Enbridge in talks with gas producers about Canadian LNG conduit

Enbridge Inc. (ENB), Canada’s largest oil transporter, is talking with natural gas producers in British Columbia about building a pipeline to carry supplies to the coast where they will be exported to Asia.

“We’re pretty bullish on the whole area of natural gas,” Chief Executive Officer Al Monaco said in a briefing with journalists today from Toronto. “What you find is a big disconnect between North American pricing and global pricing.”

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Chevron Corp., BG Group Plc and Cnooc Ltd. are among international energy companies proposing or considering liquefied natural gas export projects in Western Canada, including pipelines across British Columbia’s mountains to link gas supplies in shale formations to Pacific Coast facilities.

Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s largest energy company by market value, asked Canada in June for permission to export 30 million metric tons of LNG a year from the nation’s westernmost province of British Columbia.

Monaco didn’t provide details on the talks or the names of producers.

Japan paid an average price of $15.74 per million British thermal units for LNG in July, according to data from LNG Japan Corp. That compares with an average of about $3.64 for U.S. natural gas futures traded in New York.

Calgary-based Enbridge has C$36 billion ($35 billion) worth of projects through 2017, Monaco said today at an investor meeting in Toronto. The company sees natural gas and power projects making up a larger share of Enbridge’s business, he said.