Mackenzie Gas Pipeline Project

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

Mackenzie Gas Pipeline is a canceled natural gas pipeline in Canada's Northwest Territories.[1]


The pipeline was planned to run from the Beaufort Sea to northern Alberta.

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Project Details

  • Operator: Imperial Oil (34.4%), The Aboriginal Pipeline Group (33.3%), ConocoPhillips (15.7%), Royal Dutch Shell (11.4%) and ExxonMobil (5.2%)
  • Proposed capacity: 1850 Million cubic feet per day
  • Length: 758 miles / 1220 km
  • Status: Canceled December 2017


The Mackenzie Valley Pipeline was a proposed project to transport natural gas from the Beaufort Sea through Canada's Northwest Territories to tie into gas pipelines in northern Alberta. The pipeline was to carry gas from Taglu, Parsons Lake, and Niglintgak gas fields. [2] The project was first proposed in the early 1970s, but was scrapped following an inquiry conducted by Justice Thomas Berger. The project was resurrected in 2004 with a new proposal to transport gas through the sensitive arctic tundra. Probabilistic estimates of hydrocarbons in the Mackenzie Delta and Beaufort Sea regions project that there are natural gas reserves of 1.9 trillion cubic metres (67×1012 cu ft). [1]

The prospect of a pipeline bringing natural gas to North American energy markets was originally analyzed in the 1970s with the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry. During that inquiry, Justice Berger heard testimony from diverse groups with an interest in the pipeline. The inquiry was notable for the voice it gave to the First Peoples whose traditional territory the pipeline would traverse. Berger stated that a pipeline should be postponed for 10 years, estimating that it would take this long for land claims to be settled and for First Peoples to be ready for the impact of such a project. When the first wave of land claims settled, negotiations began between oil and gas companies and local aboriginal groups. These negotiations proved successful in October 2001, when ConocoPhillips, Shell, ExxonMobil, and Imperial Oil signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Aboriginal Pipeline Group. The APG was formed to represent the Inuvialuit, Sahtu, and Gwichʼin. The Memorandum of Understanding offered the APG a financial stake in the pipeline. On June 19, 2003 the Aboriginal Pipeline Group, and TC Energy. signed an agreement giving the aboriginal groups of the Northwest Territories one-third ownership of the pipeline project.[1]

On 11 March 2011, the Mackenzie Valley pipeline was granted federal cabinet approval. The National Energy Board granted a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.[1]

The capacity of the pipeline was predicted to be 18.5 billion cubic metres per annum (650×109 cu ft/a), 758 miles (1,220 km) long, and cost an estimated C$16.2 billion. As of mid-March, 2007, revised cost and schedule information included C$3.5 billion for the gas-gathering system, C$7.8 billion for the pipeline, and C$4.9 billion to other economic growth projects planned for three gas field sites in the Mackenzie River delta. [1]

The pipeline would go south through the Mackenzie Valley to Fort Simpson and then continue south to northern Alberta. Once in Alberta, the pipeline would feed into the existing pipeline infrastructure.[1]

The pipeline consortium consists of Imperial Oil (34.4%), The Aboriginal Pipeline Group (33.3%), ConocoPhillips Canada (North) Limited (15.7%), Shell Canada Limited (11.4%) and ExxonMobil Canada Properties (5.2%).[1]

The pipeline project raised concerns by environmental groups. The Boreal Forest Conservation Framework calls for protection of fifty percent of the 6,000,000 square kilometres (2,300,000 sq mi) of boreal forest (of which the Mackenzie Valley is a part) in Canada's north. Groups such as the World Wildlife Fund of Canada are pointing out that in the Northwest Territories' Mackenzie Valley, only five of the 16 eco-regions that are directly intersected by the proposed major gas pipeline or adjacent hydrocarbon development areas are reasonably represented by protected areas.[1]

The Sierra Club of Canada opposed the pipeline due to its possible environmental impacts such as fragment intact of boreal forests along the Mackenzie River and damage of habitat for species such as Woodland Caribou and Grizzly bear. The Sierra Club also argued that Mackenzie gas is slated to fuel further development of Alberta's Oil sands, which produces the most damaging type of oil for the global atmosphere, through another pipeline to Fort McMurray. The Pembina Institute argued that carbon dioxide from the Mackenzie gas project and the fuel's end use would push Canada's greenhouse gas emissions 10% further away from its Kyoto Protocol commitment.[1]

In December of 2017, Imperial Oil posted a press release to its website announcing the project's proponents had dissolved the joint-venture partnership driving the Mackenzie Valley Gas Project. The press release stated that current natural gas prices did not justify the project. [3]

Articles and resources


Importing content from Wikipedia page Mackenzie Valley Pipeline

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Mackenzie Gas Pipeline Project, Wikipedia, accessed January 2018
  2. "Parsons Lake" Wood Mackenzie accessed January 2018
  3. "Mackenzie Valley pipeline project officially one for the history books" CBC accessed January 2018

Related articles

External resources

External articles

Wikipedia also has an article on the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline [1]. This article uses content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License].