Proceeds from the BC Energy Ministry’s monthly sale of petroleum and natural gas rights were $1.3 million in May 2018. A decade ago, in today’s dollars, the May sale produced $521.3 million. This chart shows historical results, using 2018 dollars:
This illustrates the race to the bottom is over. Gas producers are victorious while we, the public, are badly beaten.
Not only have payments for the right to explore and produce dried up but so have royalty payments.
In the fiscal years 2016 and 2017, natural gas royalty payments totalled $291 million. However, credits owed producers increased $748 million so, if the province bothered to record these obligations as was recommended by the Office of the Auditor General, the royalty account had a two-year deficit of $457 million.
A decade ago, two fiscal years — 2006 and 2007 — produced gas royalty payments of $3.7 billion (2017 dollars) from substantially less production.
When John Horgan’s government was sworn in ten months ago, I expected them to revise BC Liberal energy policies. After all, the 2017 NDP platform boldly promised this:
The people of BC must get a fair return for our resources.
The numbers show the NDP promise was as hollow as an empty barrel of oil.
Categories: Natural Gas