Premier Christy Clark

LNG Canada latest to delay investment

Shell-led group with Korea Gas, Mitsubishi and PetroChina can't say when its decision on Kitimat project will come

A consortium led by Shell Canada with support of the Haisla Nation to build a liquefied natural gas export facility near Kitimat is the latest LNG investment to delay proceeding.

LNG Canada announced Monday it would delay indefinitely its decision to proceed beyond 2016. The group started engineering work in 2014, supported by Shell, Korea Gas, Mitsubishi of Japan and PetroChina as venture partners.

The latest delay in piping northeast B.C. gas to the coast for export is a blow to the Peace region, where exports to the U.S. have been replaced by new domestic sources of gas. Oil production increases in the Middle East have driven down the world price of oil, taking gas with it as producers multiply.

LNG Canada CEO Andy Calitz said the partnership remains a “promising opportunity.” and will continue site preparation. It has “important commercial and engineering contracts in place to build the project” and an agreement with TransCanada to construct pipelines to the B.C. Coast.

When the joint venture was announced in 2014, Calitz said there are three key factors in deciding whether to commit to the Kitimat project. They are shifts in the gas price in Asia, the supply and cost of labour to build the plant and pipelines, and construction of gas pipelines through the Rocky Mountains.