Alternate route proposed in Canada pipeline spat
(AFP) – 2 hours ago
MONTREAL — Canada's planned Northern Gateway pipeline, facing challenges in British Columbia province, may be re-routed through the Northwest Territories, the premier of that region said Saturday.
The pipeline project, designed to allow Canada to export oil to Asia via the Pacific, is stalled over a royalties dispute.
British Columbia is demanding a "fair share" of oil revenues to reflect the environmental risks the province faces -- a request Alberta, home to Canada's tar sands, has so far refused.
Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod, in an interview on Canadian public radio CBC, suggested the pipeline should pass instead through his region, since a natural gas pipeline intended to pass that way has been put on hold.
McLeod said he would prefer for that project, the Mackenzie Valley pipeline, to be restarted, but "if all the doors are closed, then we're prepared to look at other options."
McLeod's proposal was welcomed by Alberta's minister of international and intergovernmental affairs, also interviewed on CBC.
"We would be more than pleased to talk to Premier McLeod and anyone in the NWT that's interested in the potential of cooperating on projects," Cal Dallas said.
While the construction of pipelines falls under federal jurisdiction, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark said recently that without a "fair share" of profits for her province, "the pipeline will not happen."
The proposed $16 billion Mackenzie Valley pipeline, intended to transport natural gas from the Beaufort Sea across the Northwest Territories, ground to a halt last April when investors pulled out, citing falling natural gas prices.
Their announcement was closely followed by the decision of several members of the investment group to develop a gas field in the US state of Alaska, where officials have pledged to offer $500 million to subsidize a pipeline project.
Virtually all of Canada's energy exports go to the United States, but after Washington last year delayed approval of the Keystone XL pipeline to carry oil from Alberta to the US Gulf Coast, focus shifted to China and other Pacific nations as new customers.