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Licence issued for exporting natural gas from B.C.

Richard Gilbert

A group of companies led by Shell have received approval from the National Energy Board (NEB) for a licence to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from a proposed terminal near Kitimat, British Columbia.


According to the NEB, the export licence will authorize LNG Canada to export 670 million tonnes of LNG (about 32.95 trillion cubic feet of natural gas) over a 25-year period.

The maximum annual quantity allowed for export will be 24 million tonnes of LNG (about 1.18 trillion cubic feet of natural gas).

The daily equivalent of these exports is 3.23 billion cubic feet per day.

LNG Canada includes Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS), Mitsubishi Corporation and PetroChina Company Limited.

Shell holds a 40 per cent interest in the LNG Canada project.

KOGAS, Mitsubishi and PetroChina each hold a 20 per cent interest.

The proposed project includes the design, construction and operation of a gas liquefaction plant and facilities for the storage and export of LNG.

Proposed construction includes marine off-loading facilities and shipping.

The project is expected to create thousands of jobs during construction and hundreds of full-time, permanent jobs during operations.

LNG Canada will initially have two LNG processing units, or “trains,” each with the capacity to produce six million tonnes of LNG annually, with an option to expand the project in the future.

Start-up could come around by the end of the decade, assuming all the necessary regulatory approvals are obtained and investment decisions made.

In approving the application, the board satisfied itself that the quantity of gas to be exported does not exceed the surplus remaining after an allowance has been made for the reasonably foreseeable requirements for use in Canada.

This was made in relation to the trends in the discovery of gas in Canada.

The NEB has approved several applications for LNG terminals proposed for Kitimat.

Encana has formed a new partnership with the operator Apache Canada Ltd. and EOG Resources Canada Inc., for a proposed $ 4.2 billion LNG project.

BC LNG Cooperative, which is a joint venture between the Haisla Nation and LNG Partners of Houston, is planning to construct and operate a liquefied natural gas export terminal at Bish Cove near the Port of Kitimat.

Kitimat is also proposed as the western end of Enbridge’s planned $5.5 billion Northern Gateway Pipeline to carry oilsands crude from a terminal near Edmonton.

These projects aim to take advantage of Western Canada’s abundant supplies of natural gas, by exporting the commodity to global markets, in particular Asia’s dynamic and fast-growing economies.

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