Fracking in BC

viewRoads and fracking drill pads slice up the scenery in northeastern BC (2013)

In June 2018, Centre forCPA-BC Resource Policy Analyst Ben Parfitt made a presentation to British Columbia’s Scientific Hydraulic Fracturing Review Panel in the context of rising provincial LNG industry and attendant concerns about general health and safety, and specifically the well being of Indigenous Peoples and communities.

Parfitt’s presentation included the following findings:

  • at least 92 dams were built in northeast BC without the companies that built them first obtaining the required licences and authorizations.
  • a large number of drilled and fracked gas wells in one remote operating area in northeast BC leaked methane gas, potentially contaminating groundwater.
  • increased water use at more fracking sites means more earthquakes.
  • contrary to the Province’s adoption and implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the fracking operations in BC have taken place without the “free, prior and informed consent” of First Nations.

Imafe: https://thetyee.ca/News/2013/06/07/Northern-BC-Transition-Fuel/

https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/ccpa-bc-presentation-scientific-hydraulic-fracturing-review-panel

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PETRONAS Confirms!

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On July 13 2018, LNG Canada formally welcomed PETRONAS as their  fifth Joint Venture participant. According to Energycity.ca  “Petronas is now an official partner in the consortium that is proposing to build a $40 billion liquified natural gas export terminal in Kitimat”. Petronas subsidiary Progress Energy will take a 25 percent stake in the LNG Canada development, which is still subject to regulatory approvals. Shell will lead the consortium with a 40% stake. The other partners are  PetroChina, Mitsubishi Corp. and Kogas Canada. As I noted in a previous post there are implications for national, trans-national relationships and intra-national relations. This investment will be closely aligned with the Coastal GasLink pipeline that TransCanada is building to transport the natural gas from Dawson Creek to Kitimat. Some members of the Wet’suwet’en nation of Canada have built a healing camp in the path of the pipeline. To acknowledge the changing scenarios in Malaysia and in BC I have changed the colours that brand this blog.

https://www.facebook.com/LNGCanada/photos/a.412970468894663.1073741827.412705752254468/911746075683764/?type=3&theater

https://www.energeticcity.ca/2018/07/petronas-now-officially-a-partner-in-lng-canada/

http://www.coastalgaslink.com/

 

 

PETRONAS vs Wet’suwet’en


If PETRONAS goes ahead with its new LNG Terminal investment in BC, the Malaysian crown corporation will hold a 25% stake in LNG Canada’s CAD $ 40 billion project. This investment will be closely aligned with the Coastal GasLink pipeline that TransCanada is building to transport the natural gas from Dawson Creek to Kitimat. A further enmeshment to note that much of the natural gas will come from PETRONAS’ own North Montney fields. All the parties involved in this set of developments, the corporations, the provincial government and the federal government have their eyes on the burgeoning Asian market for the LNG .

There remain, however, some unresolved and under reported conflicts with First Nations in connection with both the terminal and the pipeline. Although there are reportedly signed benefit agreements with 19 of the 20 First Nations involved, there is some entrenched opposition. Some members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation have built the Unist’ot’en healing camp in the path of the pipeline. So once again, the interests of the exemplary Malaysian bumiputra (indigenous) led enterprise is contrary to the those of a group of indigenous peoples from British Columbia.

http://www.coastalgaslink.com/

http://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/vaughn-palmer-ndp-celebrates-petronas-return-but-lng-canada-hurdles-remain

PETRONAS BC Reprise!

lng-canada-cattaneoHaving given up its bid to lead BC LNG Terminal investments with a mega plant on Lelu  island, PETRONAS seems unwilling to be left out. On the 31st of May  2018 PETRONAS owned Progress Energy announced  that another PETRONAS  wholly-owned entity, the North Montney LNG Limited Partnership (“NMLLP”), “has entered into a Purchase and Sales Agreement for an equity position in the LNG Canada project in Kitimat, British Columbia, Canada”. Pending regulatory approvals and associated agreements, the composition of ownership in this ‘LNG Canada’ project will be PETRONAS (through NMLLP), (25%); Shell Canada Energy, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc (“Shell”), (40%); PetroChina Canada Ltd. (15%); Diamond LNG Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation, (15%); and Kogas Canada LNG Ltd. (5%).

Before PETRONAS joined this consortium, Chris Newman of Energeticcity.ca, had reported that industry analysts consider the project  to be a long shot. Yet in an even earlier article in Energeticcity.ca (also by Newman), B.C.’s Premier John Horgan, is reported to have said that the project will proceed “It has all of its permits in place, has social license from First Nations in the region, has the support of the community, and is waiting for economic conditions to turn around”.

 

Image: http://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/vaughn-palmer-ndp-celebrates-petronas-return-but-lng-canada-hurdles-remain

http://www.progressenergy.com/2018/05/31/petronas-enters-agreement-to-acquire-25-equity-in-lng-canada-project/

https://www.energeticcity.ca/2017/06/horgan-i-support-lng-provided-the-conditions-are-met/

BC Energy Oroboros 2

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According to the The Financial Post,  B.C. Hydro, the Crown agency responsible for electricity in the province has been privately expressing concerns that earthquakes triggered by fracking are a potential risk to its dams.

Fracking brings dams

Fracking brings earthquakes

Earthquakes break dams

Fracking breaks dams

Apparently, concerns about this possibility were first expressed in internal documents in 2009 and it is suggested that as early as 2014, B.C. Hydro drew up an agreement with the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission (BCOGC), to create five-kilometer buffer zones around dams within which new fracking and drilling rights would not be issued.

While this alleged agreement indicates the serious concerns within BC Hydro,  their public position seems a little more cavalier. In a response to Financial Times queries on this matter, BC Hydro seems to have responded with the following  – “… our dams can withstand events many times larger than those associated with fracking.”  The crown corporation holds that while,  ” fracking does have the potential to increase natural seepage  … ( this) … is an issue of increased cost, not dam safety … ”

Image: https://www.scoop.it/t/transcalar-imaginary

http://business.financialpost.com/commodities/energy/b-c-hydro-concerned-earthquakes-from-fracking-could-damage-peace-river-dams

 

BC’s Energy Oroboros 1

oroboros.png

The Oroboros, the serpent or dragon swallowing its own tail, is a visual paradox that symbolizes self-reflexivity and infinity. In Medeival Alchemy it represented the idea of primordial unity and imperishablity. I draw upon this eternal symbol to visualize the irony of the British Columbian Energy paradigm.

Fracking gives energy 

Fracking takes energy

Dams give Energy

Fracking needs dams

The LNG industry in Northeastern B.C. is supported by the Peace Canyon Dam  and the W.A.C. Bennett Dam, which is one of the largest dams in the world. There is also under construction, the controversial and contested  $9-billion mega-project , the Site-C dam.

image: http://www.oroborosyoga.com/history

http://business.financialpost.com/commodities/energy/b-c-hydro-concerned-earthquakes-from-fracking-could-damage-peace-river-dams

 

 

 

 

 

 

PETRONAS Dams in BC

fracking hell BC

As reported in an article arising from research undertaken as part of the Corporate Mapping Project (CMP), and in the context of what has been called a free-for-all in the energy industry, 17 organizations including the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) have called for a full public inquiry into natural gas industry fracking operations in BC. At the centre of this controversy is PETRONAS subsidiary, Progress Energy which built two massive unlicensed dams  in violation of provincial environmental regulations.

These 2 dams are the largest amongst about 50 unlicensed dams that the  CCPA brought to the British Colombian Government’s attention in May this year. In fact, the largest of these, the Lily Dam, is described as being 23 meters tall, the height of a 7 story building, while the threshold for the licensing requirement is 15 meters.  Following on from the CCPA exposure of the situation in May, investigative journalist Andrew Nikiforuk has reported that BC’s Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) inspections revealed serious problems with 7 dams of which Progress Energy is responsible for 5. As a an initial consequence, the provincial government ordered  Progress Energy to drain its two largest dams and has since government has since denied the company’s application for retrospective licensing.

Complicating the politics and the ethics of this corporate/ governmental relationship is the fact that the 2 massive Progress Energy dams, along with the 50 or so other such structures have built by energy companies on lands that are subject to the 1899 Treaty 8 made with the region’s First Nations. The Blueberry River First Nation (BRFN) lands manager Norma Pyle, affirms that the Nation has alerted the Crown about diminished water quantity, “We have been watching lake levels drop, muskeg disappear, mineral licks dry up and streams reduce to small versions of their former selves’. Further, BRFN’s legal counsel Maegan blames regulatory oversight  as “hundreds of thousands of cubic meters of freshwater in their territory is being illegally impounded for oil and gas operations. ”

It is claimed that in the CMP article that documents obtained by the CCPA indicate that all of the unauthorized dams were built to trap freshwater used in the fracking process operation where huge quantities of water are pumped under intense pressure to fracture or crack open deep rock formations so that trapped methane gas is released. And it is further asserted that one such Progress Energy fracking operation. using 160,000 cubic metres of water, triggered a 4.6 magnitude earthquake near Fort St. John in 2015.

Image https://thetyee.ca/News/2017/05/03/Petronas-Unauthorized-Dams-Fracking/

http://www.policynote.ca/drain-it-petronas-subsidiary-ordered-to-take-action-at-two-controversial-fracking-dams/

https://www.policyalternatives.ca/newsroom/news-releases/public-inquiry-needed-properly-investigate-deep-social-and-environmental