Alberta seeks natural gas investors

Dec. 14, 2012 at 7:21 AM

EDMONTON, Alberta, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Provincial leaders in Alberta said they were working on novel ways to attract investors to a natural gas sector expected to rebound in the coming year.

Justin Riemer, a deputy minister at the Alberta Department of Enterprise and Advanced Education, told the Platts news service his government expected natural gas prices to increase next year. That, he said, was enough to convince him to look for ways to attract energy investors.

"We are working hard with prospective investors to help them with the challenges they face related to availability of feedstock gas, rising capital costs of projects and a growing shortage of labor," he said.

Riemer said there are no plans, however, for tax credits or changes in royalty structures.

The Canadian government has looked to Asian markets to add diversity to an energy sector that depends on the United States as its primary customer. A delegation from Riemer's department visited major Asian economic centers in September. The Alberta government said it counts Asia as its second-largest export market, which included trade in petrochemicals.

"The liquids content in the gas is attracting investments and we also expect to see increased demand for natural gas from the oil sands sector," said Riemer.

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