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Digby Island proposed Nexen Aurora LNG (fracked gas) export facility, BC, Canada

China's Nexen corporation's proposed Aurora LNG (fracked gas) export facility, near Prince Rupert in British Columbia, Canada threatens the fishing community of Prince Rupert, displaces local residents and enables the expansion of hydraulic fracking.


China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC)­Nexen is proposing to build a 4 train LNG liquefaction, storage and export terminal within ½ km of the Canadian community Dodge Cove, and within 3 km of the city of Prince Rupert. The proximity of this project will come with drastic health impacts to the local communities as well as impact the Skeena River Estuary, where the berthing terminals, dredging, and tanker traffic will be. Besides people’s homes, many species of special concern on both Digby Island and the surrounding waters, and migratory birds using the Pacific Flyway, will be impacted by the location of this project. International guidelines, safety practices, and reports from Sandia Laboratories all state that this site for the Aurora LNG terminal would be too close to communities and existing marine traffic zones.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Digby Island proposed Nexen Aurora LNG (fracked gas) export facility, BC, Canada
State or province:British Columbia
Location of conflict:Dodge Cove
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Water access rights and entitlements
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Ports and airport projects
Invasive species
Gas flaring
Shale gas fracking
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Oil and gas refining
Land acquisition conflicts
Aquaculture and fisheries
Specific commodities:Natural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Aurora LNG plans to ship 24 million tonnes of LNG per year.

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Project area:780
Level of Investment for the conflictive project17-20 billion Canadian dollars
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:100,000
Start of the conflict:01/01/2014
Company names or state enterprises:Nexen from China - They want to build and run the export facility
China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) from China
INPEX Corporation from Japan
Aurora LNG
JGC Corporation from Japan
Relevant government actors:National - Liberal Party (Justin Trudeau ­ prime minister)
Provincial - before 2017 election BC Liberal Party (CHristy CLark premier)
- after 2017 election New Democratic Party (John Horgan premier), in coalition with Greens
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Friends of Digby Island

Skeena Wild:

Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition:

Friends of Wild Salmon:
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Noise pollution
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Fires, Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Other Environmental impacts
Other Environmental impactsdestrucytyion of Eel grass habitat essential for the life cycle of the salmon of the Skeena River, much as in the GItwilgyoots and Lelu Island case in the atlas
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Proposal and development of alternatives:Dodge Cove residents do not want this project to go forward at this location.
No plausible proposal for an alternative location has been put forward.
An alternative is not necessary. BC does not have to invest in fracking. If energy investment was desired, there are green energy alterantives that would be more financially viable if human rights and the environment were part of thefinancial euqation.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Political outcome yet to be determined
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

SIGTTO (Society of International Gas Terminals and Tankers Operators) guidelines

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] BC Environmental Assessment
[click to view]

[2] LNG Tanker Safety
[click to view]

Tyee opinion piece ... Cancel LNG or else
[click to view]

Northern View opinion piece
[click to view]

Northern View, Des Nobels
[click to view]

Northern Vew opinion piece
[click to view]

Northern View local news
[click to view]

Tyee opinion piece
[click to view]

We Eat Fish... a blog on interconnections amongst First Nations soveriegnty fights and resistance to extractivist industry in northern BC
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Karl Frost, [email protected]
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:2935
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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