​Growing US LNG dominance “could have been us”: Peyto CEO

Peyto CEO Darren Gee. Image: Peyto Exploration & Development Corp.

Until last year, US LNG was not on the global market, but by 2022 it is expected to challenge Australia and Qatar as one of the world’s top exporters.

This is a result of “remarkable” production growth and increasing LNG export capacity, according to the International Energy Agency.

That market trajectory could have been Canada’s, says the CEO of one of the country’s leading natural gas producers.

Commenting in his monthly president’s report, Peyto Exploration & Development Corp.’s Darren Gee said the recent announcement by Petronas to cancel its LNG project on the West Coast of Canada was a disappointing one that has negative financial ramifications for all Canadians.

“I guess we’ll just have to continue to pay the Americans to take our excess gas to foreign markets, since we’re not prepared to encourage the capital investment environment that would enable us to do it ourselves,” Gee wrote.

“There are those too political or polite to say it, but it’s obviously the investment environment that our governments are creating that is to blame, since other LNG facilities are actively being pursued elsewhere on the globe. In fact, when you look at the projected growth of LNG export capacity in the United States, they are clearly creating an attractive place to put capital to work.”

By the end of the decade, Gee noted, the US is expected to have close to 10 bcf/d of export capacity. Canada currently produces about 15 bcf/d, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

“That could just as easily have been us if not for the municipal and regional taxes, provincial taxes, federal taxes, carbon taxes, First Nations benefit agreements, and over four years of hoop jumping. [The Pacific NorthWest LNG approval] list went on and on (190+ conditions), so Petronas’s decision should be no big surprise to anyone.”

What this means, Gee added, “is that the development of one of Canada’s largest natural gas resources will be limited to using, and competing for, existing pipeline egress, since the same issues that prevented Petronas from proceeding also exist for any material expansion of other Canadian egress solutions.”

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