Natural gas production has been growing in Western Canada in recent years with an increasing share of that supply coming from core areas of activity within the Montney and Duvernay plays. This tighter focus has forced TC Energy to rework and expand its giant Nova Gas Transmission Limited pipeline system, a network that originally gathered gas supplies across a much larger geographic footprint. The problem is, it took far longer than expected for the latest round of NGTL expansions to win final approval from Canadian regulators. Today, we review the next phase of the pipeline’s system development, and what the regulatory delay might mean for Western Canada’s gas market.
The natural gas pipeline network in Western Canada has been evolving for more than a century. From very modest beginnings in southern Alberta and a smattering of other locations, the regional pipeline grid expanded as new gas reserves were developed, eventually evolving into a vast interconnected system that currently transports about 15 Bcf/d of gas supplies to other parts of Canada and to the Canada/U.S. border for export. To a significant degree, the network is separated by provincial boundaries, but is still interconnected at key points along the supply chain (see Figure 1). Our seven-part Get Me Out of Here series discussed these pipeline systems in great detail.
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