CBC News reports a British Columbia First Nation has announced it's backing the Northern Gateway pipeline project to ship oil sands crude to the West Coast, despite fierce opposition from dozens of other groups in the area.
Chief Elmer Derrick said the hereditary chiefs of the Gitxsan have accepted Enbridge Inc.'s offer of an equity stake in the $5.5 billion project. He expects the deal will provide at least $7 million of net profit to his people, according to CBC News.
Now that the TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL pipeline appears dead, Ottawa and the Alberta oil industry have turned their attention to the Northern Gateway pipeline project that would stretch for 1,170km from Brudenheim in Alberta to Kitimat in northern British Columbia to. The pipeline will have the capacity to export approximately 525,000 barrels of oil per day and import approximately 193,000 barrels of condensate a day to a new marine terminal where up to 200 tankers per year would carry crude to market in China, Singapore and Korea.
But the $5.5 billion project which has significant Chinese backing, is already almost a year behind schedule and would not go into operation in 2017 at the soonest. Even this schedule is optimistic: starting in January, an unprecedented 4,000-plus people – the vast majority environmental activists – will speak for a collective 650 hours at public hearings. Read more about environmental efforts to block Northern Gateway.
MINING.com reported at the end of October the US state department's anonymous leak to the media lowering expectations about a decision on Keystone this year should not have come as a surprise to anyone following Barack Obama's poll numbers or the increasing bitterness on the left about his perceived closeness to industry.
Apart from environmental campaigners and clean energy proponents other players may also be rejoicing at the Keystone delay and the regulatory difficulties of Northern Gateway: MINING.com has argued that if Keystone XL is built the biggest losers will not be the Greens, it will be Big Oil: Keystone XL should bring Canadian crude, which at the moment sells at a steep discount, in line with global prices. At the same time a huge slice of the record profits of Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil will we wiped out. Here's why.
Meanwhile The Nation reported last week construction of Keystone XL may yet start sooner than 18 months from now: Republicans in the US Congress have launched two different attempts to resurrect the delayed, and possibly dead, Keystone XL pipeline. One was clearly a public relations stunt, but the other could present a much more serious problem for pipeline opponents.