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Gathering System

The proposed Mackenzie Gas Project gathering system will collect natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) from the Niglintgak, Taglu and Parsons Lake natural gas fields and other natural gas fields yet to be determined. It will move them to a gas processing facility near Inuvik where the natural gas liquids will be separated from the natural gas.

The gathering system is a network of pipelines and facilities. In most places, the gathering system pipelines will be buried approximately three feet deep. Buried pipelines will be protected by special coatings on the outside of the pipe, as well as a cathodic protection system. The cathodic protection system consists of a current of electricity applied to the buried pipe to ensure adequate protection in the event of damage to the exterior coating.

The temperature of the natural gas delivered to the pipelines will be controlled to minimise temperature effects on the permafrost and on the pipeline. In wet areas or river crossings, the pipe will be weighted or anchored to prevent it from floating.

Where it is not desirable to bury the pipeline, it will be built approximately five to six feet above the ground to allow for wildlife and snowmobile movement. It will also be designed to withstand environmental conditions. The section from Niglintgak and Taglu might be above ground.

The main parts of the gathering system will be:

  • Gathering pipelines to move natural gas and natural gas liquids from the three natural gas fields to the gas and liquids separation facility near Inuvik.

  • A pigging facility located near Storm Hills, about 50 kilometres north of the Inuvik area facility along the gathering system. It will contain pigging and natural gas liquids handling equipment. (Pigs are devices that are placed into a pipeline to perform certain functions such as cleaning the inside ot monitoring its condition.

  • Inuvik Area Facility: Natural gas liquids will be separated from the natural gas at this facility. It will include equipment for gas processing, gas chilling and compression, and liquids processing.

  • Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) Pipeline: The natural gas liquids will be pumped from the Inuvik area facility to Norman Wells, about 480 kilometres, through a 10-inch diameter pipeline. The right-of-way will be 50 metres wide and will be shared with the natural gas pipeline. At Norman Wells the NGL pipeline will connect with the existing Enbridge pipeline. More pumping facilities can be added along the route in the future if it is necessary to increase the amount of natural gas liquids moved through the pipeline.

Click to view the Gathering System Information Sheet (666.3 KB PDF)

Storm Hills Pigging Facility

A pigging facility will be locted near Storm Hills, about 50 kilometers north of the Inuvik area facility, along the gathering system. It will contain pigging and natural gas liquids handling equipment.

The pigging facility will be smaller than a typical compressor station site. It may be equipped with an office, workshops, a small permanent camp, power generators, storage areas and a helipad. It will normally be unmanned except during periods of manual pigging and routing service or repair.

Pigs are devices that are placed into a pipeline to perform certain functions. Some are used to clean the inside of the pipeline or to monitor its condition. Launchers and receivers are facilities that enable pigs to be inserted into or removed from the pipeline.

Pigging facilities will also be located at the production facilities at the three fields, the Inuvik area facility, the compressor stations and the interconnect facility in Alberta.


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Inuvik Area Facility

The Inuvik area facility is a gas processing facility. It will process natural gas and natural gas liquids received from the gathering pipelines to meet the design specifications for the natural gas and natural gas liquids pipelines. It includes two major parts.

  • Gas Processing

    The natural gas and natural gas liquids received from the gathering pipelines will be seperated. Additional natural gas liquids will be removed from the natural gas stream using a combination of refrigeration and pressure reduction. The natural gas liquids will then be sent for liquids processing. The pressure of the natural gas is increased using compressors to deliver it to the natural gas pipeline. The temperature of the natural gas delivered to the pipeline will be controlled to minimize temperature effects on the permafrost and on the pipeline.


  • Liquids Processing

    The natural gas received from gas processing must be further processed to satisfy the quality requirements of the natural gas liquids pipeline. Similar to the natural gas stream above, the pressure of the natural gas liquids is increased using pumps and the temperature is controlled.

The proposed location of the Inuvik area facility is being studied by the Project team, in conjunction with communities. It will likely be located along the pipeline route, approximately 20 kilometres east of Inuvik.

Click to view the Inuvik Area Facility Information Sheet (2.17 MB PDF)


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