Newfoundland & Labrador: Out of gas

Here is my column in today’s National Post challenging the government of Newfoundland & Labrador to clean up its wasteful energy resource practices.

In comparing Newfoundland vs. Angola in its resource management practices, there are many additional points that might be of interest beyond the brief remarks in the printed column. For example, Angola’s Dalia field was discovered in ’97 and produced first oil in 2006. By comparison, the Hebron field, which is of comparable size to Dalia, was discovered in 1981 and slated for first production in 2017. Ouch!

Post Script Sept 20, 2013: Come by Chance is the only refinery in North America without access to natural gas. This problem compounds the issue of Come by Chance depending on crude priced relative to Brent vs. continental prices — which is the main point that all of the recent news coverage has focused on.

The competitiveness crisis that Come by Chance faces is yet another blow — like the forestry industry’s existential crisis — to the business case for Muskrat Fall. The business case for Muskrat relies heavily on rising power demand on the Island to spread the costs.

The government’s decision to push gas development off to the side in an effort to ensure room on the Island grid for Muskrat Madness is one of the reasons why the refinery’s future now hangs in the balance. With so many larger refineries with gas access along the North America Atlantic coast now closed, the future of Come by Chance seems dim.

Post script January 29, 2014: The Soyo, Angola facility continues to progress with the first shipment of LPG recently announced. Several shipments of LNG have already been completed.