The above discussion is based on a life cycle comparison of seven potential B.C. scenarios, including production, processing, transportation and liquefaction. Detailed methodology, assumptions, and sources are available in the appendix.
Each scenario is progressively less greenhouse gas intensive, from left to right in Figure 2, below. We compare these scenarios with two world leading operations (Gorgon and Snøhvit) and Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass LNG project in Western Cameron Parish, Louisiana, which we expect would operate under similar conditions to a hypothetical British Columbia plant. Cheniere Energy sources its natural gas from shale and conventional fields, as British Columbia proponents would also do.
Figure 2: Results summary for life cycle GHG emissions in tonnes CO2eq per tonne natural gas production and processing (dark grey) represent the majority of the emissions in the British Columbia and Sabine scenarios, and are far higher than Gorgon and Snøhvit emissions. Snøhvit and Gorgon both produce natural gas from subsea fields with lower greenhouse gas intensities than shale gas production. Shale gas production and processing emissions are difficult to mitigate. Even with carbon capture and storage (see B.C. CCS and renewable scenario), a British Columbia facility would remain well above best-in-class life cycle greenhouse gas emissions at Snøhvit and Gorgon.
Mitigating these emissions requires a combination of strategies such as electrification and technologies designed to reduce leaks and venting, such as bleed valves and plunger lifts. These could reduce emissions in this link of the life cycle chain (see B.C. Low scenario).
Emissions from the LNG facility (medium grey) account for less of the total but can be dramatically reduced by using electric drive combined with zero-emission electricity generation (the B.C. grid scenario and B.C. Low scenario).