B.C. holds first 2016 monthly natural gas, petroleum right sale

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Coming off its worst calendar year in more than three decades, and the first one below $100 million  in bonus bids since the turn of the century, B.C. will today hold its first 2016 monthly sale of natural gas and petroleum rights.

It will offer eight parcels covering about 4,400 hectares, the same number of parcels purchased last January, which earned just over 2.2 million in tender bonus.

That however, was less than half of the 7.3 million earned from the sale of 21 parcels in January of 2014, and set the stage for a dramatic drop in the year-over-year bonus bids totals.

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They went from 382.7 million in 2014 to 18.3 million last year, when five of the monthly sales failed to reach $1 million.

With the exception of 16.2 million in 1982, the 2015 total was worse than any calendar year on record with the Ministry of Natural Gas dating back to 1978.

Still as late as last month the Conference Board of Canada was predicting BC will be the only province in the country to post growth of better than three per cent this year and its’ prediction was 3.6 per cent.

Now, the BC Central One Credit Union is also forecasting improved growth for the province in a new multi-year outlook.

He puts growth at about three per cent in each of the next four years, but like the Conference Board, he hinges the outlook on at least one proposed LNG plant going forward.

That said, there’s a new report in the Wall Street Journal which suggests that remains very much in doubt, and we’ll have more on that next hour.

However, the Credit Union says even if that doesn’t occur average growth for its forecast period should still be about two and half percent.

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