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Denali Picks Chief as Gazprom Voices Interest in Alaska Gasline

Denali -- The Alaska Gas Pipeline LLC, which is the producer-backed proposal for a pipeline to tap Alaska's North Slope gas supplies and carry them to Alberta, last week appointed industry veteran Bud E. Fackrell to be its president. And the Denali project has attracted the interest of Russia's Gazprom.

According to press reports, Gazprom Director Alexei Miller recently told a business audience in St. Petersburg, Russia, that the company had approached Denali backers BP and ConocoPhillips about participating in their project. "Gazprom has unique experience, knowledge and modern technology and is the most advanced company in the world in the realm of gas transport in trunk pipelines," Miller said, as reported by the Associated Press.

The Denali partners have said they've been approached by a number of companies. ExxonMobil, the third leg of the North Slope producer stool, still hasn't signed on to Denali, although it's been invited (see NGI, May 5; March 17).

Denali was announced on April 8 (see NGI, April 14), and BP and ConocoPhillips have said they are steaming ahead on their project despite a competing proposal from TransCanada (see NGI, Jan. 7).

Alaska lawmakers are meeting in special session to consider TransCanada's proposal (see NGI, May 26), which was offered under the state's Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA), making it eligible for a $500 million state subsidy. They must reach a decision on the project by Aug. 1. Currently the project is seen as having enough support in both houses to win approval. Even if it does, the Denali partners said they'll keep working on their project, on which about 100 people are said to be toiling currently.

Fackrell previously served as senior vice president for BP's Alaska consolidated team. He had responsibility for all of BP's operations on the North Slope except Prudhoe Bay. He had held this post since his arrival in Alaska in August 2006. Fackrell has more than 33 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Prior to moving to Alaska, he was CEO and general manager of Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Co. Previous roles include asset delivery manager for BP in the Rockies, where he acquired experience with the North American gas business; general manager for the Gulf of Suez District with Gulf of Suez Petroleum Co. in Egypt; and a number of other U.S. and international postings.

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