Alberta government and industry leaders can be counted on to support northern natural gas production and pipeline development, a report commissioned by the provincial government indicates.

Although the Canada’s chief gas-producing jurisdiction will collect no royalties on projects beyond its borders in the Northwest Territories and Alaska, Alberta gets the next best things: business growth, jobs and additional income, the new document said.

“Alberta is well placed industrially and geographically to take full advantage of these developments,” said the report, which was commissioned by Alberta Economic Development and done by the University of Alberta’s Western Centre for Economic Research. The study predicts the proposed Mackenzie Valley Pipeline will, over 25 years, spin off 38,000 person-years of employment and wages of C$2.3 billion (US$1.7 billion) in the province.

Overall, the Mackenzie project also is forecast eventually to yield increases of C$3.6 billion (US$2.7 billion) in Alberta’s gross domestic product and C$900 million (US$675 million) in provincial and local government revenues.

The Alaska project will spin off Alberta gains of 25,000 person-years of employment, C$1.5 billion (US$1.1 billion) in wages, C$2.5 billion (US$1.9 billion) in total provincial gross domestic product and C$628 million (US$470 million) in provincial and local government revenues, the report predicted.

“Finally, northern pipelines should offer Alberta gas consumers lower prices, less volatility and a more secure supply of gas,” the report predicted. The document added that not the least of the beneficiaries will be a long and growing lineup of new oilsands projects and expansions of old ones, which mostly use gas in high volumes for heat processes and power required to separate bitumen and whip it into refinery-ready crude.

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