Constructing a pipeline
Chevron hurrying to get tie-in project completed

Derek Neary
Northern News Services

Fort Liard (Feb 11/00) - Heavy equipment and materials are once again on the move in Fort Liard.

Since late January, Chevron Canada has been working steadily at building a total of 38 kilometres of pipeline tie-ins through the Franklin Mountains, north of the community.

The project will see Chevron's K-29 well and Ranger Oil's P-66 well connected to Westcoast's existing pipeline. The tie-in is expected to be completed by April, according to Brian Klammer, senior facilities engineer.

He noted that K-29 is the primary focus right now as Ranger has yet to receive its permits for construction from P-66. The third well that was a proposed part of the venture, Canadian Forest Oil's N-61, will not be tied-in this winter, he added.

Warm weather could become a hindrance before the project is done, Klammer admitted.

"That's definitely a consideration. The longer the ice bridge stays intact the better," he said.

Pipe has been shipped from Prudential Steel in Calgary, Klammer said, and the rest will be in transit over coming weeks. The project is expected to employ up to 280 at its peak, including support people, he added.

Shane Parrish, general manager of Acho Dene Koe Holdings (ADKH), said ADKH has been contracted to do the camp and catering, road construction and clearing portions of the project.

Pipeline construction is a specialized trade in which the Fort Liard band wants to gain expertise, but that takes time, he acknowledged.

Employment through the band's companies has been consistent recently, but overall it has been lower than expected due to less drilling than anticipated.

"But that might pick up again," he said, adding that Paramount still hasn't finalized whether they will build their pipeline to funnel sweet gas to the south.

The sour gas from the K-29 wells and P-66 wells will be piped to Fort Nelson for processing. Klammer said Chevron still requires one more permit from the National Energy Board to begin operating the well, which is expected to flow sometime in April.