Western Canadian production would gain a route to liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals on the Gulf Coast from a pipeline expansion announced Thursday by TC Energy Corp.
The Alberta XPress project would add $300 million in facilities to TC subsidiary ANR Pipeline’s 10,600-mile, bi-directional delivery network that runs from the Great Lakes region to Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
Supply from the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin will reach ANR via three other connected TC conduits: Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) in Alberta and British Columbia (BC), the TransCanada Mainline, and Great Lakes Gas Transmission.
The new export path would be “seamless” for shippers that have signed delivery contracts, averaging 19 years long, for 160 MMcf/d, according to TC.
The company plans to file its application for the project at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2020, start construction before the end of 2021 and bring the expansion online in 2022.
TC also announced a C$900 million ($675 million) addition, called the NGTL Intra-Basin System Expansion, to a series of multibillion-dollar capacity increases that are already underway on its supply collection grid in Alberta and BC.
The schedule for the new NGTL package calls for an application to the Canada Energy Regulator in 2020, construction in 2021, and a 2023 in-service date for shippers that have signed 15-year delivery contracts for 309 MMcf/d.
The new NGTL capacity increase responds to growing demand from Canada’s top natural gas user, Alberta thermal oilsands production, as well as for power plant fuel, petrochemical projects and utility supplies, the company said.
TC CEO Russ Girling said the ANR and NGTL projects “demonstrate the long-term need across North America and in global energy markets for clean-burning natural gas, as well as the value of our existing infrastructure as a platform for organic growth.”
TC’s continent-spanning network of Canadian and U.S. subsidiaries enable it to respond to gas demand growth without trying to build entirely new pipelines in the face of resistance by fossil fuel foes and native rights advocates.
“The company's footprint is comprised of irreplaceable corridors of critical energy infrastructure that are expected to contribute to the continuous replenishment of our growth portfolio in the years ahead,” Girling said.