TransCanada, a Calgary-based pipeline firm, has not decided whether it will submit an application to the State of Alaska to build a natural gas pipeline under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, company spokeswoman Shela Shapiro told Petroleum News Sept. 12.
In a Sept. 9 article titled “Pearce sets record straight,” Petroleum News reported TransCanada had indicated it would not be submitting a proposal to build a gas line from the North Slope under AGIA. When a reader said he had not heard TransCanada had dropped out, Petroleum News asked TransCanada for clarification.
“A decision will be made by the TransCanada board,” Shapiro said. “That decision hasn’t been made yet. Our work right now is to prepare the information for the board review and to be ready” to submit an application under AGIA “should the board direct us” to do so.
Asked when a decision could be expected from the board, Shapiro did not know, but she did say it would be in time for TransCanada to prepare an application and have it in by the state’s Nov. 30 AGIA deadline.
Three pipeline companies —Enbridge, MidAmerican and TransCanada — have talked to the State of Alaska about building a natural gas pipeline.
Enbridge, another Calgary-based firm, has said it will not apply under AGIA because it believes the way to go forward with the project is in partnership with the North Slope producers who hold leases with most of the slope’s discovered natural gas resources — including the gas in the producing Prudhoe Bay oil field where gas is being reinjected.
MidAmerican’s testimony indicated it was the most interested of the three in pursuing an application under AGIA, which was reinforced this past summer when its chief executive said it would file an application with partners (unnamed) by the Nov. 30 deadline.
TransCanada said it did not want to go forward for a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission certificate if an initial binding open season failed to attract enough gas to justify the project. The norm in the industry, Tony Palmer, vice president of Alaska business development for TransCanada, told Alaska legislators in formal testimony, is to have customers before pursuing a FERC certificate. TransCanada’s predecessor spent the money to get a FERC certificate for this project without customers in place, he said. “We did spend the money — when I say we, our predecessors spent the money 30 years ago — and we just would not like to repeat that process.”