The National Energy Board (NEB) has decided a written hearing is sufficient for the BC LNG Co-operative application for an LNG export licence.
The Co-op is a partnership between LNG Partners of Texas and the Haisla Nation that plans to beach an LNG plant barge on the west side of the Douglas Channel.
The NEB had asked for comments from intervenors on whether an oral hearing – usually more time consuming than a written one – was necessary.
The Alberta Energy department, Haisla Nation, Industrial Gas Consumers Association, Pacific Northern Gas, Talisman Energy and Teneka Marketing Canada all said it was not.
Only KM LNG, the Apache-EOG Resources-Encana partnership that plans to build an LNG plant at Beese Cove, and Pacific Trail Pipelines (PTP), the proposed pipeline project to feed that plant and owned by the same partnership, said it was.
They argued, in the NEB’s words, that “it is still too early to tell if an oral portion is required.”
PTP suggested the NEB should make that decision once the Co-op had filed its replies to information requests and additional evidence.
The NEB disagreed and set up the following schedule.
BC LNG and all other parties are to serve their final written arguments on each other by noon, Calgary time, November 30.
Replies to those arguments must be filed by all parties by noon Calgary time December 7.
The list of issues that the NEB will consider mirror those covered in the KM LNG export application hearings – it received its export go-ahead two weeks ago (Northern Sentinel, October 19).
Under issue #4 – potential environmental effects and “any social effects that would be directly related to those environmental effects” – the NEB will consider a submission from the Kitimat Rod and Gun Club.
It suggested adding social benefits, specifically, “fish, wildlife and habitat values, as well as outdoor recreational opportunities, and how they will be promoted, enhanced, nurtured and fostered for resident stakeholders.”
Another issue will be “adequacy of natural gas supply to support the volumes and term of the applied for licence.”
The difference between this application and KM LNG’s is that the three partners in the latter all have producing natural gas fields and therefore have their own supply.
The BC LNG Co-op does not and will therefore rely on supplies from other producers or marketers.
However, the Co-op has already filed a list of potential suppliers that it says indicates it has that covered.
The Co-op project anticipates an annual LNG production of about 900,000 tonnes, with an initial production of 700,000 tonnes per annum.
That’s considerably smaller than the KM LNG proposed production of five million tonnes a year ramping up to 10 million tonnes.