On June 8th, British Columbia elected its first minority government in 65 years. Whatever parliamentary arrangement emerges next week, the prognosis favours greater uncertainty for energy resource developers. And that could dampen capital spending in the province.
The oil and gas industry now spends about 15% of annual its upstream budget in BC, roughly $5 billion a year, mostly in and around Fort St. John and Dawson Creek.
Longer regulatory shadows on pipelines, hydraulic fracturing and LNG infrastructure have the potential to divert exploration and development to other jurisdictions like Alberta or the US.
The Site C hydroelectric dam project is also at risk. For comparison, Site C is expected to cost a one-time $8.8 billion, less than two years of upstream oil and gas spending.