May 2, 2012
Alaska on Wednesday formally endorsed an effort by TransCanada and three North Slope producers to shift their focus to a pipeline project that could export liquefied natural gas to Asian markets.
The state commissioners of revenue and natural resources agreed to amend TransCanada’s gas pipeline project plan adopted in 2008 under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act. While giving the companies time to look at and possibly develop an LNG export project, the commissioners postponed for two years TransCanada’s October 2012 deadline to apply to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for authority to build and operate a pipeline that would send North Slope natural gas to Lower 48 markets via Canada.
Last fall, Gov. Sean Parnell asked TransCanada, ExxonMobil, Conoco Phillips and BP to give a new look at an LNG export project in light of low North American natural gas prices and high prices in Asia. On March 30, the companies told Parnell they were considering an LNG project.
The commissioners said Wednesday the oil companies and TransCanada have committed to completing a serious assessment by Dec. 31, 2012, of interest among producers, explorers, LNG terminal developers and others in the possible export project. Under AGIA, the state will reimburse up to 90 percent of costs incurred in coming months for work on the export proposal.