A proposed pipeline connecting Canadian natural gas reserves with U.S. markets won't be given the green light until late 2013, and it won't be operational until at least 2018, thanks to red tape and restaffing problems. The delays could also reduce the impetus for the construction of a similar, albeit larger and riskier, gas pipeline linking Alaska's North Slope to U.S. consumers. "To be honest, I don't believe anybody is really expecting either of them to go forward and actually deliver gas within the next 10 years," said one analyst.

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