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Canada’s NEB Licenses Another Would-Be LNG Exporter

A former gold and silver boomtown on the northern Pacific Coast of British Columbia regained hope of revival Monday when a homegrown firm obtained a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export license. The project joins two others that have recently been licensed by Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB).

NEB authorized Canada Stewart Energy Group Ltd. to ship out 25 Tcf of gas over 25 years, in tanker cargoes to be loaded at a rate of up to 4.6 Bcf/d.

The proposed terminal site -- at Stewart, in a northern rainforest just a stroll from the southern tip of the Alaska Panhandle -- is all but a ghost town, with its population cut to 500 from a peak of 10,000 during a mining rush before the First World War.

The export project sponsor is partly owned by a Chinese firm, World Energy Services Ltd., which is developing interests in LNG terminal and storage facilities in its home country.

Canada Stewart has not disclosed contracts with overseas customers, identified BC gas suppliers, outlined arrangements for building pipelines to its remote location or set target dates to construct and complete its proposed terminal.

In awarding the gas export license, the NEB repeated statements in similar rulings on other LNG schemes that formal permission to court overseas gas consumers should not be mistaken for belief that any particular project will succeed (see Daily GPI, Oct. 2, 2015).

The license decision for Canada Stewart said, "All of these LNG ventures are competing for a limited global market and face numerous development and construction challenges. The board will not predict which licenses will be used or used to the full allowance."

Canada’s first super-long, 40-year export license for LNG shipments overseas from the northern BC coast was granted earlier this month to the LNG Canada international consortium (see Daily GPI, Jan. 8). NEB authorized the joint venture of Shell, PetroChina, Korea Gas and Mitsubishi to ship a total of 52.7 Tcf of gas, at a rate of up to 3.7 Bcf/d, from a proposed Kitimat terminal.

At the end of last year, NEB licensed theAtlantic Coast LNG terminal project of AC LNG Inc. It was granted a license to import up to 2.3 Bcf/d of gas from the United States and to export up to 2 Bcf/d from a proposed terminal in Nova Scotia (NS). AC is a Halifax subsidiary of Hiranandani Group of Mumbai, India (see Daily GPI, Dec. 31, 2015).

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