VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Pipeline operator TransCanada has filed a variance application with the National Energy Board to proceed with construction of the North Montney Mainline Project (NMMP) ahead of schedule.
The Calgary, Alberta-based oil and gas transporter has already been granted the required federal and provincial approvals to go ahead with the project and one of those conditions required a positive final investment decision on the proposed C$36-billion Pacific Northwest LNG (PNW) project by Malaysian oil and gas company Petroliam Nasional, or Petronas.
The requested variance would allow TransCanada to move forward with the project before a decision is made on Pacific Northwest LNG. TransCanada has also secured new 20-year commercial contracts with 11 shippers for about 1.5 Bcf/d of firm service.
“This project adds significant pipeline capacity that connects new gas supplies from the prolific Montney basin to the NGTL system and will provide access to markets across North America. This investment further affirms our commitment to build key natural gas infrastructure in British Columbia and ensures that the NGTL system can continue to efficiently and competitively meet the transportation needs of our customers.
“The NMMP will provide new jobs and economic benefits for governments and communities, while supporting further upstream resource investment in British Columbia,” TransCanada’s executive VP and president of natural gas pipelines Karl Johannson stated.
With regulatory approvals, TransCanda would begin construction in the first half of 2018, with facilities being phased into service over a two-year period, starting in April 2019.
British Columbia Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman hailed the development as expediting the province's ability to supply affordable, abundant and clean natural gas from its emerging Montney Formation to North America and global markets.
“This is another significant development for the natural gas industry, showcasing both the market interest and economic advantage of our province’s most-promising resource plays. Our government welcomes TransCanada’s commitment to invest in this pipeline, securing a stronger future for First Nations and communities across the province," Coleman stated.
PNW is a proposed natural gas liquefaction and export facility on Lelu Island, within the District of Port Edward, on land administered by the Prince Rupert Port Authority. The facility would liquefy and export natural gas produced by Progress Energy Canada, in northeast British Columbia. Both Pacific NorthWest LNG and Progress Energy are majority-owned by Petronas. Sinopec, JAPEX, Indian Oil Corporation and Petroleum Brunei are minority shareholders in the PNW project.
According to the provincial government, British Columbia has over 3 400 Tcf of natural gas resources – enough to support domestic and international market demand for 150 years or more.