Monday, March 21, 2016

Justin, Meet Andrew - and Reality

The Trudeau government has just given the go-ahead on liquid natural gas exports from British Columbia. He probably got an earful of how LNG was going to resurrect BC's economy from our premier, Crispy Christy Clark. Unfortunately what Clark has been feeding the gullible has been mainly horseshit. The Tyee's Andrew Nikiforuk lists the real whoppers that lie beneath Clark's fantastic claims.

For starters, the province has overestimated the recoverable gas volume by a factor of about 8. Victoria claims 2,900 trillion cubic feet. There's 400 tcf - maybe.

Jobs, jobs, jobs. Crispy boasts of 100,000 jobs from the LNG project. Pare that to 2,000 to 3,000 during the construction phase and 200 to 300 permanent jobs thereafter.

The third whopper concerns how the salvation of LNG is at hand, a matter of ours for the taking.

Most readers will recall that Apache Corp., a Houston-based energy firm, conducted some of the largest frack jobs in northern B.C. and was one of the first companies to champion an LNG terminal. But in 2014 it sold its interests in its Kitimat proposal along with an Australian project. Here's why: last year the shale fracking company posted a loss of nearly $25 billion. That's right: $25 billion. Fracking shale gas, an exercise in declining returns, rarely pays the bills.

More reality can be found in a 2015 report by Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, a rigorous non-profit educational group based in London that analyzed the prospects for North America's LNG industry.

It was blunt: "Despite Canada's abundance of gas resources and the plethora of proposed LNG export schemes, the current business environment, characterized by low oil prices and industry consolidation, does not indicate that any Canadian LNG scheme will be commissioned before the middle of the next decade."

Moreover, "the window of opportunity to capture premium Asian markets has eluded the Canadian projects" because of deep uncertainty and falling demand in those markets. U.S. LNG projects are also cheaper.


Hugh said...

LNG export would be a complete and utter disaster for BC.

It's low EROEI, like bitumen. Not economically or environmentally viable.

LNG would provide zero economic return to BC, but lots of fracking up north, and massive additions to GHG emissions.

Australia is one of the biggest LNG exporters, yet its debt level is huge and growing at $10,000 every second:

In BC we were told that LNG would pay off BC's debt. F@cking liars.

It's all about the government's desperation to make the GDP grow. LNG is seen by some idiots as GDP growth.

The Mound of Sound said...

What I can't understand, Hugh, is Clark's tenacity on LNG. Every time there's a major reversal in her game plan she simply doubles down on her increasingly bad bet. Why do you think that is? What is motivating her?

chris said...

Think stacks of corporate cash, Mound. The next election is two years away so Ms. Clark is just keeping her options open as they say.

Hugh said...

I think that the government thinks that as long as the economy grows every year, forever, everything will be ok. Government seems desperate for growth.

bcwaterboy said...

"Growing the economy" is now Clark's stock answer for her government's utter failure to address pressing issues in poverty, education and dignity for the disabled. Expect to hear it lots in the campaigning paid for courtesy of the taxpayer, as she rides on her icarus wings straight through to another 4 years of announcements, photo ops, large rewards for contributors and our whopping hydro bills. Yes, I believe we are gullible enough to elect her party yet again.

Hugh said...

Growing the economy is their strategy to deal with the growing debt. Same with federal govt.

What society in history was able to grow every year, infinitely?