BC LNG Foe Takes Aim at Kitimat LNG Export Application
Michael Sawyer, the BC environmental activist and federal Green Party candidate who tried unsuccessfully to force TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline into the federal regulatory sphere, has taken aim at an application by Chevron Canada for a 40-year natural gas export licence to support its proposed 18mn mt/yr Kitimat LNG project.
In an August 9 filing with Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB), Sawyer disputes Chevron’s assertions that gas supply for its Kitimat LNG project will be surplus to Canada’s needs over the 40-year life of the licence, and is asking that the board deny the application “in its entirety.”
“A fundamental premise of this submission, based on the evidence submitted by Chevron…is that Chevron’s evidence has raised identifies [sic] certain environmental and social factors as risk factors that may result in market disruptions that could potential [sic] effect [sic] the Canadian natural gas markets and therefore potentially affecting [sic] the surplus criterion,” Sawyer’s submission says.
The Chevron/Woodside Kitimat LNG project, Sawyer says in his submission, will consume 40 trillion ft3 of western Canadian natural gas over the 40-year life of the export, while LNG Canada’s ultimate 28mn mt/yr facility, also at Kitimat, will use 50 trillion ft3. Taken together, that is more than the 87.2 trillion ft3 of raw natural gas discovered in BC since exploration began there in the 1950s, Sawyer says.
And it accounts for “approximately 127%” of Canada’s current proven reserves of natural gas, he claims. The bulk of Canada’s gas reserves are contained in tight and shale resources, the undiscovered resource potential of which has been estimated at some 988 trillion ft3, Sawyer notes.
“Chevron does not have adequate natural gas under its control to backstop the applied-for 40-year licence and has not supplied any evidence beyond the 25-year time horizon of existing forecasts, including those of the NEB,” Sawyer’s submission says. “For the period of time between 25 and 40 years, out to 2070, Chevron has no evidence whatsoever other than to say ‘trust us. The market has always worked in the past and we see no reason why it shouldn’t work in the future.’”
In the rest of his 19-page submission, Sawyer takes aim at the NEB’s lack of attention to environmental impacts of proposed exports and notes the potential for indigenous land claims and global market pressures to disrupt Canada’s natural gas supply chain, including the export of LNG.