Canada’s Natural Resources ministry on Wednesday approved its second liquefied natural gas (LNG) export license from Kitimat, British Columbia (BC), this time to BC LNG Export Co-operative Ltd. The approval gives a green light to the 20-year license granted to the project in February by the National Energy Board (NEB) (see Daily GPI, Feb. 6).

The C$600 million facility, also known as the Douglas Channel Energy Partnership, would enable up to 250 MMcf/d of LNG to be transported by tanker from Kitimat to Asian markets. BC LNG is a joint venture of the Kitimat native society Haisla Nation and Houston’s LNG Partners LLC. The NEB was told last year by the partners that the export venture would support civic improvements from jobs to health care and education (see Daily GPI, Dec. 5, 2011).

“This export license is another example of our Government’s commitment to diversifying our energy export markets and strengthening our trading partnership with Asia,” said Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver. “Canada is a safe, responsible and reliable supplier of energy contributing to global energy security.”

The LNG facility would be sited on the west bank of the Douglas Channel in Kitimat. BC LNG intends to ship up to 1.8 million tons of LNG a year, the filings indicate. Gas would be transported to the proposed Douglas Channel terminal on the existing Pacific Northern Gas Pipeline and potentially on the proposed Pacific Trail Pipeline.

The proposed LNG facility is undergoing an environmental assessment according to Canada’s Environmental Assessment Act. The initial phase of the facility is expected to be in operation late next year or in early 2014 and if it proceeds, it would represent the “very first” LNG exports from Canada, said Oliver.

“Canada is well positioned to grow as a global energy superpower,” said Oliver. “Projects such as this will show the world that we are serious about getting our energy resources to market.”

The first LNG export license approved by Canadian officials was granted last October to KM LNG, a partnership between units of Apache Corp. (40%), EOG Resources Inc. (30%) and Encana Corp. (30%) for a much larger project (see Daily GPI, Oct. 17, 2011). The group was given authority to export up to 1.4 Bcf/d from a terminal to be built in Haisla Nation Reserve in Bish Cove, near Kitimat. A final decision about whether to proceed with construction has yet to be made.

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