By CHIP CUMMINS
Canada's top energy regulator, the National Energy Board, said
late Monday it had approved an application by LNG Canada
Development Inc. for a license to export liquefied natural gas
from a proposed facility on Canada's West Coast.
LNG Canada, a consortium led by Royal Dutch Shell, is the
second group to win a license from the Canadian government.
Shell's partners in the project include PetroChina, Korea
Gas and Japan's Mitsubishi.
A second group, Kitimat LNG, led by Apache and Chevron,
received approval in Canada for its own license in late 2011.
That license was the first issued by Canada allowing for LNG
Last July, Shell applied to the NEB for a license to export
up to 24 million tpy of LNG, for a term of 25 years. Shell
doesn't expect to start exporting any gas until 2019.
As part of the project, Shell plans to build a
pipeline that will connect gas fields in northern British
Columbia to an export facility near Kitimat, B.C.
Several other groups -- including Malaysia's Petronas and
its recent Canadian acquisition, Progress Energy Resources
Corp. -- are also drawing up plans for export terminals on
Canada's West Coast. At the same time, energy companies are
planning exports facilities in the US, both along the
US West Coast and the US Gulf Coast.
Just a few years ago, energy giants were contemplating
building vast and expensive terminals to import LNG,
super-chilled gas that can be shipped in tankers.
But a raft of new drilling technology opened up vast new gas
reserves across North America, sending prices falling. Amid a
glut of gas, energy companies have scrambled for ways to open
up new markets in Asia, where gas prices are much higher.
Dow Jones Newswires