The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Thursday ordered an amendment to Portland Natural Gas Transmission System’s (PNGTS) Presidential Permit to operate its existing United States/Canada natural gas border facilities.

Under the amendment, PNGTS — which can still import gas from Canada — will now also be allowed to export gas to its northerly neighbor.

Issued in 1997, the original construct order and Presidential Permit allowed PNGTS to build and operate an interstate gas pipeline extending from the border near Pittsburg, NH, through New Hampshire and Maine, down to Dracut, MA. Put into operation in March 1999, the pipeline transported TransQuebec & Maritimes Pipeline Inc. (TQM) gas from the border down through its system to natural gas markets in the northeastern United States.

PNGTS’ amendment request stated that “market circumstances” sometimes exist under which PNGTS’ shippers would find it beneficial to export natural gas from the United States to Canada.

“We find that PNGTS’ proposal to operate the existing border facilities to provide export service, as well as import service, is not inconsistent with the public interest,” FERC said in its decision. “The service PNGTS proposes will facilitate the international energy trade between the United States and Canada and further the policy goals and objectives of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 and the North American Free Trade Agreement.”

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