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Gas company pulling $125M from B.C. project sparks words over energy sector’s fate

California-based Chevron’s divestiture of its Kitimat LNG stake–$125 million–is bad news for Canada.
Jason Unrau Montreal, QC

Chevron’s plan to offload its 50 percent share of the nascent Kitimat LNG project was another blow to Canada’s energy industry on Wednesday.

The massive British Columbia natural gas facility and export hub was so crucial for the Canadian economy, the Trudeau government gave a tariff break to China last summer so the communist regime’s cheap, fabricated steel could fast-track construction.

But word that the California-based Chevron wanted to sell its Kitimat LNG interest–$125 million of book-value assets in a $10-billion write-down for the U.S. oil giant–sparked a political fight on Twitter.

Enter Conservatives’ natural resources critic Shannon Stubbs:

Less than an hour later Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan corrected Stubbs. But either way Chevron’s big write-down reveal on Wednesday morning was bad news for the domestic energy sector.

Over the past five years, a combination of discounted Canadian bitumen sales–landlocked inside North American markets by lack of new tidewater projects like the proposed TMX–along with federal policies that have chilled investment, have hampered the energy sector.

At the end of October, Canadian petroleum company EnCana uprooted its Calgary headquarters to move to Denver, Colorado, and a rebrand; the latest news is just the latest in notable capital flight from domestic energy markets that’s witnessed 175,000 jobs shed from the Alberta oil patch in less than five years.

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Jason Unrau
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