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Nova Scotia approves gas pipeline to Bear Head LNG terminal

A pipeline that is designed to supply natural gas to the Bear Head LNG export terminal in Nova Scotia was approved by the province's Department of Environment, which developers had said was "essential" for the project to move forward.

Nova Scotia's Environment Minister Margaret Miller said in a Dec. 22 order that she was satisfied that any significant environmental effects could be mitigated through conditions attached to the approval. The 38.8-mile pipeline, known as Bear Paw, will carry gas from Goldboro, Nova Scotia, to the terminal on Cape Breton.

"Bear Head LNG's focus is to provide access to overseas markets for North America's natural gas resources on competitive economics," Greg Vesey, CEO of LNG Ltd., the Australia-based developer of the project, said in a Dec. 23 statement. "Bear Head LNG is uniquely positioned to provide liquefaction services to Western Canadian, Northeast U.S., and offshore Nova Scotia resource owners desiring to sell natural gas to the global LNG market."

Conditions for the pipeline project include seeking input from the Mi'kmaq First Nation, submitting a plan to manage greenhouse gas emissions and conducting baseline surveys for wildlife and wildlife habitat along sections of the pipeline corridor. LNG Ltd. said spending for construction on the pipeline will begin only after "financial close" of the Bear Head LNG project.

The planned export terminal received approval from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency in February 2015 and provincial regulatory approval from Nova Scotia Environment in May 2015, completing the environmental permitting process. The project would import nearly 1.4 Bcf/d of natural gas for 25 years from the U.S. through Spectra Energy Corp.'s Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LLC system and export it as LNG from the facility.

Canada's governor in council in July granted the project approval to import natural gas from the U.S. and export LNG from Canada. The project received, in February, U.S. Department of Energy authorization to export natural gas to countries without free trade agreements with the U.S. Bear Head LNG also has authorization to export about 1.2 Bcf/d of U.S.-sourced gas to Canada and roughly 1 Bcf/d from Canada to countries with free-trade agreements. (DOE Office of Fossil Energy docket 15-33-LNG)

LNG Ltd. is also developing the Magnolia LNG export project near Lake Charles, La.