The decision by Shell and its partners to proceed with the $40 billion LNG Canada project doesn’t just mark a turning point for Canada’s natural gas industry — it’s a turning point for the industry worldwide, according to Wood Mackenzie.
“This is the first LNG export project to reach [final investment decision] in Canada and the first greenfield LNG export project globally in five years,” Wood Mackenzie’s Dulles Wang said on Tuesday.
“This [is] the biggest project sanction globally since the Tengiz expansion was approved in 2016, and the biggest greenfield project to be sanctioned since Yamal LNG in 2013. It seems that megaprojects are back.”
The sanction of LNG Canada marks an abrupt turnaround from 2017, Wang said, when Petronas cancelled its Pacific NorthWest Project. Shell had previously postponed an FID on LNG Canada in 2016.
“Since then, market fundamentals have moved in the project’s favour: LNG fundamentals have improved, upstream wells have outperformed, LNG construction costs have come down and tax breaks and import duty exemptions have been secured from provincial and federal governments, allowing the project partners to gain confidence, ultimately culminating in the announcement,” Wang said.
“The momentum behind LNG Canada reflects the drastic improvement in the LNG market over the past 12 months, driven by buoyant demand in China. A clutch of projects are vying for FID, including four mega trains in Qatar, Arctic LNG-2 in Russia, at least one development in Mozambique and several US projects.
“We believe 2019 could be the busiest year of LNG FIDs ever.”
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