Where we went
We flew from London to Edmonton and then on to Yellow Knife, Norman Wells, and finally in to Inuvik. Our trip was arranged by Up North Tours (www.upnorthtours.ca), the area's leading guide company. So, if you fancy seeing some of the world's last untouched wilderness, saying NAAGGAI to MUKTUK getting frozen to death or eaten alive by mosquitoes, you just need to pick up the phone. Big Gerry's waiting.
Tuktoyaktuk and Inuvik-why are they there?
Taglu, Parsons Lake, and Niglintgak- three fields in the Mackenzie Delta-hold an estimated 71 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas reserves. Accessing this resource would mean building the proposed Mackenzie Gas Pipeline, a 760-mile pipeline from the Delta to northern Alberta, where it would flow into the existing natural gas transportation grid. The pipeline would have a capacity of 1.2 billion cubic feet per day, and a parallel pipeline would be built to carry natural gas liquids. The proposed pipeline itself will cost $18 billion-just to get the gas out of the ground and to where it can be processed. Which gives you an idea of the value of the fuel beneath the surface- and the amount of revenue that would flow into the Tuktoyaktuk. A natural gas liquids facility, which would separate the butane, propane, and pentane from the natural gas-is planned for construction in Inuvik. Which explains why Inuvik's industrial zone is bigger than the town itself. Everyone is gearing up for the construction of the pipeline, which is expected to start in 2014, but only if all the various aboriginal and commercial parties can agree on the contract. KA-CHING.