First Nations urging LNG projects advancement in B.C.

First Nations representatives gathered in an LNG alliance raised the need to push the remaining liquefied natural gas projects in British Columbia over the finish line.

During the course of last year, First Nations held a number of discussions with the British Columbia ministry of energy, mines and petroleum resources (EMPR) on LNG sector’s cost competitiveness and fiscal policies.

A resulting joint engagement report stresses that the LNG industry has changed over the past few years, as prices have dropped across the globe and new liquefaction facilities have come online. This means that there are far fewer new natural gas pipelines and LNG facilities projects advancing, largely due to economic circumstances.

A number of projects such as the Pacific NorthWest LNG and the Grassy Point LNG have already been canceled by their proponents.

Proponents who have walked away from potential developments in BC have cited market conditions as being their main reason for canceling projects.

However, despite an apparent short-term LNG glut, there is a considerable consensus among international LNG market analysts that global demand will continue to grow, with demand for new LNG facilities and export opportunities arising around 2023-24.

Given the approximate 4-5 year construction period, a window of opportunity remains open for positive final investment decisions (FIDs) in LNG projects by proponents in the next two to three years in British Columbia.

First Nations representatives raised the need to push the remaining projects over the finish line in order for the communities to achieve the benefits they negotiated with the provincial government and industry proponents.

The report also notes that there are a variety of proposed LNG export projects remaining in British Columbia, but only a handful are actively pursuing development.