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
- 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
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.
Click to view a larger version
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
- 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)
Click to view a larger version
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