News Release
Dec. 13, 2002

MARITIMES & NORTHEAST PIPELINE PHASE IV EXPANSION RECEIVES REGULATORY APPROVAL

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA – Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline L.P. (M&N), has received National Energy Board (NEB) approval to expand the capacity of its natural gas pipeline system. M&N, headquartered in Halifax, has been transporting Scotian Shelf gas to markets in the Maritimes and New England since late 1999.

 

In issuing the approval, the NEB concluded the Phase IV expansion meets the test of public convenience and necessity, and the proposed facilities enhance the ability to develop incremental supplies of Scotian gas. The NEB decision also acknowledges the addition of the proposed facilities will cause the M&N Canada toll to decrease by approximately one-third.

 

“We are very pleased the NEB has recognized the favorable economics of this expansion and the importance of lower tolls to the region,” said Phil Knoll, president of Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline. “The NEB decision allows M&N to proceed on a timely basis with our expansion.”

           

In March, M&N applied to the NEB to expand its system to transport approximately 400 million cubic feet per day of natural gas from EnCana’s proposed Deep Panuke project, offshore Nova Scotia. M&N plans to invest CDN$190 million in its Phase IV expansion project in Canada.

 

“Clearly, the NEB appreciates that Maritimes & Northeast plays a critical role in linking East Coast gas supply to developing markets in eastern Canada and the U.S. Northeast,” said Knoll. “This expansion and the lower tolls that result provide a strong incentive for producers to explore and develop incremental gas supply. This is essential to the future economic growth of the region.”

 

The proposed Phase IV project consists of four compressor stations in Canada, two each to be located in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Installation of the compressor stations will create significant economic activity in the Maritimes – M&N estimates that 50 percent of project spending will take place in the region. M&N contracted with local companies Atlantic Gas Engineers, AMEC and Vaughan Engineering who provided support to M&N in the design of the Canadian facilities.

 

M&N offers producers cost-effective incremental pipeline capacity that mitigates risk in the development of the East Coast natural gas basin. Through operating and maintenance expenditures, tax payments, and other related spending, M&N annually injects an estimated CDN$50 million to the local economy in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Following the expansion of the pipeline, this number will increase by 20 percent.

 

In January 2002, Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, L.L.C. filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission its Phase IV expansion application in the United States. The Phase IV U.S. application consists of adding four compressor stations and 31 miles of pipeline looping in Maine. The combined expansions will bring M&N’s total investment in the transmission system to CDN$2.5 billion and increase system capacity to approximately one billion cubic feet per day.

 

M&N has offices in Halifax and Boston and is owned by affiliates of Duke Energy, ExxonMobil, and Emera Inc. For more information, contact M&N on the Internet at www.mnpp.com.

Contact: Stephen Rankin
Phone: 902/425-4293
24 Hour Phone: n/a
Email: srankin@duke-energy.com