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Ottawa approves B.C. LNG export licence

VANCOUVER - The federal government has approved a 25-year export licence for shipping liquefied natural gas from a West Coast terminal proposed by a consortium headed by Shell.

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver says the approval for LNG Canada Development Inc. is a milestone in British Columbia's plans for a trillion-dollar LNG sector.

Flanked by Ellis Ross, the chief of the Haisla Nation on B.C.'s North Coast, Oliver says global energy demand is expected to increase by 35 per cent by 2035, and Canada will be poised to take advantage.

The licence awarded to LNG Canada — a consortium of Shell, Korea Gas Corp., Mitsubishi Corp., and PetroChina International — will allow the export of up to 24 million tonnes of LNG per year, the largest of three export licences awarded to date.

The LNG Canada terminal is one of five proposed for the B.C. coast, and the project has yet to undergo an environmental assessment.

Plans to make the B.C. coast a global hub of LNG exports have not met the kind of opposition from environmental groups as seen by oil pipeline proposals such as Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan's TransMountain line.

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