MAP: The proposed pipeline through B.C. can be seen in this map from TransCanada.


The proposed Alaska Pipeline Project is a major natural gas pipeline that could have a large impact on residents in northeast B.C.

The project was first started in the 1970s and in 2009 TransCanada partnered with ExxonMobil in the U.S.

One of the proposed natural gas-carrying pipelines would run from Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, U.S., into Canada. The pipeline would extend approximately 1,500 kilometres through the Yukon and B.C., and then into Alberta.

More than 700 kilometres of pipeline is expected to run across northeast B.C., crossing near Fort Nelson, and then into Alberta at Boundary Lake, northeast of Fort St. John. The U.S. would then be the final market for the natural gas.

At this point in the project, TransCanada is meeting with various communities along the pipeline route, sharing information about the project and conducting studies, said TransCanada’s Project Lead for northeast B.C. Shelly Cairns on Issues and Answers, Wednesday.

Many of the studies for the project were originally completed in the 1970s, but Cairns said some of the studies have to be updated to reflect current standards. She said further environmental and engineering studies are being done and the company is working closely with aboriginal communities near the pipeline route.

Although the Enbridge Northern Gateway project has faced a considerable amount of resistance from communities along its proposed route from near Edmonton to a port at Kitimat, B.C., Cairns said the community response to the Alaska Pipeline Project has been fairly positive.

If the proposed pipeline through B.C. is constructed, she said TransCanada will work hard to have strategies in place for hiring locally.

In the near future, TransCanada expects to file compliance reports by October 2012. She said its hope is to have natural gas flowing in the pipeline by 2020.

In Fort St. John, TransCanada will be holding a public open house on April 20 at the North Peace Cultural Centre between 4 and 7 p.m.

For more information on the project, click here.