The head of Petronas says the company anticipates making a final investment decision regarding the Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal by the end of June and may have lined up yet another international player to take an ownership stake in the terminal.
Petronas chief executive officer Shamsul Azhar Abbas said talks are underway with a new Chinese buyer to take a 10 to 12 per cent stake in the terminal, making it the sixth partner alongside such firms as Japex, SINOPEC, Petroleum Brunei and the Indian Oil Corporation.
“We said many months ago it would be ideal if we were to work out a 50 per cent farm-out of the Canadian project. So far we have achieved 38 per cent,” he told reporters at a media event in Vancouver during a Canadian visit earlier this month.
Part of the reason the final investment decision was delayed from the end of 2014 was the lack of approval from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, something Abbas said needed to be in place before approval was given. However, he told media in Vancouver that the delay has had some unexpected benefits including a sharp drop in oil prices.
“Over the past couple of months, the price of equipment has dropped, the price of steel has dropped, so we told ourselves, why are we in such a hurry?” he told the Financial Post.
“If prices are falling, we might as well wait until prices stabilize at a lower number before we commit ourselves.”