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Taxes complicate Canadian LNG ambitions

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VICTORIA, British Columbia, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Royal Dutch Shell said the provincial government in British Columbia needs to clear up potential tax issues that could influence foreign natural gas customers.

Shell said it's waiting for the government to provide details about a proposed tax on exports of liquefied natural gas. Shell owns a minority stake in LNG Canada alongside Chinese and Japanese energy companies.

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LNG Canada Vice President Andy Calitz told The Wall Street Journal the provincial government needs to know about the tax issue before it makes a final investment decision in 2014 on LNG exports from British Columbia.

"Those details need to emerge," he said in an interview published Thursday. "We need to know with certainty about the level and the stability of that [tax issue] by 2014."

The provincial government hasn't announced a tax rate yet. LNG Canada is courting Asian customers for its planned export terminal at Kitimat, British Columbia.

The federal Canadian government aims to deliver more natural resources to Asian countries in an effort to diversify an economy dependent on the United States.

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark told the Journal in June the details of the tax regime would be announced in "the next couple of months."

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