Exxon seeks 25-year license to export LNG in western Canada

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), the world’s largest energy company by market value, asked Canada for permission to export 30 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas annually from British Columbia.

Exxon is assessing potential construction sites for an LNG plant that would include six processing units in the Kitimat and Prince Rupert areas, the Irving, Texas-based company said in an export-license application filed with Canada’s National Energy Board yesterday. Exports would begin in the 2021 to 2023 time frame, according to the filing.

Exxon has been expanding its LNG portfolio worldwide with investments from Qatar to Australia amid rising orders from Asian economies where domestic gas is non-existent or too scarce to meet demand. The company entered negotiations last month with InterOil Corp. to develop gas discoveries in Papua New Guinea that could be routed to a $19 billion LNG complex Exxon is building on the country’s coast.

Exxon and its Canadian subsidiary, Imperial Oil Ltd. (IMO), plan to supply the British Columbia plant with gas from fields in western Canada, according to the filing. During the life of the project, gas could be sourced from other North American basins, the company said. The plant will be overseen by an Exxon-Imperial venture known as WCC LNG Ltd.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), Chevron Corp. (CVX), BG Group Plc (BG/) and Cnooc Ltd. (883) are among the other international energy companies proposing or considering LNG export projects in western Canada.