Shell delays final decision on LNG export project planned for Kitimat

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      With a provincial election barely more than one year away, Premier Christy Clark is still without a clear victory on LNG that she can point to during her campaign.

      Today (February 4) Royal Dutch Shell revealed it has postponed a final investment decision on the LNG Canada liquefied-natural-gas export project planned for Kitimat.

      “In 2015, we significantly curtailed spending by reducing the number of new investment decisions and designing lower-cost development solutions,” reads a statement attributed to Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden. “For 2016, we have exited the Bab sour gas project in Abu Dhabi, and are postponing final investment decisions on LNG Canada and Bonga South West in deep water Nigeria.”

      Shell owns a 50-percent share in LNG Canada and took the lead on the project.

      The media release states that in 2015, Shell’s operating costs declined by $12.5 billion from the previous year. It adds further reductions are expected through 2016.

      The news was tucked inside a Royal Dutch Shell breakdown of the corporation’s fourth-quarter earnings for 2015.

      Profits were down 44 percent compared to the same period for the previous year. The release attributes the slump to the “significant decline” of oil and gas prices.

      LNG Canada issued a release of its own shortly after the announcement from Shell. It states a final investment decision is still expected before the end of 2016.

      "Shell’s quarterly results today included information that the LNG Canada project FID decision will occur right at the end of this year," it reads. "This is not inconsistent with information LNG Canada has shared with the community."

      A plan for the development of liquefied natural gas in B.C. that the Liberal government circulated ahead of the 2013 election lists no less than LNG 18 projects on the horizon.

      “We are creating a Prosperity Fund which will collect revenues in excess of $100 billion over 30 years,” it reads.

      But three years later, no oil and gas company has firmly committed to building anything in B.C.

      An international consortium led by Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas has given conditional approval for the construction of the Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal near Prince Rupert.

      Petronas has said it is committed to B.C. but a final investment decision still hinges on the province approving the project and on a positive environmental assessment by the government of Canada.