ExxonMobil Canada Ltd. – Sable Offshore Energy Project – Abandonment of Gathering Pipeline and the Goldboro Gas Plant

What’s New

Project Information

ExxonMobil Canada Ltd. (ExxonMobil) submitted its application for Leave to Abandon the NEB-regulated Sable Offshore Energy Project (SOEP) facilities on March 29, 2018. The NEB-regulated facilities include the Goldboro Gas Plant and the 26” gathering pipeline. In its application, ExxonMobil says that the Sable Offshore Energy Project is now in a stage of naturally declining production and the company is preparing to abandon the project. The SOEP consists of seven offshore platforms in five different fields, with 21 wells, located approximately 200 kilometres off the coast of Nova Scotia. The offshore platforms are connected by pipelines to two onshore plants. Please visit ExxonMobil’s SOEP website for additional details.

ExxonMobil has applied to the NEB for permission to abandon the NEB-regulated gathering pipeline, which runs for nearly 200 km from the Thebaud Offshore Platform to the Goldboro Gas Plant in Goldboro, Nova Scotia. About two kilometres of the gathering pipeline is onshore, while the rest of the pipeline is offshore. ExxonMobil proposes to pig and flush the pipeline, fill it with seawater, cap the ends and abandon the pipe in place. The abandoned offshore portion of the pipeline will remain marked on navigation charts. The company indicated that it also plans to apply to abandon the NEB-regulated Goldboro Gas Plant.

The gathering pipeline is regulated by the NEB, Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NSUARB) and partially by the Canada Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board.

The Goldboro Gas Plant is regulated by the NEB, NSUARB and Nova Scotia Environment.


This map provides an overview of the project.

Sable Energy Offshore Project (SEOP) Map

View larger PDF version [PDF 1554 KB]

Key Milestones

  • September 12, 2018 – Adjournment of the oral traditional evidence session [Filing A93983]
  • August 29, 2018 – Board issues procedural update No. 1 schedule and guidance for the Oral Traditional Evidence (OTE) sessions [Filing A93789]
  • August 29, 2018 – Board letter to ExxonMobil Canada Ltd granting confidentiality to parts of the information request [Filing A93794]
  • August 29, 2018 – Board letter to Natural Resources Canada regarding ExxonMobil Canada Ltd and Encana Corporation Applications [Filing A93784]
  • August 9, 2018 – NEB releases Hearing Order [Filing A93457]
  • July 18, 2018: NEB releases List of Parties [Filing A93090]
  • July 18, 2018: NEB issues letter to ExxonMobil on Completeness and Timelines [Filing A93088]
  • July 17, 2018: NEB releases Information Request No. 1 [Filing A93053]
  • June 1 – June 29, 2018 – Apply to Participate
  • May 29, 2018: Notice of Public Hearing [Filing A92163]
  • March 29, 2018: ExxonMobil Canada Ltd. filed their project application [Filing A90958]
  • January 8, 2018: ExxonMobil submits a project description [Filing A89063]


If you would like to learn more about how the NEB regulates pipeline abandonment, please visit the following links:

Preliminary List of Issues

The Board has identified, but does not restrict itself to, the following issues for consideration with respect to the proposed abandonment of the ExxonMobil Sable Offshore Energy Project NEB-regulated facilitiesFootnote 1, both onshore and offshore:

  1. The reason the facilities are being proposed for abandonment.
  2. Potential economic, financial, and commercial impacts of the Abandonment.
  3. The appropriateness of the method of abandonment undertaken for each segment of the Abandonment (removal or left in place).
  4. The suitability of the abandonment plan and associated activities or physical work for each segment of the Abandonment (offshore and onshore facilities).
  5. Potential environmental and socio-economic effects of the physical work associated with the Abandonment, including any cumulative environmental effects that are likely to result from the physical works.
  6. The appropriateness of the land requirements for the Abandonment.
  7. Potential impacts of the Abandonment on Indigenous interests.
  8. Potential impacts of the Abandonment on both affected landowners and land use, and offshore use and users; including: fishers, navigation, offshore activities, and any infrastructure crossings of the NEB-regulated facilities.
  9. Contingency planning for product release, as a result of accidents or malfunctions, during physical work associated with the Abandonment.
  10. Safety and security during activities conducted in relation to the Abandonment.
  11. Safety and security of activities conducted subsequent to the pipeline Abandonment, including monitoring, emergency response planning and prevention of damage by third-parties.
  12. The terms and conditions to be included in any approval the Board may issue.

Support for Participants

Process Advisor

The Canada Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) also has regulatory authority with respect to activities related to portions of the ExxonMobil 660.4 mm (NPS 26) gathering pipeline under the Canada – Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act and the mirror provincial legislation – Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation (Nova Scotia) Act.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

The main role of a process advisor is to provide information to the general public and support to participants in the hearing. They can also answer questions about the NEB’s process.

You can contact a process advisor by calling 1-800-899-1265 (toll free) or emailing SOEP-Abandonment@cer-rec.gc.ca

Apply to Participate

To be a participant in a NEB hearing process, you must be directly affected or have relevant information or expertise. You can apply to participate as an intervenor or by letter of comment.

The application to participate process was held from June 1 – 29, 2018. The process is now closed.

The NEB will decide if late applications will be accepted and whether you will be allowed to participate. Please contact the process advisor to discuss the filing process for a late application to participate.

Participant Funding

Participant funding is available to facilitate the participation in this public hearing. Refer to the Participant Funding Program page for information on deadlines, eligibility, how to apply for funding, and how to submit claims.


Company contacts

If you have questions about the project, please contact ExxonMobil Canada at 902-490-9741 or sableinfo@exxonmobil.com, or visit their website.

NEB Contacts

For process-related inquiries, please contact:

Process Advisor
Canada Energy Regulator
Email: SOEP-Abandonment@cer-rec.gc.ca
Telephone (toll free): 1-800-899-1265
Facsimile: 403-292-5503
Facsimile (toll free): 1-877-288-8803

For media inquiries, please contact:

Media Relations Team
Canada Energy Regulator
Email: media@cer-rec.gc.ca
Telephone (toll free): 1-800-899-1265

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