Canada Energy Minister sees opportunity in US pause on LNG

31st January 2024

By: Bloomberg


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US President Joe Biden’s decision to pause approvals of new licenses to export liquefied natural gas will create opportunity for Canada’s sector, Energy Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said Tuesday.

His understanding is that Biden is attempting to integrate climate considerations into America’s LNG export policy. “Canada has been doing that now for several years,” Wilkinson told reporters after a cabinet meeting in Ottawa.

Wilkinson pointed to methane regulations and emissions standards — such as using clean electricity to do the liquefaction — as examples of what Canada is now requiring from LNG export projects.

“I think there’s an opportunity,” he said when asked what Biden’s decision means for Canadian gas. “But it’s on the basis of Canada offering the lowest carbon intensity natural gas in the world, and ensuring we’re linking it to the displacement of heavier hydrocarbons like coal.”

Following Biden’s announcement, buyers in Asian nations that import LNG — particularly China and Japan — are reviewing options, including new talks with already-licensed projects in the US or suppliers from other nations, Bloomberg has reported.

While the US has transformed itself into an LNG export powerhouse over the past decade, Canada has moved much more slowly, in part due to its more restrictive climate policies.

But multiple west coast export terminals are expected to come online over the next few years, including LNG Canada, a large facility backed by Shell, Mitsubishi and PetroChina that is nearing completion. A potential second phase to LNG Canada is still pending a final investment decision.

Two other smaller export terminals, Cedar LNG and Woodfibre LNG, have also been approved for construction.

Edited by Bloomberg


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