We often hear about western Canadian crude oil in the news, sometimes forgetting about the critical importance of natural gas pipelines for our country. We rely on gas to heat our homes, cook our food and power our businesses.
With an abundance of natural gas in Western Canada, TransCanada’s NOVA Gas Transmission (NGTL) System plays an important role in transporting gas in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB). In fact, today it connects 75 per cent of the natural gas production in Western Canada to both local and export markets.
A top priority for TransCanada is to ensure reliability and add much needed capacity to the NGTL System.
“We are adding $4.8 billion in system improvements and expansions to the NGTL System,” says Patrick Keys, vice-president, commercial west for TransCanada’s Canadian & Eastern U.S. gas pipelines. “These expansion projects are part of TransCanada’s $12 billion small-to-medium sized, shorter term capital expansion program and are a huge step in the right direction for transporting energy within and from Western Canada.”
Recently, two NGTL System natural gas projects reached major milestones. In northwest Alberta, the 24 kilometer Musreau Lake area expansion project came on line and will increase capacity in the area. The project will allow us to accommodate shipper requests for natural gas transportation service.
The second NGTL project that will help increase system capacity is named the Towerbirch Expansion Project. Towerbirch will address egress issues for growing supply in Western Canada. We provided the National Energy Board (NEB) with an initial description of the project including information on our consultation program.
“We look forward to bringing more of these projects on line. We are waiting for final regulatory approvals on a total of $1.9 billion worth of facilities related to this program: says Keys. “We plan to file several more applications with the NEB throughout 2015.”
The NGTL 2016/17 expansion program is comprised of 21 integrated projects totaling approximately 540 kilometres in large diameter pipeline, seven compressors and roughly 40 meter stations and associated facilities, all of which are expected to require several NEB applications.
Last week, the Government of Canada announced a decision to accept the National Energy Board’s (NEB) recommendation to approve the $1.7 billion North Montney Mainline Pipeline Project, subject to certain conditions.