Part­ners pull plug on Prince Ru­pert LNG project

The Prince George Citizen - - FRONT PAGE -

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 Cal­gar­y­based 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 “macroe­co­nomic en­vi­ron­ment” doesn’t sup­port build­ing a large LNG busi­ness as pro­posed at Digby Is­land, west of Prince Ru­pert.

In July, a con­sor­tium led by Malaysia’s state-owned 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 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. en­vi­ron­men- tal 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.

In a re­cent re­port, the Na­tional En­ergy Board warned that Canada is a late en­trant to the global LNG mar­ket.

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.

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