BC's tar sands? Thirteen proposed LNG projects equivalent to 13 times current BC emissions

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For readers that want the nitty gritty, here are some details about the data, sources and calculations I used in my chart and comparison statements.

Tonnes of LNG per project

I got the data from the official NEB documents for each project. I divided the approved lifetime LNG tonnage by the number of years it was approved for.

GHG to produce each tonne of LNG

As my chart shows, I broke down LNG's lifecycle emissions into five stages:

  1. Extraction of natural gas and fugative emissions (red)
  2. transporting by pipeline (yellow)
  3. compressing into liquid form (orange)
  4. shipping to Asia and de-compressing (blue)
  5. burning for fuel (black)

For the first three stages I relied primarily on research by Clean Energy Canada ("The Cleanest LNG In The World?") and the Pembina Institute (excel spreadsheet). Both came to the same conclusion that under current regulations the first three stages in BC would result in ~0.95 tonne of CO2 per tonne of LNG produced (tCO2/tLNG). For each of the three stages I used the average of these two studies.

The best data I found on stage 4 -- shipping BC LNG to Asia and de-compressing it for use -- came from Navius Research at ~0.18 tCO2/tLNG. This is what I used.

For stage 5 -- burning a tonne of LNG -- all sources I used agreed that it results in ~2.61 tCO2/tLNG.

As the legend in my chart shows, the tCO2/tLNG values for each stage are:

     0.65 Extraction and fugatives
     0.07 Pipelines
     0.22 Liquify
     0.94 subtotal to produce LNG in BC

     0.18 Ship and de-liquify
     2.61 Burn
     3.73 lifecycle total

Lifecycle GHG for each project

For each project I simply multiplied the approved annual tLNG by the estimated tCO2/tLNG values listed above for each stage.  The total of all stages for a project is listed in my chart at the top of it's GHG bar.

Lifecycle GHG for all 13 projects

The sum of the lifecycle GHG for all thirteen projects came to 812 MtCO2/year. Here are the totals for all 13 projects by stage (in MtCO2/year):

     142 Extraction and fugatives
       15 Pipelines
       48 Liquify
       39 Ship and de-liquify
     568 Burn
     812 MtCO2/year lifecycle total

Data behind comparison statements in the article

STATEMENT: 13 times BC's emissions
DATA: BC's official GHG inventory (for 2011 which is the latest available) list provincial emissions at 62 MtCO2/year. All light duty cars and trucks and motorcycles emitted 8.7 MtCO2. All commericial, institutional and residential buildings emitted 7.4 MtCO2. Comparison math: 812 MtCO2 LNG/ 62 MtCO2 BC = 13.1 times as much

STATEMENT: 175 tonnes of CO2 per British Columbian DATA: The population of BC is estimated at 4.6 million people . Comparison math: 812 MtCO2 LNG/ 4.6 million citizens = 176

STATEMENT: 75 per cent more than the tarsands today DATA: The tarsands industry currently produces around 800 million barrels of bitumen per year. The lifecycle GHG per barrel ("wells-to-wheels") has been estimated at 0.572 tCO2 for a total of 460 MtCO2 per year. Comparison math: 812 MtCO2 LNG/ 460 MtCO2 tarsands = 177 per cent

STATEMENT: GHG from WCC project is 45 times Vancouver's
DATA: The City of Vancouver official GHG inventory lists emissions in the city at 2.6 MtCO2 per year. Comparison math: 118 MtCO2 WCC LNG/ 2.6 MtCO2 Vancouver = 45.4 times as much

STATEMENT: Twice as dirty as world's cleanest LNG
DATA: The Clean Energy Canada report describes specific LNG projects in both Norway and Australia that emit 0.36 tCO2/tLNG to produce LNG ready for shipping (stages 1-3). For BC LNG, the estimates listed above for these first three stages under current policies add up to 0.94 tCO2/tLNG. Comparison math: 0.94 / 0.36 = 2.6 times as much

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