Alaska Senate to consider natural gas pipeline

The Alaska House of Representatives approved a state license for TransCanada Corp. to pursue federal certification for a 1,715-mile natural gas pipeline.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, July 24 -- The Alaska House of Representatives approved a state license for TransCanada Corp. to pursue federal certification for a 1,715-mile natural gas pipeline. The Alaska Senate has yet to consider and vote on the measure.

The state's Senate must make its decision before Aug. 2 on Gov. Sarah Palin's Alaska Gasline Inducement Act. The AGIA established state requirements for companies interested in building a pipeline.

If the legislature grants a license to TransCanada, that still does not guarantee pipeline construction. A license would provide up to $500 million in state startup money for TransCanada to begin the lengthy, costly process toward federal certification for a pipeline.

Under AGIA, TransCanada was one of five companies that applied and the only one that satisfied the guidelines, Palin has said previously. The Alaska state House passed HB 3001 with a vote of 23 to 16.

Meanwhile, BP PLC and ConocoPhillips are working on a pipeline proposal called Denali. They announced Apr. 8 plans to build a 4 bcfd gas pipeline that would extend from the Alaska North Slope to Canada and potentially on to the US (OGJ, Apr. 14, 2008, p. 30).

BP and ConocoPhillips called the proposed Alaskan gas line the "largest private-sector construction project ever built in North America." They plan to spend $600 million over the next 36 months on an open season, which is slated to begin before yearend 2010.

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