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The head of Apache Corp.'s (APA) Canadian business said Tuesday that work has begun on the company's planned Kitimat liquefied natural gas export facility and that the first super-chilled natural gas could be shipped from there by late 2015.
Timothy Wall, Apache's regional vice president for Canada, said during the Houston company's annual investor meeting that he expects the project will receive gas export permits "by the end of the year."
Wall said he expects final investments in the $2.9-billion facility at the British Columbian port of Kitimat to be made early next year. Contracts to sell natural gas to Asian buyers should be negotiated by the end of this year, Wall said.
Apache is the project's operator and holds a 40% stake in the project.
Houston-based EOG Resources Inc. (EOG) and Canada's EnCana Corp. (ECA, ECA.T) both hold 30% interests in the project--which would be North America's first major natural gas export facility.
The Kitimat project was originally planned as a natural gas import facility. But the recent abundance of cheap natural gas unlocked from North America's unconventional reservoirs prompted its owners to recast the project as an export terminal.
Its owners hope to ship 700 million cubic feet of natural gas per day from the facility.
Shares of Apache traded 1.9% lower Tuesday at $120.01.
-By Ryan Dezember, Dow Jones Newswires; (713) 547-9208; firstname.lastname@example.org