Future of Canadian gas is in Asia
Canada has the potential to become a key energy supplier to Asia but public should be taken on board.
Executive director of the International Energy Agency Maria van der Hoeven has said that days when the United States could absorb unlimited supplies of Canadian natural gas are over as relatively new drilling techniques unlock its own vast domestic supplies, The Canadian Press reported.
"In fact, the future of Canadian gas is in Asia," she said.
She said uncertain prospects of nuclear power in Japan, the political drive to clean up the Chinese energy system and the acute energy shortages in India, as some reasons why Asia is intensely looking for energy sources.
A number of companies plan to pipe gas from northeastern British Columbia plants to the coast, where it would be cooled into a liquid state and shipped across the Pacific by tanker.
Annual gas demand growth in China is five times higher than Canada's decline in gas exports to the United States over the next five years, she said. And no other major energy suppliers — Russia, East Africa or Australia — are cheap or easy alternatives, The Candian Press reported her as saying.
"There is no reason why Canada should not emerge as a major competitive supply point to Asia."
However, she added that there are concerns related to drilling methods to extract natural gas from shale gas formations.
"Let's not make a mistake. The risk to the industry of losing its social licence to operate is real, and I don't need to tell you that underestimating public sentiment is simply not good business," she said.