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Maritimes, Sable Expect One-Month Delay

Maritimes, Sable Expect One-Month Delay

Markets in Atlantic Canada and New England won't be getting an extra gas supply source as soon as previously expected. Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LLC informed FERC this week that both 530/360 MMcf/d Canadian/US pipeline project (Phase II) and the Sable Offshore Energy Project (SOEP), which will be the source of supply for the pipeline, will not be in service on schedule.

Gas flow is not expected to be initiated from SOEP until as late as Dec. 1 rather than on Nov. 1. "In addition, although construction of the Phase II facilities is nearing completion, Maritimes needs time to complete testing and other commissioning activities," the company said, adding that it expects service to begin no later than Dec. 1.

A Maritimes' spokesman said the main hold-up was a road boring problem in Methuen, MA. He noted testing already has begun on the Canadian portion and the pipe, and the Canadian border south to Westbrook, ME is complete. He also said the producers aren't quite ready, although they denied Nov. 1 ever was the deadline. A Mobil Canada spokeswoman said the Sable Offshore Energy Project is on schedule to be in-service sometime in November, despite comments made by Maritimes. "Our plants are 98% complete," she said. SOEP spokeswoman Cynthia Langlands said the producers expect gas flow initially to be nearly 400 MMcf/d, ramping up to 550 MMcf/d. She said more of the gas is expected to serve Northeastern U.S. markets at first because Atlantic Canadian markets aren't quite prepared to receive gas.

Maritimes requested that the Nov. 1 FERC deadline for placing the facilities in service be extended until the actual in-service date but no later than Dec. 1. It also requested that it be permitted to continue the accounting treatment granted in the July 31 order until it has placed the project in service. The U.S. portion of the pipeline is designed to carry 360 MMcf/d of Sable Island production (offshore Nova Scotia) to markets in New England.

Rocco Canonica

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