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PM gets up to speed on pipeline (August 22, 2001)

YELLOWKNIFE, N.W.T. -- Jean Chretien may have tipped his hand as to which pipeline route he prefers, but now he's m...


YELLOWKNIFE, N.W.T. — Jean Chretien may have tipped his hand as to which pipeline route he prefers, but now he’s making sure he knows why the Mackenzie Valley is the best path.

The premier of the Northwest Territories, Stephen Kakfwi, sat down with the PM on Aug. 21, to brief Chretien on the advantages of shipping Canadian gas to southern markets via the proposed pipeline. He walked out of the meeting confident Ottawa will back the plan.

Kakfwi tells local media he assured Chretien that by fall, the federal government will see a formal proposal on tapping into southern markets through the building of the Mackenzie line.

The are two proposed routes, and while one travels largely through the U.S. avoiding Candian production areas, the other involves building an undersea pipeline from Alaska’s vast Prudhoe Bay reserves to the Mackenzie Delta. That pipeline would then head south along the Mackenzie River, picking up Canadian gas along the way.

“We want to make sure our gas is not stranded and given less priority than Alaskan gas,” says Kakfwi. Analysts indicate the Mackenzie line would prove to be shorter and cheaper than its rival.


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