Alaska's major players have agreed to explore LNG exports from the North Slope, but Canadian energy officials on Wednesday announced approval of a 20-year LNG export license to a partnership in the process of building a terminal near Kitimat, British Columbia.
The new license goes to BC LNG Export Co-operative, a joint venture of Haisla First Nation and a Texas company formed by an array of BC and Alberta natural gas producers.
"This export license is another example of our government's commitment to diversifying our energy export markets and strengthening our trading partnership with Asia," Canada Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said in a statement.
The BC LNG license is the second such approval granted by Canada to a planned LNG project in the Kitimat area in recent months. The other was approved last October and went to a venture called Kitimat LNG, backed by Apache Corp, Encana Corp and EOG Resources.
The government's news release said the BC LNG project is expected to begin the initial phase of operations by late 2013 or early 2014. The project, slated for the western side of Douglas Channel, intends to ship 1.8 million tons of LNG annually and will represent Canada's very first LNG exports.
"Canada is well positioned to grow as a global energy super-power," said Oliver. "Projects such as this will show the world that we are serious about getting our energy resources to market."
And in other news, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Mitsubishi Corp., China National Petroleum Corp. and Korea Gas Corp. are reportedly in the final stages of talks to build a $12.35-billion LNG terminal, also on Canada's west coast, and also intended to meet Asia's anticipated demand. The partners are hoping to produce 12 million tons per year and begin operations by 2020.