With PanCanadian’s Deep Panuke prospect lined up on the supply end and new gas fired generation piling up in New England on the demand side, Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline said last week it is ready to move forward with its plans for a major expansion. The company expects to increase the capacity of its system to 1 Bcf/d and is holding an open season for its Phase IV expansion through Sept. 21.

“The eastern Canadian and Northeast markets continue to be attracted to the natural gas supply opportunities available from the developing PanCanadian and existing Sable Offshore Energy Inc. reserves,” said Tom O’Connor, president of M&N Management Co., the managing member of Maritimes.

“Maritimes is uniquely situated to take full advantage of new reserve developments from offshore Atlantic Canada,” O’Connor said. “By 2004, Maritimes anticipates transporting up to 1 Bcf/d on its system. Moreover, firm capacity commitments are now in hand for approximately 800 MMcf/d. We believe the Maritimes Phase III Extension and HubLine will be an attractive path to the market.”

On June 19, Maritimes and PanCanadian Petroleum signed firm-service agreements to transport up to 400 MMcf/d of natural gas from the PanCanadian-owned Deep Panuke project offshore Nova Scotia (see NGI, June 25). Maritimes proposes to expand its mainline in order to transport the PanCanadian volumes. The Phase IV expansion provides a timely opportunity for both suppliers and consumers of natural gas to indicate their interest in transportation capacity on the Maritimes system, the company said.

“Through the addition of cost-effective mainline compression and looping, Maritimes is able to economically expand its existing system to further serve current and future markets,” said Phillip Knoll, president of the pipeline company. “Because of this low cost expansion capability, Maritimes’ shippers can be assured of competitive rates.”

Interested shippers can submit non-binding nominations to transport gas on the Maritimes system. Contact Pat Whitty in the United States at (617) 560-1447. Canadian customers should contact Rob Whitwham at (902) 425-0628.

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