Take Stock – November 9

The cost of transporting natural gas eastward from Alberta is expected to rise significantly next year for producers, but that does not necessarily mean consumers will notice a difference on their home-heating bills.


7875 48th Ave.

Red Deer


• Owners

Kate and Hally Fair

• Type of business

Full range of equestrian supplies; specializing in English riding equipment.

• Opening date

Oct. 10


No. 200, 4711 51st Ave.

Red Deer


• Owner

Brad MacLeod

• Type of business

Massage therapy, including deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy and jin shin do. * Opening date

Sept. 15

New business that have opened in Central Alberta within the past three months and wish to be listed here can send their information to Harley Richards by email (hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com) or fax (403-341-5309).

CALGARY — The cost of transporting natural gas eastward from Alberta is expected to rise significantly next year for producers, but that does not necessarily mean consumers will notice a difference on their home-heating bills.

“It would be a reasonable expectation that if shippers and the energy companies are paying more, they’ll probably try and recoup those costs through the consumer,” said Tara O’Donovan, a spokeswoman for the National Energy Board, the federal regulator tasked with approving pipeline tolls. “But depending on the scenario involved, it’s not always the case.”

Natural gas is the predominant home-heating fuel throughout most of Canada, though some parts of the Maritimes still rely on heating oil.

TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) ships about nine billion cubic feet of natural gas per day along its Mainline system, which stretches more than 14,000 kilometres from Alberta to the Quebec-Vermont border.

The Calgary-based company charges producers a toll for every unit of natural gas that passes through the pipeline.

That cost is currently $1.19 per gigajoule, but TransCanada warns that in 2010 that price could rise to between $1.65 and $1.90 per gigajoule. TransCanada has not hammered out a final price yet, but is in discussions with its customers, who will no doubt feel the pinch.

What’s less clear-cut is to what extent the increase will trickle its way down to the other end of the chain, where distributors purchase natural gas and then sell it to consumers.

A lot depends on what sort of contract a shipper has with the natural gas distributor at the other end.

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