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Maritimes at 300 MMcf/d and Rising

Maritimes at 300 MMcf/d and Rising

About 300 MMcf/d of Sable Island gas is flowing through the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline currently to markets in the U.S., a spokeswoman for the pipeline company said last week. The pipe, which transports gas produced offshore Nova Scotia, is expected to be shipping 450 MMcf/d by summer and 530 MMcf/d when the Halifax, St. John's and Point Tupper laterals in Canada are constructed and open for service.

"The flow rates have been steadily increasing," said Maritimes spokeswoman Krista Jenkins. "The goal right now is get to an average of about 450 MMcf/d, and we'll see that through most of the year."

"All of the current flow is going into the U.S. We don't have any lateral or distribution lines operating in Canada yet. Most of it is going down into the Boston area and to the interconnects at Dracut, MA. In Maine, they are still getting their distribution systems up and running, and we probably won't see any laterals up and running this year either. The goal this year was to finish the mainline.

In Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the distribution companies have been selected and they are starting to get their plans in place. "This summer you'll see some local distribution construction happening. [The Point Tupper Lateral] was built last year, but we're still working with the National Energy Board for the final approvals on it. Unfortunately I don't know when it's expected to open. It still has to go through all the final safety testing."

Maritimes announced earlier this month that it has started clearing the route for the Halifax Lateral to be constructed. The proposed Halifax Lateral consists of a 77-mile, 12-inch diameter pipeline from a point on the mainline near Stellarton to the Tufts Cove generating plant of Nova Scotia Power in Dartmouth. There are two firm service agreements in place with Nova Scotia Power for a total of 61,600 MMBtu/day.

It is expected that clearing for the Saint John Lateral route will begin in the near future. Facilities proposed for the Saint John Lateral consist of 63 miles of 16-inch diameter pipeline from a point near Kedron Lake to delivery points in the Saint John and Lake Utopia areas in New Brunswick, as well as associated metering, control and pressure regulation facilities. The Halifax and Saint John Laterals are scheduled to be constructed this summer from May through September. M&NP is now in the tender phase for the pipeline construction work.

Rocco Canonica

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