The Alaska Highway pipeline would begin at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, parallel the oil pipeline to Fairbanks, follow the Alaska Highway through Yukon and then continue through northeast B.C. and on into Alberta. The AHPP would carry gas to southern markets.
The construction and operation of the AHPP is expected to generate up to 375,000 person years (2002 Informetrica study 536 KB) of employment within the Yukon and Canada over a 24-year period, and pump billions of dollars into the Canadian and Yukon economies.
There is currently one proposal for the Canadian portion of the AHPP, that being from TransCanada Pipelines Ltd., which has a proposal under the Northern Pipeline Act.
The Yukon Government (YG) supports the Alaska Highway Pipeline Project (AHPP), and is pleased that while industry is currently focused on the all-Alaska liquefied natural gas option, the pipeline proponent (TransCanada/ExxonMobil) has not dropped its interest in the AHPP.
In 1977, the National Energy Board recommended approval of the Alaska Highway Pipeline Project.
In 1978, the Northern Pipeline Act was enacted, which established the Northern Pipeline Agency, which issued proposed socioeconomic and environmental terms and conditions for the pipeline.
In 2007, the State of Alaska enacted the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act to advance construction of a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope of Alaska to a market where the gas could be sold. TransCanada Pipelines acquired the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act licence and was thus eligible to be reimbursed up to $500 million from the State.
In 2010, ExxonMobil and TransCanada Pipelines announced they had reached terms on a gas pipeline development agreement which resulted in the creation of the AHPP. Following this, also in 2010, TransCanada Pipelines, through the AHPP, held the first ever open season for Alaska North Slope natural gas.
Since 2012, in Yukon, TransCanada Pipelines has undertaken environmental and engineering studies on and near the existing pipeline easement. Studies continued in Yukon in winter 2012.
In early 2012, the Governor of Alaska met with the CEOs of ExxonMobil, BP and ConocoPhillips to discuss alignment on commercializing Alaska North Slope gas reserves, and subsequently the three producers provided a letter to the state announcing that they are aligned with the AHPP proponent to work on the liquefied natural gas option.
In July 2012, the Minister responsible for the Northern Pipeline Agency, at the request of Foothills, amended the Canada-Foothills Easement Agreement to allow additional time for pipeline construction to begin. The expiry date was amended to September 20, 2022 from the previous agreement of September 20, 2012.
There are two key pieces of legislation relevant to the project: the Northern Pipeline Act and Yukon Environmental and Socioeconomic Assessment Act (YESAA). It is Yukon’s view that the project is an ‘existing project’ under YESAA.
YG’s support for the AHPP is dependent on seven stated interests:
YG is closely monitoring the pipeline news and events in Alaska and is undertaking the necessary work given the status of the project.
YG continues to work with the Northern Pipeline Agency on addressing regulatory process and lands administration issues, funding and collaboration with the Aboriginal Pipeline Coalition, and advance Yukon’s seven pipeline interests with the pipeline proponent.