SemCAMS Wins NEB Approval For Redwillow Pipeline

May 2009 Vol. 236 No. 5

Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) approved an application by SemCAMS Redwillow ULC to construct and operate the Redwillow Pipeline project.

The pipeline would transport up to 79,000 Scf/d of unprocessed sour gas containing up to 30% hydrogen sulfide nearly 93 miles from the Grizzly Valley area southwest of Tumbler Ridge, BC to an existing gathering and processing site near Wapiti, Alberta. The expected cost is $151 million.

The pipeline would connect gas that is shut-in to an existing, but under-used gas-processing plant in Alberta. Access to sour gas-processing facilities in the project area is constrained, which is impeding further gas development. The pipeline could also open up eastern markets to gas producers in the Grizzly Valley region.
During the public hearing in Dawson Creek, BC last year, SemCAMS agreed to design, build and operate the project according to the most recent regulations, codes and industry standards for sour gas pipelines.

The board attached 26 conditions to its approval, including the requirement that SemCAMS file its emergency procedures manual for board approval before opening the pipeline and to hold a full-scale emergency response exercise within one year after the pipeline begins operating. Local residents raised concerns about SemCAMS’ emergency management program in case of a leak or rupture.

The board will require SemCAMS to demonstrate that adequate financial resources are in place to build and operate the pipeline before construction begins. The board denied SemCAMS’ request for an exemption from filing a Plan, Profile and Book of Reference for approval as required by the NEB Act. The NEB said that while the pipeline would be located entirely on Crown lands, it was not convinced that an exemption was warranted.