SAINT JOHN, N.B. – The National Energy Board has approved a Spanish energy company’s request for a 25-year licence to export up to eight billion cubic metres of liquefied natural gas annually from a proposed terminal in Saint John, N.B.
The regulator said in the Sept. 3 decision it has also granted Saint John LNG Development Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Repsol S.A., a licence to import an equal amount of gas from the United States.
The regulator says advances in drilling and hydraulic fracturing have greatly increased estimates of recoverable resources in North America and the gas exports would be surplus to Canadian needs.
Heritage Gas, the distributor of natural gas in Nova Scotia, submitted a letter in May to the regulator seeking assurances the company would have adequate access to the sole pipeline into Atlantic Canada if export licences are approved.
The decision says Repsol told the regulator it wouldn’t use the Canadian portion of the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline, and it also notes Repsol’s commenting the pipeline capacity would be a matter for a separate hearing.
The board concluded Heritage Gas’s concerns on pipeline capacity was outside the board’s jurisdiction when it is considering a gas export application.