TransCanada Corp. on Wednesday announced a C$2 billion ($1.5 billion) program to add capacity for nearly 3 Bcf/d on its natural gas supply collection grid in Alberta and British Columbia (BC), Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL).

The plan calls for 2.6 Bcf/d in service additions for emerging production from three northern Canadian shale formations, straddling the two provinces, called Montney, Duvernay and Deep Basin. The package also includes capacity for 381 MMcf/d at the southwestern outlet of the NGTL network into long-distance TransCanada export connections to the northwestern United States, California and Nevada.

TransCanada declared intentions to start filing numerous construction applications for the program in 4Q2017 with the National Energy Board (NEB). Completion target dates in 2019-2021 have been set for the projects, which TransCanada said would include 273 kilometers (171 miles) of pipeline in diameters of 16-48 inches plus associated facilities such as compressors and meters.

TransCanada in March had moved to accelerate expansion in BC seeking NEB permission to build the dormant North Montney Mainline as an addition of 1.5 Bcf/d to NGTL.

The new program extends a C$5.1 billion ($3.8 billion) string of additions currently underway on NGTL. New inlets, outlets and allied facilities have been added to the Alberta-BC supply collection grid every year for generations.

Much of the construction responds to production industry evolution by mobile drilling of wells and replacement of depleting old ones. The activity does not invariably result in net increases of total Western Canadian production.

In announcing the latest additions, TransCanada Executive Vice President Karl Johannson described NGTL as a "key component” in the corporation’s North America-wide web of 91,500 kilometers (56,900 miles) in Canada, the United States and Mexico.