NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. – North Montney Mainline Variance Application and Sunset Clause Extension Request

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Project Information

NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) filed an application on 20 March 2017 asking the National Energy Board (NEB or the Board) for approval of a variance of the Certificate and the Order pursuant to Section 21 of the National Energy Board Act (NEB Act).

Variance Application

NGTL requested variances to Condition 4 of the Certificate and Condition 4 of the Order to enable NGTL to proceed with specific components of the presently-approved North Montney Mainline Project independent of any final investment decision (FID) related to liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from the west coast of British Columbia. NGTL requested the following specific relief to vary the Certificate and Order:

  1. Remove the requirements of Condition 4 for the Facilities, which are a subset of those originally approved in the Certificate and Order. Specifically, the Facilities are comprised of:
    • Aitken Creek Section (182 km NPS 42)
    • Kahta Section (southern-most 24 km NPS 42)
    • Two compressor Stations:
      1. The Saturn compressor station (one 15 MW unit) that will be located on the Aitken Creek section.
      2. The Groundbirch Compressor Station (two 15 MW units) located on the existing Groundbirch Mainline.
  2. Extend the sunset clause in Condition 45 of the Certificate and Condition 14 of the Order:
    1. on an interim basis pending adjudication of the Variance Application; and
    2. for one year from the date that the final determination is made regarding the Variance Application.
  3. Amend Schedule A to the Certificate to increase the size of meter and yard pipe diameter for the Blair Creek East Receipt meter station; and
  4. Such further and other relief as NGTL may request or the Board may consider necessary. NGTL also filed applications separately for the following applications for receipt meter stations pursuant to section 58 of the NEB Act (Section 58 Projects):
    1. Altares South Receipt Meter Station
    2. Gundy West Receipt Station
    3. Aitken Creek South Meter Station
    4. Aitken Creek West No .2 Meter Station
    5. Mackie Creek North Receipt Meter Station
    6. Old Alaska Receipt Meter Station
    7. Townsend Receipt Meter Station and Townsend No. 2 Receipt Meter Station

Given that the Section 58 Projects are related to the Variance Application, the Board has decided to consider the Projects at the same time as the Variance Application under MH-031-2017 (OF-Fac-Gas-N081-2013-10-6).

Project Background

The North Montney Project is a proposal to build and operate approximately 301 km of pipeline in British Columbia’s Peace River Regional District, along with associated metering facilities, valve sites and possible compression facilities. The proposed large diameter (up to 42 in) natural gas pipeline would consist of two sections, Aitken Creek and Kahta. It will connect with the existing Groundbirch Mainline (Saturn Section), located about 35 km southwest of Fort St. John and will continue about 187 km northwest of Fort St. John. Once operational, it would connect to the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Line

The National Energy Board recommended that the Federal government approve the project on April 15, 2015. The Federal government approved the project on 10 June 2015 and directed the National Energy Board to issue Certificate GC-125 [Filing A70644].

Project Map

This map provides an overview of the project.

Nova Gas Transmission Limited – North Montney Variance

View larger PDF version [PDF 162 KB]

List of Issues

The Board has identified, but is not obliged to limit itself to, the following issues for consideration in the hearing:

  1. Issues Relating to the Variance Application and Sunset Clause
    1. The need for the Variance Facilities
    2. The impact of the cancellation of the Pacific Northwest Liquified Natural Gas Project (PNW LNG Project) on the economic feasibility of the Variance Facilities if the Variance is approved, including:
      • The impacts on other natural gas pipelines in Northeastern BC, such as those owned by Westcoast Energy Inc. and Alliance Pipeline Ltd.
    3. The potential commercial impacts of the Variance Facilities and Section 58 Projects including:
      • Direct market impacts resulting from the cancellation of the PNW LNG Project.
      • The ability of downstream pipelines to accommodate the additional natural gas volumes from the Variance Facilities in the long-term, including an overview of current and proposed expansion projects on the NGTL system in the Peace River Project Area.
      • The impacts to current shippers on the Upstream James River portion of the NGTL system if the additional volumes from the Facilities flow on the NGTL system.
      • The impacts on North Montney producers seeking access to diversified markets in a timely manner.
    4. The potential impacts of the Variance Facilities and the Section 58 Projects on the following tolling matters:
      • The continued appropriateness of utilizing two distinct time periods for tolling considerations for the Variance Facilities.
      • The continued appropriateness of applying NGTL’s existing rolled-in tolling methodology for an interim period.
      • Consideration of potential cross-subsidization impacts on current shippers and Variance Facilities shippers on the NGTL system.
    5. The terms and conditions to be included in any approval the Board may issue including terms and conditions with respect to the Variance Application and Sunset Clause including the Variance Facilities.

  2. Issues Relating to the Section 58 Projects
    1. The need for the Projects
    2. The potential environmental and socio-economic effects of the Projects, including any cumulative environmental effects that are likely to result from the Projects and comprising of those required to be considered by the NEB’s Filing Manual.
    3. The appropriateness of the siting and land requirements, including wherever the land requirements extend beyond the corridor approved in GH-001-2014, and requirements for the right of way and temporary workspace.
    4. The engineering design and integrity of the construction and operation of the Projects.
    5. Potential impacts of the Projects on Aboriginal interests.
    6. Potential impacts of the Projects on directly affected landowners and their land use.
    7. The terms and conditions to be included in any approval the Board may issue with respect to the Projects.

National Energy Board – Fact Sheet

Process Advisor – Support to Hearing Participants

The NEB has assigned a Process Advisor for this Project. The Process Advisor’s role is to support the public (e.g., landowners, concerned citizens, environmental non-governmental organizations) and the Aboriginal groups that are participating in public hearings.

Process Advisor – Support for Hearing Participants

For more information, please contact Matt Groza by calling 1-800-899-1265 (toll free) or by sending an email to NMMV.ProcessHelp@neb-one.gc.ca.

Apply to Participate

To be a participant in a NEB hearing process, you must be directly affected or have relevant information or expertise. You can apply to participate as an intervenor or by letter of comment.

The application to participate process was held from September 15 – October 19, 2017.

The process is now closed. The NEB will decide if late applications will be accepted and whether you will be allowed to participate. Please contact the process advisor to discuss the filing process for a late application to participate.

Participant Funding

Participant funding is available. Refer to the Participant Funding Program page for information on deadlines, eligibility, how to apply for funding, and how to submit claims.

Regulatory Documents

  • 2017-03-20
    NGTL Variance Application and Sunset Clause Extension Request [Filing A82147]

Contacts

Matt Groza
Process Advisor

National Energy Board
E-mail: NMMV.ProcessHelp@neb-one.gc.ca
Telephone: 403-614-4952
Telephone (toll free): 1-800-899-1265
Facsimile: 403-292-5503
Facsimile (toll free): 1-877-288-8803
TTY (Teletype): 1-800-632-1663

Rachel Savoie
Regulatory Officer

National Energy Board
E-mail: Rachel.Savoie@neb-one.gc.ca
Telephone: 403-221-3241
Telephone (toll free): 1-800-899-1265
Facsimile: 403-292-5503
Facsimile (toll free): 1-877-288-8803
TTY (Teletype): 1-800-632-1663

Marc Drolet
Communications Officer
National Energy Board
E-mail: Marc.Drolet@neb-one.gc.ca
Telephone: 514-476-9911
Telephone (toll free): 1-800-899-1265

Applicant's Website

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