Pipeline Profiles: NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL)

Pipeline system and key points

Section updated May 2021

NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. owns the NGTL system, a natural gas gathering and transportation system in Alberta and northeastern British Columbia. NGTL transports natural gas produced in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin to markets in Canada and the United States. The pipeline commenced operations in 1957 and NGTL came under CER jurisdiction in 2009. Prior to that date, NGTL was under provincial jurisdiction and regulated by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) and its predecessors. NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of TC Energy Corporation.

The NGTL system has about 1 100 receipt points and over 300 delivery points. CER-regulated assets include approximately 24 500 km of operating pipeline and various auxiliary infrastructure.

In 2020, NGTL delivered over 4.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This equates to 11.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) or 328 million cubic metres per day (million m³/d). A little over half (54%) of transported natural gas volumes was destined for markets in eastern Canada/northeastern United States (U.S.), mid-western U.S. and the Pacific Northwest/California markets. The remaining natural gas was delivered to customers in Alberta and British Columbia.

Key points on NGTL include (see map below):

  • Calgary major market area
  • Edmonton major market area
  • Oil Sands Delivery Area Kirby
  • Oil Sands Delivery Area Liege
  • Saturn
  • East Gate
  • West Gate
  • Upstream of James River
  • North and East

Pipeline map

NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. pipeline system map

Source: CER

Text version of this map

This map provides an overview of the NGTL pipeline.

You can see the NGTL pipeline and all CER-regulated pipelines on the CER’s Interactive Pipeline Map. The map shows more detailed location information, the products carried by each pipeline, the operating status and more. You can also view maps on TC Energy’s website.

Throughput and capacity

Section updated quarterly (early March, mid-May, mid-August and mid-November)

Select key point:

Select units:

Key Point Map
Key Point Trends
Key Point Description

Note: The physical capacity of a pipeline is based on many factors such as the products being carried, direction of flow, pipeline pumping capacity, and maintenance work or other pressure restrictions. The actual physical capacity of the pipeline may, at times, be higher than the assumed operational capacity stated here.

Dashboard instructions
  • Click on a key point button above the chart & map to view traffic at a different location. The map shows approximate locations on the pipeline where throughputs & capacity are recorded by the pipeline operator.
  • Click and drag your mouse on the area chart to zoom into the desired date range. Click on the Reset Zoom button to reset the full date range.
  • Click on the chart legend items below the chart to remove & add sections of data as required.
  • The key point trends are calculated using quarterly average traffic at the key point. Natural gas throughput trends are displayed year over year (last full quarter of data compared to the same quarter last year). Crude oil and liquids key point trends are displayed quarter over quarter (last full quarter of data compared to the previous quarter).

Note: The five-year average is calculated for natural gas key points using the total throughput across all trade types and direction of flows. For bi-directional key points (both export and import) the throughput is displayed for both directions, instead of the five-year average.

Looking for daily data? Daily natural gas traffic datasets are available on Open Government.

Source and description

Data Source: Open Government

Description: The above dashboard displays pipeline throughput and capacity at key point(s) along the system. Where possible, the five-year average and five-year range for throughput is shown with the current year throughput to better highlight the trends. For pipeline key points with a defined location, a map is displayed next to the graph showing the approximate key point location where pipeline throughput and capacity are recorded.


Section updated May 2021

Official CER documents related to the construction, operation and maintenance of the NGTL pipeline can be found here: NGTL regulatory documents [Folder 554112].

NGTL has been adding pipeline facilities in recent years, to increase capacity and relieve bottlenecks in key areas of its system. These facilities largely connect increasing production in northwestern Alberta and northeastern British Columbia to intra-Alberta markets and U.S. export markets. Between 2015 and 2020, NGTL filed nearly 100 applications for facilities projects to the CER, including pipeline expansions. The NGTL System currently has a $9.9 billion infrastructure program underway to add 3.5 Bcf/d of incremental delivery capacity from 2020 to 2024.

The $1.3 billion 2017 NGTL System Expansion Project [Folder 2758964] was approved by the CER in June 2016. The project consisted of 230 km of pipeline in five separate loops and two compression stations. The expansion allowed NGTL to move growing supply from the James River area to intra-Alberta markets such as the oil sands.

The $409 million West Path Delivery Project [Folder 3422051] was approved by the CER in April 2019. The 21.5 km of pipeline connects Western Canadian gas producers with increased access to intra-basin and export markets, including markets in the Pacific Northwest and California. The project increased export capacity at the AB-B.C. border from 2 758 to 3 085 TJ/d. For more information, see this project’s CER information page.

The $2.3 billion 2021 NGTL System Expansion Project [Folder 3575553] was approved by the CER in February 2020 and will consist of 344 km of new pipeline in northwest Alberta. The expansion project includes eight pipeline section loops and three compressor station unit additions providing 1.45 Bcf/d of incremental system capacity. The expansion will connect incremental supply to growing intra-Alberta and export markets. For more information, see this Project’s CER information page.

The $632 million North Corridor Expansion Project [Folder 3760383] was approved by the CER in September 2020 and the $509 million Edison Mainline Project [Folder 3760382] was approved in November 2020. Both projects will increase pipeline capacity to transport gas to markets within Alberta. For more information, see this Project’s CER information page.

NGTL has also proposed projects to increase gas deliveries to its system’s border points (known as East Gate and West Gate). The $193 million West Path Delivery 2022 Project [Folder 3930580] application was submitted to the CER in June 2020 and the $355.5 million West Path Delivery 2023 Project [Folder 3968941] application was submitted October 2020. Both projects would connect western Canadian gas producers with increased access to intra-basin and export markets, including markets in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and California. For more information, see West Path 2023 Project CER information page.


Section updated May 2021

A toll is the price charged by a pipeline company for transportation and other services. Tolls allow pipeline companies to safely operate and maintain pipelines. Tolls also provide funds for companies to recover capital (the money used to build the pipeline), pay debts, and provide a return to investors.

Official CER documents related to the traffic, tolls and tariffs for NGTL can be found here: NGTL toll documents [Folder 554137].

The interactive graph below shows the NGTL tolls on major paths since 2009. These tolls are calculated using the receipt firm transportation average demand rate (3-year term) plus delivery firm transportation demand rate (1-year term) to major delivery points. Major delivery points include Empress/McNeill border where NGTL connects with TransCanada’s Canadian Mainline and Foothills Saskatchewan; the Alberta-BC border where NGTL connects with Foothills BC; and the Gordondale border/Boundary Lake border.

Open data can be freely used and shared by anyone for any purpose. The data for these graphs are available.

Tolls on NGTL are based on a cost of service model. Customers contract separately for receipt and delivery services. In August 2010, the CER approved a new tolls design methodology for NGTL (RHW-1-2010) [Filing A25890]. New tolls came into effect on 1 November 2010. Under the revised toll methodology, delivery tolls on NGTL are calculated depending on the distance and service offering. Receipt tolls on NGTL are location-specific and are subject to pricing floors and ceilings. NGTL operated under revenue requirement settlements for 2010 to 2018.

In March of 2019, NGTL applied for the System Rate Design and Services [Folder 3752364] application. NGTL sought approval of a rate design methodology and terms and conditions of service for the NGTL system, as well as for a surcharge formula to be paid by FT-R shippers on the North Montney Mainline segment of the NGTL system. The application was approved under the NEB Act in March of 2020.

In August of 2019, NGTL applied for an amendment to its Gas Transportation Tariff, referred to as the Temporary Service Protocol (TSP) [Folder 3816276] application. The TSP would allow for prioritization of interruptible and delivery storage injections over interruptible or firm receipt services to manage system constraints and improve access to storage during planned outage and maintenance periods at and upstream of the Clearwater and the Woodenhouse compressor stations. TSP would be effective for the summers of 2019 and 2020. The application was approved in September of 2019. In July of 2020, the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada (EPAC) applied to extend the TSP [Folder 3950515] application, which NGTL opposed, and the extension was denied by the CER in February of 2021.

Abandonment funding

Section updated June 2020

The CER requires all pipelines to set aside funds to safely cease operation of a pipeline at the end of its useful life. In 2016, NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. estimated it would cost approximately $2.5 billion to do this. These funds will be collected over 30 years and are being set aside in a trust.

Table 1: NGTL’s abandonment trust fund balance
  2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Trust fund balance ($) 101 046 000 195 269 000 298 602 000 408 397 000 527 900 000

Official CER documents related to abandonment funding can be found here, sorted by year and by company: abandonment funding documents [Folder 3300366].

Pipeline financial information

Section updated June 2020

Pipeline companies report important financial information to the CER quarterly or annually. A solid financial position enables companies to maintain their pipeline systems, attract capital to build new infrastructure, and meet the market’s evolving needs. The data in this table comes from NGTL’s quarterly filings [Folder 567096] filed with the CER.

NGTL’s revenue, net income and rate base have been growing due to system expansions and increased throughput.

NGTL pipeline financial information

Section updated May 2021

Table 2: NGTL financial data
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Revenues (million $) 1 117 1 200 1 354 1 506 1 614 1 767 1 822 1 866 2 094 2 152 2 534
Net income (million $) 194 196 198 232 228.5 245 281 304 349 377 509
Average rate base (million $) 4 834 4 878 5 178 5 671 5 917 6 094 6 526 7 122 8 396 9 252 12 605
Return on rate base (%) 8.43 8.32 8.07 7.81 7.37 7.49 7.67 7.38 7.18 6.95 6.86
Deemed equity ratio (%) 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40
Return on equity (%) 10.04 10.03 9.57 10.23 9.65 10.06 10.75 10.67 10.39 10.18 10.09
Corporate financial information

Section updated May 2021

NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TC Energy Corporation. TC Energy Corporation has operations in Canada, the United States and Mexico. It operates three core businesses: natural gas pipelines, liquids pipelines and power generation. In 2016, NGTL accounted for approximately 15% of TC Energy Corporation’s earnings. NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. and TC Energy Corporation's credit ratings remain investment grade.

Credit ratings provide an idea of the financial strength of a company, including its ability to attract capital to build new infrastructure and meet financial obligations. The credit ratings below are expert opinions of how likely the debt issuer is to live up to its obligations.

Table 3: NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. credit ratings
  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
DBRS credit rating A A (low) A (low) A (low) A (low) A (low) A (low) A (low) A (low)
Moody’s credit rating A3 A3 A3 A3 A3 A3 A3 Baa1 Baa1
S&P credit rating A- A- A- A- A- A- BBB+ BBB+ BBB+
Financial regulatory audits

Section updated June 2020

The CER audits pipeline companies to confirm compliance with the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, regulations, CER orders and CER decisions. Financial regulatory audits focus on toll and tariff matters such as detecting cross-subsidies. NGTL’s last audit was completed in October 2015. Official CER documents related to NGTL’s financial regulatory audits can be found here: [Folder 2905712].

Safety and Environment

Conditions Compliance

Section updated June 2021

Every pipeline company in Canada must meet federal, provincial or territorial, and local requirements. This includes Acts, Regulations, rules, bylaws, and zoning restrictions. Pipelines are also bound by technical, safety, and environmental standards along with company rules, protocols and management systems. In addition to these requirements, the Commission may add conditions to regulatory instruments that each company must meet. Conditions are project-specific and are designed to protect public and the environment by reducing possible risks identified during the application process.

Condition compliance is part of the CER's oversight and enforcement action is taken when required.

Conditions can be related to a specific region, or apply to the pipeline project as a whole. The map below displays the number of in progress and closed conditions mapped to economic regions as defined by Statistics Canada.

Conditions can typically be either in-progress or closed. The CER follows up on in-progress conditions.


This status refers to conditions that continue to be monitored by the CER. This happens when:

  • condition filings have not yet been received by the CER; or,
  • filings have been received but are under review or do not yet meet requirements; or,
  • a project is not completed and it has conditions, which have not been met; or,
  • a project has a post-construction condition, but a requirement has not yet been completed; or,
  • some conditions may be active indefinitely or refer to the continued operation of a pipeline.

This status refers to:

  • condition requirements that have been satisfied, and no further submissions from the company are required; or
  • conditions whose filings or actions apply to a specific phase that have been fulfilled as the phase is completed (i.e. a specific filing during construction phase). Note: comments on the required actions can still be received.

Source and description

Data Source: Open Government

Description: The above map displays the number of CER conditions associated with projects approved by the Commission. The map is split into two tabs which show in-progress and closed conditions separately, mapped to an economic region. If a company has no in-progress conditions specific to an economic region, the dashboard will default to show the closed conditions by region. An additional view is available which contains the number of in-progress and closed conditions that don't have a corresponding economic region in the dataset. The map regions are shaded based on the number of conditions, with lighter colored regions containing fewer conditions compared to darker colors. Conditions that apply to more than one region are double counted in the map, and these conditions will appear in the map region total and map region breakdown for each applicable region. The condition counts contained in the map navigation buttons represent total conditions without region double counting.

Open data can be freely used and shared by anyone for any purpose. The data for these graphs are available [CSV].

Have you checked out the CER's interactive conditions data visualization? This tool offers a deep dive into the CER's conditions compliance data and process, exploring conditions across all CER regulated companies by keyword, project, and location.

Pipeline Incidents

Section updated June 2021

The information presented here is based on CER data (2008 to current) for incidents reported under the Onshore Pipeline Regulations and the Processing Plant Regulations. New data is added quarterly. Learn more on how incident data collection has evolved since the NEB (now the CER) was established in 1959.

Companies must report events, such as incidents, to the CER in accordance with the CER Event Reporting Guidelines. Knowing what happened, and why, helps us find ways to prevent them from happening again.

What is an incident? (Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPR))

As defined in the OPR, “incident” means an occurrence that results in:

  1. the death or serious injury to a person;
  2. a significant adverse effect on the environment;
  3. an unintended fire or explosion;
  4. an unintended or uncontained release of low vapour pressure (LVP) hydrocarbons in excess of 1.5 m³
  5. an unintended or uncontrolled release of gas or high vapour pressure (HVP) hydrocarbons;
  6. the operation of a pipeline beyond its design limits as determined under CSA Z662 or CSA Z276 or any operating limits imposed by the CER.
What is an incident? (Processing Plant Regulations (PPR))

As defined in the PPR, “incident” is defined as an occurrence that results or could result in a significant adverse effect on property, the environment, or the safety of persons. For the purposes of incident reporting in the PPR, events that fall under this definition include, but are not limited to:

  1. the death or serious injury to a person;
  2. a significant adverse effect on the environment;
  3. an unintended fire or explosion that results in or has the potential to result in damage to company, public/crown or personal property;
  4. an unintended or uncontained release of low vapour pressure (LVP) hydrocarbons in excess of 1.5 m³
  5. an unintended or uncontrolled release of gas, HVP hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulfide or other poisonous gas; or
  6. the operation of a plant beyond its design limits or any limits imposed by the CER.
Incidents and the CER

Companies self-report incidents and are expected to take a precautionary approach in doing so. This means that even when there is doubt as to whether an incident should be reported, the company must report it. The approach is, “When in doubt, report.” This is consistent with CER-regulated companies’ responsibility for anticipating, preventing, mitigating and managing incidents of any size or duration.

The CER reviews all reported incidents to assess whether companies have taken the appropriate corrective actions and to identify potential trends in incidents. Each incident is given a status indicating the current stage of the CER's incident review.

CER Status
  • Initially Submitted: The company has notified the CER that an incident has occurred and provided preliminary information. A review has been initiated.
  • Submitted: The company has submitted all of the required information and the CER is reviewing the incident.
  • Closed: The CER’s incident review has been completed and the file is closed.
Incident type definitions: one incident can have multiple types
  • Release of Substance (featured in the dashboard) - Any time a product is unintentionally released. (Releases of non-gas low pressure products in volumes of less than 1.5 m³ are exempt from reporting.)
  • Adverse Environmental Effects - When any chemical substance is released at a concentration or volume that has the potential to change the ambient environment in a manner that would cause harm to human life, wildlife or vegetation (e.g., glycol, potassium carbonate, methanol, methanol mix from hydrostatic testing, etc.).
  • Explosion - An unintended explosion
  • Fatality - Any death involving employees, contractors or members of the public related to the construction, operation, maintenance or abandonment of pipelines
  • Fire - An unintended fire
  • Operation Beyond Design Limits Includes situations, such as:

    • over-pressures - i.e., pressures that are higher than the maximum the equipment was designed to safely handle;
    • vibration beyond design limits;
    • slope movements causing movement in the pipeline beyond design limits;
    • pipe exposures in rivers or streams; and
    • introduction of an inappropriate product (e.g., sour gas in excess of CSA limits)

    Operation beyond design limit is typically linked to an over-pressure of the product in the pipe; however, if a pipe was exposed to excessive vibration and was not designed for this, this could be considered operation beyond design limits. Operation beyond design limits does not include equipment contacting the pipe, or corrosion pits, etc.

  • Serious Injury (CER or Transportation Safety Board) - Any serious injury involving employees, contractors or members of the public related to the construction, operation or maintenance of pipelines.
Are there any incidents near me?
Select range (100km):
Source and description

Data Source: Open Government

Description: The above map displays the location of product release incidents that have occured on the pipeline system since 2008. The map defaults to show incidents as bubbles which are colored based on the substance released. Incidents on the map can be re-categorized based on the most recently available status of the CER's incident review, the year in which the incident was reported, and the province/territory where the incident occured. The incident map bubble can be switched to show the estimated volume of product released, with larger map bubbles showing larger release volumes relative to other product releases on the system. The incident data can also be toggled to display a stacked bar chart of incidents over time by clicking on the incident trends button above the map. The stacked bars dispaly the number of product release incidents by year, with bar color segments corresponding to the various products released. Similiar to the map, incidents can be re-categorized by clicking on the side buttons to view a breakdown of incidents by status, what happened, why it happened, and province/territory.

Open data can be freely used and shared by anyone for any purpose. The data for these graphs are available.

Have you checked out the CER's interactive incident data visualization? This tool offers a deep dive into the CER's incident data trends, exploring incidents across all CER regulated companies.

Emergency management

Section updated June 2020

The CER checks to make sure companies are keeping pipelines safe by doing inspections, in-depth safety audits, and other activities. Yet, even with these precautions, an emergency could still happen. Sound emergency management practices improve public safety and environmental protection outcomes, and provide for more effective emergency response.

The CER holds its regulated companies responsible for anticipating, preventing, mitigating, and managing incidents of any size or duration. Each company must have an emergency management program that includes detailed emergency procedures manuals to guide its response in an emergency situation. We oversee the emergency management program of a regulated company’s projects as long as they operate.

The CER requires companies to publish information on their emergency management program and their emergency procedures manuals on their websites so Canadians can access emergency management information. To view NGTL’s Emergency Response Plans, view TransCanada’s Rocky Mountain Region and Wild Rose Region plans at its Emergency Preparedness website.

Date modified: