By JASON NG
Malaysia's state oil and gas company Petroliam Nasional Bhd
plans to invest $20 billion in its liquefied natural gas
project in West Canada, one of the biggest investments aimed at
capitalizing on cheap North American gas, a senior company
official said Tuesday.
The company, known as Petronas, is planning two LNG trains
of 6 million tpy each under the Pacific NorthWest LNG project
by the end of 2019, Anuar Ahmad, head of Petronas' gas and
power business, said in an email to Dow Jones
The export terminal project in British Columbia was
acquired by Petronas last year as part of its $5.2 billion
purchase of Canada's Progress Energy Resources. It is just one
of several energy companies building LNG export terminals in
Canada and the US to create outlets for surplus gas that has
resulted from shale-drilling technology unlocking massive new
Royal Dutch Shell is spearheading one LNG venture at
Kitimat, some 200 kilometers from the Petronas one, working
with several Asian partners, including Japan's Mitsubishi.
Another LNG project is a 50-50 joint venture
between Chevron and Apache, also at Kitimat.
TransCanada was picked by Progress Energy to build, own and
operate a 5 billion Canadian dollar ($5.1 billion) pipeline
that would transport natural gas to the terminal.
The project is crucial for Petronas as well as Malaysia,
which has the third-largest oil-and-gas reserves in the
Asia-Pacific region, but is struggling to maintain its status
as a net exporter of fossil fuels.
Recent new discoveries help to keep reserves up, but
maturing oil fields and the interruption of Petronas' oil
shipments from South Sudan -- due to a dispute between newly
independent South Sudan and its northern neighbour, Sudan --
have intensified Malaysia's search for overseas energy
Petronas aims to make a final investment decision on the
West Canada project by the end of 2014 and start commercial
operations by the end of 2018.
The Malaysian company is in talks to sell stakes in the project, Mr. Anuar said, after
upstream energy company Japan Petroleum Exploration agreed in
March to buy a 10% stake.
Petronas is also looking for potential partners to be
offtakers of the gas, he added.
Dow Jones Newswires