NEB approves Enbridge's replacement program on Norman Wells Pipeline
Friday, Jan 26, 2018

The National Energy Board (NEB) has approved an application from Enbridge Pipelines (NW) to replace a 2.5 km segment of its Line 21 Pipeline, also known as the Norman Wells Pipeline. Enbridge applied to the NEB on March 10, 2017 after identifying a potential safety concern related to a shifting slope on the Mackenzie River.

The NEB also approved Enbridge's plan to leave the section of pipe that is being replaced under the Mackenzie River. The section of pipe that is to be left behind will be cleaned, filled with grout and capped, in accordance with NEB regulations and CSA standards.

The NEB held a hearing in Fort Simpson, NT from October 23 – 26, 2017 to review the application. During the hearing, the NEB heard from Enbridge, six intervenors and nine commenters including: Indigenous groups, local governments, Imperial Oil Resources N.W.T. Limited and the Government of the Northwest Territories. The NEB carried out an environmental assessment of the project and found that the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

In order to review this application in a timely and effective way, the NEB coordinated its oral hearing with that of the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board, which also has regulatory responsibilities under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.

The NEB attached a total of 26 mandatory project conditions to its approval of the project. These conditions include a requirement to file an Indigenous Monitoring Plan, as well as Indigenous Engagement Reports and an Indigenous Knowledge and Land Use Study Update with the NEB. This plan will describe how local Indigenous peoples will participate in monitoring project construction and post-construction.

The estimated cost of the project is approximately $53,000,000. The NEB initially provided $100,000 to support meaningful participation in the hearing. However, after considering the four applications for participant funding that were submitted, the NEB increased the amount of available participant funding to $210,196.

As this project falls under section 58 of the National Energy Board Act and section 45.1 of the Onshore Pipeline Regulations, the NEB is the final decision maker.

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