Exxon/TransCanada make it official

Text of the press release the companies put out at about 1 p.m. CST:
TransCanada and ExxonMobil to Work Together on Alaska Pipeline Project
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA — (Marketwire) — 06/11/09 — TransCanada Corporation (TSX: TRP) (NYSE: TRP) (TransCanada) today announced that TransCanada and ExxonMobil have reached an agreement to work together on an Alaska gas pipeline.
TransCanada’s Alaska Pipeline Project is designed to deliver a reliable and secure source of clean energy to markets for decades to come. With an initial forecasted capital cost of US$26 billion, the project would provide a variety of benefits to Alaska and Canada, as well as the rest of the United States, including substantial revenues, jobs, business opportunities and new, long-term stable supplies of natural gas.
“TransCanada’s Alaska Pipeline Project will connect Alaska’s natural gas resource to new markets. We are pleased that TransCanada and ExxonMobil have reached agreement on initial project terms to progress this exciting initiative,” said Hal Kvisle, TransCanada president and chief executive officer. “TransCanada envisions that our combined activities with ExxonMobil, along with the support of the State of Alaska, the U.S. and Canadian governments, and other interested parties, will result in the timely completion of the project. Today’s announcement is an important step toward that goal.”
Rich Kruger, president of ExxonMobil Production Company, said, “ExxonMobil and TransCanada have the experience, expertise and financial capability to undertake this project. We have on-the-ground knowledge of Alaska and Canada, experience working in the Arctic, a strong history of technology and innovation, and the proven ability to build and operate projects of enormous scale in the most challenging environments.”
TransCanada Alaska Company, LLC and subsidiaries of Foothills Pipe Lines Ltd. will remain the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA) licensees and TransCanada will continue as the primary point of contact with the State of Alaska and the general public for this project. As TransCanada and ExxonMobil work together with the goal of successfully advancing a pipeline project, the AGIA contract obligations of TransCanada to the State remain unaffected.
In November 2007, TransCanada Alaska and Foothills jointly submitted an application under AGIA to build a 4.5 billion cubic feet per day 48-inch diameter natural gas pipeline running approximately 2,700 kilometres (1,700 miles) from a new natural gas treatment plant at Prudhoe Bay on Alaska’s North Slope to Alberta, Canada with an LNG option to deliver gas supplies to a liquefaction facility at Valdez. In December 2008, TransCanada was awarded the AGIA license after prevailing in an open and transparent competitive bid process and receiving the approval of the Alaska legislature. TransCanada has moved forward with project development, which includes engineering, environmental reviews, Alaska Native and Canadian Aboriginal engagement, and commercial work to conclude an initial binding open season by July 2010.
For more information on the Alaska Pipeline Project, please visit: www.transcanada.com/company/alaska–pipeline–project.html.