S African company pulling out of natural gas to liquid fuels

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A South African energy and chemical company says it’s dropping plans for a $14 billion U.S. plant to convert natural gas to liquid fuels because of low oil prices and a volatile market. For the same reasons, it says it’s also pulling out of Canadian shale.

Sasol made the announcement Thursday in a news release posted on its website.

The plant would have been in the southwest Louisiana city of Lake Charles.

A parish government official calls the decision a minor setback in $100 billion in development across southwest Louisiana. Calcasieu Parish Police Juror Hal McMillin says that includes an $11 billion ethane cracker being built by Sasol, which already has three operating plants in the area.

Sasol says it will sell its shale assets in Canada’s Montney Basin.

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