BY TOM FOWLER
IRVING -- ExxonMobil has asked Canadian officials for a permit to export LNG from the Pacific coast, marking the fifth such proposal for tapping into the country's large natural gas reserves.
The proposed project would be capable of liquefying up to 4 billion cubic feet/year of gas for export via tanker from one of several sites under consideration, according to an application with Canada's National Energy Board. If the application is approved and the company decides to move forward with the project, it could begin shipments as early as 2021.
Exxon and Imperial Oil Resources -- the company's Canadian affiliate -- previously filed an expression of interest with the provincial government in British Columbia to develop an LNG site there. The application filed this week considers several sites, including Kitimat and Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
Companies in Canada and the US are considering dozens of projects to turn an overabundance of domestic natural-gas production into an export bonanza. The US Department of Energy is considering applications from 19 projects to ship natural gas to countries that don't have free trade agreements with the US, which include most energy hungry Asian nations such as China and Japan.
Exxon is waiting for a non-FTA permit for its Golden Pass terminal near Port Arthur, Texas. DOE already has approved non-FTA permits for two of thse projects, Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass project in Louisiana and the Freeport LNG Expansion project in Texas.
A study commissioned by the US Department of Energy last year found that exports would bring net economic benefits to the United States, but Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz recently said further approvals might be slow in coming if officials feel the need to further study the cumulative impact of each new project.
Earlier this week in Canada BG submitted a proposal for what would be known as Prince Rupert LNG in British Columbia. A proposed LNG project backed by Apache and Chevron received the first LNG export license from Canadian officials in 2011.
Two others, one led by Shell and the smaller Douglas Channel Energy Partnership project, also have been approved, but none has reached a final investment decision to begin construction.
Dow Jones Newswires