BC LNG bigger than Tar Sands? Export licences face Cabinet review

BC LNG bigger than Tar Sands? Export licences face Cabinet review

BC LNG bigger than Tar Sands - Export applications face Cabinet review

BC LNG applications dwarf oil pipeline proposals and Tar Sands production, but receive only a fraction of the attention.

On Monday, the same day the news broke that Kinder Morgan has finally filed its Vancouver pipeline expansion proposal, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver also chose to announce that four massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) export licenses recommended by the National Energy Board (NEB) will go to Cabinet for review and final decision.

This is in the same week we expect to hear the NEB approve the Enbridge Heavy Oil pipeline proposal with “conditions” that reflect the social license posturing of the BC Liberal Government – and, once again, much media debate will ensue.

However, it is important that we do not let this overshadow the NEB’s approval of four more LNG export licenses, reaching 7 total approved licenses, involving a mind-boggling 109.18 million tonnes per annum (mtpa.) of natural gas. That’s a staggering total gross volume of 2905.5 million tonnes over 25 years, requiring a massive increase in hydraulic fracturing in BC to feed these LNG plants and tankers.

Details for the three largest are as follows, with the much smaller Woodfibre application linked to in the complete table below, which includes all 11 export applications, four of which are pending approval and thus not included in the above totals.

  • Pacific NorthWest LNG – Proponents are Petronas, Progress Energy Canada Ltd. and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co.  Located in Prince Rupert.  Submitted an application to the NEB on July 5, 2013, to export 19.68 million tonnes of LNG annually for 25 years.
  • Prince Rupert LNG – Proponent is BG Group plc. Submitted an application to the NEB in June 2013, to export 21.6 million tonnes of LNG annually for 25 years.
  • WCC LNG Ltd. project – Proponents are Imperial Oil Resources Limited and ExxonMobil Canada Ltd. Will be located in the vicinity of Kitimat or Prince Rupert. Submitted an application to the NEB in June 2013, to export 30 million tonnes of LNG annually for 25 years.

Complete list of 11 Export Licenses currently before the NEB


Application Status

Term Length

Regulatory Documents

KM LNG Operating General Partnership Approved 20 yr Application [Filing A27596]Reasons for Decision[Filing A33553]
BC LNG Export Co-operative LLC Approved 20 yr Application [Folder 704633]Reasons for Decision[Filing A39041]
LNG Canada Development Inc. Approved 25 yr Application [Folder 834774]Reasons for Decision[Filing A50334]
Pacific NorthWest LNG Ltd. Approved 25 yr Application [Filing A53130]Letter Decision[Filing A55995]
WCC LNG Ltd. Approved 25 yr Application [Filing A53032]Letter Decision[Filing A55993]
Prince Rupert LNG Exports Limited Approved 25 yr Application [Filing A53011]Letter Decision[Filing A55992]
Woodfibre LNG Export Pte. Ltd. Approved 25 yr Application [Filing A53055]Letter Decision[Filing A55997]
Jordan Cove LNG L.P. Under review 25 yr Application [Filing A53974]
Triton LNG Limited Partnership Under review 25 yr Application [Filing A54964]
Pieridae Energy Ltd. Under review 20 yr Application [Filing A55130]
Aurora Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd. Under review 25 yr Application [Filing A55578]

Taken in total and converted to the “oil equivalent”, these LNG licences and applications dwarf current Tar Sands production. At the low figure of  80 mtpa, BC Premier Christy Clark has boasted these license applications are the oil equivalent of 1,960,000 barrels per day, every day, for as long as 25 years.

The 80 mpta that Christy Clark admits to is only about 3/4 of the actual NEB-approved volume of 109.19 mtpa.

That would be the oil equivalent of 2,674,910 million barrels a day, every day for up to 25 years, of APPROVED volumes – remember, 4 more licenses are awaiting for approval, totalling an additional 49.3 mtpa.

Some have estimated that to supply the volumes approved in these licenses would require upwards of 50 thousand fracked natural gas wells. For perspective see this image of a few hundred gas well pads in Texas.

BC LNG plans: Gas equivalent of 4 million barrels of oil/day

Again, the 101.19 mtpa approved total does not count the 49.3 mtpa awaiting for approval, bringing the grand total to 158.49 mtpa or the oil equivalent of 3,883,005 barrels per day. One of those proposals is Sinopec’s Aurora application, which was just received and is the second largest behind WCC’s approved license.

The license volumes in these applications, if approved, would launch BC to the forefront of the world’s LNG export market, surpassing the current world leader Qatar.

Window of opportunity for public input

As a result of recent changes, driven by the proposed Enbridge pipeline, the Harper Cabinet will be making the final decision on these export applications.

At the same time, the Harper Government is negotiating the final details of unprecedented trade agreements in terms of their magnitude, scope and impact on BC’s emerging LNG industry. Those include the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with China (FIPPA).

These agreements will dictate the terms of BC’s emerging LNG industry for generations – which is why this is a pivotal time to register your concerns.

Take the time and use this contact information below to register your concerns with Natural Resources Canada about BC LNG export volumes, trade agreements and the impact on our economy and environment.

If you could impact the unbridled exploitation of the Tar Sands BEFORE they were “locked in” and well underway, would you? If so, now is your chance to act and influence the BC “Tar Sands”, as defined by Christy Clark’s vision.


About Kevin Logan

Kevin Logan's career has been diverse, ranging from small business to NGOs through finance and government. Early on, he operated the research department for the Vancouver branch of international brokerage Richardson Greenshields. After leaving the finance industry he owned operated small businesses and eventually established a consulting company which contracts with both the private and public sectors. He served as a ministerial assistant to numerous ministers and a premier in the former BC NDP Administration. Kevin is also an independent researcher and writer who has administered many diverse and successful campaigns.

20 thoughts on “BC LNG bigger than Tar Sands? Export licences face Cabinet review

  1. Clarke is betting it all on LNG and will have no Plan B should anything go awry. What could go awry you ask? Well, for starters, one of the wiseguy ideas she’s bought into is the opportunity to sell LNG into a market controlled by Russia, who charges 5-6X the LNG price in North America. Can’t you just see her eyes bulge with the thought of being able to buy the next 5 elections for the Liberals
    One little problem among many comes to mind. Russia is not in need of a new source of LNG, as it has plenty and has struck deals with nations like Israel, which discovered massive reserves of LNG years ago and is way ahead of BC in its quest tto get it to market.
    Next, transport costs. BC would be competing with suppliers whose transport costs are far, far less. Another little issue is a geopolitical one. Although most people are clueless about tensions rising dramatically in the past few years, much is taking place behind closed doors by the new Dream Team of Russia and China. Both are actively undermining US supremacy through economic, energy(control),and even militarily now. Russia’s victory in the Syrian proxy war and more recent last minute victory in Ukraine are serious blows to US supremacy. Those who think the Cold War is over should stop drinking the Kool-Aid, nations like Russia, China, and the US view themselves as rightful world rulers and will never stop working towards that aim.

    Canada is closely allied with the US and therefore will not be favoured by Russia over nations which can supply LNG AND serve Russia’s geopolitical ambitions as well. Clarke is either misled or just using this story as a means to rack up otherwise inexplicable debt.

  2. During the Campbell years, and now the Clark years it’s clear that the”Wizard of BC” is actually “Gordo’s 300 lb gorilla…. yes, that’s what he was called in Gov’t.
    The “Minister of Everything” will frack every ranch,farm,park,village,suburb,and city to make this a reality.
    The “socialist hoards” and the “tree huggers” that you voted against in favour of the “Queen of Talk Radio& the”MoE” warned you.
    From Ottawa to Victoria this is corporate gov’t that must be stopped.

    In agreement w/ Hugh, and add that gas production& oil refineries for domestic consumption must be a exempt from “free trade agreements”, and mandated in Act/Law before any new export of hydrocarbons.
    Norway is the model for oil/gas.
    Norway is the “Evil Waterlord” of the aquacultists.
    They got the oil/gas right.
    So should BC/Canada

  3. did they not band hydraulic fracturing in Quebec due to environmental desegregation?

    shipping LNG is yet another explosive nightmare… ? the bigger the package(tankers) the bigger the explosion…

    who benefits with such monster energy development here and most of all who losses dearly… ?

    i for one will call the number listed in this researched article and write as well as this is a priority issue for British Colombia …

  4. If BC has lots of natural gas, why don’t we use more of it here ourselves?
    Cars, trucks, busses, trains and ferries can all be retrofitted to run on natural gas.
    Cheaper fuel.
    Cleaner burning.
    Less reliance on gasoline and diesel from oil sands
    Many new jobs created in conversions.

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