The Indian Oil Corporation is investing billions of dollars in the development of controversial liquefied natural gas projects in British Columbia.
The Economic Times reports, “Indian Oil Corporation will invest $4 billion in the British Columbia province, Canada, to source liquefied natural gas from the region. …[B.C. premier Christy Clark] said the state-run firm will invest USD 4 billion for securing LNG supplies from the Canadian province.”
This follows the news in March that Indian Oil Corporation had bought a 10 per cent stake in the Progress Energy LNG project in B.C. This refers to the Pacific NorthWest LNG export facility to be built on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert. CBC reports, “‘[That project] already has an export licence from the National Energy Board and plans to build two pipelines to carry gas from the Groundbirch area, about 35 km southwest of Fort St. John, B.C. and from the North Montney Joint Venture in northeastern B.C.”
The CBC article notes the deal would guarantee Indian Oil Corporation access to gas exported from Canada for 20 years. “The New Delhi-based refiner is guaranteed 1.2 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas per year for two decades from the B.C. LNG project, which could be in operation by 2018.”
The Council of Canadians opposes the Pacific Northwest LNG project and is in solidarity with the chiefs of the Gitxsan house of Luutkudziiwus who have said the pipeline that would service this LNG export terminal cannot pass through their territory.
B.C. premier Clark was recently on a two-day visit to Chandigarh, India where she promoted the LNG industry in BC and praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has actively been pursuing a free trade agreement with India. If that agreement were to concluded with an investor-state dispute settlement provision, it would become more difficult and costly to pass legislation in British Columbia that protects the environment and Indigenous rights from LNG exploitation.