Conceding defeat – at least temporarily – North AtlanticPipeline Partners withdrew from FERC its application to build amassive 575-mile subsea pipeline system to carry initially 2 Bcf/dof gas from the Scotian Shelf offshore Nova Scotia to markets inAtlantic Canada and New England.

The Tatham Offshore affiliate said it still believes its project”represents the most efficient and least environmentally disruptivemeans for gas consuming markets in the Northeast U.S. to access theextensive natural gas reserves offshore Atlantic Canada.” Butcommitments of Sable producers to the Maritimes and NortheastPipeline project leave it little choice but to withdraw. NorthAtlantic said it plans to continue studying the viability of theproject and “looks forward to pursuing it again in the futurebefore the commission.”

The project entered the race for a new Atlantic pipeline morethan a year later than its rivals but that was not its majorfailing, according to FERC. In an environmental review ofMaritimes, FERC staff concluded North Atlantic could not serve asan alternative to the Maritimes project because at least 18% ofMaritimes’ gas volumes would be delivered to customers north ofNorth Atlantic’s proposed delivery point in Seabrook, NH. AMaritimes alternative using North Atlantic would require “theentire North Atlantic Pipeline Project plus essentially all of theMaritimes Phase II Project facilities,” FERC staff said.Furthermore, the North Atlantic project would be 188 miles longerthan Maritimes and would have a greater impact on the environment,staff concluded.

But the project filed was only the first of three phasesdesigned to reach significantly more reserves than Maritimes.Tatham planned a $3.5 billion pipeline project with three legs totap an estimated 50-70 Tcf of recoverable gas reserves offshoreNewfoundland and Nova Scotia. Tatham’s long-term proposal calls forconstruction of three pipelines over five to seven years and thecompany apparently is not giving up on those plans. For additionaldetails on the project see North Atlantic’s web site

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