The Joint Review Panel, a federally appointed group that for five years has been examining the socio-economic and environmental impact of the proposed Mackenzie Gas Project, has conditionally recommended approval of the project.
The opinion of the joint federal and provincial panel, which comes after more than two years of deliberations, is crucial to a decision by Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) as to whether the 745-mile pipeline project can go ahead. The pipeline would carry up to 1.9 Bcf/d of natural gas from the Mackenzie Delta in the Canadian Arctic to southern markets in Canada and the U.S.
“The panel is confident that the project as filed, if built and operated with full implementation of the panel’s recommendations, would deliver valuable and lasting overall benefits, and avoid significant adverse environmental impacts…,” the panel said in a press release. The NEB plans to hear final arguments in April on the applications for concluding its hearing on the project.
The Mackenzie Gas project is led by Imperial Oil Ltd. Imperial’s partners in the project are parent company ExxonMobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, ConocoPhillips and TransCanada Corp. on behalf of the Aboriginal Pipeline Group.