UNBC professor takes more cautious approach to LNG prospects in 2015

Responding to comments by Rich Coleman, UNBC professor Paul Bowles suggests caution, not optimism, defines 2015 LNG.

A University of Northern B.C. economics professor says people should be cautious, rather than optimistic, about LNG in 2015.

UNBC’s Paul Bowles was responding to minister of natural gas development Rich Coleman’s year-opening statements saying 2015 will be the year.

Bowles, however, says Coleman essentially has to push for a final investment decision (FID) on a project for 2015 or things will get hard for the government’s predictions.

“He pretty much has to say it’s this year, or his targets for 2020 won’t be met,” he said.

Yet ‘cautious’ is the word Bowles would use when thinking of LNG prospects in 2015.

“He’s [Coleman] on one end of the optimism spectrum. The government brought in its tax regime which was designed to be very competitive to get companies to commit, but that hasn’t happened,” he said. “Global energy markets are in turmoil at the moment, which nobody predicted. It’s unclear what what’s going to happen to the price of oil which will affect competitive fuels like LNG.”

He added “It would a brave person to make a prediction about what will happen to the price of oil prices over the year and therefore the natural gas prices over the year, which will determine how much investment takes place…Rich Coleman must have a better crystal ball than most of the rest of us.”

It’s not an entirely pessimistic outlook for the industry though. He does agree partially with some of Coleman’s ideas, such as that drilling in the northeast, and pipeline agreements made over the past couple of years, can mean there’s confidence in the industry. But Bowles only sees those as small parts of the larger picture.

“That shows it’s still a possibility, but the difference between a possibility and a guarantee is quite a big gap,” he said.

And for pipeline agreements themselves, he said you only need one person not signing up to throw a wrench in everything else.

“You can’t build 60 per cent of a pipeline,” he said. “Any one legal challenge would have consequences.”

B.C., he also says, has challenges due to its geography causing any projects here to be high cost compared to other environments.

Coleman in his LNG outlook also repeated the government’s belief that the industry will lead to 100,000 jobs, but that’s another area Bowles says could be too optimistic.

“That’s very high,” he said. “They tend to count both what they call direct and indirect jobs on that.”

He adds,  “That’s still a very optimistic number. I’ve never seen a full justification for that number.”

In Coleman’s outlook, he said that the government is anticipating that companies will begin making their LNG decisions this year.

“After three years of planning, we anticipate British Columbia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry will take flight in 2015 as leading proponents make final decisions to move forward,” said Coleman, in a written statement.

Kitimat-based projects were among his list of six projects which have received provincial environmental approval.

“We now have 18 proposals for LNG export operations. Provincial Environmental Assessment Certificates have been issued for six LNG projects – the Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission pipeline, the Pacific NorthWest LNG export facility in Port Edward, the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline, the Pacific Trail Pipeline, the Kitimat LNG project in Bish Cove, and Coastal GasLink Pipeline.”

“While the interest has been tremendous,” he continued, “our goal remains to meet the BC Jobs Plan target of three LNG facilities by 2020. This would increase natural gas production and provincial revenues.”

 

Just Posted

Ocean Wise’s cetacean photogrammetry research program uses aerial images collected by boat-launched drones to measure the body condition of whales. (Ocean Wise Marine Mammal License MML-18 photo)
LNG Canada commits $750K to whale research, conservation initiative

Ocean Wise education team will work alongside educational and Indigenous leaders in the area

The Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre will be closed from June 28 until September 13 for annual facility maintenance as well as teach pool and decking repairs. (Black Press photo)
Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre closed: June 28 – September 13

The aquatic centre will be closed for annual facility maintenance

Shoes are being left at the viewpoint on Haisla Blvd in response to the 215 bodies discovered at the Kamloops Residential School. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
Haisla Nation responds to 215 Indigenous children found buried at the site of Kamloops Indian Residential School

“Many Haisla children were sent far away, to places such as Port Alberni, and to Coqualeetza”

Susan Jay hosted a plant and garage sale on May 25 and donated all of her proceeds to the Kitimat General Hospital Foundation to help with the purchase of a new bus for residents at Mountain View Lodge, Delta King and the new Kitimat Valley Housing Society dementia home. (Barbara Campbell photo)
KGHF thanks Susan Jay for her help to purchase a new bus for seniors in multi-level care

Susan donated all proceeds to KGHF, her efforts netted the hospital foundation a total of $1,760

An example of what a mural would look like on the back wall on Ron’s Bait and Tackle Store which faces the courtyard and sidewall. The mural photos shown here are mock-ups of existing artwork on walls of interest in the downtown core to build anticipation within the community about the concept of murals. The KPAA will not necessarily be using these locations or this artwork for the actual murals. (KPAA photo)
Kitimat Public Art Alliance mural funding request denied

D’Andrea suggested she will come back to the council at a later date with a more concrete plan

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens as Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents the province’s latest budget, April 20, 2021. The budget projects $19 billion in deficits over three years. (Hansard TV)
B.C. government budget balloons, beyond COVID-19 response

Provincial payroll up 104,000 positions, $10 billion since 2017

Ocean debris is shown on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C. on April, 18, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Doctor David Vallejo and his fiancee Doctor Mavelin Bonilla hold photos of themselves working, as they kiss at their home in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Doctor Vallejo and Doctor Bonilla suspended their wedding in order to tend to COVID-19 patients and in the process Vallejo got sick himself with the disease, ending up in an ICU for several days. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Love, sacrifice and surviving COVID-19: one couple’s story

COVID hits Ecuadorian doctors who delayed wedding to treat sick

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

Most Read