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1976: Gas companies pitch Mackenzie Valley pipeline

The Story


The race is on to find a way to move oil and gas to southern markets and it feels a bit like the North's second Gold Rush. Two gas companies have come forward with multibillion-dollar pipeline proposals, and each company's president appears on the CBC's Take 30 to argue his case. Canadian Arctic Gas Pipeline Ltd. is a giant alliance of 27 companies including Exxon and Shell. Their plan is to build a pipeline across the northern Yukon, from Prudhoe Bay to the Mackenzie Delta, then south. It would carry oil from both U.S. and Canadian reserves through the same pipe. Foothills Pipe Lines Ltd. wants to build a smaller, strictly Canadian, pipeline from the Delta.

Medium: Television
Program: Take 30
Broadcast Date: June 5, 1976
Guest(s): Robert Blair, Vern Horte
Host: Paul Soles
Duration: 2:48

Did You know?


• Natural gas and petroleum (crude oil) form in pockets in the earth when pressure and heat turn ancient animal and plant matter into "fossil fuels."

• Petroleum processing was once more profitable than natural gas development, but in recent years natural gas has grown into the most widely used fuel in Canadian homes.

• Pipeline networks consist of "gathering systems" that move oil and gas from where they are extracted to processing plants; wide "main trunk lines" that carry them to market centres; and distribution systems that get them to consumers.

• Pumps or compressing stations are stationed every 100 kilometres along trunk lines to keep the oil and gas moving.

• Pipelines are usually buried about 1.5 metres underground, but in extreme northern regions, permafrost forces above-ground construction.


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