December 06, 2003
The purchase of Alaska's North Slope gas would be a key step in the construction of a natural gas pipeline. The Stranded Gas Act requires the filing of a route specific plan for construction of a gas pipeline. The route could be the Alaska Highway Route, or an LNG line, but not the "over-the-top" route, which is prohibited by state law.
The state has been anticipating the filing of a combined Stranded Gas Act application by all three of the major North Slope oil and gas producers, based on remarks of the senior officials of the companies made following a meeting with the Governor that took place March 27, 2003.
The Governor on Thursday said that the state would accept an application from other than all three of the major producers or from any other qualified applicants, including pipeline companies. He cited the urgent need for applicants to complete negotiations with the administration so that the Legislature can consider an agreement before it adjourns in May. The Governor said he had reason to believe that a Stranded Gas Act application would be received by the state in the near future.
"I am making this announcement now to make sure that we are able to obtain legislative approval during this session," Murkowski said. "I don't want to lose a year in beginning construction of the pipeline, which is what would occur if we waited until the federal energy bill is passed in Congress in early 2004, assuming it passes. It is critical to the economy of Alaska that we act as expeditiously as possible to commercialize North Slope gas."
The Governor noted that the
1976 Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Act (ANGTA) already contains
enabling provisions which would expedite the construction of
a gas pipeline from the North Slope, south through Alaska and
Canada into the Lower 48 gas distribution system. The 1976 Act
does not contain the fiscal incentives being considered in the
energy bill currently before Congress. The fiscal incentives,
if enacted, could be applied to a pipeline built under either
the 1976 Act or the Energy Bill.
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