- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 17, 2011

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — One of two companies planning to build major natural gas pipelines in Alaska has dropped its bid, saying Tuesday that it didn’t get the agreements necessary to justify continuing.

The Denali-The Alaska Gas Pipeline announcement raises questions about the prospects for building a long-hoped-for line in Alaska. Denali was competing to build a line with TransCanada Corp., which continues work, though lawmakers have expressed frustration with the pace. TransCanada has been moving forward with state financial support, something Denali never received.

Like TransCanada, Denali had been working since last year to secure shipping agreements necessary to move its project forward. But Denali said it hadn’t received the commitments necessary to continue work and was cutting its losses.

In a statement, Denali President Bud Fackrell said the company could not spend the billions of dollars necessary to advance the project without binding agreements with shippers. Denali reported spending more than $165 million in pursuing the project.

Denali is ending its effort because of a lack of customer support,” Mr. Fackrell said. “Denali is a market-driven company.”

Denali is a joint venture of BP and ConocoPhillips.

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