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Governor Promotes Gas Line in Calgary


July 10, 2004

Juneau, Alaska - Building a pipeline to move Alaska's North Slope natural gas to market would be good for Western Canadian gas producers, Governor Frank Murkowski told a gathering of natural gas industry officials in Calgary Friday. Without a steady supply of Alaska gas to help keep pipelines out of Alberta full in the decades ahead, Canadian producers could find themselves paying higher tariffs for getting their own gas to market, the governor said.

"Shared pipeline costs with Canadian producers will keep tariffs at the lowest possible level," the governor said. "Alaska isn't looking to compete with Canada for market share, but rather to help maximize existing pipeline investments so that we can all share in a growing market."

Governor Murkowski spoke at the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America Securities Analysts Conference in Calgary. Industry officials from throughout Canada and the United States are attending the two-day event Friday and Saturday, July 9-10, in Calgary.

Alaska's governor was the keynote speaker at the first day's opening session. Governor Murkowski asked the more than 100 conference attendees to join with Alaska in promoting construction of a gas pipeline from the North Slope to connect with the North American distribution system in Alberta. The state is talking with the major North Slope producers and Canadian pipeline companies TransCanada Corp. and Enbridge Inc. in an effort to find the right combination of fiscal terms and participants to get the Alaska gas line project under way. "There will be nothing like this gas pipeline project in the world," Sig Cornelius, president of ConocoPhillips' new Global Gas organization, told the conference. Several of the speakers talked about the strong market demand for new gas supplies. "This is a project that fundamentally needs to happen," said Dennis McConaghy, executive vice president for gas development at TransCanada. "The state of Alaska has some key roles to play."

"We think there is an urgent need to get this pipeline on-stream," said Patrick Daniel, president and chief executive officer of Enbridge. "It drives consumers crazy when their gas bills fluctuate the way they do now."

The governor said consumers will benefit from increased cooperation between Alaska and Canada. "Let us join together - Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories - to forge a northern gas alliance," the governor said. "Let us go together to Ottawa and Washington, D.C., to advocate on behalf of northern gas. And when we are successful - and I said when, not if - every gas consumer in North America will benefit." In his speech, the governor talked about the proposed gas line's benefits to Western Canadian producers, not just North American consumers. "With added gas from Alaska helping to fill the pipe and hold down tariffs, Western Canada's smaller fields will remain economic for years to come," the governor said. "It's no secret that the pipelines coming out of Alberta and carrying gas to customers from the West Coast to the East Coast - and everything in between - will have room in the years ahead, as production declines from Western Canada's mature fields."

The governor reminded the conference that Alaska and Canada do not have the North American gas market all to themselves. "With imported liquefied natural gas continuing to knock on our doors, neither Alaska nor Western Canada can afford to wait indefinitely to begin commercializing northern gas."

Governor Murkowski also briefed the conference on the state's efforts to extend the Alaska Railroad into Canada, moving across the Yukon Territory and connecting with the Canadian rail network in British Columbia. Extending the rail line just makes sense, he said, looking at the resource development opportunities in Alaska and the Canadian north. The governor will promote the Alaska gas line project in speeches at the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region 14th annual summit Tuesday in Victoria, B.C., and at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Summer Gas Committee meeting Wednesday in Salt Lake City.


Source of News Release:

Office of the Governor
Web Site



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