- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Latest on the proposed natural gas project being pursued by the state of Alaska (all times local):

11:15 a.m.

House Speaker Mike Chenault says he wishes there was more concrete information coming out of Gov. Bill Walker’s news conference with the state’s partners in a proposed gas project.

Walker and representatives of BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil said Wednesday they would look at different options for moving forward amid low oil prices. However, the governor’s office said there would no specific details until early next month.

The proposed project would pipe natural gas from the North Slope to be liquefied in Nikiski, and then sold and shipped to Asia.

Chenault, in a statement, says he welcomes greater scrutiny of the costs associated with the multibillion-dollar project.

Rep. Mike Hawker says that if Alaskans are committed to commercializing North Slope gas, the state must find every possible way to work with the producers to reduce supply costs and “pave a smooth road forward” in negotiations.

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10:25 a.m.

Gov. Bill Walker on Wednesday said the state and its partners on a proposed gas project will look at different options for moving forward amid low oil prices.

But Walker says the project is still advancing, and preliminary engineering and design work should be completed this fall.

Alaska’s partners in the project are BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil Corp. The plan is to pipe natural gas from the North Slope to be liquefied in Nikiski, and then sold and shipped to Asia.

The oil companies have sought durable tax and royalty terms and Walker’s administration held out a constitutional amendment as a way to address that. A state official said Tuesday that it doesn’t appear that contracts will be completed in time for lawmakers to review them and still get measure on the ballot this year. If not this year, the amendment couldn’t get on a ballot until 2018.

Walker says the state will explore options to see what can be done to provide certainty to taxes and royalties without an amendment.

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8:28 a.m.

Gov. Bill Walker has scheduled a news conference to discuss the major liquefied natural gas project Alaska is pursuing.

He is expected to be joined Wednesday by representatives from BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil Corp., the state’s partners in the project.

Walker administration officials have lamented what they see as the slow pace on project agreements.

Late last month, Deputy Natural Resources Commissioner Marty Rutherford said the goal was to get agreements to legislators for a spring special session that would allow for a proposed constitutional amendment related to project fiscal terms.

On Tuesday, state Revenue Commissioner Randall Hoffbeck said it doesn’t appear that contracts will be in place in time for the legislature to be able to review them and get a constitutional amendment on the ballot this fall.

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