Justice group questions cost of MGP

Proponents of the proposed natural gas pipeline through the Mackenzie Valley will have until noon today to provide an updated assessment of the project’s economic feasibility, the National Energy Board has ruled.

The requirement came after Yellowknife-based social justice group Alternatives North filed a notice of motion on Thursday with the NEB regarding the Mackenzie Gas Project (MGP).
In the notice, which is signed by Alternatives North co-chair Suzette Montreuil, the group asks that the pipeline proponents provide up-to-date information, arguing that the numbers currently being used are at least three years old.
“Since the project was initially filed in 2004 and updated in 2007, there have been significant changes in the gas market in North America,” reads the notice. “In particular, significant quantities of shale gas have been discovered and are now likely developable, which has changed the overall supply forecasts and price for natural gas. This in turn may significantly affect the economic feasibility of the MGP and the demand for its gas.”
Those changes also include a proposed pipeline in Alaska, and changes in natural gas supply and demand.
Alternatives North’s motion comes just over a week after Imperial Oil sent a 15-page letter to the NEB raising issues with numerous recommendations made by the Joint Review Panel, including a noise restriction on construction in the Kendall Island Bird Sanctuary that has the potential to derail the project. The proponents want to use smaller pipelines to gather the natural gas found within the sanctuary.
“To make this a condition for any approval … would have the potential effect of preventing development of both the Taglu and Niglintgak anchor fields, and, therefore, the entire Mackenzie Gas Project,” the Jan. 28 letter reads.
The NEB is scheduled to hear final arguments on the proposed pipeline in April in Yellowknife.