Transportation news briefs, Nov. 10

Westcoast Energy � Coastal � Alliance Pipeline � Epic Energy � Ricks Nova Scotia

Westcoast Energy Inc., Vancouver, will buy the 50% of the Empire State Pipeline system it does not already own from Houston-based Coastal Corp. for $75 million (US). The 156-mile, 24-in. pipeline runs from the Canada-US border near Niagara, NY, to an interconnection point with other systems near Syracuse, NY. It has capacity to carry 525 MMcfd of gas. It is subject to regulatory approval and completion of the Coastal-El Paso Energy Corp. merger. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2001.

Alliance Pipeline LP again has pushed back its in-service date, this time to the end of November. Debris in the line caused the delay. Initially, Alliance expected to bring the pipeline, which stretches from northeastern British Columbia to the Chicago area, online by Oct. 31. That deadline was pushed to Nov. 13 because of delays in commissioning activity (OGJ Online, Oct. 23, 2000).

Australia granted major project facilitation status to Epic Energy's proposed $1 billion (Aus.) Timor Sea natural gas project. Epic Energy plans to construct a high-pressure line from Darwin to the Moomba gas hub in South Australia. Minchin said the proposed pipeline would be the first commercialization of Timor Sea gas. The project, which is in the predevelopment phase, is expected to start deliveries in early 2004.

Canada's National Energy Board will hold a public hearing Dec. 6 to review an application by Ricks Nova Scotia Co. of Calgary to construct and operate the 7.5-mile Ladyfern Pipeline at the British Columbia-Alberta border, northeast of Fort St. John. The $3 million (Can.), 10-in. natural gas pipeline from northeastern British Columbia to the Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. Owl Lake South Meter Station in Alberta. The company expects to begin service in March.

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