CALGARY – The National Energy Board (NEB) has denied an application from Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline (M&NP) for approval of a new pipeline service and toll.
M&NP had offered a “load retention” service and discounted rate to Irving Oil in exchange for a 13-year commitment to use the M&NP Pipeline to ship up to 68,579 gigajoules per day (GJ/d) of natural gas from the Canada/U.S. border in St. Stephen, NB to the Irving Oil Refinery and cogeneration facility in Saint John, NB. M&NP said it offered the service to Irving Oil in response to a competing offer from the Emera Brunswick Pipeline.
In a letter decision, released today, January 22, the NEB turned down the application saying that the application was premature. The NEB noted that the natural gas market in the Maritimes is facing a period of future uncertainty around current and future natural gas supply and markets.
The NEB did not make any determination as to whether the Load Retention Service Toll would be just and reasonable and not unjustly discriminatory under the National Energy Act.
The National Energy Board granted intervenor status to nine groups and considered this application through a written hearing.
Under Part IV of the National Energy Board Act, the NEB is required to ensure that pipeline tolls are just and reasonable. The Board also requires that pipeline companies operate according to the principle of “open access”. This means that all parties must have access to transportation on a non-discriminatory basis, as long as they meet the requirements of the tariff.