Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman meets with Japan Petroleum Exploration Company president Osamu Watanabe in Tokyo last week.

Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman meets with Japan Petroleum Exploration Company president Osamu Watanabe in Tokyo last week.

Japan wooed as B.C. LNG customer

Natural Gas Minister Rich Coleman tours Tokyo head offices after Japanese ambassador warns B.C. risks losing world's biggest customer

After a warning from Japan’s ambassador to Canada that the window is closing for the world’s largest customer of liquefied natural gas, Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman has completed a sales trip to Tokyo.

Coleman met with Japanese government officials and major industrial players including Japan Petroleum Exploration Company Ltd. (JAPEX), a partner in the Pacific Northwest LNG project proposed for Prince Rupert.

Another stop was at Mitsubishi Corp., a partner in the LNG Canada project with Shell, PetroChina and Korea Gas with an export terminal proposed near Kitimat. Mitsubishi has also invested $2.9 billion in gas development in the Montney shale formation near Dawson Creek.

Japan’s official warning came after federal Environment Minister Catharine McKenna delayed by another three months a decision on its environmental permit for Pacific Northwest LNG’s terminal at Lelu Island. The permit is one of the last conditions specified by Malaysian state company Petronas and its partners, but the process has dragged on twice as long as the original one-year estimate.

“The global LNG market has changed drastically from a seller’s market to a buyers’, and competition among LNG suppliers is increasing,” Japanese Ambassador Kenjiro Monji said in a letter to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

“As LNG exports are usually based on long-term contracts, should Canada miss a window in demand for LNG, the next opportunity may be 10 or 20 years in the future.”

B.C. has 20 LNG export proposals, but slow approvals and protests have delayed the B.C. industry as the U.S. and other countries have moved ahead.

One vote of confidence came in late March, when Exxon Mobil applied to extend its LNG export licence from 25 to 40 years. Exxon Mobil and its Canadian subsidiary Imperial Oil have proposed an export facility based either at Kitimat or Prince Rupert.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Black Press Media file photo)
Court-registered sex offender arrested for breach of parole in Langford

Cameron Ratelle returned to correctional facility after female youth approached at bus stop

Jerry Dyck plans to purchase a new RV to drive across Canada in, once it’s safe to travel again. (Courtesy BCLC)
Victoria man plans post-pandemic cross-Canada RV trip after $2M lottery win

Retired electrician bought the winning ticket in Duncan

Marc Porpaczy said he’s glad he delayed his daily walk with his dog, Juno, after a car crashed just outside his driveway just before 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 25. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Dramatic crash highlights need for sidewalks, say Colwood residents

‘The residents have gone from frustrated to angry’

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Residents of the Cowichan Valley decorated more than 55 vehicles with anti-racist slogans for a car rally in support of Cowichan Tribes on Saturday, January 24. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Dozens join anti-racism car rally and virtual panel in Cowichan Valley

Provincial ministry and BC Green caucus issue joint statement detailing concerns

Jesse Savidant, 31, is wanted by the RCMP after failing to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo in December. Police warn Savidant should be considered violent. (Photo Submitted)
Warrant out for man accused of stolen property offences across Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant did not appear for court date in Nanaimo last month, say RCMP

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Local musician and artist Daisy Melville created a watercolour portrait of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from the recent American inauguration, and with help from her mom, is now selling t-shirts and more with funds going to the Comox Valley Food Bank. Image submitted
Island artist turns Sanders inauguration meme into art for good

All proceeds from the sale of shirts, sweaters and more will go to the Comox Valley Food Bank

Most Read