October 02, 2018

Affordable Energy News Service for October 2, 2018

Affordable Energy News Service for October 2, 2018

Co-owners give $40-billion LNG Canada project green light in B.C. — Brent Jang

A $40-billion liquefied natural gas project in British Columbia has been given the green light by its owners in what will be the largest private-sector investment in the province’s history. The project led by Royal Dutch Shell PLC calls for an export terminal to be built in Kitimat on the West Coast. LNG Canada chief executive officer Andy Calitz, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and B.C. Premier John Horgan issued statements in a news release. “The final investment decision taken by our joint venture participants shows that British Columbia and Canada, working with First Nations and local communities, can deliver competitive energy projects,” Mr. Calitz said. - CBC 


The LNG Canada project will help Asia kick its dirty coal habit. Why are we resisting it? — Peter Tertzakian

I thought the primary global objective in the battle against climate change was to reduce GHG emissions as fast as possible. Much of Asia has a coal problem. Governments know they need to clean it up as fast as possible and are using a combo of renewables, natural gas and energy efficiency to do it. Ipso facto, countries like China, Korea and others across the Pacific need natural gas from reliable sources like Canada. Swapping out an old grubby coal plant with a modern, efficient, gas-fired power generator, such as LNG, can cut CO2 emissions by 70 per cent. Soot is eliminated, too. By my standards that’s a desirable “low-carbon” swap that contributes to climate change objectives, pronto. When completed, the Canadian LNG facility can create prosperity and hopefully renew a dialog that brings the objectives of climate change back to the urgent matter of reducing global GHG emissions now. - Regina Leader-Post  


Trudeau notches crucial wins on trade, energy ahead of election — Theophilos Argitis and Josh Wingrove

In less than 12 hours, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau scored two of the biggest economic wins of his political career. The Canadian leader reached an agreement with President Donald Trump late Sunday to join a new trade deal with the U.S. and Mexico, ending more than a year of uncertainty for the nation's businesses. Hours earlier, Bloomberg News reported that a Royal Dutch Shell-led group is poised to announce Monday that it's moving forward on a C$40 billion ($31 billion) natural gas terminal in Canada, one of the country's biggest construction projects. The agreements mark major successes on two critical fronts for Canada -- trade and energy -- that have acted as drags on the nation's economy, and were the biggest points of vulnerability for Trudeau as opposition parties begin to attack his record ahead of elections next year. The loonie rallied on the trade deal. - Prince George Citizen  


MEG Energy shares soar as analysts predict Husky will strengthen hostile takeover offer — Dan Healing

Financial analysts say Husky Energy Inc. will likely have to sweeten its $3.3-billion hostile takeover bid for fellow Calgary oilsands producer MEG Energy Corp., although they concede there are few white knights that are big enough to ride to its rescue. In its offer Sunday, Husky said it was going directly to MEG’s shareholders after its board refused to consider a proposal. – Global News


LNG approval could change B.C.'s economic, political fortunes — staff writer

The reported approval of a massive liquefied natural gas project in B.C. could change the province's economic and political fortunes. Liberal MLA Ellis Ross said the energy project is needed "badly, very badly." The representative for Skeena said several northern communities need the jobs that would come with the project – enough to replace many of those lost in the port town of Kitimat in recent years. "There's always been a bad problem with vacancies – families leaving town, kids leaving town, taking their grandkids away to Alberta, Newfoundland – they're all coming back," Ross said. On Sunday, Kitimat Mayor Philip Germuth said he was pleased by the report that the LNG Canada project had been approved. "It's the largest investment in Canadian history, so we're really looking forward to everything moving forward," he said. - CTV News


Parties work to woo Green Leader David Coon — Adam Huras

Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs is musing about an agreement with Green Leader David Coon that could last several years, modelled after an NDP-Green deal struck in British Columbia last year. The province’s two main political parties have both begun to quietly negotiate with the Greens to secure the support needed to break an election deadlock still without a resolution – now more than a week after New Brunswickers went to the polls. Higgs called the west coast deal a potential template. The Progressive Conservatives garnered 22 seats in last week’s election, to the Liberals 21, but Liberal Leader Brian gallant has remained in power as both leaders try to gain support from the third parties. The Green party platform clearly states that its proposed clean energy and public transportation strategy “would be funded by revenue from the federal government’s carbon price, to be replaced by a made-in-New Brunswick levy placed on coal, oil and natural gas entering the province by rail.” - Telegraph Journal 


LNG Canada project in British Columbia given final approval by shareholders — CP

Investors have given final approval for a massive liquified national gas project in northern British Columbia. The five partners have agreed to the $40-billion joint venture that includes a gas liquefication plant in Kitimat on B.C.’s coast and a 670-kilometre pipeline delivering natural gas from the northeast corner of the province. The partners – Royal Dutch Shell, Mitsubishi Corp., the Malaysian-owned Petronas, PetroChina Co., and Korean Gas Corp. – delayed the final investment decision in 2016, citing a drop in natural gas prices. But with the final investment decision, each company will be responsible to provide its own natural gas supply and will individually market its share of liquified gas. LNG Canada CEO Andy Calitz says the project received support from the B.C. government, local First Nations and the Kitimat community. - The Telegram  


Quebec election, the day after: Here’s what the Coalition Avenir Quebec promises to do — Renee Bruemmer

The new Quebec government does not take a right-wing perspective when it comes to environmental issues. The new governing party’s platform includes an increase in clean, hydro energy exports, a plan to clean up the banks of the St. Lawrence River, a plan to extend Montreal’s REM light-rail system to places like Laval and Chambly, a cap-and-trade plan, and the setting aside of $10-billion for infrastructure to alleviate congestion by 2030.  - Montreal Gazette   


Politicians were wrong to blame the tornadoes on climate change — Tom Harris

It was only a matter of time before politicians blamed the tornadoes that recently ravaged the National Capital Region on climate change. Sure enough, three days after the devastating Sept. 21 Ottawa and Gatineau tornadoes, the Montreal Gazette reported that Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin attributed these extreme weather events to climate change. The same conclusion was drawn by now Quebec Premier-Elect Francois Legault. But weather history refutes this. Although Canada has the second highest number of tornado strikes per year, trailing only the United States, we suffer relatively few casualties because of our strong building construction due to our cold climate, and our comparatively low population density. The actual causes of September’s Ottawa/Gatineau tornadoes were natural, of course. An unseasonably cold and dry air from Western Canada advanced toward the warm and moist air over southern Ontario. Tornadoes will continue to happen across Canada no matter what we do. So, instead of wasting money trying to stop them, we need to better prepare for them.  - Toronto Sun  


United States

New NAFTA deal looks good for U.S. energy companies in Mexico, policy analyst says — Rob Nikolewski

While much of the attention of a new North American Free Trade Agreement centered on provisions dealing with the auto and agricultural industries, a lesser-known portion of the pact looks to provide some much-needed certainty for companies like San Diego-based Sempra Energy that have spent billions on projects in Mexico. “Mexico has come out of this with pretty strong protections for investors in the oil and gas sectors, as well as in telecom infrastructure, and that’s good news for the future of the energy reform,” said Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Washington D.C.-based Wilson Center. “That’s good news, even more so for those companies that have already invested in Mexico.” Put into effect in 1994, the original NAFTA did not include an energy chapter for Mexico. - San Diego Tribune  


Scientists to publish report on feasibility of climate targets on Oct. 8 — Jane Chung

The world's leading climate scientists this week are preparing the final version of a cornerstone United Nations report to assess whether global temperatures can be kept in check this century to prevent the most damaging effects of global warming. The U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is meeting this week in Incheon, South Korea, and plans to discuss the report, which will determine whether global warming this century can be kept to a limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). The IPCC aims to release the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C on Oct. 8. "The main issue of the report discussion will be around how we can get to a 1.5 degree limit and what will be the carbon (emissions) budget available to do that," said Friederike Otto, acting director of the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University. - CNBC  



Woodside, Shell to have option to pre-empt Conoco's Sunrise sale — Angela MacDonald-Smith

Woodside Petroleum has reaffirmed its commitment to the Sunrise gas project in the Timor Sea and has not ruled out pre-empting ConocoPhillips' $US350-million ($483-million) deal to sell its 30% stake to the Timor-Leste government despite a continuing deadlock over the best way to develop the field. Both Woodside and the other two Sunrise partners, Shell and Japan's Osaka Gas, have the right to pre-empt Conoco's sale to the Timor-Leste government, which was first reported in The Australian Financial Review on Monday. The government's move represents a dramatic step-up in its push to have Sunrise gas developed through a new onshore LNG plant that would be built on its southern coast, an option that has always been opposed by the venture parties as too risky and uneconomic. - Australian Financial Review  


ACCC chief Rod Sims advises gas producers to 'think carefully' on pricing — Angela MacDonald-Smith

Competition czar Rod Sims has suggested east coast gas producers may need to offer discount prices to local manufacturers to avoid destroying demand as the antitrust watchdog pointed to signs that domestic tariffs could surge above $12 a gigajoule next year. So-called "netback" prices for LNG, a representative price for export LNG before processing and shipping, have averaged $10.69 a gigajoule so far this year and look set to climb almost 16% to $12.40 next year, according to the first publication by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission of what has become a benchmark for domestic east coast prices. Netbacks could peak  about $15 a gigajoule in January-February, the ACCC said, based on forward LNG prices. On paper that would translate to a price of about $17/GJ for a small manufacturer in Victoria after pipeline costs. - Australian Financial Review