Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has signed a bill giving the state authority to award TransCanada Corp. a license to build and operate a multibillion-dollar pipeline to ship natural gas from the North Slope.<P>
Two big oil producers, BP Plc and ConocoPhillips, are pushing a competing natural gas pipeline plan. But the license to TransCanada would ensure that the state would not negotiate with any other developer. According to TransCanada s plan, the line, which the company estimates will cost $26 billion to build, would ship about 4 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day starting in 2018. <P>
The bill, passed by the legislature in a special session, goes into effect in 90 days, after which state officials will have the power to officially award the license. TransCanada proposes to build a 1,715-mile line from Prudhoe Bay to an existing pipeline hub in Canada. The company's bid was the only one of five proposals submitted last year that met all the terms of the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, which established state mandates for a natural gas project.<P>
Shares of TransCanada Corp. rose 55 cents, or 1.45 percent, to close at $38.40.
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