Natural Gas

Fugitive emissions and fugitive revenues

In 2004, the BC Government reported that wellhead production of natural gas in northern BC was 31 billion cubic meters.

In 2017, wellhead production of natural gas in northern BC was 51 billion cubic meters.


In 2004, royalties received were $1.54 billion in 2017 dollars.

In 2017, royalties, net of the year’s increased liability for drilling credits owed producers, were a negative $58 million.

net royalties

In the noted interval, the quantity of natural gas produced increased 64% and the royalties, which once measured over $1.5 billion annually, disappeared.

The elimination of the public’s gas royalties came after BC Liberals “reformed” the method of calculating royalties and introduced a generous program of drilling subsidies. It’s worth remembering that plutocrat Gwyn Morgan was Christy Clark’s transition team advisor in 2011. He had been the founding President and CEO of gas giant Encana and was Chair of SNC-Lavalin until departing after the company was caught in a bribery and kickback scandal.

Unfortunately, under Michelle Mungall, the NDP Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, earnings from natural gas seem to have fallen deeper into the hole.

Ms. Mungall reported to the BC Legislature that credits owed producers had grown by over $1 billion in the first eight months of fiscal year 2018.

BC taxpayers are paying generous rewards to corporations that extract natural gas, even though the NDP’s 2017 platform contained this promise on page 78:

The people of BC must get a fair return for our resources.

That promise turned out to be as hollow as the ones John Horgan made while standing on the Peace River farmlands that he now intends to flood.


Categories: Natural Gas

10 replies »

  1. When I share your work on the natural gas file, Norm, I usually have to copy paste 2 or 3 posts. This one has it all in one place. Thank you.
    Now, I can send this on to government officials who can — or should — do something about this travesty.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Norm does it again in spades. Ask yourself why would someone, claiming to represent the public’s interest, allow this insanity to develop and continue?
    The only answer that comes to me is “bought and paid for”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice article Norm! Was able to read and get outraged in just a min or less. didn’t spew my coffee over the screen though. We what? We owe them money? WTF?

    The NDP had better get this changed around asap. We need more schools and hospitals and higher rates for the disabled and that billion a year would certainly go a long way to attained some of those things. So if the minister responsible for this, perhaps this is one of those things Mr. Eby could investigate.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so happy I am on this email for your newsletters. Now I don’t have to write my MLA or the Premier, I just e-mail the article to him with my comments attached. thanks for making it easier to communicate with my party.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It is shocking that this rip-off is allowed to continue. it is even more shocking that instead ensuring proper royalties are paid to the province, Horgan is committing politcal suicide taxing houses worth more than 43 million.

    I always thought the NDP were as thick as two short planks, but the Horgan NDP just take my breathe away with their incompetence.

    All I can say is that the BC Liberal party seem in full control of the NDP!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It seems to me that the gas industry has won in the game of negotiating for the cheapest royalties. The common politician cannot match the cut-throat capitalism of BIG GAS. I doubt the NDP’s abilities to change things much, or be prudent with our money. I will bet that the regulations on leaking methane will be just as favorable to BIG GAS. After all, wasn’t it Rich Coleman who said there has never been a leak on a well bore? Already one reads how artificial magma will help seal leaky gas wells. How much research is needed, how costly to do the plugging? It is a diversion. BC is on the same old dream train. How to make a fortune with a minimum of knowledge and effort. We should get off this train, get onto something that is cleaner, renewable resources.Start now to limit and decrease the numbers of gas wells. We have to start now, only 30 years to 2050, when our goal was to establish a limit of 1.5 C, or max 2.0 C. Start now to shift workers from the gas fields and building unneeded hydrodams to renewable energy, clean conservative building and retrofits; energy conservation; shift to electric cars, buses, and fuel cells on transports. Drop the fantasy that LNG can make a fortune for BC, it will only make a fortune for BIG GAS and pollute with fugitive methane. Start to phase out natural gas, replace with heat pumps, solar, wind, geothermal. If subsidies are to be given, give them to renewable energies. And promote people action groups to focus on new quality housing with renewable energy, conservation of energy, health, education, agriculture. Get off the kick that the big monopoly is the only way, think and act local and community.


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