Nova Scotia

Deep Panuke misses deadline, again

Nova Scotia's second offshore natural gas development has missed another deadline.

Natural gas production facility more than two years late

Deep Panuke Production Field Centre. (The Canadian Press/ho-Encana Corporation)

One of Nova Scotia's offshore natural gas developments has missed another deadline.

The Deep Panuke field was supposed to be supplying gas to market by the end of June. That hasn't happened yet.

The natural gas production facility is more than two years late and is hundreds of millions of dollars over the original forecast.

But there is some good news.

Although gas is still not flowing from offshore wells at Panuke, there is gas flowing from an onshore pipeline to the platform where it is being used in the commissioning process.

The operator of the project, Encana, said bringing gas on stream is "getting closer," but spokeswoman Lori MacLean said the company is not able to say how long that will take.

The Deep Panuke project received regulatory approval in 2007 and was initially supposed to go into production by late 2010.

The platform was in the process of final commissioning when an electrical fire broke out in January and 46 people were flown back to shore as a precautionary measure.

Encana said at the time that it did not expect its schedule would be delayed by the fire, which was contained to an electrical cabinet in the emergency switchboard room.

Last fall, SBM Offshore said Deep Panuke wouldn't start producing natural gas until at least June 30, 2013.

The gas field is about 250 kilometres southeast of Halifax on the Scotian shelf.