A Vancouver-based company, with strong ties to Canada’s First Nations communities, is seeking government, financial and aboriginal backing for a new railway to carry crude from the Alberta oil sands to the trans-Alaska oil pipeline as an alternative to a troubled plan for an Enbridge pipeline across British Columbia.
G Seven Generations, or G7G, is proposing a rail link covering about 1,200 miles from Fort McMurray in northeastern Alberta to feed crude into the Trans Alaska Pipeline System’s pump station near Fort Greeley in Alaska’s Interior, just six miles from the community of Delta Junction.
From there the crude would be delivered south to the pipeline’s terminus at the Port of Valdez.
G7G director Matt Vickers told an International Indigenous Summit on Energy and Mining in Ontario this week that the plan would “simply mean replacing the declining supply of Alaska crude with a new supply of Alberta crude.”
He said G7G believes an Alberta-Alaska railroad has a “greater chance of obtaining social license from local communities” than competing projects.
G7G estimates the first phase would cost at least C$12 billion, compared with the C$5.5 billion price tag on Enbridge’s 525,000 barrels per day Northern Gateway scheme that is facing stern opposition from First Nations and environmentalists.
G7G said the Alberta-Alaska link has already obtained support from First Nations in British Columbia and the Yukon and endorsement from Alaska Indian tribes along the proposed railway route.
In addition, tanker traffic operating in Alaska waters would not face the same government moratorium and community opposition to tankers using British Columbia ports.
Vickers said his company expects to complete a feasibility study, business plan and First Nations’ consultation over “coming months,” while it seeks approval from national and international aboriginal organizations.
See full story in the July 10 issue of Petroleum News, which will be available online at www.petroleumnews.com on Friday, July 8, at 11 a.m