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Nova Scotia seeks regulatory changes in preparation for Sable project shutdown

Nova Scotia Energy Minister Geoff MacLellan is proposing revisions to the Gas Distribution Act that would allow the province's utility and review board to evaluate and recover costs of natural gas shipping into the province by pipeline, The Canadian Press reported Oct. 10.

MacLellan said the move is pertinent to ensuring natural gas remains in steady supply as the Sable Offshore Energy project is slotted for dismantling beginning 2018 through 2020. The Sable project is a consortium of five companies, majority-owned by ExxonMobil Canada Ltd., and is made up of seven offshore platforms, 22 wells and 340 kilometers of subsea pipeline.

The president of Heritage Gas, Nova Scotia's sole natural gas distributor, said allowing the board to determine shipping costs to be charged on bills is in the consumer's best interest, as it would aid in stabilizing prices and would lower costs to consumers, the report said.