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NEB: Mackenzie Gas project still in the public interest

Published by
World Pipelines,

The National Energy Board (NEB) will vary the sunset clauses for the Mackenzie Gas project’s Mackenzie Valley pipeline and Mackenzie Gathering System to 31 December 2022. The extension to the sunset clause for the Mackenzie Valley pipeline does not come into effect until it is approved by the federal government.

In a letter to the proponents, the board said that the project is still in the public interest and that the original conditions attached to the project will require that it be designed, constructed and operated in a way that is safe and protects the environment. The board went on to say that the extension would allow natural gas markets the opportunity to recover and preserve potential future economic opportunities for Northerners.

Imperial Oil Resources Ventures Limited, applied to the board to extend the sunset clauses on 20 August 2015. On 9 November 2015, the board extended the sunset clauses to 30 September 2016 so the Board could consider the application. As a result of devolution, the Government of the Northwest Territories Regulator of Oil and Gas Operations (OROGO) assumed responsibility for regulating onshore oil and gas activities in the NWT, outside of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, and now regulates a portion of the Mackenzie Gathering System.

The board and OROGO coordinated their respective reviews and invited the public to submit their comments on the requested extensions in November 2015. The board received comments from 14 groups and individuals, mostly in support of the application. Four of the parties opposed the extension.

The Mackenzie Gas project is a proposal to develop three natural gas fields in and near the Mackenzie Delta, and to transport the natural gas and natural gas liquids to southern markets via a total of 1842 km of pipelines.

The NEB issued the reasons for decision for the MGP on 16 December 2010. There were 270 conditions including the original sunset clause which states: “Unless the NEB otherwise directs, this certificate shall expire on 31 December 2015 unless construction in respect of the Mackenzie Gas project has commenced by that date.

Edited from source by Stephanie Roker

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