The applicants are Alaska Gasline Port Authority, AEnergia L.L.C., TransCanada, Sinopec ZPEB and Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority.
"America needs Alaska's gas to provide an affordable, steady, reliable stream of clean energy to residential, commercial and industrial consumers," said Governor Palin. "Today's progress toward building an Alaska gas pipeline demonstrates to the world that we are well on our way toward achieving that vital objective."
Applications were submitted under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, or AGIA, passed by the Alaska Legislature in May 2007. AGIA addresses Alaska's fundamental requirements, which fall roughly into three categories: protecting Alaska's interests with reasonable commercial terms, meeting the needs of Alaskans with in-state gas and labor opportunities, and procedural elements that facilitate an expedited pathway toward state and federal approval and a timely open season to solicit capacity on the line.
"Today marks yet another milestone in our quest to commercialize our vast reserves of North Slope gas," Palin said. "With five good companies investing a lot of money just for the opportunity to compete for the exclusive, $500 million AGIA license, they have shown how profitable a project this can be for them, and how Alaska has created a positive environment in which to do business."
Each application will be reviewed to determine whether it has complied with AGIA's mandatory terms. Governor Palin and her team have consistently stated that applications must meet each of AGIA's 20 requirements to be considered for the award of the AGIA license.
"Americans rely on natural gas now more than ever. Natural gas provides nearly one-fourth of the nation's energy supply, with consumption up by about 30 percent in the last 20 years," Governor Palin added. "Bringing Alaska's North Slope gas to market in an environmentally responsible manner may reduce the burden on energy consumers and lessen American dependence on foreign energy sources."
Following the completeness review, all applications will be made public. Applicants can apply to have proprietary information or trade secrets protected. Using public comments, the gasline team will apply the AGIA evaluation criteria to determine which application "maximizes benefits to the people of the state."
The commissioners of the Departments of Natural Resources and Revenue will forward a written decision with their recommendation for a single licensee. The legislature will then have 60 days to approve the commissioners' proposed action.
"The sooner we proceed to the licensing phase of the AGIA process and the sooner we get this line constructed, the sooner Alaskans will reap its benefits," said Governor Palin.
Alaskans can follow the review process online at www.state.ak.