Alaskan gas producers studying exports to Asia-Pacific.

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Alaska may still get a natural gas pipeline, but it's likely to be directed in a different direction than was originally expected. The chief executives officers of ConocoPhillips, BP and ExxonMobil met Jan. 5 with Gov. Sean Parnell to discuss building a pipeline from the North Slope to a liquefied natural gas plant in the middle part of the state before exporting the gas to the Asia-Pacific region, according to news reports.

James Mulva, CEO of ConocoPhillips, was quoted as saying after the meeting that this prospect holds the greatest potential for commercializing natural gas from the North Slope. Among those at the meeting were Rex Tillerson of ExxonMobil, and Bob Dudley of BP.

Parnell has said he wants the producers to back a project that would allow for LNG to be shipped overseas if the market for gas is no longer viable in the Lower 48. According to the Anchorage Daily News, such a project would have to come about under the framework of the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA), which gave TransCanada Corp. an exclusive state license to build the pipeline and up to $500 million in reimbursable costs.

TransCanada has been working with ExxonMobil to advance a longer line into Canada that would deliver gas to North American markets, but it also has proposed a shorter line that would allow for LNG exports from Alaska. TransCanada has been unable to sign up producers for the original...

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