The brand new CEO of pipeline giant Enbridge Inc. says regulatory uncertainty on this country has resulted in a “lost decade” for Canadian liquefied natural gas production.
Greg Ebel, who took the reins from outgoing Enbridge CEO Al Monaco last month, made the comments in an interview following the discharge of the corporate’s fourth-quarter financial results.
Ebel — who was formerly the chief executive of Spectra Energy, which Enbridge acquired in Feb. 2017 — said he was in Ottawa last week chatting with cabinet ministers in regards to the have to speed up energy infrastructure development on this country.
He identified that the U.S. didn’t began exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) until 2016.
But just over eight years later, in line with the U.S. Energy Information Administration, america now has more LNG export capability than another country and has exported more LNG than another country.
U.S. LNG exports averaged 11.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) throughout the first half of 2022, in line with the EIA, while Canada doesn’t yet have a single LNG export terminal in operation.
“Goodness, that’s a possibility lost for Canada,” Ebel said, adding Enbridge’s pipelines currently supply natural gas to 5 operating LNG export facilities on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
He said the corporate continues to be excited by further acquisitions within the Gulf area that would speed up its energy export strategy.
“As someone chargeable for allocating each human capital and financial capital, I actually have to do this where it seems most welcome,” he said.
“My first alternative can be doing it right here in our backyard, but when that’s impossible, then now we have to allocate it in several parts … and hence that’s why you see this great production, in each infrastructure and opportunity, on the Gulf Coast.”
Progress on LNG is being made here in Canada, with LNG Canada’s massive LNG export terminal under construction near Kitimat, B.C., and Enbridge’s own Woodfibre LNG — a partnership with Singapore’s Pacific Energy Corp. — also approved.
Proponents say with Western Canada’s vast reserves of natural gas, there may be room to expand the country’s LNG industry much more — something they are saying could help other parts of the world reduce their reliance on coal and address global energy security concerns.
But concerns over climate change and the approaching energy transition have created an uncertain energy investment environment.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, for instance, has suggested there isn’t a business case for an LNG export terminal off Canada’s Atlantic coast, although advocates have said such a facility could help wean Europe off Russian energy.
“Our G7 colleagues are crying out for energy … they’re knocking on the door and we don’t appear to be answering,” Ebel said.
Energy infrastructure projects on this country have also been stricken by cost overruns and delays in recent times.
TC Energy Corp. recently revealed that the worth tag for its Coastal GasLink pipeline project — which can carry natural gas across northern B.C. to the LNG Canada export terminal — has increased to $14.5 billion, up from $6.6 billion a yr ago.
Last February, the Crown corporation behind the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project — which can increase oil transportation capability from Alberta to the West Coast — announced the brand new cost of the project was an estimated $21.4 billion, up from an earlier estimate of $12.6 billion.
Within the case of Trans Mountain, the ballooning price tag was blamed partly on “scheduling pressures related to permitting process” in addition to route changes to avoid culturally and environmentally sensitive areas.
“You wish stability in permitting, and you wish certainty in permitting”‘ Ebel said, adding he believes Canadian policy-makers need to acknowledge that this country has a “global responsibility” to export energy to its allies.
“We seem sometimes to be focused on ourselves,” Ebel said.
“We’re a comparatively small country from a population perspective, and an enormous country from a energy production perspective. So we higher figure this out.”
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