Northern Gas Pipelines: Current Projects

(Please click a project on your left.  Summary of various projects, routes and modes below.)

Web posted Saturday, September 1, 2001

Web site becomes clearinghouse for gas pipeline issues

By Dave Harbour
For the Alaska Oil & Gas Reporter



Dave Harbour


Created last winter as a modest effort to put gas pipeline history, research and current events on a public interest Web site, the Northern Gas Pipelines' site ( has become a one-stop shop for thousands of government, industry, academic and media surfers throughout the United States and Canada. Produced from Anchorage, it features cyber news and newsmakers from Ottawa, Washington, D.C. and Houston to Calgary, Yellowknife, Barrow, Inuvik, Whitehorse, Fairbanks and Juneau.

In the 1970s only three gas commercialization projects were of primary interest in Alaska -- Alcan, Arctic Gas and El Paso -- and three in Canada -- Alcan, Arctic Gas and Maple Leaf. It was Northern Gas Pipelines' objective to identify these historical projects, hoping 25-year-old lessons might help resolve the more complex challenge of freeing 21st century stranded Arctic gas reserves. Today's gas discussions involve:

* Alaska. Two overland pipeline advocates (northern and southern routes), a gas producer overland pipeline study effort, three or four liquefied natural gas project advocates, an LNG voter initiative, one producer-led LNG study effort, one gas-to-liquids project advocate, one gas producer GTL pilot project (not currently concerned with Arctic reserves), various producer GTL research efforts.
* Canada. One overland pipeline advocate for moving Alaskan gas (i.e. southern route), one advocate with Aboriginal support for moving Alaskan and Canadian gas (i.e. northern route), one Mackenzie Delta producer group with Aboriginal support for moving only Canadian gas up the Mackenzie River Valley, and an alternative route connecting Delta gas to the southern route project.

Northern Gas Pipelines is a public service Web site that respects all participants: corporate, nonprofit, government and media. Its advocacy is not for a specific routing, but for logic, reason and good will. It is dedicated to objectively describing projects and producing news about them from sources everywhere. As a public service, the site archives material and satisfies requests from hundreds of readers; for example:

* Local, regional and national newspapers, radio/TV stations and magazines have received maps and background information.
* Contractors and oil companies have received help with briefings, proposals, reports and Alaska Native/Canadian Aboriginal interests.
* Universities have received modeling data, maps and reference.
* U.S. and Canadian federal, state, provincial and territorial government representatives have received maps, presentations and historical research material.

An unknown number of readers have copied material directly from the Web site.

Northern Gas Pipelines claims no particular expertise but, rather, offers readers a coordinating site. One becomes a part of the public interest effort by contributing to the fullness and accuracy of the historical record, growing daily. All project participants and readers are invited to correct and expand on the record. Hundreds of readers have sent news tips, presentations, maps, commentary, historical observations, editorial comment, additions and corrections.

Since the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is adjacent to the Arctic gas development area, a special ANWR page is included. Since Alaska Native and Canadian Aboriginal interests are critical to the decision-making process, information about their corporate, non-profit and cultural constituencies is featured. Since many readers have or will travel to Arctic gas pipeline country, travel information is included. Northern Gas Pipelines also features the most extensive links page available anywhere for those interested in northern pipeline related companies, trade and professional organizations, Federal government agencies, news media, local governments, contractors, labor unions and environmental organizations. Its archive pages permit news and events of the past to reappear with the click of a mouse.

While Northern Gas Pipelines recognizes the right and responsibility of advocates to present their cases, it avoids advocating particular projects. It does occasionally editorialize on public policy matters. Its few editorials encourage diplomacy and due diligence as opposed to emotion and self-interest. Its editorial policy is to give the good intent of all, benefit of the doubt. It supports commercialization of northern gas and proper ANWR development benefiting all citizens.

Public service sponsors noted on the Web page, and a good deal of volunteer help, help the Web site thrive.

Lastly, Northern Gas Pipelines is about the projects and the people. The news is rich with names. Photos illustrate stories, whenever possible. Now, one can look back, see and appreciate both the news and the human beings who made it.

Dave Harbour is an author, public speaker and public affairs management consultant. He is former Director of Public Affairs for the Arctic Gas consortium and Director of Government Relations for Atlantic Richfield Company. Northern Gas Pipelines is Harbour's current public service effort.