Flurry of LNG action with BC, Quebec projects ready for review
for Petroleum News
Canada’s struggles to enter the global LNG sector are faced with a pivotal environmental test at the same time Alberta and British Columbia surprisingly find themselves in “absolute alignment” to seek a market foothold in Asia.
A pair of proposed projects - a C$14 billion Gazodug proposal to ship 11 million metric tons a year from Saguenay, Quebec, to unidentified markets and the First Nation-led Cedar LNG proposal to ship 4 million MT/year to Pacific outlets - are about to embark on the first environmental review under the Canadian government’s new Bill C-69.
Gazodug includes plans for a 470-mile pipeline to draw natural gas from pipeline in Ontario to be liquefied by GNL Quebec.
But Equiterre, a non-profit, non-government organization, is opposed to a plan it says would put Canada “even further behind its efforts” to meet its Paris commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adding the facility would require 160 tankers to use the liquefaction facility every year.
The Gazodug proponents counter that they intend to be compatible with “provincial, Canadian and international energy and climate policies (and would) facilitate an energy transition.”
BC projectCedar LNG, led by the Haisla First Nation, is designed to ship LNG from a floating dock near Kitimat, B.C., close to the C$39 billion LNG Canada project.
However, opponents argue the facility has the “potential to cause adverse effects to marine and freshwater fish.”
No timetable has been set for either application to go before an environmental panel.
Separately, Rockies LNG Partners is weighing the use of floating barges off the northern B.C. coast, with Chief Executive Officer Greg Kist estimating that would be cheaper than building an onshore facility and have a smaller environmental footprint.
The partnership hopes to identify a potential site in the first quarter of 2020 and start service in 2026, following the planned C$30 billion Shell-led LNG Canada project on the Pacific coast.
Rockies LNG now has nine partner companies and is hoping to add more after discussions with “a handful of very large LNG players and LNG buyers,” Kist said, adding his principals are “very open” top aboriginal communities acquiring a stake in the project.
Sales trip to JapanThe surprising development was an announcement that Alberta and British Columbia have sent officials to Japan and South Korea to make a case for selling Western Canadian gas in that region.
Alberta’s minister for natural gas, Dale Nally, acknowledging that the two provinces are often at extreme odds on energy matters, said “no hard sell was required, no-arm twisting was needed ... we are aligned on this.”
He said there is one obvious benefit to establishing shipping terminals at Kitimat and at the Jordan Cove project at Coos Bay, Oregon, which are eight to 10 days closer to Asian markets than tankers sailing from Texas or Louisiana.
- GARY PARK