By the OGJ Online Staff
HOUSTON, Nov. 15, 2001 – Six US and three Canadian energy companies Thursday signed a development proposal to build an Alaska Highway natural gas pipeline project.
The companies’ proposal will be for a pipeline from Prudhoe Bay field that parallels the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline System to Fairbanks and then the Alaska Highway to northern Canada.
The nine entities expect to present a proposal to the major Alaskan North Slope producers – ExxonMobil Corp., BP PLC, and Phillips Petroleum Co. – by yearend. If agreement is reached, they said the line could be in place by 2008.
The six US companies include subsidiaries of Williams Cos. Inc., Tulsa, Okla.; Duke Energy Corp., Charlotte, NC., Sempra Energy, San Diego, Calif.; Enron Corp., Houston; PG&E Corp., San Francisco; and El Paso Corp., Houston.
The three Canadian companies, TransCanada PipeLines Ltd., Calgary; Westcoast Energy Inc., Vancouver, BC, and Foothills Pipe Lines Ltd., have remained active partners in the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System (ANGTS) project from its inception. Duke is buying Westcoast in a $3.5 billion deal, which is expected to close early next year.
The parties said the memorandum of understanding (MOU) sets principles for reenlisting in the Alaskan partnership to construct the Alaskan portion of the pipeline. A key element of the MOU is that the current and reenlisting parties are committed to eliminating historic and other commercial barriers to the project.
The Alaska Highway project would extend 1,700 miles from the North Slope of Alaska to northwestern Alberta. From there, existing lines would carry the gas to US and Canadian markets.
The companies signing the MOU are the original partners in the Alaskan Northwest Natural Gas Transportation Co. In 1977 the US government designated ANNGTC to construct and operate the Alaska segment of the line. ANNGTC holds a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission certificate and other federal permits for the construction and operation of ANGTS.