Three new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects in Nova Scotia, British Columbia and Oregon are “inching towards construction,” the Financial Post reports, prompting analysts to predict “a dream scenario” for Canadian gas producers and pipelines in 2019.
“Both Pieridae Energy Ltd.’s C$10-billion Goldboro LNG project in Nova Scotia and Woodfibre LNG’s $1.6-billion project in British Columbia are nearing the finish line in a tight race to be the second LNG project sanctioned in Canada, after Royal Dutch Shell Plc and its partners approved the $40-billion LNG Canada megaproject on the West Coast earlier this month,” the Post writes.
Pieridae President and CEO Alfred Sorensen said his companies expects to receive construction permits in Nova Scotia this week and conclude a merger with Calgary-based Ikkumma Resources Corporation in mid- to late November. The B.C. project would be Woodfibre’s second, and the company is “looking for a notice to proceed to construction in Q1 (of 2019),” said company president David Keane.
“Keane said the company is currently working to finalize an impact-benefits agreement with the Squamish First Nation, looking at ways to reduce the project’s costs, and seeking relief on anti-dumping tariffs for fabricated industrial components imported from Asia,” the Post states.
“The federal government has been clear that if you get to a position where you need to make a final investment decision and (tariffs are) the last remaining issue, then they would be willing to take a serious look at it, but they would prefer you exercise all other options, which everybody is doing,” Keane said.
Adding the third project, the $6-billion Jordan Cove LNG project in Oregon, in the second half of 2019 would fill out the industry’s “dream scenario”, said National Bank financial analyst Patrick Kenny.
“It seems like they’re all inching toward construction,” he told the Post.
Industry newsletter JWN Energy also has its eye on a fourth project on Vancouver Island, Kwispaa LNG, a $10- to $20-billion joint venture between Steelhead LNG Limited and the Huu-ay-aht First Nations that has just filed a project description with regulators.
That move “will allow them to work with Kwispaa LNG to establish the scope of the environmental assessment of the project,” JWN states. “Extensive First Nations and community engagement to date by Kwispaa LNG has already identified areas of particular interest, such as marine shipping, which will be a focus of environmental studies.”
LNG Canada’s competitors are generally acknowledging the initial project’s impact in blazing a trail for additional development. “It really is bringing some confidence back to the marketplace,” said Pieridae’s Sorensen. “It gives our project more credibility. If the economics work for one, they work for others.”
But Stanford University energy transition modeler Mark Z. Jacobson maintains that LNG Canada is a step in the wrong direction that will prolong China’s dependence on natural gas. “Building it now means it will be around for 30 to 40 years, needlessly carrying on the world’s reliance on fossil fuels,” National Observer reports.
“(With LNG), you have to mine it, transport it, and refine it, and that’s all taking energy, so this is contributing to the problem. It’s not a good idea. It’s a bad idea,” Jacobson told Observer’s Tracy Sherlock. “It’s going in the opposite direction than we should be going. It’s definitely a bad thing for people’s health, for climate, and for jobs.”