Commissioner’s Message

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

The Agency was established by the Northern Pipeline Act (Act) in 1978 to facilitate and regulate the planning and construction by Foothills Pipe Lines Limited of the Canadian portion of the Alaska Highway Gas Pipeline (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. Since 1983, Foothills has had an easement agreement with the Government of Canada along the Yukon portion of the AHGP. In July 2012, the easement agreement was amended to be extended until September 2022.

In 2008, TransCanada PipeLines Ltd. (TransCanada), which now owns Foothills, was granted a licence by the State of Alaska and pursued the development of the northern section of the pipeline. TransCanada partnered with ExxonMobil in 2009 to form the Alaska Pipeline Project and commenced extensive environmental and engineering studies. On March 30, 2012, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, BP and TransCanada announced that they would work together to assess liquefied natural gas exports from south-central Alaska as an alternative to a natural gas pipeline through Canada.

As we understand that the AHGP still remains a viable option for the transportation of Alaska natural gas, the Agency will remain prepared to lead the review for the AHGP and will continue to work, as necessary, to meet the objectives of the Act and the Agreement.

Christyne Tremblay
Commissioner