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Denali pulls plug on Alaska gas pipeline

DENALI, Alaska, May 17 (UPI) -- Plans for a $35 billion natural-gas pipeline from Alaska to the lower 48 states have been scrapped, the companies backing the project said Tuesday.

The Alaska Gas Pipeline had been on the drawing board but the head of Denali said a lack of interest among potential shippers meant there would not be the necessary financial support to continue.

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"Denali is ending its efforts because of a lack of customer support," Denali President Bud Fackrell said in a written statement. "Denali is a market-driven company. As such, we cannot spend the billions of dollars necessary to advance the project unless we have binding agreements with shippers."

Denali was formed by Conoco Phillips and BP to develop a major pipeline that would have transported gas from Alaska across Canada to the rest of the United States.

Fackrell said the boom in shale-gas development in the lower 48 had changed the dynamics of the U.S. market since the project began in 2008. "Although we have been in discussions with potential shippers for nearly a year and half, we have been unable to secure the financial commitments necessary to advance the project," he said.

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The Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News said the competing TransCanada project remained active; however, the Canadian backers were also still working on signing up the necessary shipping commitments.

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