Gas production at the Sable Offshore Energy Project off the coast of Nova Scotia was shut in early Tuesday morning due to an “operational incident,” a spokesman for ExxonMobil, operator of the field, told NGI.

Merle MacIsaac, who is based in Halifax, NS, said maintenance work was under way at the field and it was producing “some amount of gas” less than average production of around 400 MMcf/d. MacIsaac would not provide any more details on the incident and said he could not speculate on when the lost production might resume.

The project normally produces 400-500 MMcf/d and about 20,000 b/d of natural gas liquids, according to an ExxonMobil website. Gas production travels on Spectra Energy’s Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline. An operational notice on the pipeline’s bulletin board warned shippers to ensure that their supply commitments to the pipeline are met.

Shippers “should contact their supplier to get any information that may be desired concerning the cause, extent and duration of this event, as well as the potential of this event causing supply restrictions for current and/or future gas days,” Maritimes said in its alert. “Furthermore, all shippers should, effective immediately, take steps to insure that scheduled deliveries are commensurate with scheduled receipts and that meter operators adhere to the scheduled volumes for Gas Day April 6, 2009 until further notice. More specifically, all shippers should take action to avoid the creation of due-pipe imbalances, as well as not take due-shipper payback.”

The Maritimes & Northeast mainline interconnects with Portland Natural Gas Transmission System, Tennessee Gas Pipeline and Algonquin Gas Transmission. Through lateral pipelines the pipeline serves markets in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Emera Inc. and ExxonMobil Canada own minority interests in the pipeline.

The Sable project is owned by ExxonMobil Canada Properties Ltd., Shell Canada Ltd., Imperial Oil Resources, Pengrowth Energy Trust and Mosbacher Operating Ltd.

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