to be entirely operational.
If the RCA approves the CPCN by the end of January, Armstrong believes sales could begin in early March.
See full story in the next issue of Petroleum News, online Friday, Jan. 7, by 11 a.m. Alaska time, at www.petroleumnews.com.