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TransCanada Seeking Pre-Filing Status for Alaska Gasline

TransCanada Corp. Thursday filed at FERC seeking pre-filing status for its proposed Alaska Pipeline Project.

The pipeline said pre-filing status would "enhance the exchange of information with Commission staff and assist in the coordination of agency activities for this significant infrastructure project."

TransCanada holds the state concession under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA) to construct a pipeline from the North Slope to carry gas to Lower 48 markets. Pursuing a competing project are BP and ConocoPhillips, which have proposed the Denali pipeline outside of the AGIA framework. The Denali partners already have secured pre-filing status at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (see Daily GPI, June 26, 2008).

The future of both projects is in doubt due to the shifting nature of North American gas markets. Robust production from established and emerging gas shale plays has pushed gas prices down to levels that make a major North Slope pipeline uneconomic. Additionally, the North American market is poised to receive additional imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as the global market for LNG has weakened and supplies are ramping up.

In the meantime, Alaska's Southcentral region is in need of new gas supplies for which the state has been considering in-state gasline projects (see Daily GPI, March 3).

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