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Sinopec eyes Kitimat investment

LNG Industry,

Sinopec, the management arm of China’s largest refiner China Petrochemical Corp., is reputedly in talks with US company Apache over the potential acquisition of a minority stake in the Kitimat LNG project on Canada’s pacific coast.

Earlier this month Rich Coleman, Canada’s Minister of Natural Gas Development, revealed that the company was in talks on a site with a potential partner.

Kitimat is one of several LNG projects in British Columbia (BC) that the Chinese giants are considering investing in and the company could still choose a different project on the BC coast.

Although the size and cost of the stake has yet to be decided, Sinopec’s potential investment is said to amount to the cost of the project, which Apache estimated last year to be in the region of US$ 15 billion.

Apache said that it was looking for partners. A spokesperson from Sinopec declined to comment. It is thought that Sinopec has declared an interest in buying LNG produced from the project.

Kitimat LNG

At present, the Kitimat LNG project is jointly owned by Apache (50%) and Chevron (50%). It is currently valued at US$ 4.05 billion and includes a LNG processing plant, pipelines and 644 000 acres of untapped shale resources. Originally designed as an import terminal, in 2008, following the North American shale boom, plans were developed for the building of an export hub.

Earlier in November, Aurora LNG, the Canadian subsidiary of CNOOC Ltd, China’s principal producer of offshore crude oil and natural gas, was awarded exclusive rights to develop an exporting terminal on the BC coast.

Edited from various sources by Ted Monroe

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