Maritimes, Sable Expect One-Month Delay
Markets in Atlantic Canada and New England won't be getting an
extra gas supply source as soon as previously expected. Maritimes
& Northeast Pipeline LLC informed FERC this week that both
530/360 MMcf/d Canadian/US pipeline project (Phase II) and the
Sable Offshore Energy Project (SOEP), which will be the source of
supply for the pipeline, will not be in service on schedule.
Gas flow is not expected to be initiated from SOEP until as late
as Dec. 1 rather than on Nov. 1. "In addition, although
construction of the Phase II facilities is nearing completion,
Maritimes needs time to complete testing and other commissioning
activities," the company said, adding that it expects service to
begin no later than Dec. 1.
A Maritimes' spokesman said the main hold-up was a road boring
problem in Methuen, MA. He noted testing already has begun on the
Canadian portion and the pipe, and the Canadian border south to
Westbrook, ME is complete. He also said the producers aren't quite
ready, although they denied Nov. 1 ever was the deadline. A Mobil
Canada spokeswoman said the Sable Offshore Energy Project is on
schedule to be in-service sometime in November, despite comments
made by Maritimes. "Our plants are 98% complete," she said. SOEP
spokeswoman Cynthia Langlands said the producers expect gas flow
initially to be nearly 400 MMcf/d, ramping up to 550 MMcf/d. She
said more of the gas is expected to serve Northeastern U.S. markets
at first because Atlantic Canadian markets aren't quite prepared to
Maritimes requested that the Nov. 1 FERC deadline for placing
the facilities in service be extended until the actual in-service
date but no later than Dec. 1. It also requested that it be
permitted to continue the accounting treatment granted in the July
31 order until it has placed the project in service. The U.S.
portion of the pipeline is designed to carry 360 MMcf/d of Sable
Island production (offshore Nova Scotia) to markets in New England.
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