The Asia-Canada LNG Connection

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"Canada stands poised to become a major source of natural gas for Asia."

Globe and Mail, Nathan Vanderklippe and Carrie Tait

Asia-Canada LNGCanada stands poised to become a major source of natural gas for Asia amid uncertainty over the future of U.S. energy exports. But the country risks missing that opportunity if industry doesn't move fast enough, oil and gas companies warn.

The discovery of new ways to draw energy from massive pools of shale gas has boosted North America's reserves so dramatically that companies have scrambled to find new markets. But fast-growing demand for gas in China—and even Japan, where nuclear energy is expected to play a more limited future role—is more likely to be fed from BC than Texas or Arkansas, according to Penn West Petroleum President Murray Nunns.

"There's an ultimate belief that the U.S. won't export natural gas, because of energy security concerns," he said. That makes Canada the most likely "safety valve for North America."

U.S. companies also have pursued a series of LNG export plans from that country. Last month, one energy company received DOE approval to begin gas exports from the Gulf Coast area, though it must still obtain the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's blessing.

However, the actions of a growing number of important international nat gas players appear to affirm a growing view of Canada as an important source of global gas exports.

At least four LNG export terminals have been envisaged for BC's West Coast. Of those, two have been envisioned by major LNG shippers.

Canadian producers are also tempted by the potential for greater profit in Asia, where gas sells nearer the price of oil, and far above its current rates in North America.

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