Canadian Regulators Line Up to Support TransCanada Lowball Plan

TransCanada, one of Canada’s leading midstream/pipeline companies, cooked up a deal last year to pipe natural gas from Canada’s West Coast to the East Coast in order to fend off cheap supplies of Marcellus/Utica gas that will flow into Canada when/if the NEXUS and Rover pipelines get built (see TransCanada Pipe Drops Price 42% to Compete with Marcellus/Utica). TransCanada dropped their pipeline price to lure drillers by (theoretically) making it less expensive to get gas from Western Canada, some 2,400 miles away, than from the Marcellus, just 400 miles away. In October, TransCanada launched an open season to lock up customers for the new, lower-priced option. The open season was a bust because TransCanada insists on a 10-year commitment (see TransCanada Plan to Lowball M-U Gas Using Canada Pipeline a Bust). TransCanada revived their plan in February. The original deal required a 10-year term with a long-term tolling rate between C$0.75/GJ to C$0.82/GJ. In February, the advertised deal was for a 10-year term and a simplified single rate of C$0.77/GJ (see TransCanada Revives Plan to Lowball M-U Gas Using Canada Pipeline). Although it looked almost like the same deal all over again with the same 10-year term and about the same price, TransCanada dropped a minimum amount to be shipped and is letting shippers opt out after five years under certain conditions. The changes worked (see TransCanada Says Plan to Lowball M-U Gas Worked, Shippers Sign Up). The plan needs a bevy of regulatory approvals, not only from the National Energy Board but also provincial agencies as well. Those agencies are now falling into line and giving their blessing, which has to happen by November 1st…

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