Canada’s Pacific NorthWest LNG succumbs to sluggish market forces

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Australia’s reputation as the ‘Lucky Country’ beneficiary of $200 billion LNG project investment decisions has been enhanced with news that the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG project at Port Edward in British Columbia, Canada has been canned by its JV partners.

This follows a major review of the proposed plant’s viability and revelations from Anuar Taib, Executive Vice President and CEO Upstream for majority partner Petronas, that ongoing subdued market conditions had prompted the decision.

“We are disappointed that the extremely challenging environment brought about by the prolonged depressed prices and shifts in the energy industry have led us to this decision,” Mr Taib said.

“We, along with our North Montney Joint Venture partners, remain committed to developing our significant natural gas assets in Canada and will continue to explore all options as part of our long-term investment strategy moving forward,” he said.

By contrast, with Canada’s LNG prospects looking bleak in the current investment climate, in Australia a golden chapter representing the biggest resource investment boom in the country’s history is drawing to a close.

The $42 billion Chevron-led Wheatstone Project has been flagged for a start-up this month. Shell FLNG’s Prelude, the world’s largest floating facility is sailing for its final anchorage 475km northeast of Broome and the Ichthys Venturer, the third and final giant vessel built in Korea for offshore Western Australia this year, is also on the move to jigsaw an important piece into place for the Ichthys Project.

In the current market downturn, it is unlikely that any of the eight Australian LNG plants that produced first gas within the last five years would have even got to the start-line with an FID.

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