A new assessment by the B.C. Government says the Province’s natural gas resources are larger than previously estimated.
The report, which looked at a gas basin bordering the Yukon and Northwest Territories, found it was four times the size it was initially believed to be.
That 600-trillion cubic feet boost brings B.C.’s total potential natural gas reserves to 3,400-trillion cubic feet.
The province says that means that if industry were to pull just 20% of the gas from the ground, export operations could be sustainable for more than 160 years.
But economist David Bond says a surplus of natural gas is worthless if it’s not economical to extract it.
“And the cost of pushing it through the pipeline and liquifying it has to be deducted from the cost of what you can sell the liquefied natural gas for. And that has to be enough to encourage people to drill holes in the ground to find the gas. And right now, there’s no profitability in doing that.”
Bond says a better option for BC’s LNG ambitions is to use the natural gas from the north-east to fire electrical generation for the province, which he says could happen almost immediately.
With files from Jeremy Lye