The Arctic Sun takes on a load of liquified natural gas bound for Japan in 1998 at an LNG plant owned by ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil Corp. in Nikiski, Alaska. The shipment was ConocoPhillip's 1,000th to leave the Nikiski dock for Japan. The Nikiski plant is the only plant permitted in the United States to export LNG. The plant will close in the spring of 2011. ConocoPhillips cited declining market conditions in Asia and difficulty obtaining enough natural gas in Alaska as reasons for closing the plant.