The Dow Jones wire is reporting that Chevron has postponed a final investment decision on the Kitimat LNG project until 2014, “putting a deadline on a project that has already seen delays.”
Competitors are trying to sell natural gas to Asian customers using the cheaper Henry Hub North American market benchmark rather than higher Japanese bench mark which is based on the price of oil.
The Dow Jones report says Chevron, which is partnered with Apache, is still having problems finding customers in Asia. It quotes George Kirkland, head of Chevron’s upstream business, as saying that the company is offering customers equity stakes in the Kitimat project. Kirkland told a conference call that equity should be more attractive to buyers.
Kirkland said the company won’t approve the project until it has lined up customers for at least 60 per cent of Kitimat’s total 5 million metric tons a year of export capacity, although Kirkland expects that to happen in 2014.
“We’ve have had some discussions with Asian buyers,” Mr. Kirkland said during a call with investors. He declined to name the companies with which Chevron was negotiating. “It’s more likely to be a 2014 (decision), not late 2013,” he said.
U.S. natural gas prices were $3.37 per million British thermal units Friday, down from $13.69 in July 2008.
Chevron to Make Final Kitimat LNG Decision in 2014