Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines last week filed with the National Energy Board commercial agreements which provide for long term deliveries of both crude oil and condensate to the capacity of the proposed pipelines.
The project would transport 525,000 barrels per day of crude oil for export and import 193,000 bpd of condensate – the latter is used to dilute the thick oil sands bitumen so that it can be pumped through the oil export line .
Construction of the 1,177km twin pipeline system and marine terminal in Kitimat is estimated to cost $5.5 billion.
However, while Enbridge says both Canadian bitumen producers and Asian buyers “have agreed on commercial terms relating to the long term use of the facilities”, the names of those producers and buyers remain confidential.
“This support demonstrates the need for Northern Gateway and is a major step forward for the project,” said Janet Holder, Enbridge’s executive vice-president for western access.
“Northern Gateway will link two of Canada’s most important competitive strengths: our tremendous petroleum reserves and our Pacific advantage – safe deepwater ports that are close to the growing markets of the Pacific Rim.
“The project has the potential to move Canada into receiving premium prices in the global energy marketplace, rather than the landlocked, one customer price-taker it is today.”
However, the announcement of the commercial agreements received a sharp and quick rebuke from Chief Larry Nooski of the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation (Fraser Lake), a member of the Yinka Dene Alliance.
“It doesn’t matter who they get a deal with. They plan to come through our territories and we’ve already said no, and we’ll use every legal means we have to stop them,” he said, adding, “Getting industry to support their plan is not going to help them. These lands belong to First Nations and they will never get our permission because our lands and rivers are not for sale.”
Noting there are now more than 100 First Nations in western Canada which have rejected Enbridge’s pipeline and tankers, Nooski added, “This pipeline is dead in the water.”
Other members of the Yinka Dene Alliance include the Nak’azdli (Fort St. James), Takla Lake, Saik’uz (Vanderhoof), and Wet’suwet’en First Nations all of which are opposed to Northern Gateway.