(Adds TransCanada declines comment)
CALGARY, Alberta, March 2 Canadian Natural
Resources Ltd is likely interested in shipping natural
gas under TransCanada's new flat toll for its Mainline system,
but it has not made a firm decision, Canadian Natural's chief
executive officer said.
"I think you will see us participate in the open season, but
we're still making that decision," Steve Laut, the chief
executive, said in an interview with Reuters on Thursday,
referencing the process that TransCanada Corp started
last week to gauge interest for the pipeline from western to
TransCanada has said it plans to offer a flat toll on its
Mainline system that takes natural gas to southern Ontario,
three months after shippers balked at the previous varied toll
structure, which they saw as too high.
Laut said Canadian Natural was still considering the costs
of the new plan.
"We're working together with TCPL," Laut said, using the
initials of a TransCanada subsidiary. "We're very involved."
TransCanada declined to comment.
TransCanada's new rate is 77 Canadian cents per gigajoule
for a 10-year term, instead of the previously offered range of
between 75 and 82 Canadian cents . The open season is expected
to close on March 9.
In Ontario, Canadian shippers face competition from eastern
U.S. shale basins like the Marcellus and Utica. They have
comparable production costs to Canada's remote Montney and
Duvernay gas plays in the west, but lower delivery costs.
(Reporting by Ethan Lou in Calgary, Alberta; Editing by Bernard
Orr and Leslie Adler)