With Enbridge acquisition looming, Spectra moves forward on three Northeast B.C. pipelines

Three pipelines would boost capacity on existing system

When pipeline giant Enbridge officially acquires Spectra Energy early next year, the company will have dozens of kilometres of new pipe in the ground in Northeast B.C. 

Spectra is in the process of building three pipelines to increase its natural gas-moving capacity, government and community relations lead Jay Morrison told a meeting of the Peace River Regional District Sept. 8. 

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The Jackfish Lake, High Pine and Wyndwood expansion projects are part of a $1.2 billion spend the Houston-based company plans to make in B.C. over the next two years. 

All three are being built along existing pipelines. Some right-of-ways will have to be widened while the High Pine project will have some sections through greenfield which will need to be cleared. 

Construction began on the Jackfish Lake expansion August 15. There will be around 350 people working on the project at its peak, but for most of the project it will average 50 workers. It includes two additional “loop” segments totalling 36 km between the McMahon gas plant in Taylor and Chetwynd.  

The National Energy Board (NEB) approved the High Pine pipeline Aug. 17. The 38 kilometres of pipe will expand capacity between gas plants near Wonowon and Chetwynd. Morrison said the company hopes to begin construction on the project “soon,” with a projected in-service date in early 2017 depending on NEB approval conditions. 

Wyndwood, a proposed expansion of the Fort St. John mainline east of Chetwynd, has not been submitted to the NEB.    

Enbridge hopes to finalize its merger with Spectra Energy in early 2017. Morrison said it’s not yet clear how the company’s Northeast B.C. operations will be impacted. 

The $37 billion deal will be one of the largest in the history of the Canadian oilpatch, according to a report in the Calgary Herald. If the deal is approved, the combined company will be the largest energy infrastructure firm in North America. 

Eighty per cent of natural gas in B.C. travels on Spectra pipelines and other infrastructure, according to the PRRD presentation. 

reporter@dcdn.ca 

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