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PNGTS Tests Market for Expansion to Transport New LNG Supply

Portland Natural Gas Transmission System (PNGTS) started an open season Wednesday to test market interest in new forward or backhaul transportation service beginning in 2008 or 2009 when new liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals are scheduled to begin service in Atlantic Canada and in the northeastern United States.

"We want to talk with these [LNG project developers] to plan for the future," said PNGTS' Cynthia Armstrong. "Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline is holding an open season also to accommodate LNG coming into their system. TransCanada also has held open seasons for capacity on their eastern end."

She said PNGTS could add compression to its system to create about 100,000 Dth/d of additional forward haul firm transportation service. To expand the system beyond that, new pipeline looping would have to be added.

The pipeline, which originates at a connection with the TransQuebec and Maritimes Pipeline (TQM) near Pittsburg, NH, gets all of its compression currently from TQM. Several LNG terminals are planned in Quebec, including the Rabaska and Cacouna Energy projects, which could provide up to 1 Bcf/d of additional gas supply upstream of PNGTS.

Several LNG terminals also are planned upstream of the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, including Anadarko's Bear Head terminal in Nova Scotia and Irving Oil's Canaport facility in New Brunswick. Armstrong said PNGTS could provide backhaul transportation on its system from Westbrook, ME, where it interconnects with Maritimes & Northeast. It would have to install new compression, but could provide as much as 350,000 Dth/d of backhaul service once compression is added.

PNGTS also could backhaul gas from Dracut, MA, where it connects with Tennessee Gas. Several LNG terminals are planned in the northeastern U.S., she noted.

The PNGTS system includes 243 miles of 24- and 30-inch diameter mainline from Pittsburg, NH, to Dracut, ME, as well as 50 miles of pipeline laterals in Maine and New Hampshire. The system includes 101 miles of pipeline from Westbrook, ME, to Dracut, MA, that are jointly owned with Maritimes & Northeast. Modifications to the Westbrook facilities in 2003 allowed bidirectional gas flows.

Maritimes & Northeast is in the early stages of a plan that will triple the capacity of its 850-mile pipeline to 1.5 Bcf/d from its current capacity of 440 MMcf/d (see NGI, May 16; May 2).

The PNGTS open season will run through June 30. Interested parties should submit a non-binding firm transportation request via fax to (603) 427-2807, attention: David Haag or by e-mail to david_haag@transcanada.com. For more information contact Cynthia Armstrong (603) 559-5527 or David Haag (403) 920-5582.

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