Five Northern Gateway financial backers go public

On the eve of the next round of Joint Review Panel's hearings five financial backers of the Northern Gateway project went public.

On the eve of the next round of Joint Review Panel’s hearings – they began yesterday in Kitamaat Village – five financial backers of the Northern Gateway project went public.

While it has long been known that 10 companies had kicked in a total of $100 million towards Enbridge’s costs to pursue the JRP process, only one – China’s Sinopec – had revealed it was one.

Last week Cenovus Energy, Nexen, Suncor Energy Marketing, Total E&P Canada and MEG Energy filed with the JRP confirming their support of the project.

Cenovus said it currently produces about 130,000 barrels of oil a day (bpd) and has a plan to expand that to 500,000 bpd over the next 10 years.

Confirming it was a “funding participant”, Cenovus added it had also signed “precedent agreements” with Enbridge for the transportation of both bitumen (export) and condensate (import).

It said using the Northern Gateway pipelines would allow it the diversify the markets into which it sells bitumen and provide another source of condensate – that is used to dilute the bitumen to achieve a consistency that allows it to be pushed through a pipeline.

Nexen currently markets 300,000 bpd, both its own production and that of other producers/customers.

It also cited new markets and an additional source of condensate as its reasons for supporting the project and confirmed it had kicked in money for the JRP process as well as having signed a commitment to use the pipeline.

And it was the same story with Suncor Energy Marketing (350,000 bpd now with plans to increase that to 700,000 bpd by 2020), French owned Total E&P Canada (25,000 bpd and 200,000 bpd) and MEG Energy (26,000 bpd and 260,000 bpd).

Northern Gateway calls for the export of 525,000 bpd of diluted bitumen and import of 93,000 bpd of condensate.

– The Kitimat Northern Sentinel