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Vol. 13, No. 25 Week of June 22, 2008
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Denali president outlines firm’s priorities

Eric Lidji

Petroleum News

The newly appointed president of a producer-backed natural gas pipeline company in Alaska said the workload for 2008 would mix administrative chores and major spending.

As reported in last week’s issue of Petroleum News, Bud E. Fackrell is the first president of “Denali-The Alaska Gas Pipeline,” a joint venture between BP and ConocoPhillips created in April and charged with the task of building a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to markets in the Lower 48.

Denali has three main priorities this year: completing a season of fieldwork, finding permanent office space and assembling an executive team, Fackrell told Petroleum News in a June 13 interview.

Denali plans to spend $40 million this summer on fieldwork, as part of a $600 million effort to prepare for an open season by 2010.

“That’s extremely important that we don’t lose the summer,” Fackrell said.

Denali has 50 people working in the field this summer and 50 people working in Anchorage. The company is temporarily based out of existing office space in the BP and ConocoPhillips buildings, but is looking for a more permanent location.

One of the first tasks before Fackrell is putting together an executive team from a list of nominees being compiled by BP and ConocoPhillips. Fackrell said that team should come together “over the next few weeks” and will likely include people currently in Alaska, as well as people from Outside.

“We are looking companywide,” Fackrell said. “We want the best candidates available. But obviously people in Alaska have a lot of the skills were looking for.”

Fackrell would not comment on a possible partnership with TransCanada, saying that would be the decision of his “owners,” BP and ConocoPhillips.

However, when asked whether Denali would proceed regardless of whether state lawmakers awarded TransCanada a license to build a pipeline under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, or AGIA, Fackrell said, “Denali’s plans are independent of AGIA. We are moving forward on this project.”

At a legislative hearing on June 16, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission confirmed that BP and ConocoPhillips planned to apply for a license with the federal agency.

Denali is still in its infancy.

While registered as a Delaware corporation, “Denali-The Alaska Gas Pipeline” was still only a reserved name in the Alaska corporation database as of June 16. BP and ConocoPhillips are in the process of filing final paperwork for an Alaska business license, according to BP spokesman Steve Rinehart.

Fackrell came to Alaska in August 2006 to become the senior vice president for BP’s Alaska Consolidated Team, which covers all North Slope operations except Prudhoe Bay.

Fackrell said he has spent more than half of his 33 years in the oil and gas industry managing joint ventures around the world, including the Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Co. He said joint ventures like Denali are “very common in our industry.” especially “for a project of this size.”



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