Spectra-BG pipeline will avoid tough terrain: spokesman
Spectra responds to Alberta Oil blog
An 850-kilometer pipeline proposed by Spectra Energy Corp. and BG Group plc designed to ship up to 4.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from shale basins in northeastern British Columbia to the Pacific coast for export will avoid “geologically active” areas in the province, a Spectra spokesman says.
“Although the company hasn’t finalized its route at this point, it is important to understand that through the last 55 years, Spectra Energy employees have gained a thorough understanding, and appreciation for, the terrain in B.C.,” Peter Murchland said in an e-mail.
“This wealth of knowledge, combined with expertise in constructing and operating natural gas transportation systems, will help the company avoid many of the challenges associated with a project of this magnitude.”
BG has optioned a 200-acre site near Prince Rupert and is said to be studying the viability of a West Coast liquefaction terminal. Spectra detailed plans this week for a 50-50 partnership with BG to build a Pacific-bound pipeline to supply an as-yet undefined liquefaction terminal proposed by BG.
Murchland was responding to a blog this week that noted that building a pipeline to Prince Rupert is complicated by complex geology.
Northern Gateway proponent Enbridge Inc. avoided the coastal port, for instance, because it was easier to build a pipeline to Kitimat, according to Ray Doering, manager of engineering with Enbridge subsidiary Northern Gateway Pipelines Ltd.
“Selecting a port was important,” Doering told Alberta Oil, shortly after Enbridge submitted its application for Gateway to the National Energy Board.
“We chose Kitimat over Prince Rupert because of the challenges there building out to Prince Rupert, building alongside the Skeena River, which is really the only option available to you.”
The nature of the valley is very steep cliffs and mountains that basically dip straight down into the Skeena valley. So what you have there now, the highway and the railway, in many cases they’ve just taken rock and pushed it out along the edge of the river to build the railway bed and the highway bed. There’s really no place for a pipeline. There are no side valleys where you can go. The valley is very constrained. The river is very large and continually changing. There is a small natural gas pipeline along the Skeena River out to Prince Rupert now, but it has had a history of geotechnical challenges. This was a known issue.