Liquefied Courage – Lexpert Magazine

Martin Ignasiak

Nov 22, 2017

One of the biggest advantages the United States has over Canada in the burgeoning liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry is that the infrastructure is already there, Osler partner Martin Ignasiak tells Lexpert. In her article, author Sandra Rubin examines the range of factors impeding Canada’s fledgling LNG industry. The article describes how several project developers have either put on hold or scrapped development plans in Canada due to a variety of factors, including economic forces. Martin, the Co-Chair of Osler’s Regulatory, Environmental, Aboriginal and Land Group, says that Canada’s regulatory regime is also a major stumbling block for projects.

“And it’s not because Canadian regulation is too strict,” Martin tells Lexpert. “When I talk to clients looking at projects in Canada, that is not their concern. They know in return for those regulatory standards they have a degree of political stability and benefit from a stable regime.”

Instead, Martin says the main cause for concern lies in the timelines associated with the various regulations.

“They want to know that, if they comply with all the standards, having made that investment, they’re going to receive the approvals to proceed with a project,” Martin tells Lexpert.

He says the longer it takes to get a project from a proposal into operation, the greater the impact on companies’ bottom lines.

“If you invest a billion dollars prior to construction, it makes a big difference to your net present value if you get to start construction in four years as opposed to eight,” Martin tells Lexpert.

For more information on the LNG industry, read Sandra Rubin’s article “Liquefied Courage” on pages 70-75 of the November/December 2017 issue of Lexpert Magazine.