BC signs energy agreement with China

Natural gas minister Rich Coleman.

British Columbia has signed a memorandum of understanding with China to increase its trade in energy, particularly liquefied natural gas.

There are 16 LNG proposals in B.C., although energy analysts do not expect more than two or three will get built in the coming years.

The most immediate large markets are Japan and South Korea. But as China clamps down on air pollution – which includes plans to shut down the dirtier coal-fired power plants – China is expected to provide a significant long-term market for both natural gas from Russia and LNG from exporting nations like Australia and Canada.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, China’s demand for natural gas is expected to rise from 4 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) in 2010 to 11.5 Tcf by 2035.

In an agreement signed between the Government of B.C. and the National Energy Administration of the People’s Republic of China, the two countries agree “to strengthen energy related business opportunities between China and British Columbia, with particular emphasis on the export of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from British Columbia to China.”

“Strengthening relationships with our trade partners in China creates unprecedented growth opportunities for our province’s natural gas sector,” said Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman. “Working together will accelerate LNG development and job creation in British Columbia and help China reach its need for a new energy supply.”