TC Energy Files for NGTL Storage Access Fix
Canada’s TC Energy, which operates the Nova Gas Transmission Limited (NGTL) system in western Canada, filed an application with the National Energy Board (NEB) on August 26 seeking approval of a temporary protocol intended to make it easier for producers to move gas into storage during periods of maintenance on the NGTL system.
The protocol aims to prioritise interruptible delivery and storage injection over receipt services – either interruptible or firm – to manage system constraints during planned outage and maintenance periods.
TC Energy’s existing tariff restricts access to storage to only those shippers with firm service on the NGTL system, a constraint that has played havoc with gas prices at the AECO trading hub in southeastern Alberta, at times sending them into negative territory.
“This has become acute in the summer during outage/maintenance periods when interruptible services are intermittent and sporadic and is expected to continue until new capacity additions come online,” TC Energy said in its application to the NEB. “The [government of Alberta] believes the resulting system imbalances are not in the best interests of Albertans as resource owners or the Canadian public.”
The temporary protocol, which if approved would only be in force during the 2019 and 2020 summer maintenance seasons (April-October), was negotiated between TC Energy and NGTL stakeholders after discussions with NGTL’s Tolls, Tariffs, Facilities and Procedures Committee (TTFP) were initiated earlier this year by Dale Nally, Alberta’s associate minister of natural gas. Details of the arrangement were reached on August 20 and voted on by producers on August 22.
“While a unanimous or unopposed TTFP resolution was not achieved, NGTL believes there is broad support for the Temporary Service Protocol,” TC Energy said.
TC Energy is asking the NEB to expedite its application so that the new protocol can be implemented by September 3, or as soon as possible after that date.