​New natural gas producer members back $3 million clean tech program

Executives announce seven new upstream members of the Natural Gas Innovation Fund: (L-R) Mike Rose, CEO of Tourmaline Oil; Michael Crothers, country chair, Shell Canada; Frank Cassulo, president, Chevron Canada; John Adams, NGIF managing director; Joy Romero, vice-president, technology and innovation, Canadian Natural Resources; Mark Fitzgerald, CEO, Petronas Energy Canada; and Susan Ridell Rose, CEO, Perpetual Energy Inc. Image: Canadian Gas Association

CALGARY — An industry-sponsored fund designed to help develop clean technology using Canadian natural gas is launching a $3-million call for project proposals.

The Natural Gas Innovation Fund says the call for applications, with a February deadline, is being made possible by the addition of seven western Canadian natural gas producers to a membership previously made up of six natural gas utilities.

The new members include the Canadian branches of two partners in the proposed $40-billion West Coast LNG Canada project: Royal Dutch Shell and Petronas; along with Canada's largest natural gas producer, Calgary-based Canadian Natural Resources, Birchcliff Energy, Perpetual Energy and Tourmaline Oil.

Fund managing director John Adams says the new program will target projects in the upstream or producing part of the industry, making up to $1 million available per project to cover as much as 25 per cent of its eligible expenses.

Adams says the fund, created by the Canadian Gas Association, has over the past two years issued about $9 million to projects focused on energy efficiency.

The fund is also announcing a partnership with federal, Alberta and British Columbia governments to collaborate and consider co-funding successful applicants with projects that deliver significant greenhouse gas emission reductions.

The upstream fund members were introduced at an event at the Calgary Petroleum Club on Wednesday.

“As a producer of natural gas, we're big believers in the need for affordable, clean energy for all people worldwide,” said CEO Mark Fitzgerald of Petronas Energy Canada Ltd. in a statement.

“In an age where technology has become the catalyst for exponential advancements in our industry, we're excited to be involved in the Natural Gas Innovation Fund which pursues diversity of thought and provides a platform for sharing solutions.”

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