Newspaper article The Canadian Press

President of Royal Dutch Shell Says BC LNG Could Be 'Pilot' for Federal Streamlining: Shell President Says Narrow Window for LNG

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

President of Royal Dutch Shell Says BC LNG Could Be 'Pilot' for Federal Streamlining: Shell President Says Narrow Window for LNG

Article excerpt

CALGARY - There is a "narrow window" of opportunity for Canada to take advantage of the lucrative global market for liquefied natural gas, the president of Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Tuesday.

Shell and three Asian partners plan to build a liquefied natural gas export terminal in Kitimat, B.C. that would connect Canada's vast supplies with energy-hungry markets on the other side of the Pacific.

The Anglo-Dutch energy giant announced earlier this month it will have a 40 per cent stake in the project, called LNG Canada. PetroChina, Mitsubishi Corp. and Korea Gas Corp. will each hold a 20 per cent interest. No pricetag was disclosed.

"There are projects and competition from other countries like Australia, etc. and they are coming into the (LNG) market as well," Peter Voser said in a roundtable interview with journalists.

"If Canada wants to compete against those projects when they are coming to the Asia Pacific then you have a certain time window."

An efficient, effective and timebound regulatory process that ensures "you don't actually talk for the next 10 to 15 years about approvals" is vitally important from a competitive perspective, he added.

Liquefied natural gas, or LNG, is gas that has been chilled into a liquid state, enabling it to be transported overseas by tanker.

Demand for the fuel is voracious in Asia, where natural gas fetches a price five or six times higher than it would in the oversupplied North American market.

A major overhaul of environmental assessment rules for big projects was announced by the Canadian government last month in an effort to avoid duplication and set strict time limits for project reviews.

The plan calls for three organizations -- the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the National Energy Board and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission -- to conduct reviews, down from 40 government departments that can currently be involved. …

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