KUALA LUMPUR – May 9, 2016: Petronas is now one step ahead of its plan to build what could be Canada’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) project on the country’s Pacific coast as it received growing support from Canadian aboriginals, First Nations.
The First Nations support is critical for the Malaysian oil and gas giant, as it expects final decision from Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) and eventually, the state’s federal government.
According to a report by the state’s press, Calgary Herald, the project has signed impact-benefit agreements with four of five First Nations it has to consult over the LNG terminal near Prince Rupert, located in the British Columbia province.
Those who have signed the term sheets are Metlakatla, Kitselas, Kitsumkalum, and Gitxaala.
On the other hand, the fifth First Nation, Lax Kw’alaams, had recently offered conditional support for the project in a letter from its mayor, John Helin, to the CEAA.
The report stated that it was a major turnaround, after the fifth community voted to unanimously reject a $1.14-billion benefit deal from Petronas and the British Columbia regional government.
It was also reported that 16 of the 19 First Nations that must be consulted along the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project route have signed benefit agreements, while the province is currently in discussions with the three remaining First Nations.
One of the First Nations that had signed a pipeline agreement is the Nak’azdli, from the Northern Interior.
Its Chief Fred Sam, quoted by the herald said that a lot of people are looking to the future of the project as they need more funding than just of the federal government’s.
Anonymous oil and gas blogger Ene of ‘BlackGold’, in a posting had highlighted that the project has more support than it is made out to be, despite it receiving very bad news coverage and more delays.
“Petronas and its partners are still awaiting their environmental certification from the CEAA, while a decision by the government was supposed to be reached by mid-summer, which to us living near the equatorial line means absolutely nothing.
“However, Pacific NorthWest will submit new reports by mid-May, so that may means months yet until a decision is made,” the blogger wrote.
The blogger also noted that there is an increasing support from the First Nations as the community leaders are beginning to see the benefit of the project to their communities.
“There may be still pockets of opposition to the project, but it seems that it will not be overwhelmingly rejected from the native First Nations as was previously being widely reported.
“With the aboriginal rights and ecological conservation hurdle looking to be nearly resolved, Pacific NorthWest still has to contend with environmental issues of carbon emissions,” the blogger wrote.
Petronas and Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) today also announce a 10-year extension of the production sharing contract (PSC) for the PM3 commercial arrangement area (CAA) with Talisman Malaysia Ltd., Talisman Malaysia (PM3) Limited (Talisman), Petronas Carigali Sdn. Bhd. (PCSB) and PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corporation Limited (PVEP).
The PM3 CAA involves offshore fields located within a 2,008 square-kilometre area in the overlapping zone between Malaysia and Vietnam.
Under the terms of the PSC, Talisman will continue to operate Block PM3 CAA with equity interest of 35 per cent while PVEP will own 30 per cent of and the rest held by PCSB.
The extension will maintain the production from five producing fields, namely the Bunga Orkid, Bunga Kekwa, Bunga Raya, Bunga Tulip and Bunga
Sarojafields. Other activities include further development of discovered fields within the Malaysia-Vietnam offshore CAA.
The PSC was signed on last April 6 for the extended operation of Block PM3 CAA until 2027.