Commentary: Asia’s natural gas prices are soaring — and Canada missed out again

‘While the rest of the world sped ahead in getting LNG capacity online, Canada stalled’

By Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam

Construction continues on LNG Canada’s marine terminal and material offloading facility, December 2020. Photograph courtesy LNG Canada

Over the past several years, a plethora of naysayers have reflexively opposed the extraction and export of natural gas from Canada. Some academics and others have argued prices of liquified natural gas (LNG) should not warrant investment by Canadian companies.Much anti-LNG sentiment has always been contrived. It’s not up to observers to decide which projects are feasible for shareholders. It’s up to the companies, their boards and investors themselves to take the risk, or not.

Regardless, because of such opposition and resulting regulatory “thickets,” Canada’s role in the LNG export-import business has been non-existent. In Canada, 18 LNG projects have been proposed. However, only one is currently being constructed due to delays caused by regulatory and financial barriers over the years, along with usual suspects in opposition to the development of an LNG sector.

In comparison, Australia has 16 LNG liquefaction terminals while Qatar has 12, and the United States has seven. The other fifteen leading countries with LNG liquefaction capacity have another 46 such terminals.

Thus, while the rest of the world sped ahead in getting LNG capacity online, Canada stalled. That means the long-term investment in LNG is now paying off for many firms in many countries. That includes the ability to capitalize on the gains in natural gas prices.

On price, in Asia, where demand for LNG has grown dramatically, prices are 

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