Japanese ministers talk of importing 2 bcf/d North American LNG
(Reuters; June 27) - Japan expects to import an average 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day as LNG from North America as early as 2016 once the U.S. government approves more exports to the world's biggest LNG buyer. A group of Japanese cabinet ministers June 27 cited the volume estimate, which amounts to about 20 percent of Japan's annual LNG imports, in a discussion on how to drive growth of the world's third-biggest economy after last year's Fukushima nuclear crisis.
A rise in the costs of importing more fuel to cover a drop in nuclear capacity since the Fukushima disaster helped drag Japan into its first trade deficit in three decades last year. Japan wants to tap cheaper natural gas from the United States and Canada if and when proposed LNG export terminals are open for business.
The June 27 LNG estimate did not include a breakdown between the United Sates and Canada but referred to planned investments by four Japanese companies in two U.S. shale gas LNG export projects: Cameron in Louisiana and Cove Point in Maryland.