Canada's NEB Approves Deep Panuke Pipeline

The National Energy Board has approved an application by EnCana Corporation to build a 176-kilometer long underwater pipeline off the coast of Nova Scotia.

The $234 million Deep Panuke Pipeline will connect the proposed Deep Panuke Offshore Gas Development Project with markets in the Maritimes and Northeastern United States. The pipeline will run from an offshore production unit near Sable Island to Goldboro, NS and is expected to ship up to 300 million cubic feet of natural gas daily when production begins in 2010. EnCana expects to extract upwards of 630 billion cubic feet of natural gas over the project's 13-year lifespan.

In its Reasons for Decision, released today, the Board noted that the pipeline will provide direct economic and employment benefits to the Maritimes and act as an incentive for further exploration offshore Nova Scotia.

The Board attached 26 conditions to its approval of the pipeline, including requirements for EnCana to file updated Environment Protection Plans and a plan for reporting to and liaising with the fishing industry.

The public review of the Deep Panuke Project began in November 2006 when interested stakeholders were invited to submit their comments on the application. In March 2007, the NEB and the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board held a coordinated concurrent public hearing to gather evidence on the proposed project. The two Boards also submitted a Joint Environmental Report in April 2007 which included recommendations related to protecting Species of Special Status, water quality and wetlands among other issues.

The NEB is an independent federal agency that regulates several parts of Canada's energy industry. Its purpose is to promote safety and security, environmental protection, and efficient energy infrastructure and markets in the Canadian public interest, within the mandate set by Parliament in the regulation of pipelines, energy development and trade.


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