Fuel for
Thought

LNG forum generates
valuable industry insight

On September 27, at the Embassy of Canada to Japan in Tokyo, leaders of Canada’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry and Canadian government officials gathered to discuss the current status and the future of the sector at LNG Forum Canada–Japan.

Green Future

The opening panel discussion, “Canada’s LNG Industry and Investment Potential,” touched on ways that Canada’s natural gas export sector is working to both support international climate policies and reduce global emissions of carbon dioxide.

It also explored how the Canadian federal government and the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia are collaborating to help the natural gas export sector to achieve these goals.

Shawn Tupper, associate deputy minister of Natural Resources Canada; Ron Hoffman, Alberta senior re­pre­sentative for the Asia–Pacific Basin; and Dave Nikolejsin, deputy minister of the British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, were the panel members and they were moderated by Bill Whitelaw, president and CEO of JWN Energy.

During his opening remarks, Nikolejsin spoke about the tremendous step that the landmark Canada LNG project represents for the industry. He added that eco-friendliness is one of the most important aspects of the project, a C$40 billion endeavour that is backed by five major energy companies, including Mitsubishi Corporation. He went on to argue that, looking past Canada LNG, “we don’t just want to have future projects, we want to have an industry that’s based on clean and green LNG.” Hoffman, for his part, reminded the audience of the strong ties that bind Alberta and Japan: the province opened its first international office nearly 50 years ago in Tokyo.

We want to have an industry that’s based on clean and green LNG

Global and Local

This was followed by the keynote address, “Role of Canadian Natural Gas in a Low Carbon World,” delivered by Keisuke Sadamori, director of the Office for Energy Markets and Security with the International Energy Agency.

He explained how the uptake of gas in the global energy market has not only been rapid over the past decade, but it has also had a tremen­dous effect on carbon dioxide emissions.

One key data point from his address is that making the switch from coal to gas as an energy source worldwide has helped to cut carbon emissions: in 2018, the switch reduced the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by more than 500 million tonnes compared with the amount emitted in 2010.

Karen Ogen-Toews, CEO of the First Nations LNG Alliance, then spoke powerfully about how Canadian LNG projects have shown their commitment to the indigenous communities of Canada. Ogen-Toews emphasized the impor­tance of Canadian LNG projects working together with these communities, bearing three goals in mind: establishing economic reconciliation to break the cycle of poverty, protecting the environment and building relationships.

Bilateral Opportunities

The second panel discussion, “Canadian Value Chain: Upstream-Midstream-Downstream,” featured the representatives of four major players in the Canadian natural gas industry: Jason Kearns, director of commercial and business development at Enbridge Inc.; Greg Kist, president and CEO of Rockies LNG Partners; Marty Proctor, president and CEO of Seven Generations Energy Ltd.; and Rod Maier, vice president of Government & Public Affairs at Chevron Canada Limited. It was moderated by Bryan Cox, president and CEO of the BC LNG Alliance.

Each of the participants on the panel dis­cussed how their companies are working with their natural gas resources and distributing the final product to their customers, while at the same time working to lower carbon emissions and serve the communities around them. What stood out most in the speakers’ remarks was how even though their companies are working on projects that operate on massive scales, those enterprises pay attention to the environmental and community relations aspects of their endeavours.

Towards the end of the forum, Hiroyuki Mori, director of the business coordination division at Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, addressed the audience. He spoke about the long history of Japanese companies having worked in the Canadian energy industry and the strong relationships they have es­tab­lished with Canadian companies, officials and indige­nous communities.

The LNG Forum Canada–Japan, which was well attended by representatives of a number of Japanese companies, provided an excellent opportunity to see how the two countries might collaborate in this rapidly developing energy sector over the coming years.