Two Pipelines Planned To Connect Shale Gas To Alberta System

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TransCanada plans to build two pipelines as integrated extension of the Alberta System, after receiving National Energy Board approval of its application to have the Alberta System federally regulated on Feb. 26, 2009.
  Following the NEB approval and two successful binding open seasons involving the development of shale gas reserves, the company announced plans to build two pipelines — Horn River and Groundbirch.
  According to TransCanada, strong support was received for firm transportation contracts of 378 MMcf/d to connect new shale gas supply in the Horn River basin north of Fort Nelson B.C. to the Alberta System. The Horn River pipeline project is approximately 196 miles long and is expected to use new pipelines up to 36-inch diameter and an existing pipeline in the area to transport sweet natural gas from the Horn River area to a tie-in point on TransCanada’s existing Alberta System. The pipeline is expected to be operational early in the second quarter of 2011, subject to regulatory approvals. The proposed project is expected to cost approximately $340 million.
  “The positive commercial response is a result of the tremendous, largely untapped source for unconventional natural gas in the northeastern B.C. shale basins, combined with TransCanada’s ability to meet this demand economically and efficiently,” said Hal Kvisle, TransCanada president and chief executive officer.
  “Looking forward, we expect to add future capacity to the line as the right opportunities present themselves.”
  The Alberta System consists of over 14,600 miles of (23,500 km) of pipeline and associated facilities, all located within Alberta, which will be added to the 29,827 miles (48,000 km) that the NEB already regulates across Canada.
  TransCanada is also encouraged by strong commercial support it has received for developing shale gas reserves in the Montney formation of northeast B.C. In a recent binding open season for gas transmission service from the Groundbirch area located west of Dawson Creek, shippers committed to firm gas transportation contracts that will reach 1.1 Bcf/d by 2014.
  The proposed Groundbirch Pipeline will be approximately 50 miles in length and is expected to commence service in fourth quarter 2010, subject to regulatory approvals. The project is expected to cost approximately $250 million.