Haisla Nation says it’s ready to work with new LNG pipeline partner

The Haisla Nation in Kitamaat Village in British Columbia says it’s looking forward to working with a new partner to ensure that the LNG pipeline project is completed.

Chevron, a major partner in the project, announced that it’s stepping away from the project.

The Haisla Nation has a major stake in the project the proposed terminal to be built on reserve land at Bish Cove located on the Douglas Channel.

“Haisla Nation Council recognizes that ownership changes are common in large capital energy projects,” said a release from the Haisla Nation. “This is not the first time this project has changed hands and we are comfortable and confident that we will build a positive, working relationship with a new proponent, should ownership change hands,” Haisla Nation Council said in a statement on December 13th.

Chevron said it will continue working with joint venture partner Woodside Energy, government and First Nation partners as it transitions away from the project.

The move looked at as a setback for the natural gas industry in province.

In early December, Chevron announced it would be selling its 50 per cent stake in Kitimat LNG.

This would include the proposed 471 km Pacific Trail Pipeline and Kitimat LNG Plant.

“Chevron Canada Limited (Chevron) plans to exit its entire 50 per cent working interest in the Kitimat LNG Project in British Columbia. The Kitimat LNG Project decision is part of Chevron’s global portfolio optimization effort focused on improving returns and driving value,” Chevron said in a statement released on December 10th.

Kitimat Mayor Phil Germuth sees this as a great opportunity for another investor.

“So surprised, disappointed, but at the same time, we see this as a great opportunity now for somebody else to come in. They have a great project to market. They have all first nations along the pipeline route; all sixteen are in support of it, you have the community in support of it, they have the site that’s cleared,” said Germuth.

This is not the first time the project changed hands.

In 2012, Chevron purchased the 50 per cent stake from EOG Resources, an oil and gas company based out of Texas.

Currently, Kitimat LNG says they are still on track.

“There are no changes right now, for right now it’s business as usual. We are going to do everything we can do support Chevron go out there and be able to market their 50 %, but there is no doubt that Kitimat is a great place to invest,” stated Germuth.

There are 16 benefits agreements in place with First Nations along the proposed pipeline. The deals include training, employment, contracts and financial benefits.

Germuth is also optimistic that the project will transition to another partner.

“We look forward to working with all the proponents; they have all been great to work with. The LNG industry will be game-changer for Kitimat, but having said that still, the anchor of this community has always been the aluminum industry,” said Germuth.