Energy companies trying to raise almost $50 billion for Canada’s first network of natural gas export terminals will face an even more basic challenge: finding the workers to build them.
“The lack of skilled workers is a major component for the reason why you’re often behind schedule and over budget,” said Geoff Hill, partner and oil and gas leader at financial advisers Deloitte Canada in Calgary. A dearth of labor for oil sands and mining will be “exacerbated” by a new wave of construction to enable gas exports, he said.
Chevron Corp. (CVX) will need as many as 5,500 workers to build a pipeline across Canada’s western mountains and a plant on the country’s frosty Pacific Coast for shipping gas to Asia, according to company estimates.
The company may be vying for workers with as many as nine other proposed liquefied natural gas, or LNG, export terminals on the West Coast that have received or applied for permits. Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) and Petroliam Nasional Bhd. are among energy companies planning to profit from rising gas demand in Asia, where Japan imported 6 trillion yen ($58 billion) of LNG last year.
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