News Release Archive

Natural Resources Minister Eleanor Norrie has announced that
public input will be sought to determine how natural gas
distribution should be regulated in Nova Scotia.

"If the Sable Offshore Energy Project goes ahead as expected,
local distribution companies will tap into the main transmission
pipeline in order to deliver natural gas to the Nova Scotia
market," said Mrs. Norrie. "Therefore, we need the advice of Nova
Scotians on how to best regulate the distribution and sale of
natural gas within our own province."

Mrs. Norrie says advertisements inviting written public
submissions on distribution franchising, rates and tariffs,
service, marketing and other matters related to natural gas
distribution will soon appear in several Nova Scotia newspapers.

A discussion paper on regulation of gas distribution systems for
Nova Scotia will be available to individuals and companies who
wish to provide input. Written submissions will be received by
the Department of Natural Resources until Sept. 6.

"Public input will ensure that a proper framework is in place to
regulate natural gas distribution to the commercial, industrial
and consumer markets within Nova Scotia if the Sable project goes
ahead," said Mrs. Norrie. "It may require new legislation or
amendments to the Nova Scotia Gas Utilities Act, enacted nearly
two decades ago in 1980. Since that time, the natural gas
industry throughout North America has experience fundamental
policy and regulatory changes, so it is imperative that Nova
Scotia be up to date with current practices and procedures."

A decision on whether the Sable natural gas project goes ahead
will be made in mid-1997.

If the proposed Sable project proceeds, a transmission pipeline
will be built from a processing plant in Guysborough County to
carry the gas to market. Proponents of the transmission pipeline
will require National Energy Board approval for the project and
its routing.

Distribution lines off the main transmission pipeline would serve
local markets in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick if there is
sufficient demand, and would be regulated by provincial

Copies of the discussion paper on regulation of local gas
distribution systems are available from the Department of Natural
Resources at Founder's Square in Halifax.


Contact: Blain Henshaw   902-424-5252

         Eleanor Norrie  902-424-4037 or 902-895-7766

trp                  August 02, 1996 - 1:10 p.m.