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Japex Considers Seeking Canada LNG Project Finance From JBIC

Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. may seek some project financing for its $10 billion liquefied natural gas project in Canada from Japan Bank for International Cooperation, according to an official from the producer.

Japan’s second-biggest oil and gas explorer, known as Japex, acquired a stake in April this year in the Pacific Northwest Project, which plans to build an LNG plant in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, with a production capacity of 12 million metric tons a year.

“Given our 10 percent equity in the project, our investment could reach 100 billion yen or more,” Koichi Shimomura, who advises the president of Japex’s Americas and Russia project division, said at the World Energy Congress in Daegu, South Korea, today. “As much as 50 percent of the total could be covered with the project finance.”

Japex purchased its stake in Pacific Northwest from Malaysian state-owned Petroliam Nasional Bhd., known as Petronas. It also bought 10 percent of a shale-gas field in the North Montney area of British Columbia in the same month.

Japex and Kuala Lumpur-based Petronas plan to complete a front-end engineering design study in early 2014 and reach a final investment decision by the end of that year, according to Shimomura.

“Our priority is on the Pacific Northwest LNG Project,” he said at a briefing.

Japex is part of a Japanese consortium comprising Inpex Corp., Itochu Corp., and Marubeni Corp. that signed a memorandum of understanding with Russian state-owned Gazprom OAO in June to market in Japan LNG supplies from a project in Vladivostok.

“We are in discussion with Japanese utilities to sell LNG from Vladivostok,” Shimomura said. “No physical works have been started to build the plant.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Yuji Okada in Tokyo at yokada6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net

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