Repsol LNG emerges as Canada's preferred option: press
Canada will seek to back just one LNG project situated on its East Coast to increase export flows into Europe, and it is leaning toward a proposal to convert Repsol's existing Saint John regasifcation facility in New Brunswick.
Canadian environment minister Steven Guilbeault told Reuters June 30 that supply from the nation's gas producing heartlands, in the western provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, would be limited due to capacity in existing feed pipelines. The gas producing areas lie more than 4,000 km from Repsol's facility on the Atlantic coast, presenting significant technical challenges and capital expenditures to ramp up transport capacity.
"The amount of gas that is available would be available only for one facility at this point," Guilbeault told Reuters. "Repsol is probably the fastest project that could be deployed because it requires minimal permitting - there is already an existing facility, and a gas line is right there."
Canada was the world's sixth-largest gas producer as of 2020 but does not have any producing LNG export facilities. The only LNG export plant it has started is situated on the west coast, making it difficult to reach the now-lucrative European LNG market, where spot prices can be expected to remain very high as a result of the energy crisis, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.
By the end of this year, Ottawa aims to increase oil and gas exports by 300,000 barrels/day. The plans to convert Repsol's existing LNG import plant in New Brunswick will depend on the project meeting federal requirements on reducing carbon and methane emissions.
In response to Guilbeault's comments, Repsol said "any/all business" that enhances or creates value at the Saint John LNG is up for consideration, including "the potential to add liquefaction capabilities to the existing facility."