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Newspaper: Chevron Interested in AK Gas Line Capacity, Ownership

Chevron's general manager in Alaska said the company plans to participate in the state's gas pipeline project, currently backed by BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil, the Anchorage Daily News reported last week.

John Zager, Chevron's general manager in Alaska, said the company plans to be a shipper on the pipeline, which would tap North Slope supplies. The company also is looking at becoming an equity owner in the 4.5 Bcf/d pipeline, he told attendees at the annual Alaska Oil and Gas Association luncheon in Anchorage, the paper reported.

Chevron is the fourth largest owner of natural gas on the North Slope, behind BP, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil and has a 25% interest in the undeveloped Point Thomson field, which holds 23% of the discovered gas reserves on the Slope, the Daily News said.

BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon have struck a draft agreement with Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski that lays out the fiscal terms for the development of a pipeline to tap North Slope gas and carry it along the route of the Alaska Highway, ultimately destined for Lower 48 markets. According to Murkowski and the producers, the agreement, which has yet to be ratified by the state legislature, hinges on a rewrite of the state's mechanism for taxing oil and gas producers (see NGI, June 12). The Alaska legislature has been wrangling with a rewrite of the tax at the same time it has been reviewing terms of the draft fiscal contract, which is currently under review by citizens during a series of public presentations.

Last Friday President Bush announced his intent to nominate an Interior Department advisor to be the federal overseer of the Alaska pipeline's development. If confirmed by the Senate, Drue Pearce, senior advisor to the secretary for Alaska Affairs at Interior, would become the federal coordinator for the $20 billion-plus pipeline. Her term would end one year after the completion of the construction of the long-sought Alaska gas line.

Prior to joining Interior, Pearce was a member of the Alaska Senate, where she served as Senate president twice. She also served two terms in the Alaska House of Representatives. Pearce received her B.A. in biological sciences from Indiana University and a master's in public administration from Harvard University. She and her family currently live in Anchorage.

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