B.C. BUDGET: Energy revenue decline expected

Gas glut continues, electricity prices low, but recovery forecast for forest products, coal and other commodities

Natural gas prices and revenues are predicted to decline further with a glut of shale gas production in North America.

B.C.’s natural resource revenue is forecast to decline 6.9 per cent in the coming year, mostly due to lower prices for natural gas, oil and electricity.

After gas drilling boom years, the province’s revenue from Crown land tenures is expected to continue to decline slightly for two years. Excluding land tenures, natural resource revenue is expected to increase 7.6 per cent over the next two years due to increased forest stumpage rates and prices for coal and other commodities.

The province is forecasting no revenue from liquefied natural gas exports over the next three years, as investors continue to consider the multi-billion-dollar decisions that would get that industry off the ground in B.C.

Revenue from fees will continue to rise, with Medical Services Plan rates increasing again after a 30 per cent jump in the past five years.

De Jong said a scheduled four per cent increase in BC Ferries fares will also go ahead as scheduled April 1.