Sinopec, others join B.C. LNG hunt

Companies from China, India and Japan join global investors checking out gas export potential of North Coast

Premier Christy Clark and B.C.'s new trade commissioner Ben Stewart (left) tour LNG import facility in China.

Chinese petrochemical giant Sinopec, another Japanese player and an unidentified Indian company are joining the international move to explore liquefied natural gas exports from northern B.C., says Rich Coleman, B.C.’s minister for natural gas development.

Sinopec, ranked the fifth largest global company in 2011, is looking for LNG imports equivalent to the output of the world’s second largest LNG terminal, Coleman told reporters as Premier Christy Clark began a trade trip to Asia.

Another new player is Idemitsu Kosan Co., the second largest petroleum refiner in Japan, which is applying for a federal export permit in a partnership with Calgary-based AltaGas called Triton LNG.

China National Overseas Oil Company and its new subsidiary Nexen has put up a non-refundable deposit of $12 million toward purchase of provincial land on the north side of Grassy Point near Prince Rupert, Coleman said. Another unidentified company has shown interest in the south side of Grassy Point.

The new proposals add to a lineup of international investment proposed by Petronas, Chevron, Shell, British Gas and others, which are expected to make final investment decisions in 2014.

Coleman said the tax rate for LNG producers is to be presented to companies by the end of November, but it may not be public until the B.C. government table its budget in February.


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