The National Energy Board (NEB) has approved two applications to abandon the NEB-regulated parts of Exxon Mobil’s Sable Offshore Energy Project and Encana Corporation’s Deep Panuke Project. These projects, both located offshore Nova Scotia, had reached a stage of naturally declining production. The Sable Offshore Energy Project stopped producing natural gas in December 2018 and Deep Panuke ceased production in May 2018.
In its Reasons for Decisions, released last week, the NEB approved the plans to abandon the pipelines in place, saying that with appropriate mitigation, any potential environmental impacts could be minimised.
The NEB’s jurisdiction over pipelines continues after they are abandoned in place, and the NEB will hold ExxonMobil and Encana responsible for the safety and security of their infrastructure.
Under the NEB Act, the NEB must hold a public hearing to consider an application for Leave to Abandon a pipeline. Given that many of the potential concerns and issues were similar, the NEB considered both applications concurrently. During the hearings, the NEB gathered input from Indigenous groups, federal and provincial departments, industry, and local municipalities.
ExxonMobil applied on 29 March 2018 to abandon the NEB-regulated portions of the Sable Offshore Energy Project, including the Goldboro Gas Plant and the approximately 200 km long gathering pipeline. Encana applied to abandon the NEB-regulated Deep Panuke pipeline and associated onshore facilities, including a beach valve station, pipeline terminus site and access roads, on 19 June 2018. The Deep Panuke Pipeline runs approximately 175 km from an offshore production platform to an interconnection with the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline facilities in Goldboro, Nova Scotia.
As this project falls under section 74 of the NEB Act, the NEB is the final decision maker.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldpipelines.com/business-news/07052019/neb-approves-applications-to-abandon-pipelines/