TransCanada PipeLines Limited (TransCanada PipeLines) said that on April 23, 2009 that it has filed paperwork for approval to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to commence review for its proposed natural gas pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to Alberta, Canada. The company is pursuing one of the two pipelines proposed. The rival project, a joint venture of BP Plc and ConocoPhillips already has submitted pre-filing status with the FERC.

The pre-filing allows the backers of the projects to coordinate and communicate better with FERC staff as they arrange for a formal application to have their projects sanctioned.

The two pipeline proposals are in initial stages of development as the companies involved study the strengths and weaknesses of different routes, conduct initial engineering, estimate costs and do other work.

The Anchorage Daily News reports that a decision on whether to proceed with building could be a couple of years from now.

Federal regulators have said it is unlikely both projects will be concluded.