Japanese utilities may participate in more LNG projects
(Platts; July 3) -- Japanese gas utilities are considering expanding their participation in upstream developments for LNG as part of efforts to lower the cost of importing the fuel, the Japan Gas Association Chairman Mitsunori Torihara told reporters July 3. Utilities are also diversifying their sources of LNG, extending from conventional gas-based LNG to unconventional gas sources such as coal-bed methane and shale-gas LNG, he said.
Torihara said the utilities may work together to receive lean-gas (lower Btu) shale-sourced LNG from North America because they would need to blend it with gas liquids to enrich it for Japanese city gas supplies.
The Japanese government said June 27 that companies had secured options to import up to 2 billion cubic feet of gas per day as LNG from North America, starting as early as 2016, although formal contracts were yet to be finalized. The government did not provide a breakdown of the sources of those exports, which would account for roughly 20 percent of Japan's current import volumes.