Portland Natural Gas Transmission System (PNGTS) indicated last week as it launched an open season that it is seeking market support of its plan to increase capacity on a pipeline to potentially benefit more of New England and Atlantic Canada customers.

PNGTS announced the start of a 45-day binding open season for firm transportation on the Continent to Coast (C2C) expansion project. The pipeline company is promising added gas options in a region where they have been historically limited. Preliminary inquiries indicate the PNGTS firm capacity could be nearly doubled from 168,000 Dth/d to a range of 300,000-350,000 Dth/d, according to the Portsmouth, NH-based pipeline company.

C2C intends to access gas supplies from what are described as “key North American natural gas basins” via TransCanada Pipeline, allowing Atlantic Canada markets to then tap transports on PNGTS to an interconnection with Maritimes and Northeast Pipelines at Westbrook, ME. “Shippers interested in moving gas further south into New England can transport on PNGTS to interconnects with other New England gas pipelines at Dracut, Haverhill and Methuen, MA,” a spokesperson for the pipeline company said.

The expansion project’s targeted in-service date is November 2016. PNGTS has said that for the project to move forward an upstream expansion on the TransCanada pipeline will be necessary. Several factors are contributing to new demand for the C2C project, according to the sponsors, including declining Sable Island production and liquefied natural gas deliveries, along with “uncertainty” about Deep Panuke gas supply. The Deep Panuke platform offshore Nova Scotia, which is being built by Encana Corp., was delayed following a fire earlier this year.

PNGTS President Keith Nelson said the C2C project can give shippers both “cost-effective and expeditious access” to prolific North American gas basins. “We’re here, we have pipe in the ground, and we’re ready to serve.”

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