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NEWS: Harper approval of Petronas bid would mean major expansion of fracking in BC

The Calgary Herald reports, “Federal approval of the $6-billion Petronas takeover of Progress Energy will result in a bigger Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export facility and billions in accelerated investment in B.C. shale gas fields, the companies said Tuesday.”

Progress is the largest landholder in the Montney shale gas area of British Columbia (near Dawson Creek) and holds assets in Deep Basin in northwestern Alberta and the Foothills zone in northeastern British Columbia. A pipeline would take the fracked gas from northeastern B.C. to the LNG export facility on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert.

If the takeover bid by the Malaysian state-owned company is approved by the Harper government, the bigger LNG facility would involve two (and perhaps later three) LNG trains (liquefication plants), the size of each of those plants would increase by 60 per cent, and each plant would produce about 6 billion tonnes of LNG per year (up from 2.8 billion tonnes per year).

The news report says, “A final investment decision is expected in late 2014, followed by the first LNG exports in 2018.” The Globe and Mail notes that the Harper government’s decision on the Petronas takeover of Progress could come as early as this week.

Also it should be noted that both Canada and Malaysia are negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement in Auckland, New Zealand this week along with the United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and Mexico.

For Council of Canadians commentary on the dangers of fracking, please see http://canadians.org/fracking. The Calgary Herald news article is at http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/Progress+Petronas+offer+upsize+plant/7650011/story.html.