Canadian LNG Projects

Context

Much has changed in the North American liquefied natural gas (LNG) market in the past decade. Throughout the early to mid-2000’s, concerns over decreasing conventional supplies of domestic natural gas led to bullish predictions about future LNG demand in North America, resulting in an investment boom to build new LNG import facilities.

Around 2008, dramatic changes in the market on account of surging U.S. unconventional natural gas production (mostly from shale gas) started to change the outlook for LNG imports. Natural gas production increased, North American prices fell significantly, and the expected need for imported LNG was dampened.

As unconventional gas production increases, the U.S. is becoming increasingly self-sufficient with respect to natural gas. Pipeline exports from Canada to the U.S. are decreasing. With ample unconventional resources, industry is shifting its focus from importing LNG into North America to exporting LNG from North America.  The export of LNG could facilitate Canadian natural gas production growth and result in significant investment, jobs and economic growth.

There may be a short window of opportunity for Canada to capitalize on its LNG export potential, as there is intense competition around the world for these investments. The Government of Canada is working closely with British Columbia and other provinces to create conditions supporting the development of an LNG industry in Canada.

Canadian LNG Projects

As the North American natural gas industry moves away from importing LNG, Canada and the United States have a considerable surplus of regassification capacity. In 2013, Canadian imports of LNG represented 10% of capacity and U.S. imports of LNG represented 1% of US regassification capacity.

Canada does not have any operational LNG export facilities. However, as of September 2014, seventeen proposed LNG export facilities in Canada have entered the regulatory review process – sixteen in British Columbia and one in Nova Scotia. Canada’s only operational LNG terminal is Canaport LNG’s regassification terminal located in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Canadian LNG Import and Proposed Export Facilities (September 2014)

EXISTING IMPORT TERMINAL
Project Location
Canaport LNG Saint John, New Brunswick

 

PROPOSED EXPORT TERMINALS
Project Location
Douglas Channel LNG Kitimat, British Columbia
Kitimat LNG Kitimat, British Columbia
LNG Canada Kitimat, British Columbia
Pacific Northwest LNG Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Prince Rupert LNG Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Goldboro LNG Guysborough County, Nova Scotia
Woodfibre LNG Squamish, British Columbia
WCC LNG Kitimat or Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Triton LNG Kitimat or Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Aurora LNG Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Kitsault Energy Project Kitsault, British Columbia
WesPac Marine Terminal Delta, British Columbia
Steelhead LNG To be determined, British Columbia
Grassy Point LNG Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Discovery LNG Campbell River, British Columbia
Cedar LNG Kitimat, British Columbia
Orca LNG Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Regulation

While the ongoing operation of LNG terminals generally falls under provincial regulation, most LNG terminal proposals require both federal and provincial environmental assessments and permits. 

Most of the proposed LNG facilities require new pipelines or the expansion of existing pipelines.  Intra-provincial pipelines are provincially regulated, while pipelines that cross a provincial or international border are federally regulated.  For more information on pipelines, please see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Concerning Federally-Regulated Petroleum Pipelines in Canada.

A permit from the National Energy Board (NEB), Canada’s federal energy regulator, is required to export LNG from Canada. The NEB reviews export licence applications to ensure that the proposed volume of gas to be exported is surplus to Canadian requirements. As of September 2014, the NEB had issued long-term export licences to the proponents of Douglas Channel LNG, Kitimat LNG, LNG Canada, WCC LNG, Prince Rupert LNG, Pacific NorthWest LNG and Woodfibre LNG.  More information on export licences is available at the NEB's website.

Useful Links

These websites provide useful background information on LNG and LNG regulatory processes in Canada.