By Judy McKinnon
The Canadian government said Wednesday it has approved four, long-term licenses to export liquefied natural gas from proposed projects on the country's west coast.
The licenses, which had received approval from Canada's National Energy Board in December, are for LNG exports from proposed Pacific Coast terminals backed by Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), BG Group PLC (BG.LN) and Malaysian state-owned energy giant Petroliam Nasional Bhd (PET.YY), or Petronas.
None of the proposed projects have been built or even formally approved by their sponsors.
The government said in a statement that the licenses will allow for the export of up to 73.38 million metric tons of LNG a year.
Western Canada is aiming to become a major global supplier of LNG by matching rising demand in Asia with abundant supplies of gas in North America.
Specifically, Canada said it has approved export licenses for the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG, Prince Rupert LNG, WCC LNG and Woodfibre LNG terminals.
When the NEB approved the 25-year licenses in December, Canada's then Minister of Natural Resources, Joe Oliver, said the government would "review" NEB decisions related to the granting of LNG export licenses.
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