Concern has been expressed in British Columbia that pipelines proposed to carry B.C. natural gas to LNG facilities in Prince Rupert and Kitimat might someday be converted to carry oil or bitumen to the coast. 

In response to those concerns, Natural Gas Minister Rich Coleman announced on October 27 that he was prepared to introduce new regulations under the Oil and Gas Activities Act which would prohibit the conversion of the proposed pipelines to oil or bitumen service.

The proposal has not satisfied critics of the government, who point out that the Minister had previously promised that the ban would be enacted as part of the Act itself (and not in more easily changed regulations).

The announcement this week follows similar statements by the Minister earlier this summer, as well as commitments made by some pipeline proponents to B.C. First Nations that their pipelines would not be converted to oil without First Nations consent.