Natural gas supply in B.C. dramatically greater than original estimates: report

By The Canadian Press
March 16, 2016 - 4:48pm Updated: March 16, 2016 - 5:49pm

VICTORIA — As British Columbia struggles to launch a proposed liquefied natural gas industry, a new report suggests the challenges have nothing to do with a lack of supply.

A National Energy Board report released by the province on Wednesday said natural gas resources in northeastern B.C., are trillions of cubic feet higher than initial estimates.

The study focused on the Liard Basin, a huge region of northeastern B.C., Yukon and Northwest Territories.

The report said 848 trillion cubic feet of natural gas lies under B.C.’s portion of the basin, up from the previous estimate of 210 trillion cubic feet.

A release from the Ministry of Natural Gas Development said that pushes the province’s total natural gas potential above 3,400 trillion cubic feet.

“British Columbia’s resource potential is a competitive advantage over many other parts of the world,” said Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman. 

“This report shows our long-term prospects are stronger than before and that the Liard Basin can create economic activity and jobs in our province for a very long time to come,” he said in the release.

News of the increased stores came as truckers and other LNG advocates across northern B.C., prepared for simultaneous rallies on Wednesday in Terrace, Fort St. John and Fort Nelson. 

Rally organizers hoped the demonstrations would reveal strong support for the Pacific Northwest LNG project.

It remains promising, but faces uncertainty before the completion of an environmental assessment, and consortium leader Petronas works to resolve environmental concerns and other issues with First Nations.

Based on the new NEB report, ministry calculations show that extraction of just 20 per cent of available natural gas will sustain future development and LNG exports in B.C. for the next 160 years.


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