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November 15, 2004 --- Vol. 10, No. 104November 2004

FERC issues notice of proposed rulemaking for Alaska gasline

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, racing to complete preliminary work under Congressí October mandate to begin permitting for an Alaska natural gas pipeline, issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including draft proposed regulations, this afternoon.

FERCís proposed rule requests public comment on standards for creating an open season process that provides non-discriminatory access to capacity on any Alaska natural gas pipeline project while ensuring economic certainty to support the construction of the pipeline and provide a stimulus for exploration, development and production of Alaska natural gas.

The commissionís proposed rule also requires that a public notice of an open season be issued by the project sponsor at least 30 days prior to the commencement of the open season through methods including postings on Internet web sites, press releases, direct mail solicitations, and other advertising. Next, the proposed rule lists the information about a proposed project that any notice of open season for an Alaska natural gas transportation project must contain. The proposed rule states that an open season for an Alaska natural gas transportation project must remain open for a period of at least 90 days. Finally, the proposed rule requires that capacity allocated as a result of any open season shall be awarded without undue discrimination or preference of any kind.

The commission will conduct a one-day technical conference to gather public comments Dec. 3 in Anchorage.

FERC Chairman Patrick Henry Woods III and the three other commissioners plan to attend the technical conference in Alaska hoping to gain insight into how an open season on a gas pipeline that would transport Alaska North Slope natural gas to Lower 48 markets should be conducted, Tamara Young-Allen, a FERC technical affairs specialist, said Nov. 15.

A complete copy of FERCís draft proposed regulations for the Alaska natural gas pipeline may be viewed at the commissionís web site, http://www.ferc.gov/ under ďWhatís New.Ē

Editorís note: See full story in the Nov. 21 edition of Petroleum News.

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