British Columbia’s natural gas sector continues to show signs of growth buoyed by increased investment in infrastructure and a concerted effort to reach markets across Canada, specifically along the Canadian Mainline.
The Government of British Columbia alone has committed $185 million in trades training for post-secondary institutions throughout the province as part of the B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, supporting education and skills-training needs as careers develop alongside economic growth.
As well, the Province is working closely with industry to help move it forward.
A good example of this co-operation is TransCanada Corporation’s (TransCanada) recent successful Open Season process which resulted in new contracts and long-term access to the Ontario market for Western Canada’s natural gas. The Province had a key role in facilitating dialogue and finding a solution between all parties.
British Columbia’s natural gas is an environmentally responsible choice for Canadian consumers, utilities and businesses. The result TransCanada’s Open Season means Canadians will be supplying Canadians with clean natural gas supply, creating and protecting jobs in the process.
In addition to its Open Season, TransCanada is also moving forward with an amendment to their application to build the North Montney Mainline in northeast B.C., in advance of Pacific NorthWest LNG being built. This pipeline represents an estimate $1.4-billion investment and another opportunity to increase construction and employment opportunities throughout the province.
As a result, TransCanada and its many industry partners will require thousands of equipment operators, welders, mechanics, truck drivers, labourers and more to complete the North Montney Mainline project. And, the Province has taken the steps required to ensure British Columbians can be first in line for many of these jobs.
In fact, the Canadian Research Institute did a study of natural gas development in 2015. That study concluded British Columbia natural gas sector will increase employment (direct, indirect and induced) by as many as 156,000 jobs over the next 20 years. TransCanada’s Open Season process could support 6,000 jobs throughout British Columbia and Alberta alone.
That growth will build on a natural gas industry that has operated in northeast British Columbia for over 50 years and provides an economic foundation for communities like Dawson Creek, Fort St. John and Fort Nelson. Growth and diversification of the natural gas sector effectively increases the economic prospects of the industry and broadens job creation throughout the province. In turn, royalties remitted to the provincial government are used to support vital services like health care and education.
Natural gas is the world’s cleanest burning fossil and British Columbia has a vast supply for domestic and international needs. Industry activities are subject to strict regulations and the carbon tax.
TransCanada’s Open Season result and application to move forward with the North Montney Mainline are both subject to approval by Canada’s National Energy Board.
Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development –
“We are seeing opportunities for our natural gas sector to grow as markets around the globe look to our province for clean energy supply. British Columbia is blessed with vast energy resources and the Province is supporting market opportunities so long-term jobs can be created and younger adults have secure careers to follow.”
Tracy Robinson, senior vice president, Canadian Natural Gas Pipelines, TransCanada –
"This is a transformational time for Canada's natural gas industry as we continue to invest in pipeline infrastructure. We appreciate the B.C. government's ongoing support for the Canadian energy industry."
Brad Herald, vice president of Western Canadian Operations, CAPP –
“Canadian natural gas producers are making significant commitments to advance Canada-wide prosperity by securing Canadian natural gas for Canadian eastern markets. We appreciate the work that government has undertaken to help connect our product with supporting markets. This renewed national infrastructure will provide thousands of Canadian jobs and significant GDP growth for 10 years along with a reliable source of clean, affordable energy for years to come.”
- TransCanada has operated for more than 65 years.
- The company operates a network of natural gas pipelines that extends more than 91,000 kilometres throughout North America.
- TransCanada is also moving forward with their Towerbirch Expansion Project – a $439-million investment to support producers looking to move natural gas from northeast British Columbia to markets throughout North America.
- British Columbia has approximately 3,400 trillion cubic feet of natural gas resources in place – a small fraction of this amount resource would be enough to support domestic and international market demands for 150 years or more.
Lindsay ByersMinistry of Natural Gas Development