Thursday, February 4, 2010

TransCanada files open-season plan for proposed gas line

ANCHORAGE - TransCanada Corp. on Jan. 29 filed hundreds of pages of new information with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) describing how it plans to obtain commitments for natural gas to fill its proposed multibillion-dollar North Slope pipeline.
The documents show that building the pipeline could be nearly twice as expensive as TransCanada, a Canadian pipeline company, predicted three years ago. However, the new estimates - ranging from $26 billion to $41 billion - are within the range that has been used by state officials for the project, which many see as critical to Alaska's future economy.
The documents also reveal that the company is trying to sweeten the deal for potential shippers - including oil producers BP, Conoco Phillips and Exxon Mobil. TransCanada says it is reducing the amount it will charge to ship the gas by $500 million per year for 25 years, or $12.5 billion. That's possibly good news for people in Alaska: lower shipping costs translate to higher royalties and tax revenue for the state and larger profits for the producers.

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