News Release Archive

PREMIER'S OFFICE--Better Gas Deal Reached, Premier Says
Premier Russell MacLellan announced today that the province has
achieved an agreement with the Sable gas project partners that
ensures benefits from the development are felt first -- and most
-- by Nova Scotians.

"We have a new deal --a far better deal for Nova Scotia," the
premier said.

The Province of Nova Scotia, the Sable Offshore Energy Project
(SOEP) partners, Maritime and Northeast Pipelines and Nova Scotia
Power have signed a memorandum of understanding which, Premier
MacLellan said, "will bring new industry, new investment, new
jobs and new wealth to Nova Scotia."

He said the memorandum, and the formal agreements that will
follow, "fulfil the commitment I made to Nova Scotians five
months ago.

"We came into the negotiation process seeking certain benefits,
certain advantages for Nova Scotians . . . we have achieved that

Highlights of new arrangement include:

-A significant price advantage for Nova Scotian gas consumers.
Nova Scotia already had a 10 per cent reduction as a result of
the joint agreement. Through the establishment of the Nova Scotia
Gas Market Development Fund by the SOEP producers, there is an
additional rebate to consumers. This rebate will double the
reduction.  Nova Scotian consumers will now enjoy, in effect, the
equivalent of a 20 per cent reduction in the delivery cost of
natural gas for at least 10 years.

-Guaranteed access has been achieved for Nova Scotia industries
and consumers. Laterals will be built to Halifax and Point Tupper
to ensure major customers have access when the gas begins to

-Natural gas liquids will be available for use in the province,
paving the way for the possible development of a petrochemical
industry, given the proper opportunity and economics.

-A Nova Scotia ownership position has been achieved --through
Nova Scotia Power Inc. --in the main gas transmission line.

-The SOEP producers have agreed to bring appropriate training
programs to Nova Scotia in order that Nova Scotians can take
advantage of the new job opportunities. Additionally, research
and development initiatives will be created at centres of
excellence across Nova Scotia, providing more opportunities to
develop additional benefits.

-Nova Scotia Resources Ltd. will become an active participant in
the project, ensuring Nova Scotia continues to determine its own
future relative to the development of its resources.

The premier said the 20 per cent discount gives a competitive
advantage to Nova Scotia that will translate into economic growth
and jobs for Nova Scotians. He also said that he is confident
that Nova Scotia will retain its price advantage after the
initial 10 years.

"It has always been of prime importance that Nova Scotians have
access to their natural gas," said Premier MacLellan. "With this
agreement, more than 20 per cent of the natural gas from the
initial development will find a market in Nova Scotia."

He said that in addition to the laterals to Halifax and Point
Tupper, laterals to other areas of the province, such as Amherst,
Truro, the New Glasgow-Trenton area and the Annapolis Valley,
will be constructed as demand warrants.

In the area of natural gas liquids, the premier said the
proponents have agreed not to enter into supply commitments
outside Nova Scotia exceeding two years. The agreement also
provides for ethane to be made available, if required, for
petrochemical development in Nova Scotia.

Premier MacLellan said the training, development and research
components of the memorandum are extremely important, "in that
Nova Scotians and Nova Scotia companies must be prepared for the
arrival of natural gas and the development of a whole new
industry in our province."

The memorandum of agreement follows weeks of intense
negotiations, and the premier paid tribute to all parties to the
agreement for their efforts.

"Today, with a better deal for Nova Scotians, we are embarking on
a new venture that will pay dividends to Nova Scotia for years,
perhaps generations," he said.


Contact: Peter MacLellan
         Office of the Premier

         Maurice MacDonald
         Petroleum Directorate

NOTE TO EDITORS: Copies of Premier MacLellan's announcement are
available at Communications Nova Scotia; please e-mail request to or call collect 902-424-4492.

ngr               Dec. 10, 1997               11:45 a.m.