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All options open on Canadian LNG, says Petronas CEO

Malaysia's flagship energy firm has its sights set on China's import market

Petronas will keep a watching brief on overseas investment plans, even though the bulk of its capital spending plansestimated in the region of 50-60bn ringgit($11.54bn-$13.84bn)are focused on domestic projects such as the Rapid refinery joint venture with Saudi Aramco.

Petronas chief executive Wan Zulkiflee told journalists at AOGC 2017 that the company had approval to develop 26 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves in Canada, and was determined to monetise these reservesbut at the "right price and right time". "We've told our project team to explore all options so that the Canadian LNG (liquefied natural gas) plans are competitive with other LNG plants in North America," he said.

Floating liquefaction remained an option for developing Canadian gas resources, he said.

China is another potential LNG-export market, he added.

"If you look at the Chinese energy mix, it's in the single digits when it comes to LNG (imports)," Zulkiflee said. "We see it as an important market, and are already supporting Shanghai LNG. We are also looking at other emerging markets such as Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. We're the world's third largest LNG producer, so securing lucrative markets is always our objective."

Cost consciousness would remain a key theme for Petronas. The Coral 2.0 (Cost Reduction Alliance 2.0) programme had made savings this year of 5bn ringgit since its inception. "We don't think inefficiencies will creep back into the system when oil prices recover," he said. "We've tried to make it part and parcel of the Malaysian oil and gas industry, regardless of the oil price."

This article appeared in the AOGC daily newsletter, produced by Petroleum Economist for attendees of the 19th Asia Oil and Gas Conference held in Kuala Lumpar.

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