JUNEAU, Alaska, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- The open season for a natural gas pipeline from Canada allays any concerns over the prospects for the construction of the project, executives said in Alaska.
Exxon Mobil and its partners at TransCanada Corp. announced Friday they had opened the bidding process for a proposed pipeline to bring natural gas from Alaska's North Slope to markets in the Lower 48.
Tony Palmer, the vice president of TransCanada, told Alaskan lawmakers the open season suggested his project was more attractive than the rival Denali pipeline, Alaska's Juneau Empire newspaper reports.
A BP-ConocoPhillips consortium oversees the planned Denali pipeline from the Alaskan North Slope. The consortium in January announced plans to invite bidders to the project in April.
Canada is lobbying for a role in the TransCanada project with a shorter route, but lower volume. Another option for TransCanada would be to ship North Slope gas as liquefied natural gas from the port at Valdez.
Palmer told lawmakers that the diverse options were good for the project.
"Both Alberta and Valdez options are technically and commercially viable based on current project costs and natural gas/oil forecasts," he said.
Palmer said concerns regarding low gas prices outside of Alaska were unfounded. TransCanada has allocated 90 days to consider its options.
The proposed launch date for the TransCanada project is 2020, two years later than expected.