September 05, 2001 --- Vol. 7, No. 110September 2001

RCA approves interim connection permits for Milne Point, Northstar

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska has approved interim connection permits for BP Transportation (Alaska) Inc.'s Northstar oil pipeline between Seal Island and Pump Station 1 and Milne Point Pipeline Co.'s common carrier pipeline between Milne Point and the Oliktok Pipeline.

Both interim orders were signed Aug. 31.

Because the commission still has an open docket from 1997 investigating connection policies, it said it believes the best approach is to first resolve the issues in Docket P-97-5 before granting permanent permits for connection in this case. That docket is part of the proceedings resulting from a protest filed by Tesoro Alaska Petroleum Co. over tariff rates and dismantling, removal and restoration costs for the trans-Alaska pipeline system that was heard by the commission earlier this year; the commission has not yet ruled in that case.

The RCA said that since BP and Alyeska have a target date of Sept. 30 for oil to flow into the trans-Alaska oil pipeline from Northstar, and since Docket P-97-5 will not be decided by that date, it finds "it in the public interest to facilitate timely start-up of Northstar by granting a interim connection permit."

The Milne Point Pipeline Co. and the Oliktok Pipeline Co. have set a target date of October for oil to flow in that line.

State selects Petrie Parkman & Co. of Denver as gas pipeline advisor

Petrie Parkman & Co. of Denver said Sept. 4 that is has been retained by the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Revenue as financial advisor for the evaluation of the state's potential participation in owning an interest in or financing a North Slope natural gas pipeline project.

This contract was authorized by the Legislature in Senate Bill 158, sponsored by Senate Resources. The bill provided $200,000 for the contract and set a Jan. 31 delivery date for the report.

Petrie Parkman said it will assist the commissioner of Revenue in the preparation of a comprehensive report addressing options for and analysis of the state's potential participation in a natural gas pipeline project to further the development of Alaska's natural resources. Petrie Parkman said its report will include an examination of each of the announced North Slope gas pipeline proposals and will also analyze whether and how the state should take an equity ownership or other financial interest in a project.

"Current energy market conditions within North America indicate that one or more Alaskan pipelines may be economic. It is paramount that the best course of action is determined by the state. An interesting opportunity exists to benefit both the citizens of Alaska and the interests of natural gas consumers in North America," said Tom Petrie, chairman of Petrie Parkman, in a statement.

Petrie Parkman is a specialized investment banking firm focused on energy issues and transactions providing worldwide investment banking, client advisory and capital markets services from offices in Denver, Houston and London. Petrie Parkman also has an extensive practice in assisting governmental entities in analyzing strategic policy initiatives. It is currently providing strategic advice to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia concerning its natural gas initiative and previously advised the United States in the privatization of the Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve.

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