Useful Information on Enbridge and the Northern Gateway Pipeline

The ostensible purpose of the Northern Gateway Pipeline is to ship Alberta’s very heavy crude to Chinese markets, diluted with condensate which will be shipped via a twin pipeline from China to Alberta through Kitimat, British Columbia.

This is a complex project, made more complex in that Kitimat is seen to also be the main port for LNG developments.

The purpose of this Post is to provide a “Reading List” for discussions on how to slow-down or stop this project. There are a number of unofficial experts at work debunking the Federal view that this project is in any way good for Canada or the world. Facebook works well for uniting people in a discussion, but it lack facilities to provide a common base of information. All in one big Post for the moment, but I guess I will eventually split it up.

One. The Nature of the Strait.

Kitimat is roughly 100 nautical miles (190 km) in from Hecate Strait. Hecate Strait itself is a body of water 48-140 km wide, underlain by a shallow basin (less than 45 m at the north end) separating HAIDA GWAII from mainland British Columbia. Marine weather conditions are severe: winter storms originating in the Gulf of Alaska bring high waves through the strait and winds persistently higher than 40 km/h off the south end of Moresby Island. The open strait and numerous sheltered inlets are rich in marine life.

Here’s what maps show between the open sea and Kitimat.

Hecate Strait-300px-Locmap-QCS-Hecate-Dixonhecate-context


To date, the best analysis of tanker traffic to and from Kitimat is here. This animation-video shows the impact of dilbit tankers, condensate tankers and LNG tankers going up and down this narrow passage.

Another good summary of navigation in the area is on Tidal

Larger point:

For a summary that confirms much of the above,  from a master mariner, see:



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