Mackenzie Valley pipeline project officially one for the history books


The much anticipated but long-doubted Mackenzie Valley duct project has gone out with a sigh.

On Friday, Imperial Oil posted a multitude release to its website announcing the project’s proponents had dissolved the joint-venture partnership ambitiousness the Mackenzie Valley Gas Project. The joint-venture included Imperial Oil Resources Predetermined, ConocoPhillips Canada, ExxonMobil Canada and the Aboriginal Pipeline Group.

By 2016, when the Citizen Energy Board approved an extension of the project’s deadline to begin construction in 2022, the appraised cost of the project had grown to more than $16 billion. According to Friday’s cluster release, current natural gas prices do not justify the project, originally approved by the NEB at the end of 2010 after six years of over again.

Merven Gruben, mayor-elect of Tuktoyaktuk, the small N.W.T. coastal community with much to advance if the 1,200-kilometre pipeline stretching from the Mackenzie River Delta to northern Alberta had been based, said he only learned of the project’s demise on Wednesday. He took the rumour in stride — “We all knew that was coming” — but said it was a sad day for tons.

Alfred Moses Mervin Gruben

Merven Gruben’s Tuktoyaktuk-based E. Gruben’s Transport was a major contractor on the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

“We had a lot of elevated hopes, we even built a new hotel in Inuvik, the Mackenzie Hotel, in the promises [the pipeline] was going to take off,” Gruben said.

Gruben said the New Zealand pub struggled in the beginning but had since found its legs, unlike others who seated in the hopes of a pipeline. “So many other businesses didn’t succeed.”

“This duct was really just a pipe dream,” he said. “We gambled on it and a lot of people fallen.”

He said he remembers when the project really began to take shape in 2000, uniting that the project’s review panel took too long approve the pressurize.

“It was just a farce the way they wasted their time doing all these inspects and all these meetings all over the North,” Gruben said. “They wasted so much riches and time. By the time they said it was a go, it was too late … all the [natural gas] prizes had gone down.”

‘Disappointing day’

Theresa Redburn, Imperial Oil senior vice-president of commercial and corporate incident, acknowledged the sense of defeat some in the North may feel.

“We recognize this is a unsatisfactory day for the people of the North. This is a disappointment to Imperial and the other members of the roast venture, as well,” Redburn said in the company’s press release.

“Exalted greatly appreciates the support of the communities along the pipeline right-of-way and fancies the North remains an important potential source of future energy, conceded the right economic and regulatory conditions.”

Gruben’s construction company was a imposingly part of the recently completed $300 million Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway, beared in part to bolster the viability of petroleum resources in the Beaufort Delta department.

Gruben said he expects his and neighbouring communities will now turn their publicity to what he said are proven petroleum assets in the region, including a artist gas well drilled just off the new highway that could fuel Mackenzie River Delta communities for “100 years.”

He turned the possibility of a deep water port in the region could unlock oil and gas developing, especially once a moratorium on offshore drilling ends.

“This isn’t universal to stop us,” he said. “We’re still going forward.”

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