Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Current LNG projects listed by the BC government

Right now the BC Government lists a total of 12 different potential LNG projects in BC.   Here is my quick run down of them and how well they meet the board criteria to make the projects viable. I am looking at 2025 has the date they could be complete by given that the BC Government uses the early 20s as the time when we will see the bonanza from LNG.

Of the 12 projects the government list I see two as serious, four more with some potential and six that are nothing more than ideas.

The projects that seem serious at the moment - an investment decision should be made in the next 24 months
  • Pacific NorthWest LNG has access to natural gas via the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project owned by TransCanada Pipelines.  It also has a gas supply via ownership of Progress energy and since they own it the price of the gas is not an issue.  The project has deep pockets because of majority owner Petronas.  It has started the environmental assessment process.   Because it is owned by Petronas it would seem there is a market for the LNG though Petronas.  Given that Petronas is a government owned company, it may not be concerned about the medium or long term markets for LNG. 
  • LNG Canada owned by Shell, KOGAS, Misubishi and Petro China and to be supplied by the proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline owned by TransCanada Pipelines   The Asian partners of the project have strong motivations to bring more LNG online especially Mitsubishi and KOGAS. 
Projects that clearly have some barriers to succeeding and until they are dealt with there is no path to an investment decision.
  • Douglas Channel Energy Project This is small project compared to many others.   It was slated to start construction a year ago but nothing is happening.  I have to wonder if there is an issue with raising capital or in justifying the investment cost.
  • Kitimat LNG is owned by Apache and Cheveron and will be supplied by the proposed Pacific Trail pipeline.  This project got an EA certificate in June of 2008 but still no the ground has not been broken.  I wonder if Chevron bought into this project to allow themselves some options in the future.  Chevron is currently involved the construction of projects totaling 30 mtpa and LNG is a new product line for them.
  • Prince Rupert LNG owned by the British Gas group.   Through the proposed Westcoast Connector pipeline owned by Spectra Energy and BG Group they have a supply of gas.   At the moment the regulatory and planning work for the project does not seem to have started and all the timelines are very vague.
  • Woodfibre LNG this is a small project near Squamish Fortis is proposing a 52 km pipeline link.  It is small enough and on an existing industrial site to effectively deal with a number of the issues that are barriers for the large projects.   The one major issue I can see is access to capital.
Projects that are really nothing more than ideas
  • Aurora LNG Very early stages, all they have is rights to one of the two Grassy Point locations.  No supply of gas.
  • WCC LNG Ltd Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil Canada  They have applied for a 25 year export permit.  They have no location yet and not pipeline.  
  • Woodside LNG - Woodside has been granted the rights to use Grassy Point for an LNG plant.  Woodside has to get an export licence within a year.  No supply of gas
  • Triton LNG A small project jointly owned by AltaGas and Idemitsu without a location or a natural gas source
  • Discovery LNG Proposed for Campbell River of all places which would require a pipeline connection to the mainland.
  • Kitsault Energy Project Not a project at all (though the BC government lists them) but a plea from the owner of the town of Kitsault offering his location for an LNG terminal.
Just because a project is not completed by 2025 does not meant it is dead.  A company could shelve a project for a couple of decades, the further we look into the future, the more likely we are going to be wrong to some extent as to what is going to happen.

If I were to guess what we will have in BC by 2025, I think it will be one large and two large LNG facilities with a total production of between 20 mtpa to 30 mtpa of LNG.

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