March 18, 2015 / 12:00 AM / 5 years ago

Head of BG Group's Canadian LNG project leaves, not being replaced

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - The head of BG Group Plc’s Canadian unit has left Vancouver to take another role in the company and will not be replaced, the company said on Tuesday, delivering another blow to British Columbia’s fledgling liquefied natural gas industry.

Madeline Whitaker, who was appointed president of BG Canada in September 2013 and was overseeing the development of the Prince Rupert LNG project, has taken a new role at company headquarters in Britain, spokesman David Byford told Reuters.

Her duties will be absorbed by Houston-based Matt Sullivan, a venture director, and Vancouver-based Simon Nish, vp sustainability and now BG’s senior representative in Canada. There are no plans to hire a new president for BG Canada.

“This change does not signal any change to the Prince Rupert LNG project,” said Byford in an email, adding that Sullivan and Nish have worked on the Pacific coast project since 2010 and 2013 respectively.

Despite the assurances, Whitaker’s departure adds to the uncertainty that has engulfed British Columbia’s nascent LNG industry in recent months, as oil prices have plunged and companies pushed back project deadlines.

BG Group said late last year that it was slowing work on its Prince Rupert LNG project, delaying a final investment decision to 2017 at the earliest. Malaysia’s Petronas in December pushed back a decision on its Pacific NorthWest LNG project to later this year.

Some 18 LNG export terminals have been proposed for the British Columbia coast, though analysts say tough competition and the impact of falling oil prices mean it is likely just a handful will ultimately go ahead.

Reporting by Julie Gordon

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