Nova Gas Transmission (NGTL) Pipeline
|This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.|
Nova Gas Transmission (NGTL) Pipeline is an operating natural gas pipeline in northwestern Canada.
The pipeline runs from Foothills, Saskatchewan, to Fort Nelson, British Columbia with significant lateral extensions into Alberta.
- Owner: TC Energy
- Capacity: 16,800 million cubic feet per day
- Length: 15,534 miles / 25,000 km
- Status: Operating
- Start Year:
The Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. system (NGTL) consists of more than 25,000 km of natural gas pipeline and associated facilities located in Alberta and northeastern British Columbia. NGTL has over 1,100 receipt points and over 300 delivery points. The average daily capacity is 16,800 million cubic feet per day. The system came under Canada's National Energy Board jurisdiction in 2009 and is wholly-owned by TransCanada Corporation. 
NGTL is divided into three areas: Peace River, North and East, and the NGTL Mainline. Throughput information is provided for these areas as Upstream James River, North and East Flows, and Eastern Gate, respectively. The Upstream James River's primary receipt points are Northwestern Alberta and Northeastern B.C. Its primary delivery points are Intra-Alberta and the AB/BC border. Its average daily capacity is 8,000 million cubic feet per day. 
The North and East Flow primary receipt points are North and East Alberta. Its primary delivery point is Intra-Alberta. Its average daily capacity is 4,300 million cubic feet per day. 
The primary receipt point for Eastern Gate is Intra-Alberta, and the primary delivery points are McNeill and Empress. Its average daily capacity is 4,500 million cubic feet per day. 
TC Energy announced a $2 billion expansion plan in 2017 and stated that the decision was based on new contracted customer demand for nearly 3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of gas receipt and delivery services. It will connect Western Canadian natural gas production to markets within the basin and across North America. Growing producer demand to connect low-cost Montney, Duvernay and Deep Basin production to the NGTL System is also the reason behind the expansion plan. The expansion program will consists of several projects that will in aggregate, include 273 kilometres (171 miles) of NPS 16 to NPS 48 pipeline, 150 MW of compression at five compressor stations, new meter stations and other associated facilities. TC Energy will file applications for the various projects with the National Energy Board starting in the fourth quarter of 2017. Construction on the expansion of the NGTL system is expected to start in early 2019, subject to regulatory approvals. While initial projects are expected to enter service in Q4 2019, final projects to be in service by Q2 2021. 
In fall 2016 the National Energy Board has completed the review of the 2017 NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) System Expansion Project and has submitted its final report to the Government of Canada. As part of these engagement efforts, the Government of Canada launched an online questionnaire for Canadians to submit their feedback on the project. NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of TC Energy PipeLines Limited, is proposing to expand the existing NGTL gas pipeline system in northern Alberta. The expansion includes five new and separate pipeline sections varying between 20 km and 91 km in length, for a total of 230 km, with approximately 90% of the length located parallel to existing linear disturbances (e.g., pipelines or roads). The project also includes two new compressor facilities. 
In total, there are four expansion projects to the system, the 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021 expansion project.
In October 2018, TC Energy announced that NGTL system would begin commercial operations in 2021 and 2022.
In February 2020, federal regulators approved the expansion project.
In December 2020, Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI) reported that Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) described the Canadian natural gas industry as facing a "high degree of uncertainty". According to developers, "System flow requirements in the 2024-2025 portion of the design horizon have a high degree of uncertainty due to the influence of major market factors that are still too early in their development to predict." NGI further stated that "Political and economic risks jeopardize up to C$3 billion ($2.3 billion) of additions that the pipeline network would build if the industry fulfilled its potential, management said in a new edition of NGTL’s annual five-year capital plan."
2021 NGTL System Expansion Project
The 2021 NGTL System Expansion will add 218 miles to the system, stretching from Grande Prairie, Alberta to Municipal District of Greenview No. 16 to Yellowhead County, Alberta, to Clearwater County, Alberta, Canada.
The 2021 NGTL System expansion project is expected to be complete in 2021.
In May 2021, Macro Enterprises Inc. said that it had signed a contract to construct the Deep Valley South and the Colt sections of the expansion. This development update indicates that expansion plans are ongoing, despite developers sighting uncertainty in their proposed pipeline projects.
2021 Expansion Project Details
- Operator: TC Energy
- Length: 218 miles / 350.84
- Status: Proposed
- Start Year: 2021
2019 NGTL System Expansion Project
The second expansion project, 2019 NGTL System, to be operational in 2019, would add 171 miles and 3 billion cubic feet per day of capacity to the Alberta and British Columbia area. The project includes construction of pipeline, compression enhancements at five compressor stations, new meter stations and other associated facilities.
There have been no development updates since 2018 and the expansion project is presumed to be shelved.
2019 Expansion Project Details
- Operator: TC Energy
- Capacity: 3 billion cubic feet per day
- Length: 171 miles / 275.2 km
- Status: Shelved
- Start Year: 2019
2018 NGTL System Expansion Project
The third expansion project, the 2018 NGTL Expansion, would add 55 miles and 2.7 billion cubic feet per day capacity to the Alberta and British Columbia area. The expansion includes construction of pipeline, one new compressor, new and expanded meter stations, and other associated facilities.
There have been no development updates since 2017 and the expansion project is presumed to be shelved.
2018 Expansion Project Details
- Operator: TC Energy
- Capacity: 2.7 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d)
- Length: 55 miles / 88.5 km
- Status: Shelved
- Start Year:
2017 NGTL System Expansion Project
The fourth expansion project, the 2017 NGTL Expansion, will add 230 kilometers of pipeline and two compressor stations. According to TC Energy, the project includes five separate pipeline loops and two compression stations. The pipeline list includes: Northwest Mainline Loop No. 2: Bear Canyon, Liege Lateral Loop No. 2: Pelican Lake, Kettle River Lateral Loop: Christina River, Northwest Mainline Loop: Boundary Lake, spread 1, Grande Prairie Mainline Loop No. 2: McLeod River, and Northwest Mainline Loop: Boundary Lake, spread 2. The compressor stations include: Otter Lake Compressor Station Unit Addition, and Alces River Compressor Station. The project cost an estimated $1.3 billion.
2017 Expansion Project Details
Articles and resources
- Nova Gas Transmission (NGTL) Pipeline, Canada NEB, accessed January 2018
- "TransCanada to move ahead with $2bn Nova Gas Transmission system expansion" Energy Business Review, accessed January 2018
- "2017 NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. System Expansion Project" National Resources Canada accessed January 2018
- TransCanada Announces $1.5 Billion NGTL System Expansion to Connect WCSB Supply to Incremental Market Demand, TransCanada, Oct. 31, 2018
- Shaun Penner, NOVA Gas Transmission expansion gets go-ahead from federal energy regulator, EverythingGP, February 21, 2020
- Gordon Jaremko, Uncertainty Clouds Future of Canada’s NGTL System, Natural Gas Intelligence, December 24, 2020
- Canada Energy Regulator (19 February 2020). "NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. – 2021 NGTL System Expansion Project". Canada Energy Regulator. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
- Planned Projects, Pipeline News, accessed October 2018
- Macro signs NGTL expansion contract, Alaska Highway News, May 20, 2021
- Overview, TC Energy, accessed July 26, 2021
- 2017 NGTL System Expansion Project, Alberta, accessed July 20, 2021