Nova Gas Transmission (NGTL) Pipeline

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This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor and the Center for Media and Democracy.

Nova Gas Transmission (NGTL) Pipeline is a natural gas pipeline in northwestern Canada.[1]


The pipeline runs from Foothills, Saskatchewan, to Fort Nelson, British Columbia with significant lateral extensions into Alberta.[1]

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Project Details

  • Operator: TransCanada
  • Current capacity: 16,800 million cubic feet per day
  • Proposed capacity: 5.7 million cubic feet per day
  • Length: 15,534 miles / 25,000 km
  • Proposed additional length: 444 miles / 714.5 km
  • Status: Operating
  • Start Year: 2021-2022


The Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. system (NGTL) consists of more than 25,000 km of natural gas pipeline and associated facilities located in Alberta and northeastern British Columbia. NGTL has over 1,100 receipt points and over 300 delivery points. The average daily capacity is 16,800 million cubic feet per day. The system came under Canada's National Energy Board jurisdiction in 2009 and is wholly-owned by TransCanada Corporation. [1]

NGTL is divided into three areas: Peace River, North and East, and the NGTL Mainline. Throughput information is provided for these areas as Upstream James River, North and East Flows, and Eastern Gate, respectively. The Upstream James River's primary receipt points are Northwestern Alberta and Northeastern B.C. Its primary delivery points are Intra-Alberta and the AB/BC border. Its average daily capacity is 8,000 million cubic feet per day. [1]

The North and East Flow primary receipt points are North and East Alberta. Its primary delivery point is Intra-Alberta. Its average daily capacity is 4,300 million cubic feet per day. [1]

The primary receipt point for Eastern Gate is Intra-Alberta, and the primary delivery points are McNeill and Empress. Its average daily capacity is 4,500 million cubic feet per day. [1]

Expansion Project Details

  • Operator: TransCanada
  • Proposed additional capacity: 5.7 million cubic feet per day
  • Proposed additional length: 444 miles / 714.5 km
  • Status: Proposed
  • Start Year: 2021-2022

Expansion Background

TransCanada announced a $2 billion expansion plan in 2017 and stated that the decision was based on new contracted customer demand for nearly 3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of gas receipt and delivery services. It will connect Western Canadian natural gas production to markets within the basin and across North America. Growing producer demand to connect low-cost Montney, Duvernay and Deep Basin production to the NGTL System is also the reason behind the expansion plan. The expansion program will consists of several projects that will in aggregate, include 273 kilometres (171 miles) of NPS 16 to NPS 48 pipeline, 150 MW of compression at five compressor stations, new meter stations and other associated facilities. TransCanada will file applications for the various projects with the National Energy Board starting in the fourth quarter of 2017. Construction on the expansion of the NGTL system is expected to start in early 2019, subject to regulatory approvals. While initial projects are expected to enter service in Q4 2019, final projects to be in service by Q2 2021. [2]

In fall 2016 the National Energy Board has completed the review of the 2017 NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) System Expansion Project and has submitted its final report to the Government of Canada. As part of these engagement efforts, the Government of Canada launched an online questionnaire for Canadians to submit their feedback on the project. NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of TransCanada PipeLines Limited, is proposing to expand the existing NGTL gas pipeline system in northern Alberta. The expansion includes five new and separate pipeline sections varying between 20 km and 91 km in length, for a total of 230 km, with approximately 90% of the length located parallel to existing linear disturbances (e.g., pipelines or roads). The project also includes two new compressor facilities. [3]

There are three proposed expansion projects to the system. 2021 NGTL System, to be completed in 2021, would add 218 miles to the system, stretching from Grande Prairie, Alberta to Municipal District of Greenview No. 16 to Yellowhead County, Alberta, to Clearwater County, Alberta, Canada. The project will start in northwest Alberta and run along the west path of the existing NGTL System, from the northwest Alberta southeast towards Rocky Mountain House, which will increase natural gas transportation service on the system. The second expansion project, 2019 NGTL System, to be operational in 2019, would add 171 miles and 3 billion cubic feet per day of capacity to the Alberta and British Columbia area. The project includes construction of pipeline, compression enhancements at five compressor stations, new meter stations and other associated facilities. The third expansion project, 2018 NGTL Expansion, would add 55 miles and 2.7 billion cubic feet per day capacity to the Alberta and British Columbia area, and includes construction of pipeline, one new compressor, new and expanded meter stations, and other associated facilities.[4]

In October 2018 TransCanada announced that NGTL system would begin commercial operations in 2021 and 2022.[5]

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