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April 01, 2004 --- Vol. 10, No. 36April 2004

Enbridge says it wants to be part of team that builds North Slope pipeline

Enbridge Inc. says it wants to be part of the team that builds a natural pipeline.html'>gas pipeline from Alaska’s North Slope.

The Calgary-based company announced today it intends to file an application under Alaska’s Stranded Gas Development Act to negotiate with the state for a long-term fiscal contract in lieu of state and municipal taxes on the gas line project.

Company spokesman Jim Rennie said Enbridge would file the application within a week.

The company isn’t looking to build the line by itself but would like to be part of whatever partnership puts together the project, Rennie said. “We think that’s the more reasonable way to go, given the size of the project and the risks involved.”

Enbridge is the second Canadian pipeline operator in the past month to raise its hand and say it wants in on an Alaska gas line. TransCanada met with the governor and state legislators four weeks ago, pitching its proposal that the state join the effort to get a pipeline built by taking the price risk at the wellhead.

In addition to Enbridge, the state has applications from a consortium of the three major North Slope producers, and the governor says he is willing to study the possibility of the state sharing in the financial risks of the multibillion-dollar pipeline to supply 4.5 billion cubic feet per day of gas to the North American market.

Enbridge has been following Alaska gas line developments for several years, Rennie said. “We started to get enough encouragement that we felt the time was right.”

Despite the renewed interest, questions remain, and any developer will have to find a way to deal with the project’s economic risks and the cross-border regulatory process, he said.

“We look at it and see the big risks that everybody else does.”

Note: See the full story in the April 4 edition of Petroleum News, which goes online Friday.

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