Despite skepticism from Alaska’s congressional delegation about the future of a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to North American markets, the Parnell administration is still optimistic – and they’re still working on what they consider the opening steps of a long project. We reported yesterday that Congressman Don Young and Senator Lisa Murkowski believe that U.S. gas markets will not support a supply source in Alaska because of current low gas prices in the lower 48. But the Director of the state’s project office, Kurt Gibson, says current pricing isn’t a factor to an investor who’s going to face a $35 billion decision. He says financial markets are more interested in the regulatory and engineering levels – risk assessment work that’s going on now.
Gibson says while no one can make an accurate prediction right now on a gas line project, the goal is to help gather the information needed. And it is much too early to predict the outcome.
Gibson says the administration’s goal is to create alliances among the gas producers, the pipeline company and the state so that each shares some of the project’s risk and cost.
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