Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad
Open season bags natural gas companies

Thorunn Howatt
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Aug 26/02) - Twenty energy companies are lined up for space in a Mackenzie Valley pipeline.

That's how many Delta explorers responded to an open call by the Mackenzie Delta Producers' Group.

"We had good response in both the number of companies and the size and location of potential volumes," said Imperial Oil's Hart Searle.

The producers group declared open season nearly two months ago. They were looking to pinpoint potential customers to help fill a proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline.

They want to build the pipeline to carry Arctic natural gas southward.

The producers group, made up of Imperial Oil Resources, ExxonMobil, Shell and Conoco, also wants to ship gas from their own reserves.

The Aboriginal Pipeline Group wants one-third ownership of the $3 billion line. But it needs to find customers with gas. It doesn't have exploration or gas-bearing properties of its own.

Some other exploration companies include the Beaufort Sea-Mackenzie Delta include Petro-Canada, Devon Canada, EnCana., Chevron Canada, Devlan, Anadarko Canada, Burlington Resources Canada Energy and BP Canada. Together their work commitments top $1 billion.

"In the next couple of months we will be meeting individually with each of the potential shippers to more fully assess their interest," said Searle.

He added the producers group wants to move from the project's definition phase -- environmental review, community consultation and engineering -- by mid-2003.

"We will be progressively seeking greater detail, tighter information, tighter resource definition and firmer shipping commitments from these companies."

As part of the continuing community consultations, representatives from Imperial and APG teamed up for Deh Cho tours that included Fort Providence, Enterprise, Kakisa, Nahanni Butte, Fort Liard Wes Point and Hay River last week.