Buckinghorse road to be deactivated

NorthRiver Midstream plans to deactivate the Buckinghorse Petroleum Development Road.

The decision comes as the company abandons the Buckinghorse gas plant, which it acquired through a sale of Enbridge facilities and infrastructure in the region in 2018.

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Though the plant hasn’t been operational in 20 years, the road has still been maintained, Talese Shilleto, external affairs, told Fort St. John city councillors on Monday.

“We’re working to abandon that plant, which means it’s not deactivated, but it’s actually gone and can’t be reactivated,” Shiletto said. "We're looking to deactivate the road."

The road leads to the nearby Redfern-Keily Provincial Park.

NorthRiver is talking with a producer in the area to take over its permit for the first three kilometres of the road, Shiletto said, which could maintain some access into the area. Shiletto acknowledged the road is popular with recreationists. 

Talks are also ongoing with BC Parks, the Oil and Gas Commission, and the ministry of forests, lands, and natural resources about the road deactivation and potential transfer, she said. 

Deactivation is planned to start in September.

By deactivating the road, North River will be required to remove all bridges and culverts, re-establish natural drainages, stabilize slopes, barricade the road, and post warning signs.

“We will be maintaining the road until we go into deactivation of that road,” Shilleto said.

Meanwhile, the company anticipates the sale of Enbridge's federally-regulated plants and pipelines to formally close in October. That was initially expected in July, but was delayed due to a public comment period.

The company is also planning to build up to two kilometres of new small-inch pipeline to connect its Highway gas plant to a TC Energy metering station, and allow it to tie in to the North Montney Mainline.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca. 

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