Marcellus Gas Now Flows All the Way to Nova Scotia

For years now MDN has kept an eye on several LNG (liquefied natural gas) export plants planned in Nova Scotia, Canada. Why? Because of the potential for Marcellus/Utica gas to feed those hungry beasts, once they are built. How would/could that happen? Primarily through a plan floated by Spectra Energy (now owned by Enbridge) called the Access Northeast Project, a roughly $3 billion project in New England to connect four existing pipeline systems (with enhancements): Texas Eastern, Algonquin Gas Transmission, Iroquois and Maritimes & Northeast. That last one, the Maritimes & Northeast (M&NE) pipeline, stretches from Massachusetts to Nova Scotia, to bring offshore Canadian gas south into New England. Part of Spectra’s plan is to make M&NE bidirectional, able to flow gas to Nova Scotia. Unfortunately the full Access Northeast Project got weighted down by opposition and in July Enbridge pulled the application (see Enbridge Withdraws $3B Access Northeast Pipeline Application). However, all is not lost. Part of the larger Access Northeast Project survived in another project called Atlantic Bridge, which the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved in January of this year (see FERC Approves Atlantic Bridge Project for New England/Canada). Atlantic Bridge beefs up capacity along the Algonquin Gas Transmission pipeline and turns Spectra’s M&NE bidirectional, to carry more Marcellus/Utica gas into New England and eventually all the way to Nova Scotia. Work on the M&NE must have progressed quickly, and under our radar, because we read an article (below) that surprised us. Apparently M&NE is now bidirectional and has been since this summer. A paper mill operator in Nova Scotia says he has been buying Marcellus gas since this summer to power his plant. Who knew?! Some of our molecules are now able to make it all the way to Nova Scotia! The problem for the paper mill, and for all of Nova Scotia, is that when winter sets in and gas supplies get tight (and expensive) around Boston, Marcellus supplies to Nova Scotia will dry up or become uneconomical…

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