TransCanada announces new gas pipeline
OTTAWA (AFP) – TransCanada announ-ced Wednesday it plans to build a Can$5 billion (US$5.06 billion) natural gas pipeline from the North Montney gas-producing region in Western Canada to a Pacific Coast port.
TransCanada said in a statement it had been selected by Malaysia-controlled Progress Energy to design, build, own and operate the pipeline to carry gas to a new liquefied natural gas terminal being built near Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
Progress Energy, which was recently bought by Malaysia’s national oil company Petronas, is both developing the North Motney shale gas fields and building the LNG terminal.
In an email, a TransCanada spokesman told AFP funding for the project will come from “multiple sources,” and construction costs would eventually be recouped through tolls.
The pipeline, which must still receive regulatory approval, is to be TransCanada’s second major pipeline connecting Canadian gas fields to Pacific ports for shipping to markets in Asia and elsewhere.
TransCanada is also proposing extending a pipeline in northeast British Columbia to connect the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin gas supplies to the Prince Rupert hub, at a cost of up to Can$1.5 billion.
TransCanada currently owns and operates 24,000 kilometres (15,000 miles) of natural gas pipelines in Western Canada. These new projects would add more than 1,400 kilometers to the company’s natural gas transmission systems in the region.
The announcement comes as several companies in Canada are scrambling to build an expansive new pipeline network to feed new markets including Asia, as Canada’s current sole customer, the United States, hikes its own production of oil and gas and cuts imports from its northern neighbour.
Canada holds the third-largest oil reserves in the world but 98 per cent of its oil exports and 100 percent of its natural gas shipments go the United States.