The BC Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training today released a special report on the job prospects for the LNG industry and the policies needed on training, job mobility and use of temporary foreign workers.
Premier Christy Clark today accepted all recommendations in ‘The Premier’s Liquefied Natural Gas Working Group: Final Report’ as a road map to making sure British Columbia has the skilled labour force it needs to seize the opportunity of liquefied natural gas.
The report, produced by representatives of government, LNG proponents, organized labour, and the Haisla Nation, maps out 15 recommendations on planning, skills training, marketing and developing best practices within the LNG sector to attract a mobile workforce.
“To bring home the opportunity presented by LNG, we have to work together — government, industry, First Nations and labour,” said Premier Clark. “Everyone here today is working toward the same goal – making sure British Columbians benefit from this generational opportunity.”
Premier Clark called together the working group after her first meeting with representatives of organized labour in September 2013. At that historic meeting it was agreed that all parties would to work together to map out how they could work together to solve some of the complex challenges associated with the LNG opportunity.
“I want to thank the Premier for setting up the working group. I also want to thank the representatives of the Haisla Nation, industry, labour and government as it has been quite a process to come to agreement on the recommendations,” said Jim Sinclair, president of the BC Federation of Labour. “We were able to get beyond our differences by keeping our focus on what B.C. workers need to take advantage of the potential that lies in LNG. Now we have to ensure that the 15 recommendations are implemented. This investment in the workers of British Columbia will lead to good jobs. As we know, good jobs build a better B.C.”
The report includes one recommendation on developing a working group moving forward, four recommendations on skills training planning and implementation, two recommendations on marketing and promotions, three recommendations on apprenticeship trades and mentoring, two recommendations on a mobile workforce, one recommendation on timelines and two recommendations on the use of workers from other jurisdictions. The recommendations will be reflected in the 10-year skills training plan that will be released soon.
“Premier Clark recognized early the need for LNG workforce development in collaboration with industry, labour, and government,” said David Keane, vice president, policy and corporate affairs for BG Canada’s Prince Rupert LNG project. “Skills training is critical to ensure citizens of the province might realize the full economic benefits of LNG.”
From the report…..
Top 10 Construction- Related Jobs with the Greatest Demand
The Coastal Gaslink pipeline proposal to bring natural gas to Kitimat for the Shell LNG Canada project is now entering the 45 day public comment environmental assessment period. It opens on March 21, 2014 and closes May 5, 2014.
Coastal GasLink Pipeline is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TransCanada Pipelines. The company is proposing to develop an approximately 650 kilometre pipeline to deliver natural gas from the area near the community of Groundbirch, B.C., to the LNG Canada gas liquefaction facility proposed to be developed by Shell Canada Ltd. and its partners in Kitimat.
An electronic copy of the Application and information regarding the British Columbia environmental assessment process are available at www.eao.gov.bc.ca.
The British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office, with the support of Coastal GasLink, will host four open houses in northern B.C. communities during the comment period.
The proposed Project would have an initial capacity of about two to three billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas per day with the potential for expansion up to about five billion cubic feet per day. The company says the expansion scenario assessed in the application does not involve the construction of additional pipeline; the number of potential future compressor stations would change.
The proposed pipeline is subject to review under British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Act.
Starting on March 21, there are 45 days for the submission of comments by the public in relation to the Application. All comments received during this comment period will be considered. The intention of seeking public comments is to ensure that all potential adverse effects – environmental, economic, social, heritage and health – that might result from the proposed Project are identified for consideration as part of the assessment process.
LNG Canada says it will now continue to gather information and complete studies in support of developing our Environmental Assessment Application.
The company intends submit to the Environmental Assessment Application to the the B.C. EAO later this year.
LNG Canada will hold its next public meeting, an “LNG Demonstration and Presentation” on March 6, 2014 at the Mount Elizabeth Theatre starting at 6 p.m. The company says the event is to “to share information and answer questions about liquefied natural gas (LNG).” Starting at 7 pm there will be a a live demonstration using LNG to explain the science behind liquefaction and the properties of LNG.
For more information about the project’s EA process, www.eao.gov.bc.ca and look for our project under the “Proposed EAs” sections.
The other partners in the LNG Canada project are Diamond LNG Canada, an (“affiliate” of Mitsubishi), Korea Gas Corporation and Phoenix Energy (an “affiliate” of PetroChina).
With little fanfare, the Canadian Standards Association has announced on its website that it is conducting a review of the standards for pipelines and LNG facilities in this country, including marine terminals.
There are more details and information on how to contact the CSA on the web pages.
This Standard applies to the
(d) operation; and
of facilities for the liquefaction of natural gas and facilities for the storage, vaporization, transfer, handling, and truck transport of LNG. It also contains requirements for the training of personnel.
For facilities that load or unload LNG from a marine vessel, this Standard contains requirements for the interconnecting piping between the loading/unloading arm flange and the storage tank(s), and other piping and appurtenances on the pier or jetty itself.
This Standard applies to all containers for the storage of LNG, including those with insulation systems applying a vacuum.
This Standard does not apply to frozen ground containers.
This Standard includes non-mandatory guidelines for
(a) small LNG facilities (see the definition of “small facility” in Clause 3 and see Annex B); and
(b) LNG vehicle fuelling stations employed for fleet and public LNG vehicle fuel dispensing operations (see the definition of “fuelling station” in Clause D.2 and see Annex D).
This Standard does not apply to the following:
(a) the transportation of refrigerants by any means;
(b) the transportation of LNG by railcar or marine vessel;
(c) the transportation of LNG or regasified LNG by pipeline beyond the facility boundary, except as specified in Clause 1.2; and
(d) facilities designed to allow the use of LNG as a fuel for railroad locomotives, or marine vessels.
All references to pressure throughout this Standard refer to gauge pressures unless otherwise specified.
All pipe sizes refer to nominal pipe sizes (NPS).
The values given in SI units are the units of record for the purposes of this Standard. The values given in parentheses are for information and comparison only.
In CSA standards, “shall” is used to express a requirement, i.e., a provision that the user is obliged to satisfy in order to comply with the standard; “should” is used to express a recommendation or that which is advised but not required; and “may” is used to express an option or that which is permissible within the limits of the standard.
Notes accompanying clauses do not include requirements or alternative requirements; the purpose of a note accompanying a clause is to separate from the text explanatory or informative material.
Notes to tables and figures are considered part of the table or figure and may be written as requirements.
Annexes are designated normative (mandatory) or informative (nonmandatory) to define their application.
Oil and gas pipeline systems
This Standard covers the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of oil and gas industry pipeline systems that convey
(a) liquid hydrocarbons, including crude oil, multiphase fluids, condensate, liquid petroleum products, natural gas liquids, and liquefied petroleum gas;
(b) oilfield water;
(c) oilfield steam;
(d) liquid or dense phase carbon dioxide; or
(1) Vapour phase carbon dioxide pipeline systems fall under item (e).
(2) Designers are cautioned that the requirements in this Standard might not be appropriate for gases other than natural gas, manufactured gas, or synthetic natural gas.
The scope of this Standard, as shown in Figures 1.1 and 1.2, includes
(a) for oil industry fluids, piping and equipment in offshore pipelines, onshore pipelines, tank farms, pump stations, pressure-regulating stations, and measuring stations;
(b) oil pump stations, pipeline tank farms, and pipeline terminals;
(c) pipe-type storage vessels;
(d) carbon dioxide pipeline systems;
(e) for gas industry fluids, piping and equipment in offshore pipelines, onshore pipelines, compressor stations, measuring stations, and pressure-regulating stations;
(f) gas compressor stations; and
(g) gas storage lines and pipe-type and bottle-type gas storage vessels.
This Standard does not apply to
(a) piping with metal temperatures below –70 °C;
(b) piping (except oilfield steam distribution piping) with metal temperatures above 230 °C;
(c) gas piping beyond the operating company’s gas distribution system (covered by CAN/CSA-B149.1);
(d) piping in natural gas liquids extraction plants, gas processing plants (except main gas stream piping in dehydration and all other processing plants installed as part of gas pipeline systems), gas manufacturing plants, industrial plants, and mines;
(e) oil refineries, terminals other than pipeline terminals, and marketing bulk plants;
(f) abandoned piping;
(g) in-plant piping for drinking, make-up, or boiler feed water;
(h) casing, tubing, or pipe in oil or gas wells, wellheads, separators, production tanks, and other production facilities;
(i) vent piping for waste gases of any kind operating at or near atmospheric pressure;
(j) heat exchangers;
(k) liquefied natural gas systems (covered by CSA Z276);
(l) liquid fuel distribution systems;
(m) loading/unloading facilities for tankers or barges;
(n) refuelling facilities; and
(o) hydrocarbon storage in underground formations and associated equipment (covered by CSA Z341 Series).
This Standard is intended to establish essential requirements and minimum standards for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of oil and gas industry pipeline systems. This Standard is not a design handbook, and competent engineering judgment should be employed with its use.
Note: For steel pipe of grade higher than Grade 555, requirements in addition to those specified in this Standard might be needed. Matters that should be considered include joining, thermal aging effects during coating application, strain capacity (including cold bending), pressure testing, assessment of imperfections, and repair.
The requirements of this Standard are applicable to the operation, maintenance, and upgrading of existing installations; however, it is not intended that such requirements be applied retroactively to existing installations insofar as design, materials, construction, and established operating pressures are concerned.
Where class locations change pipelines in such locations shall be subject to the requirements for design factor, location factor, valve spacing, depth of cover and clearance, materials, pressure testing, historical repair methods and repair criteria for the higher class location, or shall be subjected to an engineering assessment to determine the suitability of the pipeline for service in the changed class location (see Clause 10.7.1).
Unless otherwise stated, to determine conformance with the specified requirements, it is intended that observed or calculated values be rounded to the nearest unit in the last right-hand place of figures used in expressing the limiting value, in accordance with the rounding method of ASTM E29.
Where any requirements of this Standard are at variance with the requirements of other publications referenced in this Standard, it is intended that the requirements of this Standard govern.
It is not the intent of this Standard to prevent the development of new equipment or practices, or to prescribe how such innovations are to be handled.
In CSA standards, “shall” is used to express a requirement, i.e., a provision that the user is obliged to satisfy in order to comply with the standard; “should” is used to express a recommendation or that which is advised but not required; and “may” is used to express an option or that which is permissible within the limits of the standard. Notes accompanying clauses do not include requirements or alternative requirements; the purpose of a note accompanying a clause is to separate from the text explanatory or informative material. Notes to tables and figures are considered part of the table or figure and may be written as requirements. Annexes are designated normative (mandatory) or informative (nonmandatory) to define their application
The list of participants in the oil spill preparedness and response study released last week by the federal government shows two glaring no shows, the District of Kitimat and Rio Tinto Alcan.
The Haisla Nation and the Gitga’at Nation did provide written submissions to the panel.
The expert panel was set up by the federal government to review “oil handling facilities and ship-source oil spill preparedness and response.” The expert panel was to review the “structure, functionality and the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the system, as well as analyzing the requirements for hazardous and noxious substances, including liquefied natural gas.”
The panel also invited any interested groups to submit documents or their own views to be taken into consideration.
Among the stakeholders interviewed by the panel were companies and organizations very familiar to Kitimat; Chevron and Shell, main partners in two of the LNG projects; Enbridge, which has proposed the Northern Gateway Pipeline and Kinder Morgan which has proposed expanding the dilbit pipeline on the Lower Mainland. Other stakeholders included Coastal First Nations, the Prince Rupert Port Authority, SMIT Marine and the Vancouver Port Authority.
As well as the Haisla and the Gitga’at, five west coast municipalities submitted their own reports to the tanker panel, both the city and districts of North Vancouver, the city of Richmond, the District of Ucluelet and the District of West Vancouver. San Juan County in Washington State also made a submission to the panel. So did the Prince Rupert and Vancouver Port authorities.
Chevron, Enbridge, Imperial Oil, Kinder Morgan, Pacific Northwest LNG, Seaspan Marine, and the Union of BC Municipalities, among others also submitted their views to the panel.
So why didn’t the District of Kitimat participate? When it came to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Joint Review, the mayor and council always maintained their neutrality motion meant that the District would not be an active participant. That was always a short sighted viewpoint. The District should have participated actively in the JRP in such a way as to protect the region’s interests where necessary while remaining neutral. If the District of Kitimat sat out the tanker panel because of the Northern Gateway neutrality policy, that was no excuse, because the expert panel’s mandate specifically included LNG.
Tanker traffic is a potential threat to the San Juan Islands (the Gulf Islands on the American side of the border). It is astounding that San Juan County would think that the Canadian tanker panel was important enough to make a submission and the District of Kitimat did not.
What about Rio Tinto Alcan? Kitimat has been a private port for 60 years, run first by Alcan and then by Rio Tinto Alcan. Why wasn’t RTA asked to participate as a stakeholder? Why didn’t RTA make a submission? Those who are pushing the Northern Gateway terminal always like to say that tankers have been calling at Kitimat for those 60 years. That is true. Of course, none of those tankers have been the Very Large Crude Carriers proposed by Northern Gateway. However, those 60 years means that RTA has the expertise on the Port of Kitimat and Douglas Channel. RTA probably has important data that could have helped both the expert panel and Genivar (which pointed out the paucity of data on small and medium sized tankers). In not participating in the tanker panel submissions and possibly not providing valuable data on Douglas Channel, RTA neglected its social responsibility both to the community of Kitimat and the rest of the province of British Columbia.
LNG Canada says it wants to be “first out of the gate” in the competitive race to send BC’s liquified natural gas to Asian markets.
The company held a well attended open house at the Kitimat Rod and Gun on November 27, with the usual array of posters and experts, to mark the beginning of the environmental assessment process for what is formally called the “LNG Canada Export Terminal Project.:
The LNG Canada Export Project is a partnership of Shell,Canada Energy, Diamond LNG Canada, an (“affiliate” of Mitsubishi), Korea Gas Corporation and Phoenix Energy (an “affiliate” of PetroChina) filed a draft application for an Environmental Assessment Certificate with the BC Environmental Assessment Office and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency on November 8. The 30-day public comment period on the draft Application Information Requirements started on November 13, 2013 and end on December 13, 2013.
The extensive documentation can be downloaded in PDF format from the BCEAO site. The documents can also be viewed at the Kitimat and Terrace Public Libraries and the LNG Canada office in Kitimat at the old Methanex site.
“What we want to be able to do is actually to provide information in a way that we can provide a lot of conversation with the community, so we can really have a dialogue, to give them a place where they know than go to get answers. We do believe that we can be the best project in British Columbia, the only way we can do that is if we have the support of the community,” LNG Canada’s Susannah Pierce told reporters.
“We would like to be first out of the gate. This is a competitive industry and we’re not just competing in terms of providing Canadian gas to the Asian markets, we’re competing with everyone else for the opportunity to deliver product to market.”
The application says that the all-important Financial Investment Decision will likely be “made mid-decade followed by 4-5 years of construction with commissioning of the first phase to follow.”
The first phase would have a first phase of about 12 million tonnes a year of LNG, with another MTPA (million tonnes per anum) in “one or two subsequent phases.”
Federal, provincial and municipal governments or agencies, First Nations and the general public have the ability to comment on the proposal.
An aerial photo map included in the application shows the footprint of the proposed LNG Canada operation. Although the LNG Canada project is based at the old Methanex plant, the map shows that the LNG plant will take up a much larger area than the original. The old Methanex access road would be widened parallel to the Rio Tinto Alcan smelter and a Cyrogenic Pipeline would cross the Kitimat River estuary to the marine terminal.
The scope of the project includes one possibly controversial item: “Onsite power generation,” where natural gas would be used to power the cooling equipment to turn the gas into LNG.
The assessment will also look the natural gas receiving and production facility; “a marine terminal able to accomodate two LNG carriers each with capacity up to 265,000 cubic metres (approximately 122,000 DWT) and a materials offloading area; supporting infrastructure and the construction facilities.
The environmental assessment will examine air quality, green house gas management, the acoustic environment (the noise created by the project), soil, vegetation, wildlife, freshwater, esturine fish and habitat, marine resources including fish and fish habitat and marine mammals, water and ground water quality.
The economic and social assessment includes infrastructure, land use, “visual quality,” odour, marine transportation and use, community health and well being, archaeological heritage and human health.
The assessment process will also “assess potential cumulative economic, health, social and heritage effects from the Project…interacting cumulatively with similar effects of past, present and future projects activities. The current table of projects to be considered for cumulative effects include the Rio Tinto Alcan Aluminum Smelter and Modernization Project, the Kitimat LNG and Douglas LNG terminals, the possible Enbridge Northern Gateway porject, the new use for the old Methanex and Cenovus operations, the operations at the Sand Hill, the former Moon Bay and current MK Bay Marinas.
Projects further away include LNG and other projects and associated pipelines at Prince Rupert, including expansion of the current ports and the redevelopment of Watson Island. Cruise ship and BC ferry operations will be only considered where they impact the shipping routes. Any forestry operations will also only be considered where they impact the project.
Updated to fix typos, including spelling of Feldhoff
Two of the maps filed by the LNG Canada project with provincial and federal environmental assessment agencies look at the air quality problems from the project, including the controversial prospect of cumulative problems from multiple industrial projects in the Kitimat Valley, one of them the RTA Kitimat Modernization Project which will increase sulphur dioxide emissions while decreasing some other emissions.
One map covers what is being called the airshed, in the case of LNG Canada, air quality will be assessed with the LNG facility at its centre. A second map covers the tanker route, and as well as a 40 km square grid around the plant that will also assess Hartley Bay, Kitkatla and Metalkatia which may be impacted by vessel emissions.
As well as scientific data, the assessment will also take into consideration traditional knowledge and traditional use from “aboriginal and other groups.”
The possible cumulative effect on the air quality in the Kitimat valley and surrounding areas has prompted the BC government to commission its own study of the Kitimat airshed.
On Oct 3, the provincial ministries of the environment and gas development announced a $650,000 scientific study “to help inform regulatory and policy development for future industrial activity in the Kitimat area. The goal is to ensure the potential impacts from industrial air emissions are clearly understood prior to new projects being approved and in operation.”
The Kitimat Airshed Impact Assessment Project will look at the cumulative effects of existing and proposed industrial air emissions in the airshed. These include emissions from: an existing aluminium smelter, three proposed LNG terminals, a proposed oil refinery, a crude-oil export facility, and gas-turbine-powered electrical generation facilities. The study will focus on sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions from these facilities.
The study will assess the impact of emissions through a number of scenarios, including their potential effects on water and soil, as well as on vegetation and human health from direct exposure.
An airshed is generally described as an area where the movement of air (and, therefore, air pollutants) can be hindered by local geographical features such as mountains, and by weather conditions. The most obvious example in British Columbia is a mountain valley. Since air pollution knows no political boundaries, airshed activities may be focused on a single community or on a number of neighbouring communities faced with similar air quality problems and requiring similar action.
The LNG Canada assessment will look at two potential adverse effects, first a change in ambient air quality in the Kitimat airshed or along the marine access route and second any change in acidic deposition pattern in the Kitimat Valley.
The first study will look specifically at estimated levels of “criteria air contaminets” including sulphur dioxide, Nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, atmospheric particulate matter and hydrogen sulphide. The particulate matter study will use the international standard of 2.5 micrometres.
The assessment will also study possible cumulative effects on air quality of multiple projects and those projects over time.
Buried deep in the LNG Canada environmental assessment application, a reader will find a key difference in attitude with at least one of the group of companies planning liquified natural gas development in the northwest and Enbridge Northern Gateway.
It’s an earthshaking difference, since it’s all about earthquakes.
The documents filed by LNG Canada with the BC Environmental Assessment Office and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency acknowledge that there is a possibility of an earthquake (a one in 2,475 year event) at the LNG terminal site.
Northwestern British Columbia was shaken by two major earthquakes in the months before the Joint Review Panel concluded its hearings in Terrace. Both were far from Kitimat, but felt across the District. On October 27, 2012, there was a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the Queen Charlotte Fault off Haida Gwaii. That quake triggered a tsunami warning, although the actual tsunami was generally limited to the coast of Haida Gwaii. Both landline and mobile phone service in Kitimat was briefly disrupted by both the quake and overloads on the system. Kitimat was also shaken by the 7.5 magnitude earthquake centered at Craig, Alaska a few weeks later on January 9, 2013.
With the exception of one vague reference in its final argument documents presented to the Joint Review Panel, Enbridge has stubbornly refused to consider any seismic risk to the region.
That was the company’s policy long before the October. 27, 2012 Haida Gwaii earthquake and was Enbridge policy after October 27, 2012.
In a public meeting in Kitimat on September 20, 2011, more than a year before the Haida Gwaii earthquake, John Carruthers, Northern Gateway president, insisted to skeptical questioners at a community forum at Mount Elizabeth Theatre that there was no earthquake danger to the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline and bitumen terminal in Kitimat. One of the questioners, Danny Nunes, of Kitimat, asked could the pipes withstand an earthquake? Carruthers repeated that Kitimat was not in an earthquake zone, that the fault was off Haida Gwaii and so would not affect Kitimat.
After the September, 2011 meeting, I asked Carruthers if Enbridge knew about the March 27,1964 “Good Friday” magnitude 9.2 Alaska earthquake that, because of its high magnitude, had caused major shaking in Kitimat. That earthquake destroyed much of Anchorage and triggered tsunamis that caused damage and death across Alaska and in parts of British Columbia, Oregon and California.
Carruthers promised to get back to me and never did.
On June 17, 2013, six months after the Craig, Alaska earthquake, in his opening summation before the Joint Review Panel, Richard Neufeld, lead lawyer for Northern Gateway, stayed on message track, telling the JRP, referring to pipelines: “The route is not seismically unstable. The seismic risk along the pipeline right-of-way is low, with only a few locations of moderate risk encountered, none of which are within the Haisla territory.”
That brought a gasp from spectators in the room, or at least those who had felt the October and January earthquakes.
The following day, June 18, Murray Minchin of Douglas Channel Watch found an anomaly in the Enbridge documentation, arguing in the group’s summation:
“The Proponent’s written final argument gets on shaky ground regarding design and construction of the storage tanks on a ridge beside Douglas Channel in paragraph 249 where they say:
“‘It also involves the safe construction and operation of the Kitimat terminal in Kitimat Arm in an area subject to seismic activity which encompasses both terrestrial and marine components.’
“Now, that’s interesting because isn’t that the first time — the first admission by the Proponent in a little over 10,000 pages of documents that the area they intend to build their project is in a seismically-active area?
“Haven’t they been telling us all along to this point that the only seismic concerns would be from the distant Queen Charlotte fault off of Haida Gwaii?
“Now, this completely contradicts Mr. Neufeld’s statement yesterday where he described the Project area as not “seismically unstable”. So what is it? This is their final argument and they’re contradicting themselves.”
Minchin went on to quote from the Enbridge argument: “’Seismic conditions in the project area have also been addressed.’
“Well, really? Is that a truthful statement, considering Natural Resources Canada has only submitted a preliminary report concerning a 50-kilometre fault line and massive submarine landslides they accidentally discovered last year in Douglas Channel while doing a modern survey of the Channel for navigation hazards.
“How can the Proponent claim to have adequately addressed seismic forces in their design of this Project when they don’t know what those forces are or for what duration they may be subjected to those forces.
“Has there ever been a paleoseismological study in the Project area to establish past earthquake or tsunami history?
“Wouldn’t it be in the best interest of the Proponent, the Panel and Canadians to know the risks before 1.3 billion litres of liquid petroleum products are allowed to be stored on a low ridge right beside Douglas Channel?”
In his final rebuttal on June 24, Neufeld did not address the contradictions that Minchin had pointed out.
Compare Enbridge’s attitude to the view of LNG Canada, which at very least, appears willing to consider that major events could have adverse consequences on the terminal and liquifaction facilities.
The first one is a bit puzzling to Kitimat residents “A 1 in 100 year 24 hour rain event,” after all the town often gets rain for 24 hours straight or more fairly often.
The second, 1 in 200 year flood of the Kitimat River. Flooding has always been a concern and will be even more so, because as the pipelines come into town, whether natural gas or bitumen, those pipelines will be close to the river bank.
Even more interesting is that LNG Canada is willing to consider possible effects of climate change on the project, saying: “Predicted climate change effects during the project lifecycle on sea-level rise, precipitation and temperature. Where relevant and possible, the implications of such climate induced changes to the extreme weather events given above will also be addressed.”
Although the hydrocarbon industry as a whole is reluctant to acknowledge climate change, it appears that on a practical level, the LNG Canada partners, if they are about to invest billions of dollars in a natural gas liquifaction plant and marine terminal, will certainly take steps to protect that specific investment from the effects of climate change.
On the other hand, the National Energy Board, as matter of policy and the Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel, both still stubbornly refuse to even consider any effects of climate change, even possible effects locally on a specific project application.
The Joint Review Panel decision on the Northern Gateway is expected sometime in the next three weeks. While most reports seem to indicate that the decision will be released after Christmas before the Dec. 30 deadline, there has been recent media speculation that the decision could be released next week.
The problem for Enbridge is that the new public relations campaign is repeating the blunders that began when they first proposed Northern Gateway in 2005. There have been meetings across the northwest, but those meetings have been invitation only affairs at chambers of commerce and community advisory boards, with possible opponents or skeptics and media perceived as critical of Enbridge not invited. So Enbridge still wants to control the message and will only talk to friendly gatherings.
Then there are the television spots featuring Janet Holder, the Enbridge vice president in charge of Northern Gateway, supposedly showing her commitment to wilderness. Those commercials would have had more credibility if the agency had produced the ads with actual video of Holder walking through the bush, rather than shooting the spots in front of a green screen in a studio, with pristine wilderness stock video in the background, and Holder acting as if she was a model for an adventure clothing company rather than vice president of a pipeline company.
Right-wing business columnists in Toronto and the countless Albertans fume at the so-called “hypocrisy” of British Columbians who support LNG and oppose bitumen.
Of course, those critics didn’t feel the earth move under their feet. The critics don’t see the difference between natural gas and bitumen, differences very clear to the people of British Columbia.
It’s more than the fact, that so far, the LNG projects have been relatively open and willing to talk to potential adversaries, as Chevron has done on the controversial Clio Bay project; more than the fact that if even a fraction of the LNG projects go ahead, the money coming into northwestern BC means that the handful of permanent jobs promised by Enbridge will be literally a drop in a bucket of warm bitumen.
Although there are many other environmental issues on the Northern Gateway project, the fact the potential for earthquakes in Kitimat is brushed off by Enbridge while LNG Canada is at least willing to consider the problem, sums it all up.
Updated with link to Sept. 2011 questions and answers
Aurora LNG, a partnership headed by Nexen, the Canadian branch of CNOOC, one of China’s largest energy companies, has applied to the National Energy Board for an export licence to ship 24 million tonnes of liquified natural gas over 25 years to Asian customers from Grassy Point near Prince Rupert.
Two Japanese companies, Inpex Corp and JGC are partners with CNNOC in the joint venture.
While the NEB is expected to grant the export licence with little difficulty, the company still has to go through environmental assessment and make a final investment decision.
So far none of the LNG projects in northwestern BC, including three in Kitimat where the NEB has already granted export licences, have been given that final go ahead from the boards of their parent companies. Tne NEB is also considering five other applications for LNG export licences.
At the time BC granted Nexen the potential tenure at Grassy Point, CEO Kevin Reinhart said: “Through project assessment and stakeholder consultation we are committed to examining the potential to build a best-in-class LNG facility – one that creates jobs, delivers lasting economic and social benefits and is developed with the environment top-of-mind.”
According to the BC government news release:
The agreement is for the northern part of Grassy Point, which covers 614.9 hectares of land, plus foreshore land equalling 158.7 hectares.
Aurora LNG will be examining the viability of constructing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant and export terminal at this location.
Under the agreement, Aurora LNG will pay $12 million to the Province upon signing the sole proponent agreement. Another $12 million will be paid by Aurora LNG on, or before, the first anniversary of the agreement, as long as the proponent wants the arrangement to continue.
The right to acquire the land for construction or long-term use remains a matter of future negotiations. If the land is acquired by Aurora LNG, the $24 million submitted to government will be subtracted from the final sale price.
Nexen’s plans include a natural gas liquefaction plant, LNG storage and a marine terminal to handle LNG tankers capable of carrying between 210,000 and 217,000 cubic metres of gas. The initial plans call for two trains with a possibility of two more if conditions in the always volatile LNG market warrant.
Nexen is in talks with a number of “major pipeline providers” and no pipeline route has been announced.
It is expected the first LNG shipment from Grassy Point would occur sometime between 2021 and 2023.
Media reports say that Japan Petroleum Exploration (Japex) has given final investment approval to build a liquified natural gas receiving terminal and storage facility at the Soma Port in Shinchi, Fukushima Prefecture to receive Canadian LNG, probably from Prince Rupert.
The company will also build a 40 kilometre connecting pipeline to move the natural gas to Japex’s main pipeline which will then connect with natural gas storage facilities in Natori in Miyagi Prefecture and another facility in Niigata Prefecture on the Sea of Japan.
The Soma port was severely damaged in the March, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.
“We want to help areas affected by the disaster to create employment and secure a stable supply of energy,” Shoichi Ishii, Japex senior managing director, was quoted by the Japanese newspaper Ashai Shimbum at a news conference on Nov. 27.
Japex owns 10 per cent of the planned Petronas LNG export terminal at Prince Rupert, which is expected to have an annual capacity of 12 million metric tons.
Japex plans to import 1.2 million tonnes of LNG made from Canadian shale gas a year starting in 2018. The construction of the new LNG terminal in Shinchi, is scheduled for completion in 2017 and will start in 2014, at a cost of $587 million US.
The reports say with LNG import facilities on both the east and west coasts, that means Japan is ensuring a stable supply of LNG. If an earthquake or tsunami hits one coast, the other would likely be spared.
Ashai Shimbum also reports that Japex is considering building at an LNG fired power plant near the planned import and storage facilities to sell power to the struggling and controversial Tokyo Electric Power Co, owner of the nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture that was destroyed in the March, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.
The newspaper says that because Japex does not have experience operating a thermal plant, it intends to work with other companies to run the new powerhouse.