By EDWARD WELSCH
CALGARY, Alberta -- TransCanada said Monday it will ask
Alaska gas producers if they support a pipeline project that would send liquefied natural
gas from the North Slope to buyers overseas.
The Calgary energy infrastructure company said it will hold
a nonbinding public solicitation of interest between Aug. 31
and Sept. 14.
During that period, the area's major producers - ExxonMobil,
BP and ConocoPhillips - will say whether they support the plan
to build a pipeline and LNG
export facility in southern Alaska, likely in the port city of
Valdez, or a plan to ship it over land across a connection
point near the border of British Columbia and Alberta.
TransCanada's Alaska natural
gas pipeline project was initially planned as an
over-land pipeline to ship North Slope gas to the continental
US by 2020.
But the glut of natural
gas from shale basins in the US has led Alaska Governor
Sean Parnell to voice support for an alternative plan to
super-cool the gas and ship it overseas to buyers in Asia.
Alaska's government in May gave TransCanada permission to
start switching the plan to the LNG
The public solicitation will assess interest in both the LNG
and over-land options. It's being conducted in accordance with
state laws that require companies to assess the market interest
in pipeline projects every two years after their
first open season, in which gas producers bid for pipeline
Dow Jones Newswires