FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Susanna Pierce, President and GM, Shell Canada says global demand for Liquefied Natural Gas is expected to continue growing.

“Overall global LNG demand is still estimated to nearly double, hitting 700 million tonnes by 2040,” said Pierce after speaking about LNG trade increasing during the pandemic.

Countries and companies are adapting to net-zero emissions plans and are seeking lower-carbon energy systems, making LNG an attractive source.

“As the cleanest burning fossil fuel, natural gas and LNG can have a role to play in delivering the energy the world needs today, and helping power towards lower emissions targets. According to estimates, more than half of future LNG demand will come from countries with net-zero emissions targets.”

Pierce says as demand grows, a demand gap will form in the middle of the decade due to lower production than previously expected.

“This can be promising news for LNG Canada, and communities like Fort St. John. To ensure the BC natural gas industry has a role to play, we must ensure that it remains cost-competitive and that natural gas production continues to meet environmental and social performance standards.”

Advances in technology have made projects more efficient and environmentally safe.

“In the past, we would drill up to 13 wells per development well pad. Today, we only need half as many, five to seven to achieve the same production. This obviously means reduced cumulative land impacts and less disturbance for local communities.”

More improvements at Shell’s Groundbirch asset just south of Fort St. John include a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by around 25 per cent over the past six years, and methane emissions have been kept below the Shell-imposed target of 0.2 per cent, according to Pierce.

“We also invested in generation-four electric multi-well pads which are designed to avoid methane. The first well pad came on stream in 2018, and GHGs have decreased by more than 90 per cent. All future well pads will use this design.

Pierce also points to the Kitimat operation which will have lower greenhouse gas emissions per tonne than anywhere in the world.

“Customers are demanding better environmental performance and this can be a competitive advantage for B.C., and for companies like Shell.”

Pierce finished by saying by maintaining a cost-competitive natural gas supply and continuing to improve environmental and social performance, B.C. will be a preferred source for LNG.

The province will also be a place for future investment in products and technologies that will help meet climate goals while delivering jobs, benefit, and government revenue society needs, said Pierce