The province of British Columbia has established a new regulation forbidding the transport of oil or diluted bitumen on pipelines constructed specifically for liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities.

The new regulation, which will be applied under the Oil and Gas Activities Act, prohibits the BC Oil and Gas Commission from allowing any conversion of a natural gas pipeline delivering an LNG facility.

British Columbia Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman said: "The establishment of B.C.’s LNG industry is an unprecedented opportunity to create economic growth. This growth will be developed responsibly and this regulation will ensure pipelines will support our long-term potential in natural gas production and export."

Currently, British Columbia has 18 LNG proposals for export operations and is operating over 40,000km of provincially regulated pipelines.

British Columbia Minister of Aboriginal Relations John Rustad said: "Many First Nations want to work with the Province and proponents on major natural gas pipeline developments, but some have strong and differing views about oil or diluted bitumen pipelines.

"A regulation prohibiting the automatic conversion of natural gas pipelines for these purposes goes a long way to address the concerns we have heard."

The potential supply is expected to support domestic and international project operations for more than 150 years.