British Columbia, Native group look to spur LNG development
CALGARY, Alberta |
CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - The government of British Columbia and the Haisla First Nation said on Friday they had reached a deal that will see the aboriginal group lead development of what could be a third liquefied natural gas export facility near the port of Kitimat.
Under the agreement, the province will free up land on the west side of the Douglas Channel that the Haisla will lease or buy in order to attract an industry partner looking to develop a gas-liquefaction plant and export terminal.
The site is just north of the planned Kitimat LNG plant backed by Apache Corp (APA.N), Encana Corp (ECA.TO) and EOG Resources Inc (EOG.N).
There are about 1,500 members of the Haisla First Nation and about half that total live in Kitamaat Village about 10 kilometres (6 miles) from the town of Kitimat. It already has a stake in an advanced LNG project, BC LNG Export Co-operative LLC, that was given an export license by federal regulators earlier this year.
It is also working with Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) and its partners on that company's planned multi-billion LNG Canada facility that could ship as much as 2 billion cubic feet of liquefied gas per day by 2020. The government and the Haisla did not say if the land deal was for the Shell plant.
"This gives the Haisla and associated projects the certainty needed for the LNG proposals and other projects coming forward for our territory," Ellis Ross, Chief Councillor of the Haisla Nation, said in a statement.
The land agreement is the latest in a round of LNG-infrastructure announcements for northern British Columbia. The province's shale-gas deposits contain trillions of cubic feet of natural gas far from North America's natural gas markets, but close enough to the Pacific coast to make LNG development viable.
In all, five gas-liquefaction project have so far been proposed for the province's northern Pacific coast to tap Asian demand for the fuel.
(Reporting by Scott Haggett; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
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