Blog: Our LNG should go to Europe, too

Our Karen Ogen says Canada needs to start exporting our LNG — and that includes shipping it to Europe from the East Coast.

The CEO of our First Nations LNG Alliance told ‘The Huddle’ podcast from Atlantic Canada: “We’re seeing with the European energy crisis that  Canada is well situated geographically to be able to ship our LNG to the European countries. . . .  It will not only help our economy but also help the Indigenous economy as well.”

She noted that Alliance members include the Miawpukek First Nation from Newfoundland and Labrador. And while Canada may be saying no to LNG exports from the East Coast, “I understand they’re still working with Germany (and) the European countries yet. There’s a demand for it. Canada should be the one to say Yes to these projects. It’s not only going to help those countries but Indigenous communities as well.”

For one thing, she said, we have to look at the big picture of LNG and what it means to  Canada and other countries.

“When we think about climate change, we’re just thinking about our own countries in silos, like, ‘This is Canada and these are our emissions and this is how we need to get our emissions down to a certain level.’

“But when we think about other countries that are higher emitters, like Asian countries that are continuing to use coal . . . we need to be able to help those countries get their coal emissions down.

“And how do we that? We can do that by  . . .  LNG, and so I think we can hit bigger targets globally rather than just thinking about our own country. That’s where Canada needs to be thinking globally and acting locally.

“How we act locally is by looking at new projects on the East Coast and West Coast of Canada . . . and collaborate and partner with Indigenous people.”

And, she added: “With all the natural resources that we have, not only in BC but Canada, there should be absolutely no reason why Indigenous people are living in poverty. Those resources should be shared with First Nations.”

“We’ve been left from the table for too many years. . . . It’s like we’ve finally been given a seat at the table but now they’re pulling the food away from us, because LNG has been put on the back burner.

“LNG is still relevant. . . . We cannot just leave LNG out of the picture when it comes to climate change, it’s relevant. . . . We are at a critical time with the energy crisis. We are in  a position to help those countries and we need to act now.”

Podcast co-host David Campbell: “We’ve got challenges developing natural gas in our (Atlantic) region, and I think reaching out and partnering with First Nations has got to be a key part of that.”

LNG NL, developer of a planned LNG export project in Newfoundland and Labrador, is in talks with offshore oil operators to supply stranded gas from the Jeanne d’Arc basin as feedstock for LNG NL’s proposed facility.

It hopes to process its first gas in 2030, via a 600-km underwater pipeline to move gas from offshore to an on-shore processing facility on Placentia Bay.

It proposes to start initial production of 2.5 million tonnes of LNG a year, which would make it a little larger than Woodfibre LNG (2.1 million tonnes) in BC.

Equity partners in LNG NL include the Miawpukek First Nation. The Mi’kmaq people will be the preferred vendor for escort vessels and supply ships during the construction phase, and will also benefit from permanent jobs, including operating an ice-breaker once the gas begins to flow.

Chief Mi’sel Joe said the Mi’kmaq will advocate for environmental concerns.

“This (project) was going to happen without or without us. So the best thing we could do, instead of standing on the shore and watching it happen, was to get involved to make sure the environment is being protected. We can be part of the solution.”

Elsewhere in Atlantic Canada, the Bear Head LNG project in Nova Scotia has, under new ownership, become the Bear Head Energy hydrogen project. Buckeye Partners plans to produce green hydrogen and ammonia for domestic and export markets.

“Given the project’s unique features and the geographic advantages of the region, including its status as one of the top locations globally for wind energy generation, we believe that this has the potential to become one the world’s premier green-hydrogen production facilities.”

Nova Scotia’s government has approved the project.

In New Brunswick, Spanish-owned energy company Repsol had looked at turning its LNG import terminal at Saint John into an export terminal, but decided in that end that ensuring an adequate supply of gas would be too costly.

(In theory, the gas could move from Western Canada on TC’s mainline to Quebec, then cross the border to US lines in New England, then move back into Maritime Canada via the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline. But there could be capacity problems. Quebec has already said a flat no to  any new gas pipeline running through that province; and Ottawa has gone along with that.)

(Posted here 18 May 2023)

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