Tag Archives: Apache

Community Minister Bennett predicts a natural gas boom as way cleared for LNG plant

British Columbia is on the verge of a natural gas development boom that will rival anything Alberta has experienced, according to B.C.’s Community Minister.

Bill Bennett made that comparison Tuesday while speaking at a press conference to announce the final regulatory pieces have fallen in place for a new liquefied natural gas plant to be built on a native reserve near Kitimat.

The massive LNG plant, a joint venture by Apache Canada Ltd. and Chevron Canada Ltd., in co-operation with the Haisla First Nation, will process nearly 700 million cubic feet of gas per day, becoming a key link in the transportation chain between B.C.’ s northeast gas fields and off-shore markets.

Mr. Bennett said the plant, the first of six that have been proposed for the West Coast, will open up B.C.’s massive gas fields and allow the resource industry to thrive like it never has before in the province.

“The story here is a story about British Columbia exploiting an opportunity … on the scale of what faced Alberta 40 to 50 years ago,” Mr. Bennett said.

“The opportunity for B.C. really is on the same scale as for example, Norway, when they discovered they had off-shore oil [and gas discoveries] and Alberta when they discovered they had oil and could ship it to the U.S.,” Mr. Bennett said.

He said both Alberta and Norway have thrived economically because of the way their governments regulated and encouraged the development of rich oil and gas resources.

“It’s built [Alberta’s] economy and made them, you know, the most [economically] comfortable province in Confederation.

“It’s that scale of an opportunity [for B.C.],” he said.

Last month Apache Canada and Chevron Canada announced they were teaming up to develop gas fields in the Horn River and Liard basins, in northeast B.C.

Apache Corp. chairman Steven Farris has described those fields as “two of the most prolific shale gas plays in North America, with more than 50 trillion feet of resource potential.”

At a press conference in Vancouver, Mr. Bennett and John Duncan, federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, jointly announced regulatory changes that they said have now cleared the way for construction of the Kitimat LNG plant.

Haisla Chief Councillor Ellis Ross praised both levels of government and industry for working with the band to bring the project forward.

“Our people have been looking at natural gas projects since the 1980s … this is a small example of what can be done if all … four parties are focused,” he said.

Mr. Bennett said the regulatory changes allow the province to enforce provincial environmental standards on reserve lands, which are technically under the jurisdiction of the federal government.

Tim Wall, president of Apache Canada, said the change provides “regulatory certainty” for the Kitimat LNG plant, allowing construction to proceed.

“It’s unusual to be here celebrating regulations,” said Mr. Bennett, who has a reputation for battling red tape.

Mr. Bennett, whose government is trailing in the polls as it seeks re-election in May, said developing B.C.’s gas fields is of “profound” economic importance to the province.

“It’s huge and it has the potential to change the frame for British Columbia in terms of the jobs [created],” he said.

Mr. Bennett said the chronic unemployment problems that burden many small northern communities, particularly native communities, could be relieved by the development of B.C.’s gas fields.

SOURCE: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bennett-predicts-a-natural-gas-boom-as-way-cleared-for-lng-plant/article7649911/?utm_source=Shared+Article+Sent+to+User&utm_medium=E-mail:+Newsletters+/+E-Blasts+/+etc.&utm_campaign=Shared+Web+Article+Links

Minister hits back at Apache’s claims

Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore has hit back at suggestions he had misrepresented the public of Western Australia by not releasing certain documents requested by Apache North West.

The criticism of the Minister was made in court today by Apache’s legal representative.

“All I have done is provide to the public the State Government-commissioned report into the Varanus Island explosion incident, and I did that only after allowing Apache reasonable time to review and comment on the contents of that report,” Mr Moore said.

“Any suggestion that I ‘cherry picked’ any particular documents is grossly offensive.

“Ironically this is what Apache is doing in seeking the publication of only two documents out of many others.”

The US-based oil and gas producer on Tuesday took action in Perth Magistrate’s Court to bring about the release of a report by Curtin University Professor of Corrosion Chemistry Rolf Gubner on the 2008 disaster, which slashed the state’s domestic gas supplies by about a third.

Apache last week threatened to bring the matter to court if WA mines minister Norman Moore did not table the Gubner report in parliament along with the state government-commissioned Bills-Agostini report, which was damning of Apache.

The Gubner report said Apache had reasonable grounds to believe the pipeline that exploded was in good repair, the court was told by Robert Richter, QC, representing the company.

The Bills-Agostini report, on the other hand, said the pipeline ruptured and exploded at the shoreline because of corrosion that was “not only foreseeable but to some extent foreseen” by Apache.

Mr Richter said the Gubner report took a “very, very different view” and was “most vital and important to counterbalance the criticisms” of the Bills-Agostini report.

“He (Mr Moore) cherry-picked, leaving out that report,” Mr Richter told reporters outside court.

“Mr Gubner effectively said that Apache had every right to have an honest and reasonable belief, and that they had an honest and reasonable belief, that the integrity of the pipe was sound.

“This was a completely unforeseen episode of highly accelerated and unusual corrosion.”

Mr Richter argued Apache could not itself release the Gubner report because it would breach an aspect of the Criminal Procedure Act applying to current court matters.

Mr Moore said the two documents in question, together with a range of other information, were supplied by the State Government and Apache under the discovery process for the prosecution.

Mr Moore said the documents from Apache’s employees were obtained under Schedule 3 of the Criminal Procedure Act, which prohibits publication of evidence obtained in a pre-trial examination.  However, Apache is able to disclose information held by its employees if it chooses to do so.

“As far as the Government is concerned, as stated in the court today, we would be prepared to make the Government documents available to the public, provided Apache makes its material available,” he said.

“The State submitted to the Court that Apache should not be allowed to cherry pick two documents which suit its purposes and use those documents, out of context, in a misleading manner.”

The state government recently abandoned its criminal prosecution case against the company and also ruled out civil action because it had received advice that it had no case.

However, court permission is still required before the Gubner report can be released.

Mr Richter said Apache sought to “untie its hands” so it could defend itself properly.

State Solicitor’s Office lawyer Rob Mitchell, SC, said the WA government would not seek to obstruct the release of the report.

The matter has been adjourned until Friday.
SOURCE: http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/minister-hits-back-at-apaches-claims-20120529-1zgux.html#ixzz1wMmiuxPj

Varanus Island gas explosion report slams Apache

US oil-and-gas giant Apache Energy has failed to block a scathing review of the Varanus Island gas explosion, which cut 30 per cent of Western Australia’s supply and cost the economy an estimated $3 billion.

Apache claimed the explosion at its plant off WA’s North-West coast in June 2008 was “unforseen and unforeseeable”.

But a long-awaited WA Government-commissioned report into the disaster, tabled in Parliament, contradicts those claims.

It found the company should have been alerted to the risks by evidence of corrosion of a 30cm pipe that later ruptured and exploded, causing $60 million damage to the plant and cutting industrial gas supplies to the state.

“We believe the risk of this occurring was not only foreseeable but to some extent foreseen,” the report stated.

The report also found Apache did not properly assess risks to the pipe network and did not have enough safety measures in place.

Apache has tried to suppress the report since it was completed in June 2009.

WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore told the Legislative Council today the report was scathing of Apache’s gas pipeline operations.

“I can inform the House that the report is highly critical of Apache, particularly regarding the company’s technical and operational failings as the operator,” he said.

“The report concluded Apache Northwest had the ultimate responsibility for maintaining the Varanus site in good condition and repair.”

The State Government tried to prosecute Apache over the disaster, but was forced to drop the criminal proceedings in March on a technicality.

It said it could not prove the gas giant failed to adequately maintain its “pipeline”, under the legal definition, as the corroded section of gas piping was described as “pipeworks”.

The tabling of the report in WA’s Upper House may now lead to civil action against the company.

SOURCE: http://www.perthnow.com.au/business/varanus-gas-explosion-report-slams-apache/story-e6frg2r3-1226365866625