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Maritimes Proposes New Canadian Laterals

June 22, 1998
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Maritimes Proposes New Canadian Laterals

Atlantic Canada, the last large region of North America entirely unserved by natural gas, has moved within sight of joining the mainstream. Maritimes &amp Northeast Pipeline, keeping a promise that accompanied its development of a new export route to New England, filed applications with the National Energy Board to hook up Atlantic Canada's two biggest cities to natural gas from the Sable Offshore Energy Project.

M&ampNE seeks construction of a C$74-million (US$53-million) "lateral" connection to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a C$91-million (US$65-million) link to Saint John, New Brunswick. Requests for service to date total 60 MMcf/d in Halifax and 130.6 MMcf/d in Saint John. Demand for service is forecast to grow. Both Canadian branch lines are scheduled to go into service Nov. 1, 1999, or at the same time as the export route from SOEP in the Sable Island area offshore of Nova Scotia.

At the same time, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board confirmed that interest in expanding gas development around Sable Island is on the rise. SOEP's participants, including senior partner Mobil Canada, have repeatedly predicted that it will turn out to be a "seed" project for a steadily expanding Canadian maritime gas supply sector. The board, responding to industry expressions of interest, posted for sale 810,896 acres (1,267 square miles) of drilling leases northeast of the initial SOEP production area.

Gordon Jaremko, Calgary

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