ANCHORAGE, Alaska—The Denali Gas Line Project took a big step forward Monday as the bidding process for the pipeline ended.
Bud Fackrell, president of the Denali Project, said they did receive bid for significant capacity of the pipeline during the “open season” which ended Monday at 2:00 p.m.
The next step of the process involves negotiations with those bidders.
Because negotiations are confidential, similar to Transcanada’s “open season,” it’s unknown which companies bid, how much gas they committed and what conditions they have placed on their bids.
According to Fackrell, even with the challenges and competition posed by shale gas in other parts of the country, there is still a place for the Denali Pipeline in the market.
“We have the biggest market in the world in the lower 48, biggest demand for gas. It’s true demand has kind of dropped off the last couple years because of the economy, but I think most people believe the economy will turn around and so will the demand for natural gas,” said Fackrell.
Despite what the Denali Project heralded as progress, others remained skeptical.
“As delighted as I am that there were some bidders who showed up, we all need to be worried about some false-positives in the market place,” said Jay Ramras.
Ramras says until there is fiscal certainty over state taxes, both the Denali Project and the Transcanada plan will not succeed.
“We are moving no closer to solving energy problems for Alaskans, nor have we solved for the decline of the Cook Inlet, despite promising incentives trying to encourage explorers,” said Ramras.
Fackrell says the negotiations with bidders for the project are likely to take two months.