Tuesday, June 23, 2009

TransCanada, Denali leaders says gas line is needed despite glut

JUNEAU, Alaska - Low natural gas prices don't pose a threat to the Alaska natural gas pipeline, a top official with TransCanada Corp. said on June 18.
"That's the nature of the gas business - the price goes up and the price goes down," said Tony Palmer, vice president for Alaska development with the Alberta-based company, in a meeting with the Juneau Empire's editorial staff.
TransCanada knew when it began the process that natural gas prices fluctuate, Palmer said.
Industry sources have speculated that Alaska gas is not needed, given new means of producing gas in deep shales in the Lower 48. A top executive at Enbridge Inc. recently expressed doubts publicly that there is enough demand for Alaska gas, given the pipeline's cost.
TransCanada is working together with Exxon Mobil Corp., one of the state's three big natural gas lease holders, on its pipeline, developed under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act.
A competing pipeline, Denali, is being developed by BP PLC and ConocoPhillips Co., the other two big leaseholders.
Denali spokesman Dave MacDowell said despite today's low natural gas prices, his company also expects a pipeline to be viable.

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