Despite plunging energy prices, proponents continue to come forward in the race to export British Columbia's natural gas.
NewTimes Energy Ltd. applied to the National Energy Board (NEB) for a 25-year license to export up to 12 million metric tonnes (MMt) of LNG annually.
NewTimes Energy is proposing to build a floating facility located near Prince Rupert, according to the license application filed Feb. 11. The facility will consist of up to three LNG trains.
The proposed project “is expected to occur in 2019,” according to the filing, in three stages: 4 MMt in 2019, 8 MMt in 2020 and 12 MMt in 2021.
As far as LNG projects in B.C. go, this would be mid-scale. Others range from 30 MMt (WCC LNG) to 1.8 MMt (Douglas Channel LNG).
NewTimes is still in working through upstream, midtream and downstream aspects of the project, and is currently in talks with investors, gas suppliers, offtakers, and pipeline companies.
“The applicant is currently in discussions and negotiations with a view to reaching agreement with a number of investors, gas suppliers, LNG purchasers, pipeline transmission companies, technology providers, land owners, terminal builders and shippers, which are top tier enterprises in their respective industries,” according to the filing. “The particular business models have yet to be finalized.”
NewTimes says there is ample supply and demand.
“Prospective LNG buyers are looking to acquire reliable long-term supply to meet growing demand in their downstream markets,” stated the applicant in the 12-page report. “Obtaining the License is an important threshold step in the development of the Project because it will facilitate NewTimes’ ability to enter into long-term sales agreements that will in turn enhance the viability of the project.”
NewTimes anticipates there will be multiple export arrangements.
NewTimes joins the ranks of Kitsault, WesPac, Steelhead and Cedar LNG, which have applications to export LNG from B.C. under review by the federal body, while 11 others have been granted
There have been several new entrants to the LNG export scene in the past several months, but so far no final investment decision has been made by any of the 19 proponents.
Most experts predict that a small number of the projects will ever be built.
Tanking oil prices in North America, plunging LNG prices in Asia and fierce competition in the global LNG arena are challenging the economics behind British Columbia’s nascent LNG industry.