The Indicator: 42
THAT’S HOW MANY YEARS IT’S BEEN SINCE THE
Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry was commissioned on March 21, 1974 to allow the building of a gas pipeline into Alberta from the north. And it will be many years before it is finally built – that is, if it’s built at all. Imperial Oil has applied to the National Energy Board to delay construction of its 1.2-billion-cubic-feetper-day pipeline until 2022 – nearly half a century after the project was first proposed. The NEB will make a decision by September 2016. If it denies the extension, the project will face another review.
Imperial Oil, along with its partners, began the application process for the Mackenzie Gas Project in 2004, gaining permits by 2011. But by then it faced a gas glut in North America that significantly worsened the economics of the project. If built, the pipeline would have moved 1.2 bcf of gas from the Mackenzie Delta in the Northwest Territories down through Alberta and then on to various markets in North America. Now Imperial is considering sending the gas to a proposed LNG plant on the B.C. coast.
The original inquiry of 1974, named the Berger Inquiry after Justice Thomas Berger, who headed the investigation, decided the pipeline be delayed to allow for adjustment to the economic and social changes he believed it would have on local indigenous communities.
Thomas Berger, former B.C. justice and chairman of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline inquiry in 1977, during a defining moment in the MVP hearings