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Border problems brewing for Canadian natural gas?

Published by Steve Coleman on April 11, 2012

Canadian liquid natural gas production fell 5.9 per cent between in January from the same period a year earlier amid new predictions the industry could face the same sort of US backlash that deep-sixed Keystone XL.

US legislators looking at two bills that could directly affect Canadian natural gas exports and seven export applications with the US Department of Energy have the potential to derail natural gas exports to buyers south of the border.

Two bills introduced in the last year would prevent US exploration companies from exporting liquid natural gas produced in the US. The surplus would cut demand for Canadian-produced gas.

Legislators on Capitol Hill lack a certain "political comfort" with energy exports, Steve Crookshank, a senior economist at the American Petroleum Institute said in an interview with Alberta Oil magazine.

Statistics Canada says marketable natural gas production fell 5.9 per cent in January to 13.4 billion cubic metres. While domestic sales increased three per cent, export levels dropped 18.6 per cent.

At the same time, domestic crude oil production increased 8.4 per cent to 15.9 million cubic metres. Crude oil exports were up 16.5 per cent.

From December to January, domestic production of crude oil and equivalent hydrocarbons fell one per cent, while marketable production of natural gas fell 2.7 per cent.

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