Wednesday April 16, 2014



AltaGas and Japan-based Idemitsu form partnership to export gas to Asia

CALGARY - Pipeline firm AltaGas Ltd. (TSX:ALA) and a Japanese company have formed a partnership to explore shipping liquefied gas across the Pacific to Asian markets clamouring for new energy supplies.

The Calgary-based company and Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd., a major petrochemical and refining firm, will each own half of the partnership, which envisions transporting both liquefied petroleum gas and liquefied natural gas overseas.

"Canada is one of the world's most resource-rich countries and has proven to be a very promising new supplier of gas to Japan," said Idemitsu president Kazuhisa Nakano.

Japan is Asia's biggest consumer of liquefied natural gas, or LNG gas that has been chilled into a liquid state so that it can be more easily transported overseas by tanker. That need has grown since March 2011, when an earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, prompting the country to look at other sources of energy.

Meanwhile, North America is awash in natural gas from emerging shale formations, like those in northeastern British Columbia. The supply glut has depressed prices, causing many companies to look at ways to export the gas to markets where the price is several times higher.

"We are pleased to work with Idemitsu to develop opportunities that will be good for the people of Japan and Canada," said AltaGas CEO David Cornhill.

AltaGas and Idemitsu will study the feasibility of a liquefaction plant, with that phase expected to wrap up about a year from now. Shipments could begin as early as 2017.

AltaGas and Idemitsu are also studying exporting liquefied petroleum gas, such as butane and propane, across the Pacific with shipments starting as early as 2016. That would include logistics, plant refrigeration and storage facilities.

The AltaGas-Idemitsu partnership is the latest in a string of natural gas export deals.

Malaysia's Petronas, which recently acquired Progress Energy Corp. for $6 billion, is planning to build an LNG facility near Prince Rupert capable of processing 12 million tonnes of gas per year.

U.S. energy giants Chevron Corp. and Apache Corp. are jointly developing another LNG terminal in Kitimat B.C. Chevron got involved in that project only recently after it bought out the stakes of Encana Corp. and EOG Resources. That plan envisions processing 10 million tonnes of gas per year.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC and three Asian partners PetroChina, Mitsubishi Corp. and Korea Gas Corp. have also announced plans to build a liquefied natural gas export terminal in Kitimat.

Another proposal called BC LNG, owned by the Haisla First Nation and Houston-based LNG Partners, expects its first shipment in 2014.

AltaGas shares rose nearly two per cent to $35.54 Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.


Comments


NOTE: To post a comment in the new commenting system you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, OpenID. You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Pipeline News North welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

blog comments powered by Disqus


About Us | Advertise | Contact Us | Sitemap / RSS   Glacier Community Media: www.glaciermedia.ca    © Copyright 2014 Glacier Community Media | User Agreement & Privacy Policy

LOG IN



Lost your password?