The British Columbia government announced two new strategies
today: the Natural Gas strategy, which has the stated goal
of helping British Columbia become a world leader in secure and
stable natural gas investment, and the LNG Strategy, which is sets out British
Columbia's goal of becoming a world leader in LNG
Both strategies are reasonably straighforward and contain a
number of high-level policy statements about British Columbia's
strategies for natural gas and LNG. Neither strategy
contains significant detail about how those plans are to be
The Natural Gas strategy contains significant detail about the
current state of natural gas reserves and production in
B.C. The strategy notes that B.C. is Canada's
second-largest producer of natural gas (after Alberta), producing
approximately 1.1 TCF of gas annually. 41% of this gas is
exported to the United States, 43% is transported to the remainder
of Canada, and 16% is consumed within British Columbia. Total
recoverable reserves are currently estimated at 100 TCF (which
compares with a cumulative 22.5 TCF produced in the province over
the last 55 years).
The strategy sets out the 13 key actions that the government
intends to undertake in regards to natural gas. These
The government will work to develop new export markets for
natural gas and LNG, primarily in China and Japan
The government will coordinate permitting and approvals to
ensure competitiveness in the global LNG market. The strategy
envisions three LNG facilities, representing a total investment of
$18 billion, in place by 2020.
The government will promote natural gas as a transportation
The government will continue to identify and complete resource
assessments in key production areas, inclduing identifying
subsurface water resources
The government will monitor its royalty system to ensure the
province remains competitive. The strategy notes that in the
last fiscal year, natural gas royalty revenue totalled $1.35
billion, approximately 4% of provincial revenue.
The government will encourage infrastructure (roads and
pipeline) development to support extraction and LNG
The government will amend the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act to
improve administration for Crown natural gas and petroleum leases
The government will ensure engagement with communities and
The government will continue to promote natural gas as part of
the solution to climate change, including promotion of the use of
carbon capture and storage and promotion of the reduction of
The government will continue to promote the B.C. Jobs Pna.
The government will invest in critical infrastructure ensure
the availability of clean and renewable electricity to power future
LNG facilities (having regard to the need to keep electricity
The LNG strategy goes into significant detail on the final point
- the availability of electricity. This is the element of
the two strategies that is the most significant departure from
existing government policy, and it is
discussed in more detail here.
So far, reaction to the two new strategies has been very
positive. The provincial NDP has expressed support for the strategies in
principle, though it has some questions about the effect of the
change to electricity policy on Hydro's ratepayers.
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Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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