By CHESTER DAWSON
CALGARY -- British energy company BG Group has applied with Canadian authorities for a license to export liquefied natural gas, part of a plan to leverage abundant supplies of North American gas by shipping it to markets overseas where demand for LNG is high, according to people familiar with the matter.
BG, one of the world's leading suppliers of LNG, submitted its application for a multi-year license to Canada's National Energy Board on Monday, said two people familiar with the matter.
A spokesman for the NEB wasn't immediately available for comment.
The move, which could make it the fourth project to be granted permission from the NEB, comes as BG mulls whether to commit to a multi-billion dollar investment. Its planned facility is one of a dozen different proposals for new LNG plants on the remote and largely undeveloped coast of British Columbia.
Last month, the company filed plans with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency outlining the scope of the project and its likely impact on the surrounding area. Known as Prince Rupert LNG, the proposal calls for the first two of three planned liquefaction "trains" capable of processing 3.3 billion cubic feet/day of gas to start up by 2021.
Construction may start as early as 2016 at a site on Ridley Island near the small coastal city of Prince Rupert in British Columbia, BG has said.
Three similar Western Canadian projects already have the permits. A proposal backed by Apache and Chevron received the first LNG export license from the NEB in 2011. Since then, two others have been granted permission to export including, most recently, to a projected led by Royal Dutch Shell in February. None have reached a final investment decisions to begin construction.
Dow Jones Newswires