The Mackenzie Gas Project (MGP) is truly a giant among megaprojects, likely to cost at least CDN$ 7 billion. The MGP includes three major natural gas production fields north of Inuvik and two underground natural gas pipelines (the longest is 1220 km) to carry the gas south along the Mackenzie Valley to northern Alberta. Other pipelines would be built connecting other gas fields to the main pipelines. Project proponents expect that 50 permanent jobs will be created in the North.
The Mackenzie Gas project is the critical trigger for the oil and gas industrialization of Canada’s Northwest and as such represents the single most important driver for Canada’s energy policy and energy investment by industry for the next 25 years.
Industry is already committed to spending at least $60 billion on expanding tar sands extraction in Alberta, and constructing other oil and gas pipelines and gas fields. The planned quadrupling of oil production from Alberta’s tar sands by 2030 turns on access to Mackenzie gas; such a quadrupling, if it occurs, will almost certainly make achievement of Canada’s Kyoto targets impossible given that tar sands oil is the most harmful type of oil for the atmosphere.
Imagine if this $100 billion was spent on energy efficiency and green energy sources such as wind and solar energy!
The gas production fields are owned by Imperial Oil, Conoco Canada and ExxonMobil, and Shell. These companies also own the pipelines together with the Aboriginal Pipeline Group, which owns a one-third share of the pipelines.