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Qatar breaks ground on massive LNG expansion, Canada’s full potential remains untapped


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From the Canadian Energy Centre

By Deborah Jaremko

‘By embracing Canadian LNG, we can play a crucial role in providing affordable, secure, and cleaner energy sources’

The world’s largest LNG project is officially underway, with the ceremonial foundation stone laid by Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on October 3. 

Already one of the world’s largest LNG exporters, the North Field expansion will increase Qatar’s LNG production capacity from 77 million tonnes per year today to 126 million tonnes per year by 2026. 

“This major expansion comes at a crucial time, as natural gas occupies a pivotal position in the energy mix in a world facing geopolitical turbulences and is in dire need of clean energy sources that are in line with the global environmental goals,” said Saad Sheirda Al-Kaabi, Qatar’s minister of energy and CEO of QatarEnergy. 

LNG exports, which Qatar commenced in 1997, have helped elevate the country’s economy and society, says Racim Gribaa, president of Calgary-based Global LNG Consulting.  

Gribaa has worked in energy for more than two decades, engaging with governments and industry in LNG developments around the world including Canada and Qatar.  

“Qatar is a visionary nation that transcended poverty to prosperity through strategic planning and foresight. From humble beginnings in pearl fishing, it has emerged as one of the world’s wealthiest nations, a leader in LNG exports,” he says. 

Canada is the world’s fifth largest natural gas producer but is not yet an LNG exporter.  

LNG Canada will be the first export terminal, with capacity of 14 million tonnes per year. Construction is about 85 per cent complete and on track to start shipments by 2025, the project said in July. Construction of the smaller 2.1 million tonne per year Woodfibre LNG terminal is set to begin this fall. 

These are promising steps demonstrating Canada’s potential, Gribaa says. But more can be done. 

“By embracing Canadian LNG, we can play a crucial role in providing affordable, secure, and cleaner energy sources, thus benefiting nations while mitigating the adverse impacts of coal dependency,” he says. 

Driven by expanding economies in Asia, world LNG trade has increased by more than 200 per cent since 2000, reaching 401 million tonnes in 2022, according to the International Gas Union.  

Demand is expected to continue increasing, rising above 700 million tonnes in 2040, according to Shell’s latest industry outlook. This is due to population growth, expanding economies and the need to reduce reliance on coal-fired power.  

Switching from coal to natural gas to generate power reduces emissions on average by about 50 per cent, according to the International Energy Agency. LNG from Canada can deliver an even bigger decrease, reducing emissions by up to 62 per cent, according to a June 2020 study published in the Journal for Cleaner Production. 

Switching power generation to LNG can also significantly reduce particulate emissions, Gribaa notes.  

“LNG is a fundamental part of the solution in achieving sustainable energy goals worldwide,” he says. 

“There exists a considerable untapped potential for Canada (Montney, Duvernay, Horn River and Liard basins) to bolster its involvement and position itself as a key player in addressing the challenges posed by climate change and energy sustainability on a global scale.” 

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Indigenous-owned LNG projects in jeopardy with proposed emissions cap, leaders warn

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Indigenous leaders meet with Japan’s ambassador to Canada Kanji Yamanouchi. Photo courtesy Energy for a Secure Future

From the Canadian Energy Centre

By Cody Ciona

‘It’s like we’re finally at the table and we’re having to fight to keep our seat at the table’

A proposed cap on oil and gas emissions will threaten opportunities for Indigenous communities to bring cleaner alternatives to coal to international markets, Indigenous leaders warned during a recent webinar. 

Karen Ogen, CEO of the First Nations LNG Alliance, fears Indigenous-led projects like Cedar LNG and Ksi Lisims LNG are threatened by the cap, which is essentially a cap on production. 

“If we’re going to help China and India get off of coal and help reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, it makes common sense for us to be selling our LNG to Asia and to other countries. To put a cap on, it would just stop us from doing that,” Ogen said. 

“It’s like we’re finally at the table and we’re having to fight to keep our seat at the table.” 

Indigenous communities across Canada have increasingly become involved in oil and gas projects to secure economic prosperity and reduce on-reserve poverty. 

Since 2022, more than 75 First Nations and Metis communities have entered ownership agreements across western Canada. Among those are key projects like the Coastal GasLink pipeline and the joint investment of 23 communities to obtain a 12 per cent ownership stake in several oil sands pipelines. 

The planned federal emissions cap will stall progress toward economic reconciliation, Ogen said. 

“Our leaders did not accept this and fought hard to have rights and titles recognized,” she said. 

“These rights were won through persistence and determination. It’s been a long journey, but we are finally at the table with more control over our destiny.” 

Chris Sankey, CEO of Blackfish Enterprises and a former elected councillor for the Lax Kw’alaams Band in B.C., said the proposed emissions cap could stifle Indigenous communities pushing for poverty reduction. 

“We’re working hard to try to get our people out of poverty. All [the emissions cap is] doing is pushing them further into debt and further into poverty,” he said. 

“When oil and gas is doing well, our people do well.” 

Together, the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion, LNG Canada project and Coastal GasLink pipeline have spent more than $10 billion in contracts with Indigenous and local businesses

Indigenous employment in the oil and gas industry has also increased by more than 20 per cent since 2014. 

For Stephen Buffalo, CEO of the Indian Resource Council, an emissions cap feels like a step in the wrong direction after years of action to become true economic partners is finally making headway. 

“Being a participant in the natural resource sector and making true partnerships, has been beneficial for First Nations,” he said. 

“So, when you see a government trying to attack this industry in that regard, it is very disheartening.” 

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Canadian Energy Centre

Nine major insights from Shell’s latest global LNG outlook

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A worker at Shell’s Hazira LNG import terminal, about 250 kilometers from Mumbai, India. Photo courtesy Shell

From the Canadian Energy Centre

By Deborah Jaremko

Led by growing demand in China and the need for energy security, LNG is playing an increasingly important role in global gas supply

Global energy giant Shell has released its latest outlook for world liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply and demand through 2040. Here are nine key insights about what to expect in the future.

1. LNG is playing an increasingly important role in global gas supply. Total world LNG demand is set to continue growing beyond 2040.

2. Global LNG trade reached 404 million tonnes in 2023, an increase of 7 million tonnes compared to 2022. Over the last five years, LNG demand grew by 45 million tonnes, or 13 per cent.

3. In 2040, the world is expected to consume up to 685 million tonnes of LNG, an increase of nearly 70 per cent compared to 2023.

4. The United States became the world’s largest LNG exporter in 2023, shipping 86 million tonnes, followed by Australia, Qatar, Russia and Malaysia.

5. By 2030, North America will supply about 30 per cent of global LNG demand, led by natural gas from major basins including the Appalachia (Marcellus) play in the eastern United States and the Montney play in Alberta and British Columbia. But the global gas market is increasingly exposed to U.S. risks like the Biden administration’s pause on new LNG approvals.

6. China is likely to dominate LNG demand growth as the country’s industries seek to cut carbon emissions by switching from coal to gas. With China’s coal-based steel sector accounting for more emissions than the total emissions of the UK, Germany and Turkey combined, gas has an essential role to play in tackling one of the world’s biggest sources of carbon emissions and local air pollution. China’s gas demand is expected to rise by more than 50 per cent by 2040.

7. Natural gas, delivered as LNG, provides flexibility to balance intermittent solar and wind power generation. In countries with high levels of renewables in their power generation mix, gas provides short-term flexibility and long-term security of supply. Gas provides grid stability, enabling a higher share of renewables in power grids.

8. LNG continues to play a vital role in European energy security, with European nations importing more than 120 million tonnes in 2023, assisted by new regasification facilities. Europe will continue to rely on LNG to support its energy mix through 2030, even as total European natural gas demand is expected to decline by about 25 per cent.

9. South Asia and Southeast Asia are emerging as major LNG import regions, with Vietnam, and the Philippines starting to import LNG to backfill domestic gas declines. From less than 10 million tonnes in 2020, LNG imports to Thailand, Bangladesh, Vietnam and the Philippines are expected to rise to about 40 million tonnes in 2030 and more than 60 million tonnes in 2040. 

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