Spectra and TransCanada competing in LNG export in British Columbia

TransCanada, of the notorious Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline, is also competing with Spectra Energy for fracked methane export through an LNG export terminal on the British Columbia coast, and Spectra just got another approval for its “corridor” for not one but two giant pipelines to the Pacific Ocean.

Gordon Jaremko wrote for GPI 4 April 2014, NEB OKs Spectra (Westcoast) Tolls; Major Expansion Planned to Serve Pacific LNG,

Spectra Energy (Westcoast) received approval from the National Energy Board (NEB) for the stable base of its agenda: a 2014-2015 tolls and tariff settlement with customers of its current capacity of 3 Bcf/d.

The deal enables the BC grid to focus on a plan aimed at almost quadrupling its capacity by becoming the principal conduit between northern shale deposits and proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals on the Pacific Coast.

The settlement was not opposed or even questioned by marketers or current shippers in the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. The co-operation resulted in approval within six weeks of filing the deal with the NEB .

So Canadian regulators are as complaisant to the industry they regulate as U.S. regulators.

And remember, this Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission Project is for a “pipeline corridor” from “northeastern shale gas fields to proposed LNG export terminals on the Pacific Coast at Prince Rupert”. By “corridor” they mean more than one pipeline, as that EA submission revealed.

The plan calls for eventually filling the route with two jumbo pipelines, each one 850 kilometers (527 miles) long and capable of carrying 4.2 Bcf/d.

Should we expect Spectra, FPL, and Williams Transco to reveal on EA filing that the 700-mile three-part Southeast Market Pipelines Project is really a “corridor” for multiple pipelines? That would explain that 100-foot right of way, wouldn’t it?

And note this part about multiple LNG export projects in BC:

But BG is only one of numerous potential customers. About half the lineup of 10 LNG export projects on BC’s Pacific Coast intend to use Prince Rupert sites, as opposed to the main alternative port farther south at Kitimat.

The GPI story says Spectra’s BC EA “remains in a confidential, preliminary screening stage before the BC environmental regulator.” What is it with public regulators keeping documents of public importance from the public? Could it be regulatory capture?

And finally, at the end of the story:

Rival TransCanada Corp. is preparing applications for similar jumbo additions to the BC pipeline network, also backed by an initial customer from the Pacific Coast LNG project lineup.

Yes, the same TransCanada that just got its tar sands oil Keystone XL pipeline delayed by a judge in Nebraska so at least for the moment it can’t gash through the Ogallala Aquifer.

We need to stop Spectra and FPL from gashing through the Floridan Aquifer.


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