Project proposed to abandon natural gas pipeline in southeast Yukon

·2 min read
The Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB) is reviewing a proposed project to abandon a roughly 54-kilometre pipeline in the territory's southeast. (Alexandra Byers/CBC - image credit)
The Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB) is reviewing a proposed project to abandon a roughly 54-kilometre pipeline in the territory's southeast. (Alexandra Byers/CBC - image credit)

There is a proposed project in front of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board to abandon a roughly 54-kilometre natural gas pipeline in the Liard Basin.

The Pointed Mountain pipeline, which runs from the N.W.T. through Yukon and into British Columbia, transported natural gas for heating purposes for about 40 years until it was deactivated in 2008 and 2016.

The Yukon portion of the project is located about 260 kilometres from Watson Lake.

Westcoast Energy
Westcoast Energy

"In recent years, drilling activity has decreased in the Liard area and there's no other need for the gas," said David Coll, senior communications advisor with Westcoast Energy, the company behind the project. "As a result, the pipeline is no longer needed, so we plan to abandon it in-place."

A third-party environmental and socio-economic assessment, which was commissioned by the company, states abandoning the pipeline in-place – rather than excavating and removing it – will do less damage to the environment.

Coll said, pending regulatory approvals, abandonment activities are slated to begin in Yukon and B.C. later this year. He added that the portion of work in the N.W.T. is set to start next summer.

He said the pipeline has been purged of gas, cleaned and severed from above-ground facilities, which are flagged for removal.

Ross River Dena Council chief welcomes project

The proposed project falls within the traditional territories of the Kaska Nation.

Dylan Loblaw, the chief of the Ross River Dena Council, told CBC News he's pleased the pipeline will be abandoned and that ancillary facilities will be dismantled.

"Anytime you cleanup pipelines or do any type of remediation work on the land there, the biodiversity benefits from it," he said. "Not only that, our nation can benefit from employment."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting