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    BC First Nation Enlists Partners to Assess LNG


The self-governing Nisga'a nation wants to attract economic activity.

by: Dale Lunan

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BC First Nation Enlists Partners to Assess LNG

The Nisga’a First Nation in the Canadian province of BC has enlisted industry expertise to study the potential for an LNG development on its traditional territories north of Prince Rupert, it said March 12.

In an open letter to nation members, Nisga’a Nation president Eva Clayton said the First Nation – one of the few in BC to have negotiated a treaty with the BC and Canadian governments – has been trying to attract economic activity to its territories in the Nass valley since the Nisga’a Final Agreement came into effect in 2000.

Over the last decade, it has focused its efforts on LNG, and that led to a formal agreement in 2014 with TC Energy (then known as TransCanada) for the 900-km Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PGRT) pipeline intended to serve Malaysian Petronas’ Pacific NorthWest LNG project near Prince Rupert. 

When Petronas cancelled that project in 2017, PGRT was left without a destination, although it remains an active project on TC Energy’s drawing boards.

“We have also been working on the First Nations Climate Initiative with some of our neighbours, in an effort to define what types of projects can help alleviate poverty while also contributing to global emissions reductions,” Clayton wrote. “There continues to exist strong support for LNG development because it delivers on both of these priorities.”

To that end, the Nisga’a Lisims (“Nass River” in the Nisga’a language) government, headed by Clayton, has turned its attention to the production of LNG, and has enlisted the Rockies LNG Partners and privately-held Western LNG, based in Houston, in a collaborative endeavours agreement to assess and develop the tentatively-titled Ksi Lisims LNG project.

“This is just an initial agreement to evaluate and collaborate towards development in a way that respects the Nisga’a Final Agreement and the priorities of our communities,” she wrote. “It will take many more months of dialogue…to formalise the comprehensive agreements necessary for the project to actually proceed.”

Rockies LNG Partners is a consortium of Canadian gas producers, led by Birchcliff Energy and Peyto Exploration & Development, interested in assisting in the development of new LNG opportunities on Canada’s west coast. Western LNG, meanwhile, was last in the news in 2018 when it was promoting the development of a 0.5mn-1.0mn mt/yr floating LNG project somewhere on BC’s northern coast. A search of provincial and federal databases, however, found no reference to a natural gas export approval, provincial permit applications or an environmental assessment process.