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To reduce emissions, the world needs more LNG: report

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The LNG Canada export terminal is about 85 per cent complete. Photo courtesy LNG Canada

From the Canadian Energy Centre

By Deborah Jaremko

Wood Mackenzie says spending needs to rise by $400 billion over the next decade

An additional $400 billion investment in liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects around the world is needed over the next decade to ensure energy security and achieve emissions reductions, according to a new report by Wood Mackenzie.  

Without increased LNG supply, it said Asian countries in particular will continue to rely on high-emitting coal as they grow power generation. 

“On a global scale, limited supplies of LNG risks stalling progress towards 2050 net zero targets in the near term,” says the report by Wood Mackenzie and Petronas, one of the joint venture owners of the LNG Canada project.  

The fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine rerouted LNG shipments from Asia to Europe, contributing to record coal consumption in 2022, analysts noted.  

“A key pillar of the energy transition is to reduce the consumption of coal. A critical step in that transition is to shift power production from coal to much lower-emissions gas. The shift helps drive immediate decarbonization while renewables, energy storage, and other clean energy technologies scale-up.” 

Power generation from natural gas reduces emissions by half on average, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). LNG from Canada can deliver an even bigger decrease, reducing emissions by up to 62 per cent, according to a 2020 study published in the Journal for Cleaner Production. 

Global natural gas use is rising, driving increased demand for LNG. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest outlook projects natural gas consumption will rise to 197 quadrillion BTU in 2050, up from 153 quadrillion BTU in 2022.  

“Gas can be used to not only replace coal for power generation, but also to provide fuel for blue hydrogen production, and as an essential source of flexibility as electricity grids incorporate increasingly large amounts of intermittent renewable generation,” Wood Mackenzie said.  

“Gas also plays a critical role in non-power sectors such as commercial and residential heating, as a feedstock for chemicals and fertilizers, and as an energy source for metals, cement, and other manufacturing processes.” 

Canadian LNG has advantages in a lower emission world, the report said.  

“Canada’s western ports are ideally positioned to supply growing Asian demand because its shipping routes aren’t dependent on an uncongested Panama Canal. The country is also poised to produce some of the lowest-emission LNG in the world,” Wood Mackenzie said.  

The low emissions per tonne of LNG in Canada come from shorter shipping distances to customers, a colder climate, the use of hydroelectricity, and methane emissions reduction from upstream natural gas production. 

Once it starts operating in 2025, LNG Canada will have emissions intensity of 0.15 per cent CO2 per tonne, less than half the global average of 0.35 per cent per tonne, according to Oxford Energy Institute.   

Proposed Indigenous-led project Cedar LNG would have emissions intensity of 0.08 per cent, and smaller-scale Woodfibre LNG would have emissions intensity of 0.04 per cent.   

“The gas and LNG supply and demand mismatch that spawned the current energy crisis and stalled energy transition progress can’t be repeated,” Wood Mackenzie said.  

“This will require a long-term commitment to expanding capacity to ensure reliable, increasingly low-emission, and affordable LNG that won’t be upended by future geopolitical and economic disruptions.” 

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Alberta

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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