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NEWS BULLETIN

January 27, 2004 --- Vol. 10, No. 9January 2004

State, trans-Alaska pipeline owners to start early tariff negotiations

Alaska Attorney General Gregg Renkes said today that the state and the owners of the trans-Alaska pipeline system have agreed to begin negotiations for a new tariff earlier than the Dec. 31, 2006, date spelled out in the existing pipeline tariff agreement. He said the process will begin “as early as possible.”

The state has selected a “cross-disciplinary team with members from the departments of Natural Resources, Revenue, and Law to conduct the negotiations under the Attorney General’s leadership,” a press release from the Attorney General’s office said.

The first step for the state, Renkes said, “will be to conduct meetings with important stakeholders, including the affected municipalities, legislators, shippers and explorers to solicit their concerns and ideas.”

The memorandum of understanding signed by the state and the five TAPS owners on Jan. 22 will be available at the Department of Law’s web site.

Renkes said it “covers discussions that representatives of the state, Phillips Transportation Alaska Inc., BP Pipelines (Alaska) Inc., ExxonMobil Pipeline Co., Unocal Pipeline Co. and Williams Alaska Pipeline Co. LLC, will be having to negotiate successor agreements to the Interstate and Intrastate Trans-Alaska Pipeline System Settlement Agreements, sometimes called the TSM agreements. …

“I believe that starting earlier will benefit all the interested parties, particularly explorers, if we can be successful establishing lower and more predictable tariffs for the future. This could be one of the most important steps we take toward promoting increased oil exploration and development,” he said.

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