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Governor Parnell Names In-State Gas Line Project Manager

December 28, 2009, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell today named Bob Swenson of Fairbanks as the new in-state gas line project manager for the state of Alaska.

Swenson is the state geologist and director of the Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, which is responsible for assessing mineral and energy resources. He has more than 15 years' experience in the oil and gas industry in Alaska and the Lower 48.

"Bob Swenson brings unique strengths to this job," Governor Parnell said. "As state geologist, he has a detailed understanding of the factors that will literally underlie any Alaska gas line project. And he has significant private sector experience evaluating oil and gas prospects and leading exploration efforts from the Beaufort Sea to Cook Inlet and in every sedimentary basin in between."

Swenson has led a staff of more than 50 state employees and contractors in assessing Alaska's mineral and energy resources. His work has included overseeing a five-year Delta Junction-Canada pipeline corridor study; directing crews in the assessments of energy resources for the North Slope, Brooks Range, Interior, Cook Inlet, Alaska Peninsula, Gulf of Alaska and offshore areas; conducting statewide studies of Alaska's mineral resources; and analyzing geologic hazards to state residents and infrastructure.

Swenson's 12-year private-sector career includes work as project team leader for Arco's Cosmopolitan program, a complex and innovative exploration effort in an environmentally sensitive south Kenai Peninsula region. His extensive field experience includes managing yearly helicopter-supported remote geologic exploration programs, overseeing all logistics, science, permitting and personnel. He spent three years as an independent oil and gas exploration geologist in Montana and Wyoming. Swenson holds bachelor's and master's degrees in geology, and has published more than a dozen papers on Alaska geology and petroleum resources.

Swenson will continue the state's work to evaluate the prospects for a stand-alone natural gas pipeline from the North Slope and the foothills of the Brooks Range to Fairbanks and Southcentral Alaska, a pipeline from either Cook Inlet or one of the Interior basins through the Railbelt, and for a spur line to Southcentral Alaska from a large-diameter line to the Lower 48.

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