Royal Dutch Shell plc and its Asian partners late Monday said they are delaying their decision to commit the billions needed for a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project planned for the west coast of Canada.

A final investment decision (FID) for the LNG Canada project, designed to export up to 3.2 Bcf/d from a port near Kitimat, BC, had been set for this year. However, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden in February said the FID would be delayed, and in June he signaled the project no longer was a priority (see Daily GPI, June 7;Feb. 4).

LNG Canada “remains a promising opportunity,” but all options will be considered before the project moves forward, project CEO Andy Calitz said.

“Our project has benefited from the overwhelming support of the BC Government, First Nations — in particular the Haisla, and the Kitimat community,” he said. “We could not have advanced the project thus far without it. I can’t say enough about how valuable this support has been and how important it will be as we look at a range of options to move the project forward toward a positive FID by the joint venture participants.”

LNG Canada’s consortium is led by Shell Canada Energy (50%) with partners PetroChina Co. Ltd. (20%), Mitsubishi Corp. (15%) and South Korea’s Korea Gas Corp. (15%). The project could have up to four trains, with total capacity of 26 million metric tons/year.

Formal environmental approval by Canadian officials was achieved last year (see Daily GPI, June 18, 2015; Nov. 10, 2014). LNG Canada also has commercial and engineering contracts in place to design and build the project, with First Nations support along the pipeline right-of-way.

“However, in the context of global industry challenges, including capital constraints, the LNG Canada joint venture participants have determined they need more time prior to taking a final investment decision,” Shell said. “At this time, we cannot confirm when this decision will be made.

“In the coming weeks, LNG Canada will continue key site preparation activities and work with its joint venture participants, partners, stakeholders and First Nations to define a revised path forward to FID.”