(Adds further detail on the project and natural gas prices in second and following paragraphs.)
--Canada issues second liquefied natural gas export license
--License goes to a co-operative of small gas producers
--Producers are seeking LNG exports as a way to sell at higher prices in Asia
By Edward Welsch
The Canadian government issued its second liquefied natural-gas export license Wednesday, to a gas-producer cooperative that plans to ship LNG to Asia from a British Columbia port.
The BC LNG Export Co-operative, comprising 13 small producers, received a 20-year license to ship 2.4 billion cubic meters a year to markets in Asia from the western port city of Kitimat, B.C. The project is a joint-venture between Houston's LNG Partners LLC and British Columbia's Haisla First Nation. It envisions allowing smaller producers to export natural gas abroad where it can fetch better prices.
Natural gas prices across North America have fallen to historic lows amid a glut of supply unlocked by hydraulic fracturing technologies. Natural gas futures closed below $2 per million British thermal units Wednesday. In Asian markets, it sells for several times that price.
"This export license is another example of our government's commitment to diversifying our energy export markets and strengthening our trading partnership with Asia," Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said in a statement.
BC LNG's export license is the second issued by the Canadian government, after it granted an export license last year to a larger LNG export joint venture between Apache Corp. (>> Apache Corporation), Encana Corp. (ECA) and EOG Resources Inc. (EOG), also located in Kitimat.
-By Edward Welsch, Dow Jones Newswires; 403-229-9095; firstname.lastname@example.org