HOUSTON, March 5 (UPI) -- Chevron Corp. Chairman John Watson said there are more than enough reserves in North America to expand export options for liquefied natural gas.
Watson told an audience at the CERAweek energy conference in Houston, Texas, the glut of natural gas in Canada and the United States suggested the economics of full LNG exports was "very straightforward."
Canada's National Energy Board last week gave Veresen Inc. consent for a 25-year license to send up to 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from Western Canada into the United States. From there, the company would need U.S. approval to send gas overseas.
A special permit is required from the U.S. government to send LNG to countries that don't have a free trade agreement with Washington.
Watson said Tuesday from Houston the debate over free trade was "won a long time ago," energy reporting website Rigzone reported.
"There's no question that sufficient gas exists in the U.S. and Canada to export globally," he added.
Asian economies in particular have started taking on more LNG to keep up with demand. U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, said LNG could enhance U.S. influence overseas.
Watson said he expected LNG demand to increase through 2025.