Everything you want to know about LNG in B.C.
Learn about LNG and why it is a great opportunity for British Columbians.
Learn about LNG and why it is a great opportunity for British Columbians.
LNG is natural gas chilled to -160 degrees Celsius so that it can be converted into a liquid form. After it has been liquefied, natural gas is condensed so it takes up much less space – approximately 1/600th less than natural gas.
Once condensed, LNG gas can be loaded on to specially equipped ships and transported overseas for sale into export markets. LNG is odourless, non-toxic, non-corrosive and less dense than water. If a spill were to occur, the natural gas would warm and evaporate, leaving no substances behind.
Widely available in many areas of the world, natural gas is a by-product of decaying organic matter in rock layers formed below the earth’s surface millions of years ago. As the matter decayed, the gas was trapped or isolated in the rock formations which prevented it from surfacing.
Natural gas is primarily composed of methane gas. It can also contain small amounts of ethane, propane butane and pentanes.
Today, natural gas is recognized as the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel. It has a low carbon dioxide content and is often used as a fuel to produce other forms of energy.
Once processed for commercial use, natural gas can be safely used for a variety of purposes such as heating homes and businesses, generating electricity or fueling vehicles. It can also be paired with renewable power sources such as wind and solar to make these forms of intermittent energy more reliable and available.
Because natural gas is clean, safe and plentiful, it will remain an important part of the world’s future energy needs.
LNG is processed natural gas. This gas comes, primarily, from the northeast corner of British Columbia. Some of the world’s most promising areas for natural gas extraction are found in B.C. – in places like the Horn River Basin and the Montney Basin.
The need for energy is increasing globally, particularly in emerging Asian economies. Natural gas − the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel − is able to accommodate the demand. In fact, world-wide demand for LNG is projected to increase two-and-a-half times over the next 20 years.
British Columbia is well-positioned to meet this need, with the competitive advantages to become a leading contender for LNG growth and export, including an abundant supply of natural gas which can support economic activity in the province for over 150 years.
LNG is a promising industry thanks to the high price of natural gas in the Asia Pacific region. Despite over-supply in North America, things are different in Asia. In Asia, the value of LNG is currently linked to the price of oil, making it a higher valued product. The proposed LNG facilities in B.C, focused on exporting natural gas to the Asia Pacific, will have long-term supply agreements put in place to ensure the market value of B.C.’s natural gas remains strong.
Our latest data indicate that a scenario with five LNG plants constructed in B.C. between 2015-2024 would create a total industry investment of $175 billion creating up to 100,000 jobs: 58,700 direct and indirect construction jobs, 23,800 permanent direct and indirect jobs for operations, and thousands more of induced jobs as a result of households having more income.
As of 2016, approximately 20 LNG proposals have come forward and are at various stages of development. These proposals are from various companies, both Canadian and international. For a list of these proposals, please see the list here.
The Province manages industry’s access to natural gas on behalf of British Columbians, who actually own the rights to the resource.
As a result, the Province collects a portion of revenues from the natural gas industry – known as royalty payments. In turn, the Province uses the revenue to help fund vital programs and services in health care, education, infrastructure development and more.
As an entirely new industry, LNG creates an opportunity for the provincial government to collect additional revenue and secure a brighter economic future for our province.
Despite over-supply in North America, things are different in Asia. In Asia, the value of LNG is currently linked to the price of oil, making it a higher valued product.
Also, demand is rising in countries such as Japan and China as they look to replace traditional sources of energy such as nuclear and coal with a safer, cleaner alternative. This rising demand enhances the cost customers are willing to pay.
Currently, the proposed LNG facilities in B.C. are focused on exporting natural gas to the Asia Pacific. These projects will have long-term supply agreements put in place to ensure the market value of B.C.’s natural gas remains strong.
B.C. is a world leader in environmental regulation for natural gas development.
In fact, B.C. is considered to have the strictest regulations. Exploration and extraction practices are tightly monitored to protect wildlife. The latest pipeline technology is used to safeguard water from harm.
The B.C. government is taking action to maintain a safe natural gas sector while also building the cleanest LNG facilities in the world. In negotiations with proponents, the Province continues to focus on the use of clean energy sources to power LNG facilities. New measures to manage greenhouse gas emissions are also being evaluated.
Of course, the fight against climate change is a global issue. As a future supplier of the cleanest burning fossil fuel, B.C. will help other markets transition to cleaner natural gas and away from dirtier energy sources like coal. For years, China and other areas of Asia have relied heavily on coal for energy needs. Soon, with access to B.C.’s natural gas, coal-fired power generation should decrease and cleaner energy production will fill the gap.
For more than 50 years people have been extracting natural gas in British Columbia.
To ensure industry uses safe drilling techniques, the Province has a world-class regulatory framework in place to govern extraction of natural gas from deep underground.
Some of the world’s most promising areas for natural gas extraction are found in B.C. – in places like the Horn River Basin and the Montney Basin.
Thanks to new innovations, B.C. has been able to access newly discovered shale rock formations – a relatively common type of rock formation in the province – deep under the surface.
To extract the natural gas from these formations, engineers use a stimulation technique known as hydraulic fracturing. The natural gas extracted this way is often referred to as shale gas.
British Columbia’s natural gas potential is estimated at over 3,400 trillion cubic feet. To put it in perspective, each year industry extracts about 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Based on the amount of gas industry is able to recover and increased activity, B.C. has over 150 years worth of natural gas supply.
And, new discoveries are being made all the time.
Many First Nations in B.C. are seeking new and innovative business opportunities on their traditional territories and options for lasting reconciliation. The Province helps facilitate economic activity, job creation and enhanced social well-being by negotiating agreements with First Nations aimed at increasing opportunities for Aboriginal people, and providing certainty for investors, industry, and communities.
The B.C. government is committed to working with First Nations on agreements that address mutual priorities. Recognizing that there are different solutions for different priorities, nations can choose what is right for them. Treaties, incremental treaty agreements, revenue-sharing agreements, land base decision-making and consultation agreements, forestry agreements and clean-energy project development funding are among the tools currently used in B.C. to reconcile First Nations interests.
The Province and First Nations have more than 300 such agreements in place, more than 200 of them achieved in the past five years.
More details can be found here.