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Canada expects to start LNG exports from late 2014: energy minister

Platts, 2012-09-20
Five LNG projects to be developed on Canada's West Coast could be in service between late 2014 and 2019, the country's federal energy minister Joe Oliver said Tuesday at a Canadian Natural Resources Regulatory Seminar held in Tokyo.

"Quite frankly, Canada is at the forefront of natural gas revolutions," Oliver said. "But the relevance of Canada's gas reserves in the total market is more than scale. It's also geography. LNG tankers from Canada's Pacific North West reach the Pacific Basin LNG market in as few as 11 days."

"This is faster than from the Middle East or Africa. LNG development in Canada's West Coast already attracts interests from Pacific nations including Japan, Korea and China," he said.

Based on the projects proposed, the country could have export capacity of 9 Bcf/d of natural gas, equivalent to 66 million mt/year of LNG, he said.

He specifically mentioned the planned LNG Canada project -- a joint venture between Shell, Korea Gas, Mitsubishi and PetroChina. The project was formally announced in May and would be sited at the British Columbia deepwater port at Kitimat.

"LNG Canada will have a capacity to export 24 million mt of LNG per year to Asian markets," he said.

Additional LNG export terminals and related pipeline infrastructure are being proposed for the Prince Rupert area also on the coast of the province of British Columbia, said Oliver referring to a recent announcement from Spectra Energy about developing a 4.2 Bcf/d natural gas pipeline or 31 million mt/year LNG export facilities in the port of Prince Rupert.

"A key strategic objective for Canada is to diversify its energy markets, particularly to the Asia-Pacific region where demand is increasing," Oliver said in a separate speech.

Oliver said that Japan, as the world's largest LNG importer, should have a particular interest in Canada, where "there are up to 1,300 trillion cubic feet, or 37 trillion cubic meters in natural gas resources, which will undoubtedly increase as we discover more shale gas and offshore resources."

"For Canada, these LNG projects mean opportunities to expand and diversify our export markets," Oliver said. "For Japan, they mean a safe reliable source of liquefied natural gas for decades to come."

Oliver is also scheduled to visit South Korea over September 20-21, following his trip to Japan, where he is representing Canada Wednesday at the LNG Producer-Consumer Conference in Tokyo.
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