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Shell-BG merger advances proposed LNG Canada terminal in Kitimat

Protest in Squamish

Council of Canadians chapter activists join a recent protest against the proposed Woodfibre LNG terminal in Squamish. Photo by Harjap Grewal.

The Council of Canadians is opposed to the development of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals and pipelines in British Columbia.

The Globe and Mail reports, “A global powerhouse in liquefied natural gas has emerged in a blockbuster merger that is expected to reshape British Columbia’s LNG industry. Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s £47.7-billion ($88-billion) deal to buy BG Group PLC creates a liquefied natural gas giant, and will allow the combined company to choose which energy projects to keep or jettison within B.C.’s fledgling LNG sector. The merger will bolster the Shell-led LNG Canada project in Kitimat while hampering BG’s chances [on Ridley Island] near Prince Rupert, as pressure mounts for players to either drop out or consolidate to cut costs.”

The article adds, “Shell has natural gas reserves in northeastern B.C. that would be transported by [the TransCanada Coastal GasLink] pipeline to Kitimat for export, and LNG Canada has Asian customers lined up to take delivery of natural gas in liquid form, including orders placed by Shell’s partners.” The LNG Canada project is being advanced by Shell, PetroChina Company, Korea Gas Corp and Mitsubishi Corp. It could produce 12 million tonnes per year of liquefied natural gas and could be in service by 2018.

There are nineteen current proposals for LNG terminals in British Columbia, but only three or four are expected to proceed.

One of the other likely projects to move forward is the Pacific NorthWest LNG. Today’s news report notes, “Pacific NorthWest LNG, led by Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas, has been studying ways to avoid damaging salmon habitat in Flora Bank by proposing a costly suspension bridge from its planned terminal on Lelu Island to a deep berth location in Chatham Sound. Pacific NorthWest LNG officials weren’t available for comment. But industry observers say BG’s Ridley Island site would be an option for Pacific NorthWest LNG to relocate the berths for LNG tankers, if the suspension bridge proves to be too complex and expensive to construct.”

The Council of Canadians believes that a ban on the development of LNG terminals and pipelines is necessary in order to respect Indigenous rights, limit greenhouse gas emissions, defend the province’s freshwater sources, protect wild salmon, and protect communities and the coastline. If just five LNG terminals were to be built, the facilities would release 13 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. The fracking and transport of the gas would generate an additional 15 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. The gas needed for five of these LNG terminals would also require an estimated 582 billion litres of water from BC’s rivers, lakes and streams. And just five LNG terminals could require an estimated 39,000 new wells by 2040, the majority of which would likely be fracked.

Our chapters have organized six public forums in opposition to LNG export terminals and pipelines. Those took place in Ladner (October 22), Powell River (November 2), Courtenay (November 4), Victoria (November 26), Nanaimo (January 28) and Campbell River (February 11). Last weekend, our Surrey and Delta-Richmond chapters protested against the proposed Woodfibre LNG in Squamish. Our soon-to-be Vancouver-based water campaigner Emma Lui also recently made a submission to the B.C. Environment Assessment Office calling on the B.C. government to reject the Woodfibre project.

For more on our opposition to the LNG agenda, please see our campaign web-page here.

Further reading
The West Coast LNG terminals expected to proceed (March 2014 blog)

Photo: Council of Canadians chapter activists join a recent protest against the proposed Woodfibre LNG terminal in Squamish. Photo by Harjap Grewal.