The $1-billion Deep Panuke gas project off the Nova Scotia coast won't be going ahead on schedule. Senior executives say it's taking longer than expected to obtain environmental approvals from the federal government.

Encana Corp. plans to develop the Deep Panuke field to exploit about one trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Deep Panuke is supposed to be the second major offshore project, after Exxon-Mobil's Sable Project.

Encana had planned to start pumping gas in 2005, but the company says it can't meet that target because of the time it's taking to get the environmental approvals.