Ottawa eyes McKenzie Pipeline Takeover..

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Ottawa eyes McKenzie Pipeline Takeover..




Sources close to negotiations underway in Ottawa said the oil companies have advised the government the project is effectively dead, and are considering the merits of the government owning the pipeline with TransCanada Corp. and the Aboriginal Pipeline Group (APG), an aboriginal enterprise. TransCanada, Canada's largest pipeline company, which has financed the APG so far, may be the builder.


Canada's largest integrated oil company, 69%-owned by Irving, Tex.-based Exxon Mobil Corp., has frustrated aboriginal groups and companies outside of the partnership that have been exploring in the Northwest Territories. They have complained about repeated delays, about the difficulty for competitors to access the project's important gathering system, and about Imperial's secrecy and obsession with control.


Fred Carmichael, a Gwich'in aboriginal leader and chairman of the APG who out of frustration recently called on Imperial to step aside, said the company's profit expectations are very high and others may be happy with more reasonable returns.

"It's an investment in the North, it helps ensure the project is basin-opening [for development] and early indications are that it would certainly help the APG with financing its share of the project," he said.

[url= Post[/url]

But then the [url= and Mail[/url] had this to say:


OTTAWA — The federal government has ruled out taking an equity stake in the troubled $16.2-billion Mackenzie Valley pipeline, rebuffing a plan by proponents to keep the project alive.


Industry sources say Imperial and the federal government appear to be at an impasse, with Ottawa increasingly frustrated by the slow pace of the negotiations and the size of the company's request for billions dollars in assistance.


However, the Conservative government is also reluctant to be seen as providing huge subsidies to highly profitable oil companies. Imperial's partners in the deal are ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and the Aboriginal Pipeline Group.

Should the current consortium walk away from the project, both TransCanada Corp. and Enbridge Inc. are said to be interested in building the northern pipeline.

Hmmmm... If the feds take control, all energy companies can explore and utilise the pipeline rather than it being Exxon's private fiefdom.

IF economic,this is also a method for Canada to control its huge territorial oil and gas resources which are OWNED federally. A great stepping stone toward a new National Energy Initiative.

Exxon is busy screwing the FN over,pandering for government subsidies and attempting to block access to "their" pipeline. I say run 'em off and develop Canada's resources for Canadians.


I'll lay a dollar bet that Canadian taxpayers will cough up 90 to 100 percent of the costs before it's handed off to private enterprise for a song somewhere down the road, just like TransCanada Pipeline was. I think it was C.D. Howe who said that taxpayer's money should never be used to compete with private enterprise. And this principle is essentially why the cold war was waged, for the sake of middlemen trading companies and private enterprise to be propped up by taxpayers for the sake of ideology.

It's a-okay to bail them out and prop-up private enterprise with taxpayer's money. A little kick-back and graft never hurt our autocratic old line parties, in power and sharing power since Tsarist era security forces policed bread lines in Russia.


So you're saying not to nationalise Canada's energy interests in competition with Big Oil?

Or does competing with Big Oil within the law to redeem Canada's "cheap resource give-away" not have the frission of excitement provided by taking assets away via fiat? No revolution in the dull world of commerce?

National ownership of federal resources could influence responsible use of NGas rather than send it to Ft. McMurray and could reestablish a federal footprint in the energy field.



Ottawa's denial sparks surprise
MacKenzie gas project; Talk of taking over pipeline 'nonsense,' says prentice
Claudia Cattaneo, Jon Harding and paul Vieira, Financial Post
Published: Saturday, May 19, 2007
CALGARY, OTTAWA - Ottawa's flat denial yesterday that it is exploring taking control of the $16.2-billion Mackenzie Gas Project surprised some of those close to the talks, who said the scenario is indeed under discussion.


Fred Carmichael, chairman of the APG, also yesterday said Ottawa is considering at least a partial buyout of energy companies involved because it believes the project is commercially sound.

"We're all business people, and we're going to make sure there is a return," he said.

Imperial, which is 69% owned by Exxon Mobil Corp., has very high profit expectations, he said.

"Well, let me tell you, there are other companies out here, including APG, that are happy with much less than a 25% return," Mr. Carmichael said.

Sources said Ottawa is discussing the idea of becoming an owner because it is unhappy with the way Imperial has backed them into a corner with its substantial demands.


"I know Cabinet discussed the issue this week, and my understanding of the discussions is that they were not going to allow Imperial to paint them into a corner. They see the Mackenzie Pipeline as a basin-opening initiative in the national interest and they are going to do what they have to do to move it forward."

[url=]National Post[/url]

Hmmm...Exxon demanding government assistance so they can generate a 25% return AND squeeze other comanies out of pipeline capacity?


[url= Northern Pipe Dream[/url]


The northern pipelines still don't exist. The NPA remains a pipeline agency without a pipeline.

Strictly speaking, the NPA wasn't set up to deal with the Mackenzie Valley line that Mr. Prentice now maintains is not being turned into a Crown corporation. It was created the year after B.C. Justice Thomas Berger killed the original Mackenzie project.....

The NPA was supposed to be the corrective. It was supposed to get a pipeline built down the Alaska Highway corridor with fewer regulatory hurdles and less land claims hassle. Never happened.....

And the Alaska Highway line probably still makes more sense than the Mackenzie route. The Yukon government and First Nations have always been more amenable to its development.


And if northern pipelines don't make sense for some of Canada's largest companies, then they certainly make no sense, whatever, for the federal government.

Despite Mr. Prentice's assurances the Ottawa has no interest in running a pipeline, my sources say the idea was discussed favourably at Cabinet and only dismissed when word leaked out and Conservative backbenchers rose up in protest. Core Conservative supporters, too, deluged ministers offices with angry calls and e-mails.

Let's hope Mr. Prentice is right. Otherwise, such a socialist move would end the Harper government's right to call itself "Conservative."


[url= Supports Equity Stake in McKenzie Pipeline[/url]


CALGARY - A senior critic with the New Democrats is pushing the Federal Tories to buy an equity stake in the cost-challenged Mackenzie Gas Project.

Opposition northern development critic Dennis Bevington said the Harper government could save the project by securing an ownership share alongside a consortium of oil companies.

However, Canada must recoup revenue as a result of any investment made, he said.

The Member of Parliament for the Western Arctic riding in the Northwest Territories said he discussed the stance with NDP Leader Jack Layton, who he said supports it.

"I am supporting the government taking an equity stake so long as there is a return on investment," Mr. Bevington said yesterday in an interview.

There is an increasing consensus among MPs that no corporate welfare will be provided but that an equity stake in the huge project may be good for both Canada and the north.


[url= May Lift Big OIL's Gas Rights.[/url]


WASHINGTON - Angered by the latest threats by ExxonMobil Corp. to shelve northern natural gas pipeline projects, the governor of Alaska is now threatening to take back the vast North Slope gas reserves.

Republican Sarah Palin is warning the three North Slope owners -- ExxonMobil, BP PLC and ConocoPhillip Ltd.-- that they risk seeing the rights to develop the vast 35 trillion cubic foot pool soon disappear.

"These companies cannot continue to warehouse this gas," said Meghan Stapleton, a spokeswoman


Combined with the comments by that U of Calary professor in last Saturday's Globe, I doubt the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline will ever go ahead, at least in our lifetime.


The documents reveal tensions between Indian and Northern Affairs, which issues exploration licences and works with industry to spur development, and Environment Canada, with its conservation mandate. "INAC policy on oil and gas leasing within (the sanctuary) remains a key concern for EC," states the Jan. 2007 note.

To "offset" development within the sanctuary, Environment Canada has proposed declaring other areas as protected. But Indian and Northern Affairs is concerned that "lands with high resource values are not sequestered indefinitely."

More generally, Environment Canada has floated the idea of developing "delta-wide land-management approach," but Indian and Northern Affairs fears such an approach "could add to the burden of obtaining regulatory approvals, increase costs and limit exploration and development."

Canada needs to take a more forward-looking approach that balances development and conservation, said Peter Ewins, director of species conservation at World Wildlife Fund Canada.

"The sanctuary was not really protected as a first measure, when it should have been," he said, noting that the sanctuary has been extensively drilled for oil and gas since the 1960s. "And that's really the take-home lesson: you get into these very costly and difficult discussions and problems and delays, if you don't protect the key places first and then allocate industry develop elsewhere."

The Mackenzie pipeline was supposed to be completed next year, but the start date for production has been pushed back to 2014. In May, the review panel said it would not complete its environmental assessment until 2009.

The prospect of oil and gas drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge has stirred controversy for years, and has resurfaced as an issue in the U.S. presidential race.

[url= pipeline could threaten wildlife reserves: Report[/url]