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Japan steps into Canadian gas market

March 5, 2013 at 6:46 AM

TOKYO, March 5 (UPI) -- A Japanese energy company said it was working with Malaysian counterparts to help get liquefied natural gas from Canada's western coast.

Japan Petroleum Exploration, known as JAPEX, said it reached a heads of agreement deal with Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas regarding an LNG project planned for British Columbia.

JAPEX takes a 10 percent interest in provincial natural gas blocks and the same in the Pacific Northwest LNG project, which would eventually produce 12 million tons of LNG per year.

The Canadian government has courted Asian markets to add diversity to an energy sector that relies heavily on the United States. Last month, British Columbian officials offered more than $120 million in royalty credits for work in the natural gas sector.

Japan started taking on more natural gas in order to make up for the loss of nuclear power following the Fukushima disaster in 2010. JAPEX in November said getting LNG from Canada would add diversity to the Japanese energy sector.

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