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Maritimes Begins Gas Flow To Start the New Year

Maritimes Begins Gas Flow To Start the New Year

Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline celebrated the new millennium with the rattle and hum of initial gas flowing from the shoreline of Nova Scotia 650 miles to markets in the northeastern United States. After struggling through an 11th hour Indian dispute in Canada, the pipeline company said it opened its valves Jan. 1.

Throughput is averaging more than 100 MMcf/d (36 MMcf/d to the U.S.) and producers with the Sable Offshore Energy Project said they expect it to ramp up to 440 MMcf/d quickly. About 360 MMcf/d is expected to enter the U.S. by mid-February. The Sable project will reach peak flow of 530 MMcf/d after Nova Scotia and New Brunswick laterals are put in place, which is expected to be by November.

Sable sponsor Exxon Mobil Corp. said the $2 billion gas production project began initial flow in mid-December to the gas plant in Goldboro, NS. The upstream project consists of three offshore platforms, a 125-mile subsea pipeline and gas processing and fractionation plants.

".....Sable's natural gas wells have surpassed production expectations and are delivering a new source of clean-burning natural gas to a high-density market in New England and to new customers in the Canadian Maritime Provinces," said Exxon Mobil Director and Senior Vice President Harry Longwell.

First-phase production for the Sable project is from the Thebaud, Venture and North Triumph gas fields, located about 125 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia. Three additional fields are associated with a second phase of development. The six fields are estimated to contain more than 3.5 Tcf of gas and more than 100 million bbl of gas liquids. Pre-production test rates for the six Sable wells drilled to date --- which range from 50 MMcf/d to 100 MMcf/d --- indicate they are some of the best gas producers in Canadian history and will enable the project to exceed its target for daily production, the company said.

Exxon Mobil's share in the project is through Mobil Canada (50.8%) and its 70% interest in Imperial Oil (9% of Sable). Other partners are Shell Canada (31.3%), Nova Scotia Resources (8.4%) and Mosbacher Operating (0.5%).

Rocco Canonica

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