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Calgary Herald: Energy Board wants Mackenzie Valley caveats

Safety, design conditions added to hearing process
The federal energy regulator has taken the rare step of issuing a set of conditions for the proposed Mackenzie Gas Project before approving it in hopes of preventing more delays in the hearing process, it said Monday.
The National Energy Board issued 46 proposed safety and design conditions for building and operating the Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline and several others for developing the three Arctic gas fields that will feed it.
The board directed Imperial Oil Ltd. and its partners to respond by March 30 to the conditions, which involve stipulations for design, preconstruction, construction and operations of the proposed facilities in the NorthwestTerritories.
It said all the conditions will not be known until the Joint Review Panel, which is also conducting hearings into the huge project, completes its work into the proposal.
Regulators are not expected to finish their work into the 1,200 kilometre pipeline project until at least spring. The line could carry up to 1.9 billion cubic feet of gas a day to southern markets from the Mackenzie Delta on the coast of the Beaufort Sea.
Imperial, meanwhile, is revising upward its cost estimate due to inflation in labour and materials costs.
Some analysts have said the price tag could be 30 per cent higher than the recent estimate of $7.5 billion Cdn.
Examples of the NEB’s conditions include formulating and submitting reclamation plans, writing a pre-construction safety manual and filing welding procedures with the board.
Imperial’s partners in the Mackenzie project are Shell Canada Ltd., ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp. and the Aboriginal Pipeline Group.
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