NEB — End of Life Cycle Program

Pipeline Abandonment

Most of TransCanada’s Canadian assets are regulated by the National Energy Board (NEB). When TransCanada decides to decommission or abandon pipeline assets, the pipeline in question makes the necessary filings with the NEB. For example, NGTL applied to the NEB on August 18, 2016 to abandon a 266-kilometer section of the Peace River Mainline in Northwestern Alberta. On March 14th, 2018, the NEB approved the application after a regulatory review that included both written and oral evidence. More information on the NGTL’s Peace River Mainline Retirement Program can be found on TransCanada’s website

Additional information of NEB oversight of pipeline abandonment and the process by which the company must follow can be located here.

Financial Aspects of Pipeline Abandonment

TransCanada sets aside funds for abandonment and decommissioning of pipeline assets using carefully prepared cost estimates. As part of the NEB’s MH-001-2012 public proceedings, TransCanada filed abandonment cost estimates (ACEs) where the reasonableness of the cost estimates was considered. The NEB examined the reasonableness of assumptions regarding proposed abandonment methods, scope and rationale for each abandonment activity considered to estimate costs for various activities, and the approach to the estimation of contingency and provisions for post abandonment. The NEB approved TransCanada’s first ACE Applications in 2014 that were in 2014 dollars.

The NEB committed to the public, all landowners, indigenous groups and interested stakeholders that cost estimates would be reviewed regularly, at least every five years to ensure sufficient funds are available. On February 8, 2016, the NEB initiated the 2016 Abandonment Cost Estimate Review for all Group 1 companies under its jurisdiction, such as the TransCanada Companies. The TransCanada Companies filed updated ACEs with the NEB on September 30th, 2016 reflecting costs in 2016 dollars. The revised 2016 ACEs also included details modifying its approach to estimating contingency, updated the NEB on consultation activities, and submitted a five-year preliminary decommissioning and abandonment plan. The five-year plan also addressed associated funding and impacts on funds set aside in each of the TransCanada Companies Abandonment Trusts. The NEB approved the TransCanada Companies updated ACEs on April 18, 2018. The most recently approved ACEs can be found on the NEB site at the links below:

NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd:
2016 Abandonment Cost Estimate

TransCanada PipeLines Limited:
2016 Abandonment Cost Estimate

Foothills Pipe Lines Ltd.:
2016 Abandonment Cost Estimate

Trans Québec & Maritimes Pipeline Inc.:
2016 Abandonment Cost Estimate

TransCanada Keystone Pipeline GP Ltd.:
2016 Abandonment Cost Estimate

Great Lakes Canada:
2018 Group 2 Abandonment Cost Estimate (NEB approval pending)

Reimbursement and Accessing Trust Funds

Eligible costs related to pipeline abandonment and decommissioning activities (collectively referred to as reclamation obligations) are intended to be funded from Abandonment Trusts. Pipelines with an Abandonment Trust as their set-aside mechanism pre-fund reclamation activities and seek reimbursement from their respective Abandonment Trust for costs incurred, subject to NEB approval.

On September 25, 2015 Foothills, a subsidiary of TransCanada, filed an Application to Decommission approximately 9.1km of pipeline of its system. The NEB approved TransCanada’s Application on December 22, 2015 and work to decommission the section of pipeline commenced shortly thereafter. When work was completed, TransCanada applied to the NEB on December 6, 2016 for approval of reimbursement from the Foothills Abandonment Trust for costs associated with performing these reclamation obligations. The NEB granted Foothills’ request to be reimbursed for the Reclamation Obligation Costs and issued an order directing the Trustee of the Foothills Abandonment Trust to release the amount of $1,644,567 to Foothills Pipe Lines. To view the Foothills Applications and NEB Orders, please click on the following links on the NEB’s website:

National Energy Board

Funding reporting and financial statements

Download and read funding reporting forms and financial statements for some of our key NEB regulated Canadian natural gas and oil & liquids assets below.

2017 Foothills Abandonment Funding Reporting Form
0.12 MB, PDF View
2017 Foothills Trust Fund Financial Statements
1.01 MB, PDF View
2016 Foothills Abandonment Funding Reporting Form
0.05 MB, PDF View
2016 Foothills Trust Fund Financial Statements
0.58 MB, PDF View
2015 Foothills Abandonment Funding Reporting Form
0.14 MB, PDF View
2015 Foothills Trust Fund Financial Statements
0.39 MB, PDF View
NEB Trust Agreement — Foothills
0.74 MB, PDF View