MONTREAL Dec 15 Proponents of Imperial Oil
Ltd's (IMO.TO) proposed C$16.2 billion ($15.9 billion)
Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline have submitted a financial plan
for the project, which Canada's Industry Minister said he will
review as quickly as possible.
Government officials declined to divulge financial details
of the plan, which calls for the construction of a 1,220-km
(758-mile) pipeline and gas-gathering system, and the
development of three gas fields in the Northwest Territories.
The Mackenzie line could deliver as much as 1.9 billion
cubic feet of gas a day from fields in the Mackenzie Delta, on
the Beaufort Sea north of the Arctic Circle, to southern
markets in Alberta, the rest of Canada and the United States.
As owner of the gas fields, the government has a
responsibility to define its fiscal framework, but Industry
Minister Jim Prentice reiterated that Ottawa has no plan to
take up an equity stake in the project.
"The Government of Canada has no interest in owning any
portion of the project or in subsidizing petroleum companies,"
Prentice said in a statement issued on Friday night.
Earlier this week, TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO) said that
taking a lead role in the pipeline is only one in a range of
options being mulled to revive the costly project.
Estimated costs for the line have more than doubled since
2004, when its backers assumed it could be built for C$7.5
billion. At C$16.2 billion, Imperial has said the line may be
too expensive to be profitable and has looked for government
concessions that could reduce risk and financing costs and
TransCanada, the country's No. 1 pipeline company, does not
have a direct stake in the project, but is earning a share in
the line through financial support for the Aboriginal Pipeline
Group, owned by communities along the Mackenzie line's route.
Along with the aboriginal group and Imperial, the line's
other partners include Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L), Exxon Mobil
Corp (XOM.N) and ConocoPhillips (COP.N).
(Reporting by Robert Melnbardis; Editing by Eric Beech)