Canada’s National Energy Board has approved the Horn River shale gas pipeline, which was proposed by TransCanada Corp. to transport natural gas approximately 100 miles from processing facilities near Fort Nelson, British Columbia, to the British Columbia-Alberta border. The pipeline would then connect to the company’s NOVA gathering system in Alberta for distribution to markets in Canada and the United States.

The board’s approval contains numerous environmental and other conditions, including protection of woodland caribou and migratory birds, preservation of wetlands, identification of the project’s environmental and socio-economic effects and mitigation measures to address them, and compliance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and National Energy Board Act. The Horn River pipeline, estimated to cost $311 million with an exploration area covering approximately 1 million acres, is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2012.