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MidAmerican Won’t Build Alaskan Pipeline

March 25, 2004

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. said Thursday it has withdrawn its application to build a 745-mile natural gas pipeline in Alaska.

``We are very disappointed we were not able to come to an agreement with the state,″ said Susan Flaim, MidAmerican director of administration. ``We still believe the pipeline is a very important project.″

The company, based in Des Moines, Iowa, wanted to develop a $6.3 billion line to transport natural gas from the North Slope to the Lower 48 in a partnership with a consortium of Alaska Native corporations. The North Slope contains more than 35 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

State officials downplayed Thursday’s announcement.

``It’s just a hiccup, but we will get there,″ said Gov. Frank Murkowski’s press secretary John Manly. He would not elaborate.

Other pipeline projects are under discussion.

Major oil producers BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc., ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil Corp. have filed a joint application for a pipeline that would extend from the North Slope to Chicago.

The Alaska Gasline Port Authority, a consortium of local governments in the state, also proposed a line that would run from the North Slope to Valdez.

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