Enbridge eyes Canada LNG exports

(Reuters) - Enbridge Inc ENB.TO said on Tuesday it is in talks with potential producers to export overseas liquefied natural gas from Canada, joining a lengthening list of North American companies looking to tap thirsty markets in Asia.

Enbridge would be interested in existing projects being developed in Canada, executive vice president Al Monaco said at a presentation, just as ample supply pushes North American natural gas prices to 11-month lows.

“We would certainly be interested in LNG exports, right from the midstream pipeline side, right up to the LNG export facility itself,” Monaco said at the company’s investor day in Toronto, which was webcast.

“We are in discussions with potential producers. That is probably a little bit longer term,” he added.

LNG is natural gas cooled to a liquid for shipping in specially designed tankers.

Natural gas producers and LNG terminal developers have been scrambling for approval to export LNG from North America over the past year, as a rise in shale gas production evaporated import needs and pushed prices far below levels in Asia and Europe.

Asian spot LNG prices are currently around $17 per million British thermal units, while U.S. benchmark prices languish below $4.

Canadian natural gas producers Apache Corp APA.N, EOG Resources EOG.N and Encana Corp ECA.TO are developing the Kitimat project in British Columbia, which plans to ship LNG to the world's largest LNG importers in Asia by 2015.

The Haisla First Nation and Texas-based LNG partners have also filed for approval to export LNG from a smaller plant in British Columbia.

Enbridge would consider buying into an existing project, Monaco said.

“There are a couple of projects out there being developed right now...and we’ll be looking to put proposals together to see whether or not we can add some value to those projects,” he said.

The company is also examining the potential of a pipeline in Colombia to carry oil from the central part of the country to the Pacific Coast, Monaco said.