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Quebec LNG Project Would Depend on Canadian, U.S. NatGas

The 23rd entry in the Canadian lineup to break into global trade in liquefied natural gas (LNG) plans to ship a blend of domestic and U.S. production out into the Atlantic from a new Quebec terminal.

Titled North Shore LNG, the scheme calls for a gas refrigeration and loading dock site beside the St. Lawrence River 150 kilometers (93 miles) east of Montreal at Becancour.

A provincial moratorium on hydraulic fracturing rules out use of Quebec resources. Supplies would come from the Dawn storage and trading hub for Canadian and U.S. production in southwestern Ontario, according to the project's export license application to the National Energy Board (NEB).

North Shore LNG stands out as a low-budget entry into the LNG arena. By far the smallest and cheapest entry into the Canadian project lineup to date, North Shore LNG is forecast to cost US$570 million.

Half the plant's capacity would serve remote markets in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces, which remain beyond the sparse eastern Canadian pipeline network, according to the NEB filing. The other half would go as opportunities arise to the United States, Europe and the Caribbean.

The project seeks a 25-year license to export 640 Bcf at a rate of about 76 MMcf/d. Other entries in the Canadian LNG export roster measure their plans in trillions of cubic feet of reserves, billions of cubic feet of cargoes per day, and billions of dollars in construction costs.

Although small in comparison to its rivals, North Shore LNG has substantial connections in the international energy arena. The project's chief sponsor, Stolt Nielson Ltd., is a global Norwegian conglomerate in chemical storage and transportation, including tankers. The owner of private Saudi Arabian firm Rashid Engineering has an investment interest in the Quebec proposal.

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