Alaska's Mackenzie Valley natural gas pipeline approved by joint review panel

Source: Apex Resources Group

After waiting about 9 years, the Mackenzie Valley natural-gas pipeline has finally been approved by a seven-member panel, which had to consider the environmental and social impact of the 1,200-kilometer project headed by Imperial Oil Ltd. 

In a statement the Joint Review Panel (JRP) stated "it is confident that the project as filed, if built and operated with full implementation of the panel's recommendations, would deliver valuable and lasting overall benefits and avoid significant adverse environmental impacts." It was added that the project "would provide the foundation for a durable and sustainable future in the Mackenzie Valley and the Beaufort Delta regions, adding that this future would be a better one than a future without the project." 

According to the report, the pipeline would ship up to 1.9 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the edge of the Beaufort Sea down to Alberta and southern markets. Many in the Northwest Territories view this as a means of achieving economic independence. 

The panel was created in 2001, in an effort to streamline regulatory processes around the pipeline. In 2006, it launched public hearings in the Northwest Territories with the expectation of submitting a report by mid-2007, but the deadline was delayed and extended at least twice as the panel analyzed the findings. According to TransCanada Corp. chief executive Hal Kvisle, he estimated the regulatory delays have added $3 billion to the project's bottom line. 

In 2000 the Mackenzie Valley pipeline was announced by a consortium of four oil and gas companies, Imperial Oil, Exxon-Mobil Oil, Shell Oil and ConocoPhillips, and also included aboriginal partners, known as the Aboriginal Pipeline Group Inc., consisting of 5 First Nations tribes and their financial backer Trans Canada Pipelines Inc. Trans Canada Pipelines Inc. wants the natural gas to feed its' markets in the USA. 

These groups have continuously lobbied for federal support, boosting efforts after filing the pipeline application with regulators in 2004. Apex Resources Group Inc. believes the approval announcement is an opportunity for all parties to work together to finance and start the construction of the CA$16.2 Billion Dollar Mackenzie Valley Gas Pipeline for the benefit of all Canadians, while also benefitting the USA by increasing energy independence. This also spurts further developments to go ahead and to open up the huge potential of Northern Canada, where there is an abundance of mineral wealth of Gas, Oil, Gold, Diamonds, Copper, and Uranium, providing job opportunities and growth for the region and for their First Nation peoples.

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