Alaska Pipeline Bidders in Preliminary Merger Talks - Report

(Dow Jones Newswires), June 28, 2010

Two competing camps battling to build a 1,700-mile natural gas pipeline from Alaska to the continental U.S., costing between $32 billion and $41 billion, are in preliminary talks to merge their efforts, the Houston Chronicle reported Monday on its website, citing a person familiar with the two projects.

BP and ConocoPhillips are joint venture partners on one proposal and are competing with a similar project by Canadian pipeline company TransCanada and Exxon Mobil.

Dave MacDowell, a spokesman for the BP/ConocoPhillips project, called Denali, said he wasn't aware of discussions between the two competing bidders, but added that the Denali partners, "have said repeatedly they are open to considering involvement of any entity that adds value and takes on risk."

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