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Canadian government blocks Petronas shale investment

LNG Industry,

The Canadian Ministry of Industry has blocked the sale of Progress Energy to Petronas Carigali Canada Ltd.

The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry, said, "I can confirm that I have sent a notice letter to Petronas indicating that I am not satisfied that the proposed investment is likely to be of net benefit to Canada.”

Under the Investment Canada Act, Petronas now has up to 30 days to make any additional representations and submit any further undertakings, which can be extended with my agreement and that of the investor.

The takeover bid is worth CAN$ 5.2 billion. It was hoped the acquisition would pave the way for LNG export plans to go ahead and a site had been chosen in Prince Rupert, British Columbia for a planned LNG export facility on the west coast of British Columbia. A Feasibility Assessment Agreement has been signed with the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) giving the project the exclusive right to conduct further feasibility and investigative studies on Lelu Island.

The Board of Directors, management and employees of Progress have responded to the announcement saying, “Progress will be working over the next 30 days to determine the nature of the issues and the potential remedies” said Michael Culbert, President and Chief Executive Officer of Progress.  “The long-term health of the natural gas industry in Canada and the development of a new LNG export industry are dependent on international investments such as PETRONAS’.”

Written by Peter Farrell.

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