Aurora LNG part­ners call a halt to pro­ject

Medicine Hat News - - BUSINESS -

CAL­GARY In the lat­est set­back to B.C.’s liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas ex­port in­dus­try prospects, the part­ners de­vel­op­ing the Aurora LNG pro­ject say they are end­ing a fea­si­bil­ity study af­ter four years.

Nexen En­ergy, a Cal­gary-based sub­sidiary of Chi­nese oil gi­ant CNOOC Ltd., says it has de­cided with Ja­panese part­ner IN­PEX Gas Bri­tish Columbia Ltd. to stop work on the pro­posal ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately.

The com­pany says in a state­ment the cur­rent “macro-eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment” doesn’t sup­port build­ing a large LNG busi­ness as pro­posed at Digby Is­land, west of Prince Ru­pert, B.C.

In July, a con­sor­tium led by Malaysia’s sta­te­owned Petronas can­celled its $36-bil­lion Pa­cific North­West LNG pro­ject near Port Ed­ward, B.C., cit­ing a down­turn in mar­ket con­di­tions.

The pro­ject would have in­cluded a nat­u­ral gas ex­port ter­mi­nal on Lelu Is­land on the prov­ince’s north­ern coast and a 900-kilo­me­tre pipe­line to bring the nat­u­ral gas in from north­east­ern B.C.

The Aurora pro­ject was await­ing word on a B.C. en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ment cer­tifi­cate. Phase 1 was ten­ta­tively set to be­gin con­struc­tion in 2020 and be­gin su­per­cool­ing nat­u­ral gas and ship­ping it to world mar­kets by 2025.

Like Petronas, CNOOC says the Aurora part­ners will con­tinue to pro­duce nat­u­ral gas from their Horn River wells in north­east­ern B.C. while mon­i­tor­ing the North Amer­i­can mar­ket to eval­u­ate fu­ture in­vest­ments.

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