A northern pipeline could move Alberta's stranded oil and gas: NWT Premier

With the Northern Gateway Pipeline facing political hurdles, the Premier of the Northwest Territories, Bob McLeod, said moving Alberta's oil and gas via a pipeline in the Northwest Territories is an option.

"If we can't go south, if we can't go to Asia, if we can't go to the United States and go east then we have to look at all of our options, which could include a northern route," said McLeod, who was interviewed by CBC's The House

The NWT has been through a lengthy process getting the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline approved, which is designed to transport natural gas from the Beaufort Sea. It is currently set to run along the Mackenzie Valley continuing south to Alberta where it would feed into existing pipeline infrastructure.

McLeod is not keen on making his region part of a Plan B if the Northern Gateway is held up.

"Well it is not our preferred option. We concluded six-years of regulatory review for the McKenzie Gas Pipeline."

The McKenzie Valley Pipeline was first proposed in the early 1970s but fell short during the first regulatory review. The pipeline project was resurrected in 2004.

McLeod says there is more support for pipeline projects in the north since aboriginals are greater stakeholders in the region`s infrastructure. The Mackenzie Valley Pipeline has a 33% aboriginal stake.

"We are not in a position where we can have our natural resources stranded for another 40 years."