HALIFAX—With Bear Head LNG’s announcement July 20 that the U.S. Department of Energy has granted export approval for 440 billion cubic feet per year of U.S. natural gas to Canada, the company came one step closer to gaining the necessary authorizations to build its proposed liquefied natural gas facility in Cape Breton.
“This is an important step in achieving certainty of gas supply for the Bear Head project,” John Godbold, Bear Head project director, said regarding the news. Godbold noted that Bear Head LNG is the first proposed Canadian LNG export facility to be recognized by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as an approved Canadian LNG export project.
In May 2015, Bear Head obtained the last of the ten initial federal, provincial and local regulatory approvals needed to construct the facility located on the Strait of Canso in Nova Scotia, but still requires authorization from Canada’s National Energy Board to import natural gas from the U.S.
The company said it expects these authorizations in the near future.
In addition, Bear Head has also applied to the DOE for authority to import for subsequent export up to 250 billion cubic feet per year of Canadian natural gas by pipeline that is “in transit” through the U.S., back into Canada for delivery to Bear Head LNG’s proposed liquefied natural gas export facility. Bear Head said this authorization would allow a portion of the Bear Head LNG’s natural gas requirements to come from sources in Western and Central Canada, enhancing commercial supply options.
Bear Head LNG President Maurice Brand said steady progress is being made toward the final regulatory clearances and the company will make a final investment decision in 2016.
“Over the next few months, we anticipate receiving our DOE approval to move Canadian gas through the U.S., the DOE non-FTA export approval and the NEB import and export approvals from Canada,” he said.