The Alaska gas pipeline project got another life in the early 2000s as North Slope producers showed renewed interest in tackling the job.
The market targeted in the 1970s – the Lower 48 – became attractive again as new worries about a natural gas shortage surfaced. Then an unusually harsh winter enflamed those worries. Natural gas prices spiked, and a new paradigm of high prices took root in the U.S. gas industry.
Both Congress and the Alaska Legislature enacted laws to help push a gas pipeline project forward.
But two pesky problems lingered. First, would prices be high enough to justify the billions of dollars in investment needed for any gas line project? Second, could schisms within the North Slope oil companies and within high-ranking state of Alaska officials be neutralized or even overcome?