NEB takes TransCanada's Alberta gas lines under federal fold

Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, Feb. 27 -- Canada's National Energy Board (NEB) granted the application of TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. recognizing TransCanada's Alberta system of natural gas pipelines as under federal jurisdiction, opening the way for gas pipelines out of the Montney and Horn River shales.

TransCanada said the change in regulatory oversight from the provincial to the federal government increases the probability gas produced in British Columbia and the Northwest Territories will move to the Alberta hub.

TransCanada intends to file applications with the NEB in the next few months to extend the Alberta System into northeastern British Columbia to provided integrated service to Horn River and Montney shale shippers, for which TransCanada recently completed a binding open season. TransCanada secured commercial commitments starting in fourth-quarter 2010 to reach 1.5 bcfd by 2014.

TransCanada expects the 77-km Groundbirch pipeline proposed for the Montney area to enter service in fourth-quarter 2010, with the 155-km Horn River line following in first-half 2011.

The current Alberta System consists of 23,500 km of pipeline gathering natural gas for use in Alberta and shipment out of the province for export to other North American markets. It gathers 66% of the natural gas produced in Western Canada, according to TransCanada. TransCanada acquired the former NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. system from NOVA in 1998.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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