ANCHORAGE -

Seven years after then-Gov. Sarah Palin signed the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, her vision to bring Alaska natural gas to the Lower 48, TransCanada and the state have officially ended their business relationship on that project.

The state will still pay TransCanada for data, field work and permitting done during the planning process for the AGIA project.

"$330 million was appropriated; we expect nearly all of that to be consumed and reimbursed to TransCanada,” said Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Joe Balash.

In exchange for that money, Balash says the state is getting valuable information from TransCanada, which can also be applied to a revamped all-Alaska gas line project approved by the Legislature this spring.

“Information on the gas treatment plant, whether it's the layout relevant to Prudhoe (Bay), air quality -- those types of things all are base information that can be used in either case," Balash said.

Senate Resources Committee member Sen. Hollis French (D-Anchorage) says the State of Alaska could save more money by financing TransCanada's portion of the new line, which will also involve BP, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil.

"The presence of TransCanada in this deal will cost Alaskan consumers hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per year on their natural gas bills," French said.

TransCanada says it too will be taking risks under the all-Alaska gas line plan.

"TransCanada will provide $3-$8 billion in funding for the Alaska (liquefied natural gas) project if construction proceeds on that project,” company officials wrote in a statement emailed to Channel 2. “Once the project is in service, TransCanada will be the transporter of the state's share of the North Slope gas reserves."

Balash says a joint venture agreement between the state and the energy companies involved with the project is expected to be signed in the next few days.

The pre-engineering phase could begin in two years, with completion of the entire project estimated in 2024.