British Columbia Announces new Natural Gas and LNG Strategies
February 3, 2012 by Michael Styczen, P.Eng
The British Columbia government announced two new strategies today: the Natural Gas strategy, which has the stated goal of helping British Columbia become a world leader in secure and stable natural gas investment, and the LNG Strategy, which is sets out British Columbia's goal of becoming a world leader in LNG exports.
Both strategies are reasonably straighforward and contain a number of high-level policy statements about British Columbia's strategies for natural gas and LNG. Neither strategy contains significant detail about how those plans are to be achieved.
The Natural Gas strategy contains significant detail about the current state of natural gas reserves and production in B.C. The strategy notes that B.C. is Canada's second-largest producer of natural gas (after Alberta), producing approximately 1.1 TCF of gas annually. 41% of this gas is exported to the United States, 43% is transported to the remainder of Canada, and 16% is consumed within British Columbia. Total recoverable reserves are currently estimated at 100 TCF (which compares with a cumulative 22.5 TCF produced in the province over the last 55 years).
The strategy sets out the 13 key actions that the government intends to undertake in regards to natural gas. These include:
The LNG strategy goes into significant detail on the final point - the availability of electricity. This is the element of the two strategies that is the most significant departure from existing government policy, and it is discussed in more detail here.
So far, reaction to the two new strategies has been very positive. The provincial NDP has expressed support for the strategies in principle, though it has some questions about the effect of the change to electricity policy on Hydro's ratepayers.