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ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd. South Airdrie Lateral Pipeline Resumption, AUC Decision 26319-D01-2021

Link to Decision Summarized

Facilities – Gas Supply

In this Decision, the AUC approved the applications from ATCO Gas and Pipelines (“ATCO”) for an amendment to resume line 1, under Licence 56256 and line 3, under Licence 60905.

Introduction and Background

In Decision 24174-D01-2019, the AUC had approved, with conditions, applications 24174-A001 and 24174-A002 filed by ATCO to transfer two existing pipelines, line 15 under Licence 15140 and line 1 under Licence 56256, from Steelhead Petroleum Ltd to ATCO and found that the pipeline acquisition was the best alternative to meet the identified need to increase the security of natural gas supply to the city of Airdrie.

ATCO filed Application 26249-A001 requesting approval to perform a pipeline split of line 1 und Licence 60905 into lines 1, 2, and 3; and amend the hydrogen sulfide concentration of the pipeline from 2.5 mol/kmol to 0.0 mol/kmol. After the split, line 1 would be abandoned in place, line 2 would be transferred to ATCO Gas to be operated at low-pressure distribution service, and line 3 would be amended from discontinued to operating status. This was approved in Decision 26249-D01-2021.

To date, neither line 3, under Licence 60905, nor line 1, under Licence 56256 had been operated by ATCO; both lines had been discontinued by their former owner, Steelhead Petroleum Ltd.

In this proceeding, ATCO proposed to amend line 3, under Licence 60905 and line 1, under Licence 56256, from discontinued status to operating status, to allow ATCO to place these pipelines into high-pressure service.

AUC Findings

The AUC accepted ATCO’s commitment that all risks that required mitigations would be completed. The AUC found that the potential environmental impacts of the South Airdrie Lateral project were sufficiently addressed in ATCO’s environmental evaluation report and accepted ATCO’s commitment to implement the recommendations presented in that report to reduce the risk of potential adverse environmental impacts associated with the South Airdrie Lateral project.

The AUC noted that the applied-for amendments were required to allow ATCO to place the acquired pipelines into high-pressure service as was intended to provide security of natural gas supply to the city of Airdrie. The AUC also found that the applied-for license amendments would be in the public interest in accordance with Section 17 of the Alberta Utilities Act. The AUC approved the applications.

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