A natural gas industry expert is dismissing plans for a new liquefied natural gas export terminal in Nova Scotia's Guysborough County as a long shot.

On Wednesday, Pieridae Energy Canada announced the $5 billion project, saying the facility will be built in Goldboro, close to the overseas markets and adjacent to the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline.

"It allows us to serve great parts of the world," president Alfred Sorensen had said.

'No firm commitments of gas supply, no firm commitments of pipeline capacity.' —Barbara Shook, industry analyst

But Barbara Shook, an analyst with Energy Intelligence, isn't convinced.

"No firm commitments of gas supply, no firm commitments of pipeline capacity," said Shook, who has 41 years of experience in the industry.

Shook does not believe Pieridae would be able to use shale gas from the United States under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The company could import the gas into Canada, but would not be able to export it to a non-NAFTA country without a special exclusion permit, which is difficult to obtain, she said.

Pieridae plans to begin construction in 2014, with the plant slated to open in 2018.

If the project does proceed, it would be the first in Atlantic Canada.

Saint John better location


John Herron, president of the Atlantica Centre for Energy, says Saint John's Canaport LNG would be a better choice for an export terminal. (CBC)

The president of the Atlantica Centre for Energy contends Canaport LNG's import terminal in Saint John would make a better location, due to existing infrastructure and proximity to natural gas sources in the United States.

"Objectively, I would suggest that there would not be a more economical place to locate an export terminal than at Canaport LNG," said John Herron.

People interested in buying Spanish oil giant Repsol's 75 per cent-share of Canaport, which is co-owned by Irving Oil Ltd., have been visiting the site in recent weeks, said Herron.

He believes the potential buyers are primarily interested in converting Canaport into an export terminal.

Canaport LNG officials could not be reached for comment.

"It would be ideally located should the flows reverse as an export terminal," said Herron.

Canaport's capacity is about 1.2 billion cubic feet per day.

In addition, Canaport already has the necessary pipeline, jetty, and storage tanks in place, said Herron.

He estimates it would cost between $2.5 billion and $4 billion to convert the plant for export.

Repsol is responsible for providing all of the liquefied natural gas to Saint John's Canaport and holding the capacity at the terminal.

Irving Oil handles the marketing of the regassified liquefied natural gas in Atlantic Canada, while Repsol markets it elsewhere in Canada and in the United States.