LNG pipelines cannot be converted for oil: new BC law
B.C. will ban the future conversion of proposed Liquified Natural Gas pipelines for the transport of oil or bitumen, the provincial government said Tuesday.
The move is being seen as an effort to quell suspicions that LNG pipelines are being proposed as a backdoor way to build oil sands pipelines in the future.
“Many First Nations want to work with the Province and proponents on major natural gas pipeline developments, but some have strong and differing views about oil or diluted bitumen pipelines,” said John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation in a statement.
“A regulation prohibiting the automatic conversion of natural gas pipelines for these purposes goes a long way to address the concerns we have heard.”
The route for Chevron’s Pacific Trails natural gas pipeline to Kitimat, for instance, is nearly identical to Enbridge’s controversial Northern Gateway oil pipeline, that has failed to gain approval with First Nations.
Chevron has long insisted its intention is not to convert the pipeline down the road.
The new regulation will be applied under the Oil and Gas Activities Act and prohibits the BC Oil and Gas Commission from permitting any conversion of a natural gas pipeline supplying an LNG facility.
The following six proposed pipelines are subject to the regulation and other pipelines can be added in the future:
- Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project (for LNG Canada)
- Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission Project (for Prince Rupert LNG)
- Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project (for Pacific Northwest LNG)
- Pacific Trail Pipelines Project (for Kitimat LNG)
- Pacific Northern Gas Looping Project (for Douglas Channel LNG)
- Eagle Mountain-Woodfibre Gas Project (for Woodfibre LNG)
British Columbia currently has 18 LNG proposals for export operations. Energy analysts have said the province will be lucky if one is built due to global LNG competition, and declining energy prices.