Canada needs to act quickly or we will lose out on LNG export opportunities

Canada needs to act quickly or we will lose out on LNG export opportunities 
Hon. Jim Prentice, Vice Chairman of CIBC, says without urgency "we could wake 
up to discover that our competitive opportunity has vanished" 
CALGARY, Sept. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) - Canada must act 
with more urgency to license and build facilities to export liquefied natural 
gas to Asia or risk squandering the opportunity to our competitors, says the 
Honorable Jim Prentice, Senior Executive Vice-President and Vice Chairman of 
Mr. Prentice told an audience at the Canada LNG Export Forum in Calgary that 
if we don't move quickly to take advantage of our unprecedented potential to 
be a global supplier of LNG, we are going to lose out to competition from the 
U.S., Australia and elsewhere. 
"Given the scope of the opportunity before us, and given the speed with which 
other countries around the world are rushing to get into the game and fill LNG 
demand, we in Canada need to push ahead with a much greater sense of urgency," 
said Mr. Prentice. "There is a window of opportunity, and it is closing. If 
Canada is ultimately to win in liquefied natural gas, we need to pull together 
and seize that opportunity before it passes us by." 
He noted that momentum in the sector has slowed to a crawl in Canada. Two 
years ago, mergers and acquisitions in LNG-related transactions were valued at 
close to $2 billion and last year, M&A activity hit $8.7 billion. "However, so 
far in 2013 there has not been a single LNG-related shale gas transaction to 
report - and a number of opportunities haven't managed to make it over the 
finish line." 
To get these export projects moving the industry will need to be aggressive 
and move with a purpose says Mr. Prentice. He laid out six key hurdles that 
must be cleared: 
1. Establish a royalty regime that both promotes the establishment of 
 an LNG industry in Canada and helps ensure its long-term survival 
 and success;
  2. Ensure we have sufficient skilled labour to build these facilities 
 and pipelines under tight timelines;
  3. Ensure the federal government adopts a proactive role to develop a 

     coastal management regime that takes into account the rewards as
     well as the environmental risks of increased west coast tanker
     traffic. This will require a co-management regime for those
     waters, together with the province of British Columbia and the

 coastal First Nations;
  4. Decide how LNG facilities in B.C. will be powered;
  5. Resolve the contract standoff that's emerged between project 

     developers here in Canada and potential customers in Asia. One
     solution appears to be the acquisition of equity positions in
     Canadian LNG facilities by the very companies that will be buying

 our gas; and
  6. Better understand and move to address the competitive challenge 
 that is being posed by the United States. 
Mr. Prentice believes the benefits Canada offers as a competitor - our energy 
infrastructure expertise and our stability of supply foremost among them - 
positions the country well to lead and thrive in the sector going forward. But 
to get there we need to aggressively tackle these issues or risk being left 
"What's important today from the Canadian perspective is that the competition 
- the U.S., East Africa, Australia - is moving quickly to seize the Asian 
opportunity, and we need to keep pace," adds Mr. Prentice. "The Americans are 
eager to get into LNG in a big and aggressive way. That could have real 
implications for our ability to do the same. If we're hesitant, if we continue 
to move slowly, we could wake up to discover that our competitive opportunity 
has vanished. For Canada, nothing is more urgent right now than getting in the 
"Now that we see the full scope of what needs to be done, we can't allow 
ourselves to get distracted and take our eyes off what really matters. We must 
move forward with pace and commitment on LNG - understanding that our 
potential partners overseas have other options to meet their appetite for 
energy, and that we are not the only game in town." 
A copy of Mr. Prentice's speech is available at: 
About CIBC 
CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with more than 11 
million personal banking and business clients. CIBC offers a full range of 
products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, 
branches and offices across Canada, and has offices in the United States and 
around the world. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC 
in our Media Centre on our corporate website at

Kevin Dove, Head of External Communications at 
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CO: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
ST: Alberta
-0- Sep/18/2013 20:15 GMT
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