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February 2011

Vol. 16, No. 7 Week of February 13, 2011

North Fork Pipeline moving forward

RCA reconsiders previous ruling on financial disclosure, schedules public hearing for Anchor Point Energy to get CPCN by March

Eric Lidji

For Petroleum News

Overturning their previous decision, Alaska regulators have decided that Anchor Point Energy’s application to operate a new pipeline in the southern Kenai Peninsula is complete, paving the way for natural gas deliveries to begin as soon as mid-March.

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska is allowing Anchor Point Energy to confidentially file balance sheets for its five owners: Armstrong Cook Inlet, GMT Exploration Co., Dale Resources Alaska, Nerd Gas Co. and Jonah Gas Co. Anchor Point Energy originally asked the RCA to waive that financial disclosure requirement, saying that its pipeline was a fairly risk free business and that its owners were financially stable, but that financial disclosure could put the companies at a competitive disadvantage for future projects.

The RCA originally said that it needed that financial information to help make its decision about whether to approve the application and grant the certificate.

“Because we grant confidential treatment to owner financial information, that information will not be available to the public. However, the public is not in a different position than it would have been had we not required owner financial information to be filed at all,” the RCA wrote in a Feb. 4 ruling. “Under those circumstances, we find that, in order to move the application forward to ensure timely startup of the pipeline, we should reconsider, on our own motion, our decision to deny the original waiver request.”

Commissioners Kate Giard and Paul Lisankie did not participate in the ruling.

Shipments by mid-March

In December, Anchor Point Energy requested a certificate of public convenience and necessity to operate the new North Fork Pipeline running 8 miles from the North Fork unit to the city of Anchor Point, where it will connect into the Southcentral grid.

With that application complete, the RCA will now hold a public hearing on Feb. 14.

According to Alaska statutes, the RCA cannot grant the certificate until 30 days after the hearing, putting the likely startup date for the pipeline sometime after mid-March.

Once complete, the North Fork Pipeline will connect to the South Peninsula Pipeline (previously known as the Anchor Point Pipeline). The Alaska Pipeline Co., a sister company of Enstar Natural Gas, is building that line. The South Peninsula Pipeline would in turn connect to the Kenai Kachemak Pipeline that feeds into the Southcentral regional transmission grid.

The RCA still needs to approve an interconnection agreement between Marathon Oil, owner of Kenai Kachemak Pipeline LLC, and Enstar for that new pipeline.






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