Native corporation Koniag wants to invest in gas line

Posted: Friday, April 18, 2003

KODIAK (AP) The Native corporation Koniag Inc. has joined a growing number of companies in the Pacific Star Energy consortium, a group of Alaska companies hoping to own a slice of a pipeline to deliver North Slope natural gas to the Lower 48.

The consortium so far hasn't gotten an answer from the big oil companies about whether it would be welcome as a partner.

It's an opportunity to get in on the ground floor in a very promising sector. The long-term prospects are excellent,'' said Koniag President Dennis Metrokin in a shareholder newsletter.

The Pacific Star Energy consortium was formed with the intent to own 5 to 10 percent of the gas project. Other companies in the consortium include Arctic Slope Regional Corp., Cook Inlet Region Inc. and Pacific Rim Leadership Development.

The three oil companies holding the rights to produce almost all of the North Slope's gas, BP, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil, have said the project won't make financial sense without significant help from government. Legislation is being considered in Congress and the Legislature that could lower the financial risks of the project.

Pacific Star Energy would promote expanded use of natural gas as an important energy source within Alaska. The company hopes to establish hubs along the pipeline and then distribute the natural gas locally.

North Slope gas owners are expected to give an answer in the next 12 to 18 months as to whether they are interested in having Pacific Star Energy as a partner.

Koniag is owned by about 3,300 Alutiiq shareholders who originate from Kodiak Island.

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