Alaska Governor & Producers to Discuss Natural Gas Pipeline

ExxonMobil Corporation and the other two major Alaska North Slope Gas producers met with Governor Frank Murkowski yesterday and discussed the proposed $20 billion Alaska Gas Pipeline project. This project would involve a pipeline system to deliver gas from Alaska's North Slope to the Lower-48 states. Yesterday's meeting outlined activities and plans between the producers and the State of Alaska.

Representatives of ExxonMobil, BP, and ConocoPhillips met with Governor Murkowski and his staff to discuss plans for entering into negotiations regarding state fiscal certainty, as well as ways to reduce project cost and improve project viability.

Yesterday's meeting followed a unanimous vote by the Alaska House of Representatives for passage of House Bill 16, the reauthorization of the Alaska Stranded Gas Development Act. This bill, once signed into law, will allow the producers and the State to enter into negotiations regarding fiscal certainty and clarity for the Alaska Gas Pipeline project. The bill now moves to the Alaska State Senate.

The producers are optimistic that these negotiations could begin soon after HB16 is signed into law. These negotiations could produce contract terms by year-end that could be sent to the State Legislature for approval in 2004.

In addition, the producers and Governor discussed the national significance of the pipeline project. Passage of federal enabling legislation remains a critical component to project viability. The parties agreed to continue efforts to promote passage of this legislation currently under review by the U.S. Congress.