On Wednesday, Aug. 28, the National Energy Board (NEB) became the Canada Energy Regulator (CER). For further information please visit our Implementing the Canadian Energy Regulator Act information page

Pipeline Profiles: Maritimes & Northeast

Pipeline system and key points

Section updated June 2019

The Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline (M&NP) was commissioned in December 1999 to transport natural gas produced from the Sable Offshore Energy Project to markets in the New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the U.S. Northeast. Since 2007, M&NP has also been transporting supply from the McCully natural gas field in New Brunswick. Since August 2013, M&NP has been transporting offshore natural gas from the Deep Panuke project as well.

A key point on M&NP is an import/export interconnect with the US portion of M&NP at the Canada-U.S. border near St. Stephen, New Brunswick.

M&NP is bi-directional. When offshore production is insufficient to meet domestic demand, natural gas flows from M&NP U.S. into Canada. Additional supply comes from the Canaport LNG import terminal via the Brunswick Pipeline or from the Portland Natural Gas Transmission System.

Natural gas supply from offshore Nova Scotia remained below historical levels in 2017, averaging 164 MMcf/d in the first half of the year. Production at Deep Panuke has been sporadic due to water incursion into the reservoir and may end within a few years. Production at Sable has remained steady but is in long-term decline and may come to an end within a year or two.

Official NEB documents related to the construction, operation and maintenance of M&NP can be found here: M&NP regulatory documents [Folder 90705].

Maritimes & Northeast pipeline system map

Source: NEB

Text version of this map

This map provides an overview of the Maritimes & Northeast pipeline.

You can see the M&NP and all NEB-regulated pipelines on the Board’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 a system map on the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline website.

Throughput and capacity

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

Note: The physical capacity of a pipeline is based on many factors such as the direction of flow, ambient temperature, pipeline compression, and maintenance work or other pressure restrictions. The operational capacity at each key point may also reflect contracts for transportation service, and supply and demand across the system. The actual physical capacity of the pipeline may, at times, be higher than the assumed operational capacity stated here.

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

Tolls

Section updated September 2018

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. The interactive graph below shows the tolls for key paths on the pipeline since 2006.

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

M&NP tolls are calculated in accordance with a toll settlement for 2017 to 2019 and are cost-based. M&NP uses a ‘postage stamp’ tolling model in which the toll is the same for all paths on the system regardless of the distance travelled.

In November 2016, M&NP filed an application with the Board for a Load Retention Service and Toll [Folder 3075488] with Irving Oil Ltd. to support volumes on the pipeline. The Board rejected this application in January 2018 finding that it was filed prematurely.

Official NEB documents related to the traffic, tolls and tariffs for M&NP can be found here: M&NP toll documents [Folder 92842].

A list of shippers on the M&NP pipeline is available in a regulatory filing submitted to the NEB, M&NP Canada Contract Summary as at May 1, 2017 (PDF page 15 of 24) [Folder 3257975].

Abandonment funding

Section updated June 2019

The Board requires all pipelines to set aside funds to safely cease operation of a pipeline at the end of its useful life. In 2016, M&NP estimated it would cost $167 million to do this. These funds will be collected over 19.5 years and are being set aside in a trust.

Table 1: M&NP’s abandonment trust fund balance
  2015 2016 2017 2018
Trust fund balance ($) 14 921 439 22 700 203 32 261 494 44 163 000

Official NEB 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 March 2018

Pipeline companies report important financial information to the Board quarterly or annually. A strong 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 M&NP’s Quarterly Surveillance Reports [Folder 162864].

Table 2: M&NP financial data
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Revenues (million $) 141 142 133 139 142 120 129 126 132
Operating expenses (million $) 117 117 109 116 116 94 110 107 115
Rate base (million $) 591 571 528 492 445 401 353 303 237
Return on rate base (%) 8.3517 8.5869 8.8133 8.5595 9.6767 9.8871 8.1874 8.7698 9.0637
Return on equity (%) 6.45 5.96 5.55 5.51 6.87 7.32 5.29 6.47 6.60

Corporate financial information

Section updated February 2018

Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline Canada owns the Canadian segment of the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline. The Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline Limited Partnership is owned by Enbridge (76.76%), Exxon Mobil (9.45%), Emera (12.79%), and Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline Management Ltd. (1%). Financial ratios for Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline continue to be stable and credit ratings are investment grade.

Credit ratings and financial ratios 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. The financial ratios provided below were calculated by DBRS.

Table 3: Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline Limited Partnership financial ratios and credit ratings
  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
EBIT interest coverage (times) 2.8 3.03 3.49 4.17 4.63 7.04 8.16
Cash Flow to Total Debt (%) 25.9 30.2 39.2 51.3 69.4 130.9 171.6
DBRS credit rating A A A A A A A

Financial regulatory audits

Section updated February 2018

The Board audits pipeline companies to confirm compliance with the National Energy Board Act, regulations, Board orders and Board decisions. Financial regulatory audits focus on toll and tariff matters such as detecting cross-subsidies. M&NP’s last audit was completed in September 2009. Official NEB documents related to M&NP’s financial regulatory audits can be found here: [Folder 571193].

Condition Compliance

Section updated September 2018

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 Board may add conditions to regulatory instruments that each company must meet. Condition compliance is monitored by the Board and enforcement action is taken when required. For a detailed list of conditions that M&NP must meet, and their status, please see the condition compliance table and search for “Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline Management Ltd.”

Safety Performance

Section updated June 2019

The Board holds the companies it regulates accountable to protect the safety of Canadians and the environment. As part of this accountability, companies must report to the NEB events such as incidents and unauthorized third-party activities that happen without the pipeline company’s written consent. For a summary of pipeline incidents and unauthorized activities on M&NP since 2008, visit the Safety performance dashboard and select “Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline Management Ltd.”

Emergency Management

Section updated June 2019

The NEB 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 NEB 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 Board 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 Maritimes & Northeast’s Field Emergency Response Plan, go to its Responding to Emergencies website.

 

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