DOE reviews export of U.S. natural gas for Nova Scotia LNG export project

The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will give notice in the April 16 Federal Register of receipt of a Feb. 25 application by Bear Head LNG Corp. and Bear Head LNG (USA) LLC for long-term, multi-contract authorization to export domestically produced natural gas.

The exports would be as follows:

  • to export the natural gas by pipeline to Canada at the United States-Canada border (at a point near Calais, Maine, and St. Stephen, New Brunswick, respectively) on the Maritimes & Northeast (M&N) Pipeline in a volume of 440 billion cubic feet per year (Bcf/yr), or approximately 1.2 Bcf per day (Bcf/d);
  • to use approximately 42.4 Bcf/yr of the U.S.-sourced natural gas as feedstock in a Canadian natural gas liquefaction and export facility currently being developed by Bear Head within the Point Tupper/Bear Head Industrial Park near the town of Port Hawksbury, on the Straight of Canso, in Richmond County, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada; and
  • to export a portion of the U.S.-sourced natural gas in the form of LNG in a volume equivalent to approximately 397.6 Bcf/yr of natural gas (1.1 Bcf/d) by vessel from Nova Scotia, Canada, to one or more countries with which the United States does not have a free trade agreement (FTA) requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas and with which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy.

Only Bear Head’s proposed export of LNG produced from U.S-sourced natural gas to non-FTA countries is subject to this notice. Bear Head said this project may require modification and expansion of the M&N Pipeline system, which Bear Head expects will interconnect with the project’s proposed pipeline header near Goldboro, Nova Scotia, for the delivery of natural gas feedstock to the project. Bear Head requests the authorization for a 25-year term to commence on the earlier of the date of first export or 10 years from the date the authorization is granted. Bear Head seeks to export this LNG on its own behalf and as agent for other entities who hold title to the LNG at the time of export.

Bear Head LNG Corp. is a Canadian company incorporated under the laws of Nova Scotia, and Bear Head (USA) is a Delaware limited liability company. Both have their principal place of business in Houston, Texas, and both are wholly-owned indirect subsidiaries of Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd., a publicly-listed Australian company based in Perth, Australia.

The Bear Head companies wrote in an April 7 update letter to DOE: “Since the filing of Bear Head LNG’s application, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (‘UARB’) has issued Bear Head LNG Corporation an updated and amended Permit to Construct, which marks receipt of the ninth—and next to last—initial regulatory approval necessary to commence construction of the Bear Head Project. With regard to the tenth and final initial regulatory approval, Bear Head LNG Corporation has filed an updated registration document with Nova Scotia Environment (‘NSE’). Bear Head LNG expects that approval of the update will be received from NSE by the second quarter of 2015.

“Through this filing, Bear Head LNG also hereby informs DOE/FE that Bear Head LNG Corporation has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (‘MOU’) with the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs, which conducts all consultations and negotiations for the Mi’kmaq communities and is the highest level of decision making in such processes. The MOU ensures continued negotiations between the Mi’kmaq and Bear Head LNG with regard to a benefits agreement and meaningful participation by the Mi’kmaq throughout the development of the Bear Head Project.” 

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.