North Atlantic Withdraws But Vows to Return
Conceding defeat - at least temporarily - North Atlantic
Pipeline Partners withdrew from FERC its application to build a
massive 575-mile subsea pipeline system to carry initially 2 Bcf/d
of gas from the Scotian Shelf offshore Nova Scotia to markets in
Atlantic Canada and New England.
The Tatham Offshore affiliate said it still believes its project
"represents the most efficient and least environmentally disruptive
means for gas consuming markets in the Northeast U.S. to access the
extensive natural gas reserves offshore Atlantic Canada." But
commitments of Sable producers to the Maritimes and Northeast
Pipeline project leave it little choice but to withdraw. North
Atlantic said it plans to continue studying the viability of the
project and "looks forward to pursuing it again in the future
before the commission."
The project entered the race for a new Atlantic pipeline more
than a year later than its rivals but that was not its major
failing, according to FERC. In an environmental review of
Maritimes, FERC staff concluded North Atlantic could not serve as
an alternative to the Maritimes project because at least 18% of
Maritimes' gas volumes would be delivered to customers north of
North Atlantic's proposed delivery point in Seabrook, NH. A
Maritimes alternative using North Atlantic would require "the
entire North Atlantic Pipeline Project plus essentially all of the
Maritimes Phase II Project facilities," FERC staff said.
Furthermore, the North Atlantic project would be 188 miles longer
than Maritimes and would have a greater impact on the environment,
But the project filed was only the first of three phases
designed to reach significantly more reserves than Maritimes.
Tatham planned a $3.5 billion pipeline project with three legs to
tap an estimated 50-70 Tcf of recoverable gas reserves offshore
Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. Tatham's long-term proposal calls for
construction of three pipelines over five to seven years and the
company apparently is not giving up on those plans. For additional
details on the project see North Atlantic's web site at
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