JUNEAU, Alaska, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell announced his government signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan to facilitate liquefied natural gas exports.
Parnell signed with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry a memorandum of cooperating regarding an LNG project led by Exxon Mobil.
Exxon announced Monday it started a process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for an environmental review of the project.
"This agreement [with Japan] is yet another key milestone in the state's rapid advancement of the commercialization of our world-class North Slope natural gas resources -- to Alaskans first and then to markets beyond," the governor said in a statement Monday.
Exxon's proposed facilities include a plant on the Kenai Peninsula that would cool natural gas to the liquid form as well as an 800-mile pipeline.
In May, Parnell signed a state measure that made the state of Alaska an owner in the project. Construction of the project could begin in 2019.
Exxon is leading the project alongside U.S. counterpart ConocoPhillips, British energy company BP and pipeline builder TransCanada.