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The Latest: Alaska eyes spring gas special session

JUNEAU, Alaska — The Latest on Gov. Bill Walker’s expectations for a major gas line project Alaska is pursuing (all times local):

6:20 p.m.

A state official says Gov. Bill Walker’s administration is committed to a proposed liquefied natural gas project but concerned about the pace of commercial agreements.

Deputy Natural Resources Commissioner Marty Rutherford told a House committee it’s the administration’s hope that lawmakers will have the agreements and a constitutional amendment related to fiscal terms to consider during a spring special session.

In a statement, Walker said that if agreements aren’t reached by the end of the regular session, the administration will need to consider all of its options going forward. He couldn’t say what those options might be.

BP’s Dave Van Tuyl told the committee he would love for the agreements to be done. But he says they are complex and it’s important to make sure they’re done fairly and well.

12:03 p.m.

Gov. Bill Walker says he wants the state and the North Slope’s major producers to reach agreement on key contracts and issues related to a major gas project before the end of the current legislative session.

If the parties don’t reach alignment on those issues, he says, he’ll have “no other choice” but to consider other options for commercializing Alaska’s gas.

The comments came in a letter Walker sent last week to leaders of BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil. The three are partners with the state in pursuing a major liquefied natural gas project.

Lawmakers are expected to receive an update from the project partners Wednesday.

In related news, Low oil prices prompt Alaska hiring restrictions.

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