By Bruce Lantz
Canada’s ability to provide oil and natural gas to its citizens markets abroad is being hindered by the lack of pipeline infrastructure, say industry producers.
“Canada is in the unique position of having abundant natural resources but currently insufficient pipelines and other infrastructure needed to transport Canadian oil and natural gas, and ideally increase exports to the United States and global markets,” said Jay Averill, media relations manager with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP).
An example of this shortfall is the need for Pieridae Energy Ltd. [PEA-TSX] to import natural gas from the U.S. for its planned $10-billion liquefied natural gas processing facility in Goldboro, Nova Scotia.
While Western Canada features some pipelines in that area, the lack of a pipeline from the West to Eastern Canada means Pieridae must bring product from the U.S. through the Maritimes Northeast Pipeline.
“CAPP is fully supportive of the development of LNG export facilities on Canada’s East Coast,” said Averill. “The LNG industry can become an important source of much-needed jobs in Atlantic Canada, and having the capacity to export LNG off of Canada’s East Coast could offer a future market for Canadian natural gas.”
Averill noted that the total marketable natural gas in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin is estimated to be 988 trillion cubic feet (tcf), while the rest of Canada holds 223 tcf, a total of 1,220 tcf which CAPP estimates can meet Canada’s domestic demand for 300 years.
“If Canada is going to succeed at becoming a sought-after global energy supplier, addition infrastructure is essential,” he said.
“Canadian producers are looking to increase market share and Canada has vast resources that can offer an affordable and reliable supply of natural gas, which is among the lowest-emissions, most responsibly produced natural gas in the entire world. Unfortunately, a lack of infrastructure is limiting our ability to get Western Canadian product to our own East Coast. CAPP has been vocal in expressing the great need for increased pipeline capacity and new infrastructure.”
Such improvements would be welcomed by Pieridae, whose Goldboro Project, which has been in the works for years, would be the largest in Nova Scotia’s history, employing 3,500 people during its four-year construction span and creating 280 permanent jobs. The company already has a 20-year contract to supply German utility Uniper Global Commodities SE [XETRA-Germany], which wants to ease its reliance on Russian LNG. Germany plans to replace coal-fired power generation with LNG by 2038, Construction of a $720-million work camp and other amenities by Black Diamond Group [BDI-TSX] of Calgary is expected to begin this summer. Black Diamond will engage with area First Nations which would result in Mi’kmaq companies being hired to provide catering and cleaning services at the camp.
The 266-acre project site about 250 kilometres northeast of Halifax has been cleared, with the Bechtel engineering firm hired to deliver a comprehensive plan by March 31 and a final price estimate by May 31 ahead of a final investment decision.
The plant will have two liquefaction facilities – trains – producing a total of about 10 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas annually, along with two storage tanks, two loading berths, a power plant, along with administration, control and maintenance facilities, and utilities.
“Goldboro LNG is a shovel-worthy and shovel-ready project that will create thousands of jobs and help put Canadians back to work in a COVID-impacted environment, provide real, enduring and tangible economic benefits for First Nations, help lower global emissions by supplying LNG overseas to replace coal, and increase Europe’s choices in sourcing natural gas,” said Pieridae CEO Alfred Sorensen.
Pieridae, a majority Canadian-owned corporation based in Calgary, was founded in 2011 to develop integrated energy-related activities, from the exploration and extraction of natural gas to the development of Goldboro and the ensuing production of LNG for sale to Europe and other markets.
Goldboro is being built in Nova Scotia because the province is a “superb location” for shipping LNG to overseas markets, said Pieridae vice-president, business development Mark Brown. He said the facility would be half the distance to Europe and closer to South America and South Asia, via the Suez Canal, compared to ships going from the U.S. coast and Qatar.