• Alaska Governor Sarah Palin signed a license allowing TransCanada to start construction on the $26 billion pipeline to run from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to northwest Alberta. Previous agreements signed by TransCanada with Alaska provide for an array of benefits for the people of Alaska, its businesses as well as the State. In return for these benefits, $500 million has been authorized for the 'reimbursement' of the project. The State has also agreed to make certain royalty concessions to North Slope producers who are prepared to make commitments during the bid tender process as well as providing some certainty on taxes in the future. The next challenge for TransCanada will be to reach agreements with potential shippers prior to the opening of the bid tender process which begins in July 2010. TransCanada is offering the producers an equity stake in the pipeline.
  • Indian and Northern Affairs Canada is planning to issue a call for bids for Crown Reserve land in Nunavut in February 2009. A nine year exploration license will be issued in a subsequent call for bids. This nine year exploration license will be for two consecutive periods of six and three years each. The nomination deadline is set for January 28th, 2009.
  • A report by the Joint Review Panel that is considering a proposal for the $16.2 billion Mackenzie Valley Pipeline will be delayed by one year. The pipeline was expected to be completed by 2011, however due to soaring costs and regulatory delays this target date will likely pushed to a later date. The National Energy Board cannot determine if the project should proceed without the Panel's findings.