As the pace quickens in Alaska, there is a “new sense of urgency” in Canada’s Arctic gas development plans, said Tim Hearn, chief executive officer of Imperial Oil, the lead partner in the Mackenzie Gas Project.
He said the challenge for the Mackenzie partners is to file regulatory applications this summer and make recommendations on ways to streamline the process.
“Eventually, Alaska gas will come and we need to make sure we’re first,” Hearn told reporters in Toronto April 21.
Hart Searle, a spokesman for the Mackenzie project, told Petroleum News that “we want to ensure that this tremendous opportunity (to develop Mackenzie Delta gas) doesn’t become a missed opportunity.”
He said that if Alaska proceeds first there could be a threat to the commercial viability of the Mackenzie project, because of the impact of 4.5 billion cubic feet per day of North Slope gas on the North American market and the competition for materials, supplies and reliable contractors.
Searle said no specific date has been set for Mackenzie filings, but he noted that Canadian regulators have indicated the terms of reference for the environmental assessment and other regulatory aspects should be in place by early July.
He said the Mackenzie partners are anxious to ensure their applications are in alignment with and consistent with the regulatory terms of reference.