JUNEAU -

The House Finance Committee has advanced a bill setting the state's participation in a major liquefied natural gas project.

Several members expressed both optimism about the path forward and skepticism of whether the process would finally yield a long hoped-for gas pipeline.

SB138 is one of the last big pieces still in play with the session scheduled to end Sunday. It could be voted on in the House on Saturday.

Senate President Charlie Huggins has said he doesn't expect the bill to go to a conference committee. A different version of the bill passed the Senate last month.

SB138, from Gov. Sean Parnell, is aimed at moving the project into a phase of preliminary engineering and design.