The Pointed Mountain gas production facility is the mast northerly in Canada, and the first to produce commercial gas from the North West Territories, It is located some 130 miles northwest of Ft. Nelson, B.C. Development commenced with geological exploration in the mid 50's culminating in the completion of the discovery well in 1966 and subsequent drilling of 3 more wells. A fourth is currently being drilled. A gas sales contract was negotiated with Westcoast Transmission Company in 1967. calling for initial sales by November 1, 1972. Actual sales commenced on September 1, 1972.
Design and construction of a gas gathering system and dehydration plant to condition production for sale presented varied challenges. The producing wells are quite prolific, with AOF's in excess of 225 MMCFD each. Production characteristics, a combination of daily rates of up to 75 MMCFD per well, a reservoir temperature of 334 DF, a reservoir pressure of 5330 psig and an acid gas content of 0.6% H2S and 10.8% CO2 dictated design features for the gathering system that were unique. High flowing temperatures necessitated the installation of expansion loops and isolating anchors and the use of special temperature resistant protective coatings. Wide variations in terrain, ranging from steep. rocky mountain slopes to broad. deep muskeg beds gave rise to a mixture of construction techniques, including 3 miles of 10" and 12" pipe supported on wooden friction piles. The dehydration plant 1s of conventional design. incorporating inlet cooling. water separation and disposal. glycol dehydration and fuel gas sweetening. It is entirely self supporting, including all utilities and permanent living quarters for the operating staff.
Logistics problems dominated the entire project, magnifying many normally routine problems. Access to the site for heavy material and equipment was limited to a 3 month winter trucking season over 170 miles of bush road. or to 4–5 month barging season on the Ft. Nelson-Liard river systems with daily aircraft flights to transport personnel. perishables and smaller material items. Planning and co-ordination was the key to success, beginning in the early design stage and continuing right up to move-out of construction equipment.
The Pointed Mountain gas field is the most northerly commercial gas production in Canada and the first to produce commercial gas for export sale from the North West Territories. It is located some 130 air miles northwest of Ft. Nelson. B.C., near Ft. Liard, N.W.T. and is located on the Liard fold belt. a series of classical anticlines in the southern part of the Franklin Mountains. (Figure 1) Access to the area is by one of three means – winter road from FL. Nelson including ice bridges over the Ft. Nelson and Liard Rivers during the months of January through March, river barge from Ft. Nelson or Ft. Simpson during the months of June through September with the exception of a low water period in August and early September, and by air to a company owned airstrip.