Provincial and Territorial Energy Profiles – Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia

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Table of Contents
  • Figure 1: Hydrocarbon Production

    Figure 1: Hydrocarbon Production

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER – Canada's Energy Future 2019

    Description:
    This graph shows hydrocarbon production in Nova Scotia from 2008 to 2018. Over this period, pentanes plus and condensate production has decreased from 11.0 Mb/d to 1.6 Mb/d. Natural gas production has deceased over this period from around 410 MMcf/d to around 70 MMcf/d.

  • Figure 2: Electricity Generation by Fuel Type (2018)

    Figure 2: Electricity Generation by Fuel Type (2018)

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER – Canada's Energy Future 2019

    Description:
    This pie chart shows electricity generation by source in Nova Scotia. A total of 9.6 TW.h of electricity was generated in 2018.

  • Figure 3: Electricity Capacity and Primary Fuel Sources Map

    Figure 3: Electricity Capacity and Primary Fuel Sources Map

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER, Natural Resources Canada

    Description:
    This map shows electricity generation facilities in Nova Scotia. Facilities are shown by capacity and by primary fuel source.

    Download:
    PDF version [673 KB]

  • Figure 4: Crude Oil Infrastructure Map

    Figure 4: Crude Oil Infrastructure Map

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER

    Description:
    This map shows all rail lines in Nova Scotia and crude oil infrastructure in Atlantic Canada.

    Download:
    PDF version [454 KB]

  • Figure 5: Natural Gas Infrastructure Map

    Figure 5: Natural Gas Infrastructure Map

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER

    Description:
    This map shows all major natural gas pipelines, offshore natural gas platforms, and the Canaport LNG terminal in the Maritimes.

    Download:
    PDF version [673 KB]

  • Figure 6: End-Use Demand by Sector (2017)

    Figure 6: End-Use Demand by Sector (2017)

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER – Canada's Energy Future 2019

    Description:
    This pie chart shows end-use energy demand in Nova Scotia by sector. Total end-use energy demand was 169 PJ in 2017. The largest sector was transportation at 43% of total demand, followed by residential (at 26%), industrial (at 18%), and lastly, commercial (at 13%).

  • Figure 7: End-Use Demand by Fuel (2017)

    Figure 7: End-Use Demand by Fuel (2017)

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER – Canada's Energy Future 2019

    Description:
    This figure shows end-use demand by fuel type in Nova Scotia in 2017. Refined petroleum products accounted for 99 PJ (59%) of demand, followed by electricity at 37 PJ (22%), biofuels at 18 PJ (11%), natural gas at 15 PJ (9%), and other at 1 PJ (less than 1%).
    Note: "Other" includes coal, coke, and coke oven gas.

  • Figure 8: GHG Emissions by Sector

    Figure 8: GHG Emissions by Sector

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    Environment and Climate Change Canada – National Inventory Report

    Description:
    This stacked column graph shows GHG emissions in Nova Scotia by sector every five years from 1990 to 2017 in MT of CO2e. Total GHG emissions have decreased in Nova Scotia from 17.9 MT of CO2e in 1990 to 15.6 MT of CO2e in 2017.

Energy Production

Crude Oil

  • In early 2018, Nova Scotia produced an average of 1.4 thousand barrels per day (Mb/d) of condensate/pentanes plus, which is like a very light crude oil. Nova Scotia accounts for less than 0.1% of total Canadian crude oil production.
  • All of Nova Scotia’s condensate/pentanes plus production came from ExxonMobil-operated Point Tupper Fractionator Plant (Figure 1). In 2018, ExxonMobil applied to the province to abandon its fractionator as part of the abandonment of its natural gas producing Sable Offshore Energy Project (Sable Island). Condensate/pentane plus production ceased by May 2018.
  • BP Canada’s Scotian Basin Exploration Project, located approximately 330 kilometres (km) off the southeast coast of Nova Scotia, commenced exploration drilling in April 2018. The well was plugged and abandoned in December 2018. In early 2019, BP surrendered 50% of its exploration lands back to the province, as the company had only drilled one of four wells required under the exploration license agreement’s timelines.

Refined Petroleum Products (RPPs)

  • Nova Scotia does not have any refineries. Imperial Oil’s Dartmouth refinery closed in 2013. The facility now operates as an oil products terminal.
  • The NuStar terminal in Point Tupper is one of the largest RPP storage and blending facilities in Atlantic Canada. This terminal serves markets in Atlantic Canada and the United States (U.S.) East Coast.

Natural Gas/Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs)

  • In 2018, natural gas production in Nova Scotia averaged 70 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) (Figure 1). This represented just 0.4% of total Canadian natural gas production. Offshore natural gas production was terminated by December 2018.
  • Natural gas in Nova Scotia was previously produced offshore at Sable Island and Encana’s Deep Panuke project (Encana rebranded to Ovintiv in 2020).
  • Sable Island, Canada’s first offshore natural gas project, was commissioned in 1999 and ceased production on 31 December 2018.
  • Deep Panuke was commissioned in 2013 and ceased production on 7 May 2018.
  • In 2018 Nova Scotia’s propane production averaged 1.5 Mb/d. During producing years, all NGLs were produced from Sable Island gas processed at the Goldboro gas plant. NGLs from Goldboro were then shipped by pipeline to the Point Tupper plant for fractionation into propane, butane and condensate. Infrastructure associated with the gas production operations, including the gas plant and fractionation plant, have also been shut down.
  • Since 2012, a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing has been in place in Nova Scotia.
  • Nova Scotia’s offshore production is regulated by the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board.

Electricity

  • In 2018, Nova Scotia generated 9.6 terawatt hours (TW.h) of electricity (Figure 2), which is approximately 1% of total Canadian generation. Nova Scotia has a generating capacity of 3 061 megawatts (MW).
  • Nova Scotia’s primary source of electricity generation is coal, accounting for more than 60% of the province’s total generation in 2018.
  • Nova Scotia also produces electricity from oil, natural gas, hydro, wind, and biomass (Figure 3). The share of generation from renewable sources has grown from 16% in 2005 to 24% in 2018.
  • Nova Scotia Power, a subsidiary of Emera, generates the majority of Nova Scotia’s electricity with 2 400 MW of capacity. The majority of wind facilities are owned by independent power producers. Nova Scotia Power operates a 60 MW biomass power plant in Port Hawkesbury that supplies as much as 3% of the province’s electricity.
  • The Annapolis Tidal Station is currently the only tidal power generating station in North America. Built in 1984, it has 20 MW of generating capacity.
  • Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) is a not-for-profit research centre for in-stream tidal energy. FORCE partners include the Province of Nova Scotia, the federal government, and tidal energy developers selected by the province. FORCE has a test site located in the Bay of Fundy where several installations are planned. A 9 MW installation is being co-developed by Sustainable Marine Energy and Minas Tidal in the Bay of Fundy. This installation aims to deliver power to Nova Scotia Power in phases starting in 2020. Other planned installations include DP Energy (9 MW) and Atlantis Operations Canada (4.5 MW).

Energy Transportation and Trade

Crude Oil and Liquids

  • There are no crude oil pipelines or crude-by-rail facilities in Nova Scotia.

Natural Gas

  • During production years, Nova Scotia’s offshore natural gas production was transported on the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline (M&NP), which extends through Nova Scotia to the border near St. Stephen, New Brunswick where gas was exported to serve the Northeast U.S. market (Figure 5).
  • M&NP also imports gas from the U.S. Northeast during times of peak demand. Although historically exports have exceeded imports, this changed in recent years because of declining Nova Scotia offshore production. In 2018 M&NP imported 80 MMcf/d, while only exporting 0.8 MMcf/d.
  • Alton Natural Gas Storage LP, a subsidiary of AltaGas, has received environmental approval from the province to develop a natural gas underground storage facility near Alton, Nova Scotia. The project will connect to M&NP, and will consist of several storage caverns from underground salt formations. Initial construction is currently underway.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

  • Export and import authorizations for three large-scale LNG projects have received NEB (now CER) approval in Nova Scotia: Bear Head LNG Corp., A C LNG, and Pieridae Energy Ltd. Both Bear Head and Pieridae’s Goldboro LNG projects have received regulatory approval from the Nova Scotia Utilities and Review Board (NSUARB) to construct their facilities.
  • To date, none of these projects have started construction. All of these LNG export facilities would be primarily regulated by the NSUARB.

Electricity

  • Nova Scotia received approximately 0.4 TW.h of electricity from New Brunswick in 2018. In 2018, Nova Scotia’s net imports accounted for 4% of total consumption.
  • Nova Scotia Power is responsible for power transmission and distribution in the province and is regulated by the NSUARB.
  • Nova Scotia Power serves more than 520 000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers.
  • Nova Scotia has roughly 32 000 kilometers of transmission and distribution lines. In addition, the Maritime Link Project was placed into service in January 2018 and now connects Nova Scotia’s electrical grid with the Muskrat Falls hydro facility being constructed in Labrador. The Maritime Link will displace some of Nova Scotia’s thermal generation by allowing it to purchase Newfoundland and Labrador’s hydroelectricity. First power from Muskrat Falls is expected in early 2020.

Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

Total Energy Consumption

  • End-use demand in Nova Scotia was 169 (PJ) in 2017. The largest sector for energy demand was transportation at 43% of total demand, followed by residential at 26%, industrial at 18%, and commercial at 13% (Figure 6). Nova Scotia’s total energy demand was the 8th largest in Canada, and the 12th largest on a per capita basis.
  • RPPs, including gasoline, diesel, and heating oil, were the largest fuel type consumed in Nova Scotia, accounting for 99 PJ, or 59%. Electricity and biofuels accounted for 37 PJ (22%) and 18 PJ (11%), respectively (Figure 7).

Refined Petroleum Products

  • Gasoline consumed in Nova Scotia is primarily imported from refineries in the U.S. East Coast and Europe.
  • Total 2018 demand for RPPs in Nova Scotia was estimated at 55 Mb/d, or 3% of total Canadian RPP demand. Of Nova Scotia’s total demand, an estimated 27 Mb/d was for motor gasoline and an estimated 13 Mb/d was for diesel.
  • Nova Scotia’s per capita RPP consumption in 2018 was 3 406 litres (21 barrels), or 12% above the national average of 3 038 litres per capita.
  • RPP prices in Nova Scotia have been regulated by the NSUARB since 2009. Previously, RPP prices were set by the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. The NSUARB sets wholesale prices, minimum and maximum retail mark-ups, and maximum retail prices, including for gasoline and diesel.

Natural Gas

  • In 2018, Nova Scotia consumed an average of 66 MMcf/d of natural gas, which represented less than 1% of total Canadian demand.
  • Nova Scotia’s largest consuming sector for natural gas was the industrial sector, which consumed 48 MMcf/d in 2018. The commercial and residential sectors consumed 18 MMcf/d and 1 MMcf/d, respectively.

Electricity

  • In 2017, annual electricity consumption per capita in Nova Scotia was 11.1 megawatt hours (MW.h). Nova Scotia ranked 10th in Canada for per capita electricity consumption and consumed 24% less than the national average.
  • Nova Scotia’s largest consuming sector for electricity in 2017 was residential at 4.5 TW.h. The commercial and industrial sectors consumed 3.3 TW.h and 2.7 TW.h, respectively. Nova Scotia’s electricity demand has declined 7% since 2005.
  • In 2018, Nova Scotia generated 2.3 TW.h of electricity from renewable sources, or approximately 24% of total generation. As part of its Renewable Electricity Plan, and as laid out in the Renewable Electricity Regulations, Nova Scotia seeks to increase this number to 40% by 2020.

GHG Emissions

  • Nova Scotia’s GHG emissions in 2017 were 15.6 megatonnes (MT) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e)Footnote 1. Nova Scotia’s emissions have declined 13% since 1990.
  • Nova Scotia emissions per capita are 16.4 tonnes CO2e – 16% below the Canadian average of 19.6 tonnes per capita.
  • The largest emitting sectors in Nova Scotia are electricity generation at 42% of emissions, transportation at 31%, and buildings (residential and commercial) at 14% (Figure 8).
  • Nova Scotia’s GHG emissions from the oil and gas sector in 2017 were 0.3 MT CO2e attributable to natural gas production and processing.
  • In 2017, Nova Scotia’s power sector emitted 6.5 MT CO2e emissions, which represents about 9% of Canadian emissions from power generation.

More Information

Data Sources

Provincial & Territorial Energy Profiles aligns with CER’s latest Canada’s Energy Future 2019 datasets. Energy Future uses a variety of data sources, generally starting with Statistics Canada data as the foundation, and making adjustments depending on individual province/territory circumstances.  Adjustments are necessary to ensure consistency and comparability across provinces/territories.

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