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NEWS BULLETIN

March 18, 2005 --- Vol. 11, No. 30March 2005

Governor says ‘enormous progress’ has been made in gas negotiations

Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski met March 17 in Anchorage with senior managers of BP, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil to discuss the status of the producers’ Stranded Gas Development Act application negotiations.

The governor’s office said the governor and members of his gas team spent most of the day in these negotiations.

“We have made enormous progress over the past months,” Murkowski said in a statement, “and we are now at a critical juncture. There are a number of significant issues remaining, the resolution of which are necessary to finalize a deal.”

The governor’s office said representatives of the producers’ group emphasized to the governor that they remain fully committed to successfully concluding the negotiations, and assured the governor they will continue working diligently and in good faith with his team on this effort.

The governor told the producers’ group that rapid completion of the negotiations is the highest priority of his administration and said he will personally oversee the final phases of the negotiations.

Murkowski also said significant progress is occurring in negotiations between the state and TransCanada on an independent pipeline, and with the Port Authority on their liquefied natural gas project.

The governor also met March 17 with legislators who have signed confidentiality agreements under the Stranded Gas Development Act; the legislators were brief by the governor’s gas team on the status of both sets of negotiations.

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