Canada's Natural Resources ministry last week approved the second liquefied natural gas (LNG) export license from Kitimat, British Columbia (BC), this time to BC LNG Export Co-operative Ltd. The project could begin its "very first" LNG exports to Asian markets by late next year, said Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver.
The approval gives the green light to the 20-year license granted to the project in February by the National Energy Board (NEB) (see NGI, Feb. 6).
"This export license is another example of our Government's commitment to diversifying our energy export markets and strengthening our trading partnership with Asia," said Oliver. "Canada is a safe, responsible and reliable supplier of energy contributing to global energy security."
The C$600 million facility, also known as the Douglas Channel Energy Partnership, would enable up to 250 MMcf/d of LNG to be transported by tanker from Kitimat to Asian markets. BC LNG intends to ship up to 1.8 million tons of LNG a year, the filings indicate.
BC LNG is a joint venture of the Kitimat native society Haisla Nation and Houston's LNG Partners LLC. The NEB was told last year by the partners that the export venture would support civic improvements from jobs to health care and education (see NGI, Dec. 5, 2011).
The facility would be sited on the west bank of the Douglas Channel in Kitimat. Gas would be transported to the terminal on the existing Pacific Northern Gas Pipeline and potentially on the proposed Pacific Trail Pipeline. The initial phase of the facility is expected to be in operation late next year or in early 2014 and if it proceeds, it would represent the "very first" LNG exports from Canada, said Oliver.
"Canada is well positioned to grow as a global energy superpower," he said. "Projects such as this will show the world that we are serious about getting our energy resources to market."
Including BC LNG, at least six proposals are in various stages of development to transport LNG from the Kitimat area to Asia Pacific markets (see NGI, Feb. 13). Another proposal by BG Group plc would ship LNG from BC's Prince Rupert, on the north coast. Earlier this month BC Premier Christy Clark said her government was relying on LNG exports for C$18 billion, or 72%, of an economic growth forecast over the next 10 years (NGI, April 9).
The first LNG export license, also in the Kitimat area, was granted by Canadian officials last October to KM LNG, a partnership between units of Apache Corp. (40%), EOG Resources Inc. (30%) and Encana Corp. (30%) (see NGI, Oct. 17, 2011). The group was given authority to export up to 1.4 Bcf/d from a terminal to be built in Haisla Nation Reserve in Bish Cove, near Kitimat. A final decision about whether to proceed with construction is expected by the end of the year.
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