Tube, pipe makers in holding pattern for Canada, Alaska

May 29, 2012 | 04:42 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  steel tube and pipe market, energy market, Mackenzie Valley natural gas pipeline, Imperial Oil Ltd., ConocoPhillips, Parsons Lake natural gas field, Alaska North Slope,

A series of developments in Canada and Alaska have forced steel tube and pipe interests to take a wait-and-see approach to regional energy projects, with one major initiative stumbling as another starts—slowly—to get off the ground.

Spending on the massive Mackenzie Valley natural gas pipeline in northern Canada has been scaled back, in part due to burgeoning shale gas production elsewhere in North America. But despite the cuts, the Canadian $16.2-billion ($16.4-billion) pipeline project isn’t dead, or even on hold, a spokesman for the project’s operator, Calgary, Alberta-based Imperial Oil Ltd., told AMM. “Just to be clear, the project is still alive,” said a spokesman for Houston-based energy company ConocoPhillips Co., another stakeholder in the project. 

ConocoPhillips announced in early April that it expected to take a $525-million after-tax write-down during the first quarter on the Mackenzie pipeline, as well as associated gathering systems and the Parsons Lake natural gas field in the Northwest Territories. While new capital spending on the project has been suspended, planned expenditures are still in place, particularly for general and administrative costs, the ConocoPhillips spokesman said.....

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