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Canadian Northern Gateway Pipeline to benefit from US shale gas pressure

Non-end drive to USA paves Enbridge way to Asia

With the cancellation of the $16.2 billion Mackenzie Valley pipeline project, Canada integrates the new situation created in the USA with the exponential development of the shale gas these last years.

Proposed in the 1970s and finally approved by the Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB), the giant Mackenzie Valley pipeline was supposed to supply the USA with natural gas from the Beaufort Sea.

With the collapse of their domestic gas market prices USA are turning from net importer to net exporter of natural gas leading the MacKenzie Valley pipeline project to fall through a non-end drive situation after decades of efforts.

This Mackenzie Valley pipeline was vital to unlock the Northwest Territories Province resources and economy in Canada.

The Northwest Territories are now looking for alternative way out to export their oil and gas such as the Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline project.

The Provinces of Northwest Territories, Alberta and British Columbia are directly interested in developing this project to plug their respective resources into the Asia markets, but the question goes now beyond these Provinces to involve all Canada.

Actually Canada’s oil and gas export is depending on a single customer, USA, representing $67 billion of revenues for the country in 2011.

But from main customer position, USA may become the main competitor of Canada on the global energy market since both countries explore and develop massively their unconventional resources.

In this context, the Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline project alone could provide Canada with $270 billion export revenues in the first 30 years and over $80 billion of additional tax on actual basis.

Enbridge to post project final report in December 2013

Operating the largest natural gas pipeline network in Canada, Enbridge is working on the Northern Gateway Pipeline project to connect Bruderheim, northeastern Edmonton in Alberta, to Kitimat on the west coast of the British Columbia.

Over a distance of 1,200 kilometers, the Northern Gateway Pipeline is designed as a twin pipeline to be buried including an oil pipeline and a condensate pipeline.

The oil pipeline will export 525,000 b/d of crude oil from Edmonton in Alberta to Kitimat in British Columbia.

While the condensate pipeline will import 193,000 b/d of natural gas liquids (NGL) from the LNG projects currently planned in Kitimat to Edmonton area.

Estimated to require $6 billion capital expenditure, the Northern Gateway Pipeline project should use on 80% of the distance, routes already in use for other purpose in order to minimize the environmental footprint.

On the 463 kilometers section between Prince George and Kitimat, enbridge is proposing to follow the Pacific Trail Pipeline route currently in construction.

Due to the impact of such a project, Enbridge and the local Authorities and the Federal Government hold intensive discussions with the environmental associations and with First Nations to increase the safety and preserve all parties interests.

These requirements will suppose to equip the twin buried pipelines with the most advanced solutions for the control of the operations and emergency spills responses. 

The pumping stations built up along the pipeline will use:

 – Pumps driven by electrical motors and variable speed drives to operate with high efficiency

 – Remotely operated valves

 – Instrumentation tied-in supervisory control and data acquisition system loacted in a central room based in Bruderheim, near Edmonton

 – Back up satellite or radio communication

 – Fence protection with intrusion alarms and video surveillance.

The Norther Gateway Pipeline will also include a terminal located at the end of the Douglas Channel near Kitimat with:

 – Two ships berts

 – 14 tanks farm for crude oil and condensate

According to the actual planning, Enbridge is expected to submit its final report to the Federal Government at the latest on December 31st, 2013.

Assuming the Northern Gateway Pipeline project to obtain all the regulatory approvals, Enbridge would start immediately the ground work in 2014 for a completion of the whole project in 2017.

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