3. Our Approach

To define what “cleanest LNG” really means, and recommend how British Columbia could achieve it via a hypothetical LNG sector, we commissioned a scan of the global LNG industry, a survey of best practices, and an analysis of the carbon impact of various strategies and technologies using greenhouse gas modelling software.

This paper reviews existing industry data to assess the carbon footprint, from wellhead to ship terminal, of LNG produced at a variety of existing and proposed facilities around the world.

To assess LNG from a carbon perspective, one must consider not simply the liquefaction facility, but the full upstream chain of production, including gas extraction, processing, and transportation (Figure 1). Our assessment includes these stages, but not the carbon pollution released as the fuel is shipped to its final markets and burned there.

 We identify two facilities that today produce the “cleanest” LNG available—again, factoring in all stages of production—a benchmark that British Columbia LNG needs to meet or beat to claim world-leading status. We sketch out what a “standard” British Columbia LNG plant would look like under current policy, and present a range of potential pathways to leadership. We then discuss the challenges of achieving this global leadership and the detailed results of our life cycle analysis. Finally, we offer some suggestions for future research.

For a detailed explanation of our research methodology, please see the Appendix, available in the full download PDF of this document.