National Energy Board Ministerial Briefing Binder – Update on the Mackenzie Gas Project Sunset Clause Extension



Security: Protected B
Date: 4 November 2015


  • On 26 August 2015, the National Energy Board (NEB) received a request from Imperial Oil Resources Ventures Limited (IORVL) to extend the sunset clauses in the Board’s approvals of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline and the Mackenzie Gathering System from 31 December 2015 to 31 December 2022.


  • The purpose of the Mackenzie Gas Project is to transport natural gas from three natural gas fields located in the Mackenzie Delta to the NOVA Gas transmission system located in Alberta.
  • The Mackenzie Gas Project includes the development of three natural gas fields, the Mackenzie Gathering System, and the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline.
  • The NEB’s approvals of the Mackenzie Gathering System and Mackenzie Valley Pipeline both contain a sunset clause. This means that these approvals will expire on 31 December 2015, unless construction has started before then.
  • As of 1 April 2014, regulatory responsibility over certain projects in the Northwest Territories (NWT) changed through devolution. This includes some, but not all, of the Mackenzie Gas Project. Specifically, some parts of the Mackenzie Gathering System and the development of the natural gas fields will either be regulated by the Board under NWT territorial legislation (which mirrors federal legislation), or by NWT itself under territorial legislation.

Current Status:

  • On 26 August 2015, IORVL has applied to extend the sunset clauses to 31 December 2022.
  • On 26 August 2015, IORVL applied to the Board to extend the sunset clauses for the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline and the Mackenzie Gathering System to 31 December 2022.
  • IORVL indicated that material changes to the projects are not planned.
  • IORVL’s application was accompanied by a letter from the Premier of the NWT encouraging IORVL to consider seeking an extension, as well as letters of support from the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Gwich’in Tribal Council, and the Tulita Land/Financial Corporation.


  • A Panel, a quorum of three Board Members, has been established to review this request.
  • On 26 October 2015, the Board sent a letter to IORVL explaining that NWT now has jurisdiction with respect to certain components of the Mackenzie Gas Project.

Next Steps:

  • NEB Staff will brief NRCan prior to any major decisions being publically released.
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