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CERI looks at the global LNG trade

February 13, 2013

The Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) has published a 146 page tome on the global LNG trade. The rise of BC (and Canada) into this market is predicted.

The comprehensive CERI report is extremely well researched and well worth a read.

The report does note that beginning in 1969, small volumes of domestically-produced LNG were exported to Japan from the Kenai LNG terminal, located in Alaska. The decision to close the 0.2 BCFPD (1.5 MTPA) liquefaction facility was reversed recently after additional feed gas supplies were secured. This terminal is currently the only LNG export terminal in the US. The US Geological Survey estimates that 19 TCF of undiscovered technically recoverable natural gas resources remain.

North America could have the second largest regional liquefaction capacity in the world, after the Asia-Pacific region. The US has 13 liquefaction projects in various planning phases, mostly located on the Gulf Coast,  while a total of six liquefaction projects have been announced in Canada (5 in BC). Combined, the 19 projects would have the capacity to export up to 28.8 BCFPD (219 MTPA) of natural gas from North America by 2025. To put this value into perspective, Canada and the US consumed 76.9 BCFPD of natural gas in 2011.

“Canada is able to profit from the fact that liquefaction costs are not reported to be as high as Australian costs despite significant investment required in upstream oil and gas plays like Horn River (British Columbia, Canada). Also, unlike Australia, the Canadian public and First Nations have been supportive of LNG development. It is entirely possible that if all Canadian projects go as planned, there may be delays or significant cost overruns similar to the cost overruns that have plagued the Australians.” p.78.




As the election campaign in BC heats up politicians trumpet BC’s aggressive moves to build LNG facilities at Kitimat and Prince Rupert. These projects involve billions of dollars in investment and will employ hundreds of people in the construction phases. CERI suggests that BC’s costs are competitive compared to Australia and Russia.

Although Alaska was a pioneer in the LNG trade, the CERI report does not envision new Alaska LNG capacity coming on stream.