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REPORTING · 20th October 2011
Merv Ritchie
The Calgary Herald has just reported the sale of the Methanex terminal at Kitimat to Royal Dutch Shell. A Shell spokesman is quoted as stating they are looking towards using it as a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export terminal.

Royal Dutch Shell has recently voluntarily stopped their exploratory activities in the Sacred Headwaters of the Tahltan Country. These rich areas of land next to the Spatzizi Wilderness Plateau have been identified as being a Coal Field. This region is the precise location of the origins of the three major Northwest BC Rivers; the Stikine, the Nass and the Skeena. And this Coal bed appears to be the full water filter for all the waters of the region much like an aquarium or a counter top Brita water filter; coal is the primary filtering agent.

Royal Dutch Shell has plans to set up a full Coalbed Methane extraction facility that would encompass the entire region bordering the Spatzizi Plateau including the headwaters to all these river systems.

The process involves an extraction method called Fracing; from the words 'to fracture'. Fracing is pumping chemical compounds and materials into deep well shafts under high pressure that will break and hold the coal field open. The intention is for this to release the methane gas trapped within the coal field. The gas company then captures this released gas into an extensive piping network and then gathered to be pumped for sale.

In almost every location where these extraction processes have been constructed serious side effects have been reported. The most serious in relation to these head water areas is the destruction of the habitat of the waters. In the case of this location all the major rivers and the Salmon stocks will be threatened.

The eventual impact, should the same environmentally damaging events occur would be the death of all stocks, then the bears which feed on the stocks, the wolves would be hard pressed, as they feed on the remains left by the bears and then the Coastal forest would be threatened as the trees derive a significant portion of their nutrients from the rotting carcasses left by the wolves and bears.

There has been no statement claimed by Royal Dutch Shell other than they have purchased it with the intention of using it as an export terminal.

Read the Calgary Herald article here.

Read a provocative commentary with associated pictures by clicking here.
Comment by James Ippel on 22nd October 2011
The second to last paragraph sounds somewhat farfetched to me.
According to "exspurts", bears are a threatened species, so mining the gas won't make any difference will it?