A drilling venture among the Richfield Oil Corporation, Shell and Standard Oil Company of California (Chevron) discovered the Beluga River Gas Field while drilling a deep oil exploration prospect in 1962. In 1968, Chugach Electric Association constructed a power plant at Beluga and became the first consumer of gas from the field. The field primarily provides gas for power generation and is now the largest source of gas for power generation for consumer use in Alaska.
In 1984, ENSTAR Natural Gas Company constructed a pipeline from Anchorage to the Beluga River Gas Field, opening up residential and commercial heating markets. Demand for Beluga River gas expanded to include the Municipal Light & Power, Elmendorf Air Force Base, and Ft. Richardson power plants. In 1986, Chevron relinquished its role as operator; and ConocoPhillips (then ARCO) took over. ConocoPhillips continues to operate the field on behalf of the co-owners, Hilcorp and Municipal Light & Power (the Municipality of Anchorage).