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May 28, 2002 --- Vol. 8, No. 57May 2002

Foothills temporarily halts Alaska Highway gasline right of way application review

On May 24, Foothills Pipe Lines Alaska Inc., on behalf of Alaskan Northwest Natural Gas Transportation Co., asked the state of Alaska’s Gas Pipeline Office to temporarily stop processing its right of way application for the construction and operation of an Alaska Highway pipeline.html'>gas pipeline.

“We gave our 90 day notice to terminate the agreement we made with the state last year when we resumed processing our (1981) right of way application for state lands,” Foothills spokesman Rocco Ciancio told PNA this morning. That agreement reimburses the state for the cost of processing the application.

“We’re temporarily deferring work on our right of way applications; the permits are not being withdrawn. … We’re allowing time for other aspects of this project to catch up with where we are with the right of way application.”

The “key” missing component, he is said, a commercial arrangement between the ANNGT and the three major North Slope producers and gas owners — BP, ExxonMobil and Phillips.

“The producers are awaiting the outcome of the energy bill in Washington. … That will have some impact on this project,” Ciancio said.

“We don’t believe our discussions with the producers can be advanced until the legislative agenda can be completed in Washington, D.C. It would appear that that is not going to happen before the New Year,” he said.

In 1980, ANNGT received a grant of right-of-way across the 434 miles of federal lands in Alaska, but the state application on approximately 200 miles of state land was put on hold due to natural gas market conditions in the Lower 48.

ANNGT is working on getting right of way on approximately 110 miles of private land.

Ciancio said Foothills expects no ANNGT layoffs connected with the suspension of the state right of way application.

PNA has not been able to reach the GPO for comment and will provide that information when it becomes available.

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