It was around four years ago that Clark’s governing Liberals started cranking up the LNG hype.
Remember all those incredible promises? Five massive LNG plants (maybe more), 100,000 jobs and billions of dollars in new government revenue — enough to wipe out the debt and maybe even eliminate the provincial sales tax.
A particularly exuberant declaration came from former TV news anchor Pamela Martin, the Liberals’ outreach director: “What would you do with a trillion dollars?” she tweeted.
“A once-in-a-generation bonanza announced in B.C.”!
You may have noticed the bonanza is a little late in arriving and the streets aren’t paved with gold yet.
That’s because not a single LNG project has gone ahead. And now there are signs the most promising proposal of all — the $36-billion Pacific NorthWest LNG project near Prince Rupert — could be shelved.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported the project — backed by state-owned oil-and-gas giant Petronas of Malaysia — could be delayed.
It comes just as the federal government is set to issue a decision on whether to approve the project with a long list of costly environmental-protection conditions attached.
But, even if the project receives federal approval, it still faces roadblocks.
“Upon finalization of the (federal) report, we need to conduct a total review of the proposed project,” Petronas said in a statement.
“Petronas reiterates that a project of this magnitude requires coherent support from the various relevant stakeholders,” the statement added, suggesting frustration with expensive government red tape and taxes and unsteady support from First Nations.
But analysts say the real problem is elsewhere: deflated LNG prices, global oversupply and slumping demand in Asia.
“We have a glut of LNG on the market and we see very low prices,” said Jackie Forrest, vice-president of energy research with Calgary’s Arc Financial Corp.
“These type of prices just won’t pay for a $30-billion facility and it’s going to take a while to clear.”
All of which has Green Party leader Andrew Weaver in I-told-you-so mode.
“It’s shocking how irresponsible the government was in promising all this,” said Weaver, who just returned from visits to Kitimat, Terrace and Prince Rupert, where LNG fever really took hold.
“We stayed in a brand-new hotel with four cars in the parking lot,” he said.
“Investors poured tonnes of money into these towns on the expectation of LNG. But they were hoodwinked.”
The government, of course, doesn’t see it that way and remains optimistic that an LNG industry will still emerge one day.
“We’re focused on building a viable, competitive industry,” the government said in a statement.
But Premier Christy Clark’s focus is now somewhere else. Take a look at the Liberal Party website and there’s nothing on the home page about LNG anymore.
Not even a mention of LNG on the BC Liberal website…
But what did you people in Prince Rupert say…What did Brad Zubyk say(herman)…what did Tom Cassada (@lotuslander2000) …Petronas is different, they look at the longterm…Petronas needs the gas, their equity partners are off-takers of the gas…
Hmmm…if Petronas looks at the longterm…if Petronas has equity partner gas off-takers than why has this project been deferred?
Real simple concept…LNG glut for the next decade, prices in the tank…transit cost expensive, back n forth across the Pacific for each delivery and gas supplies hundreds of miles from the coast…
Day by day, bit by bit the mainstream media catches up to Grant G and The Straight Goods.
Have a good day you Prince Rupertilians…
Cheers Eyes Wide OPen