VANCOUVER Oct 7 British Columbia, eager to
capitalize on a potential boom in natural gas investment,
expects to announce a export tax regime for the nascent industry
next month, a senior provincial government official said on
Rich Coleman, the Canadian province's minister of energy and
mines, told reporters that the government is negotiating with
the companies that are planning to build liquefied natural gas
(LNG) infrastructure, aiming to find a balance between costs and
"We're very close to that sweet spot and we're very close to
having a situation where we can announce what it is," Coleman
said of the export tax plan. "We think that will come sometime
Coleman added that the West Coast province's ruling Liberal
government will look to secure any new export tax regime through
legislation, in an effort to create more certainty for potential
"Once we get to that competitive regime, we're going to lock
it down ... so that somebody else can't come in and arbitrarily
change things after you've made billions of dollars of
investment," he said.
On Sunday, Malaysia's prime minister touted a potential $35
billion investment by state oil firm Petronas to
develop shale gas assets in Canada and build an LNG terminal
that would link British Columbia to energy-hungry Asian markets.
A final investment decision on that project is expected in
There are numerous other LNG projects in the planning stage.
British Columbia's government is targeting at least three
operational LNG terminals by 2020 as it looks to natural gas to
transform the local economy.
But the province faces stiff competition from other
jurisdictions around the world, including the United States and
Australia, which are also developing natural gas infrastructure
and are moving quickly to secure deals.
Coleman will leave later this week for a week-long trip to
South Korea, China and Malaysia to meet with companies that are
moving forward with LNG projects in the province.
(Reporting by Julie Gordon; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Eric