TransCanada Corporation, a North American energy infrastructure company, announced on Tuesday that it will expand its natural gas pipelines at a cost of approximately $2.7 billion.
The expansion decision comes after new customer contracts, which total approximately four billion cubic feet (120 million cubic meters) per day, said the company in a statement.
The $2.7 billion investment includes multiple pipeline projects, which in total constitute 540 kilometres (336 miles) and are expected to be in service by the second quarter of 2017, the statement said.
TransCanada said that growth in unconventional natural gas supplies in Alberta and British Columbia, as well as oil sands development in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin,WSCB, have caused the increasing volume of contracts.
Canada's proved natural gas reserves were 67 trillion cubic feet (2 trillion cubic meters) at the end of 2012. Most of the traditional natural gas reserves are from the WSCB, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The country also has an estimated 573 trillion cubic feet (17 trillion cubic meters) of technically recoverable shale gas resources, with most deposits residing in WCSB, according to the U.S. agency.
TransCanada's wholly-owned subsidiary, NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd., currently transports more than three-quarters of the total WCSB production to markets to downstream Canadian and U.S. export markets, said the statement.
By Ovunc Kutlu