Canadian energy sector sees LNG project as first of many

Canadian energy sector sees LNG project as first of many

Upon completion, the Coastal GasLink will be a 670 km (420 mile) pipeline created to transport natural gas from the Montney gas-producing region near Dawson Creek, the LNG Canada facility in Kitimat.

"LNG Canada proves today that British Columbia, the attractive province of British Columbia, and Canada can monetize our significant, low-priced natural gas resources, that we can access new markets in Asia, that B.C. and Canada can attract foreign investment, that B.C. and Canada can deliver competitive energy projects and take a place on the global map of energy exporting countries".

Stakeholders Royal Dutch Shell, Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional Bhd, PetroChina Co Ltd, Korea Gas Corp and Japan's Mitsubishi Corp have given final investment decisions, LNG Canada said on its website.

Russia's Novotek also appears close to taking a final investment decision on its nearly 20-million-tonne-a-year Arctic 2 project, and there are also two ventures in east Africa that may be approved in the not too distant future.

Companies from the three countries are partners in the Canadian LNG project.

"It is a vote of confidence in a country that recognizes the need to develop our energy in a way that takes the environment into account, and that works in meaningful partnership with Indigenous communities", he said in the LNG Canada statement. The FID is for two processing units or "trains", with first LNG expected before the middle of the next decade.

The five partners in LNG Canada have agreed to build the $40-billion joint venture that includes a gas liquefaction plant in Kitimat on B.C.'s coast and a 670-kilometre pipeline delivering natural gas from the northeast corner of the province.

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"As the market grows, our LNG business needs to grow", Shell Chief Financial Officer Jessica Uhl said in a call with reporters after the FID disclosure.

The LNG Canada decision is expected to encourage other proposed project proponents to make investment decisions.

The announcement was immediately cheered by the energy industry and decried by the B.C. Green Party, which is part of the coalition supporting the NDP government.

The project will also receive $215 million in federal funds for infrastructure and environmental performance measures, making it the single largest government investment in the Canadian private sector. While LNG carriers from British Columbia would enjoy a straight shot to Asian markets, vessels departing U.S. Gulf Coast terminals do not enjoy direct access to the Pacific Ocean.

LNG prices rose last winter and have hovered near their highest levels in four years.

The potential FIDs include "four mega trains in Qatar, Arctic LNG 2 in Russian Federation, at least one development in Mozambique and several U.S. projects", Wang said, while noting that 2019 "could be the busiest year" ever for LNG project sanctions.

Under this scenario, LNG Canada's initial 14 million tonnes looks certain to find willing buyers, indeed, nowhere near enough new projects have been approved to meet the forecast demand. "This marks the second year that the United States is a net exporter of LNG, but the amount we are exporting remains small compared to our supply base and the total USA market".


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