Commissioner’s Message

Photograph of Serge Dupont

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Northern Pipeline Agency website.

As the federal regulator of the largest infrastructure project in North America, the Agency works with many different people and institutions both in Canada and the United States to facilitate federal activities related to the development of the Alaska Highway Gas Pipeline (AHGP) project.

The Agency was established by the Northern Pipeline Act in 1978 to facilitate the planning and construction by Foothills Pipe Lines Limited of the Canadian portion of the AHGP project and to maximize social and economic benefits from its construction and operation while minimizing any adverse effects. The pipeline, also referred to as the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System, was certificated in 1978 under the Act to transport Alaskan and possibly northern Canadian natural gas to southern markets in Canada and the United States as foreseen by the Canada-U.S. Agreement on Principles Applicable to a Northern Natural Gas Pipeline.

The southern portion of the pipeline was constructed in the early 1980s and presently transports Canadian gas sourced from Western Canada. Unfavourable economic conditions led to delays in the completion of the northern portion of the pipeline. In 2008, TransCanada PipeLines Ltd. (TransCanada), which now owns Foothills, was granted a licence by the State of Alaska to pursue the development of Stage Two (the northern section) of the pipeline and partnered with ExxonMobil in 2009 to form the Alaska Pipeline Project.

On March 30, 2012, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, BP and TransCanada announced that they are working together on a work plan to assess liquefied natural gas exports from south-central Alaska as an alternative to a natural gas pipeline through Canada. For its part, the Agency remains ready, engaged and prepared to lead the review of the AHGP. As we understand that the AHGP remains an option for the transportation of Alaska natural gas, the Agency will continue to work with other federal agencies, provincial and territorial governments, and Aboriginal organizations to meet the objectives of the Act and the Agreement.

Serge Dupont