British Columbia, Canada’s Pacific Coast province, banned the transportation of oil and bitumen through pipelines built specifically for liquid natural gas, according to a press release from British Columbia Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman. The new rule is applied under the Oil and Gas Activities Act, Hydrocarbons-Technology reported. This means, oil and natural gas companies cannot convert existing or proposed LNG pipelines to oil pipelines.
Some of the reasons behind this rule are to avoid environmental and safety issues and address the concerns of the First Nations. When a natural gas pipeline leaks, there is a risk of explosion but the resource dissipates into the air, while an oil leak can greatly harm the surrounding land and wildlife.
New Democrat Doug Donaldson of Stikine, British Columbia, supports the ban because of the potential for an oil pipeline to leak or rupture and affect the nearby area, The Vancouver Sun reported. Donaldson would also like the rule to be solidified in legislation.
British Columbia has 18 LNG pipelines in the proposal stages and is in the process of expanding its LNG exportation industry, according to Hydrocarbons-Technology.
“The establishment of BC’s LNG industry is an unprecedented opportunity to create economic growth,” said Coleman in the release. “This growth will be developed responsibly and this regulation will ensure pipelines will support our long-term potential in natural gas production and export.”