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Petro firms with $2 trillion in revenues lured by Libs' LNG plans

Well over a dozen of the planet's biggest oil and gas companies, with combined revenues equaling about $2 trillion, are looking to cash in on Premier Christy Clark's liquefied natural gas strategy.

They're proposing to build 12 liquefied gas terminals up and down B.C.'s coastline, from Squamish to Kitsault.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but we need to seize it," Clark reportedly said during a recent campaign stop in Chilliwack. "We have to make sure we can capture this moment."

However it's unlikely all 12 projects will get built, say observers -- even four may be unlikely.

"The other prospect," said Michael Rieke, managing editor of Platts' LNG Daily, "is rather than all of them getting built, some of the projects will be combined so that you have more investors in fewer projects."

Very few of the current project proponents are Canadian. Some are owned in part or in full by Asian governments. But federal Conservative International Trade Minister Ed Fast said Canadians shouldn't be concerned.

"It's a good sign when we have foreign companies from Korea, from Japan, from China showing an interest in our natural gas sector," he said at a recent LNG-themed conference in Vancouver.

Will Horter, executive director of the Dogwood Initiative, a Victoria-based green group leading the fight against oil tankers in B.C. waters, isn't so sure.

The oil and gas companies proposing to build export terminals up and down the west coast are "formidable opponents," he said. "They're used to getting their own way."

He added: "There are some checks and balances on Canadian companies that don't exist on foreign ones," he said. "So yes, it is an issue."

Check out the full Tyee story, which includes a list of all the project proponents and their recent revenue figures, here.

Geoff Dembicki reports for The Tyee.

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