Guest Post: The Race for Energy Resources Just Got Hotter

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Marin Katusa of Casey Research

The Race for Energy Resources Just Got Hotter

Malaysia's state-owned oil and gas company just made a multibillion-dollar bet that Canada will choose to export its shale gas riches. Even though the odds of securing permission to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Canadian west coast are still pretty poor, the costs of such an endeavor immense, and the timeline in question very long, Petronas is putting $5.5 billion on the table – far more than it has ever spent on an acquisition before – to secure a large foothold in the British Columbia shale gas scene.

It's yet another sign that things are getting serious in the global race for resources.

The race for resources drives much of our thinking within the Casey Research energy group. It's more than a common theme – we believe that it is one of the strongest forces at work in our world today, and that it plays a role in determining the tone of many international relationships and domestic policies. Countries that have resources, from Russia to Australia, are altering fiscal structures and ownership rules so as to glean as much benefit as possible from their riches, while still reserving sufficient supplies to fuel their futures. Countries that lack natural-resource wealth, such as Japan and South Korea, are racing to lock up projects and partnerships abroad that can supply their future resource needs.

And a race it is, because they are not alone. There are few countries in this world with natural supplies of all the energy commodities they need – Australia, Russia, and Canada are among the few that do – and everyone else has to constantly wheel and deal to secure imports. Now the easy deposits of many energy resources are disappearing, but global demand continues to rise. The result: stiffer competition.

Petronas' deal is a perfect example. Petronas is buying Calgary-based Progress Energy Resources (T.PRQ) for C$4.8 billion in cash. Including convertible debt the deal is valued at about C$5.5 billion. In announcing the deal, Petronas also said it has chosen Prince Rupert, BC, as the home of its planned LNG export terminal.

So the company is spending billions of dollars to acquire 1.9 trillion cubic feet of proven and probable gas reserves… but there is no guarantee that they will be able to export any of that gas in the foreseeable future.

Pipelines have become a highly contentious issue in North America – just as US citizens are embroiled in a debate over the Keystone XL pipeline which would transport oil sands crude south, Canadians are arguing the merits and liabilities of the Northern Gateway pipeline, which would move oil sands crude to the west coast for transport to Asia. One of the big arguments against Northern Gateway is the danger of sending tanker traffic through the coastal waters of northern BC, where an oil spill would be near impossible to clean and would irreparably damage a pristine ecosystem.

The same arguments will surface with natural gas. The LNG terminal that Petronas envisions in Prince Rupert would send loaded tankers through those same sensitive waters, an idea that is far from accepted in the region at this point. The pipelines ferrying natural gas to that terminal would cross mountainous terrain burdened with heavy winter snowpack and dramatic summer melts that regularly cause hillsides to slide and rivers to swell their banks and take out bridges – all points that opponents will use to argue that the potential risks outweigh the benefits.

In short: Petronas and its peers face a steep, uphill battle in their quest to permit pipelines and LNG terminals on the west coast. But as we wrote last week, the potential for big profits will also play a role.

Remember, natural gas in its gaseous state is a landlocked commodity. Its low energy-to-volume ratio renders it uneconomic to ship, which means pipelines are the only option. To move natural gas over oceans it has to be condensed into LNG, increasing the energy-to-volume ratio dramatically and making it economic to load onto tankers and send around the world.

Many major global economies rely on LNG to meet their natural gas needs; and demand is on the rise. In 2011, global LNG trade grew by 9.4% compared to 2010, with Asia generating most of the demand increase. Japan is the world's top LNG importer, having bought 79.1 million tonnes in 2011; South Korea is in second place with imports near 36 million tonnes. India, China, and Taiwan are all also major LNG buyers, helping to lift Asia into top spot as a regional LNG import market: Asian LNG buyers accounted for 63.6% of the global market in 2011.

That level of demand from a part of the world fairly short on supply means high prices. LNG in Asia is currently worth between $17 and $18 per million British Thermal Units (MMBtu) – six to seven times the price of natural gas in North America.

That price difference is precisely why Petronas is maneuvering to buy reserves in North America. The gamble is simply worth its while – if Petronas is able to build pipelines and an LNG terminal on the west coast, the company will be able to take a commodity worth a few dollars here and sell it for many times more in Asia.

The lure of that payout has drawn many players to this expensive, drawn out, and highly uncertain game. With this deal, Petronas joins a growing list of international energy companies including PetroChina, Mitsubishi, and CNOOC that are spending billions on remote natural gas plays in Alberta and BC, all of which share the same dream of selling the gas in Asian markets.

While these Asian energy giants take on the risk, Canadian gas explorers pretty much get to just enjoy the benefits. Depressed North American gas prices have brought most gas explorers to a standstill – investors and banks alike are not interested in funding projects where the cost of production is almost the same as the value of the product. But being bought out or finding a partner with deep pockets is a perfect solution. As Progress' CEO said, "Our asset base requires extensive capital to develop its large potential and ultimately access international LNG markets. Petronas offers the size and scale that will enable our company to continue to grow and not be limited by the same cash flow challenges faced by many producers in the North American natural gas market today."

Since Canada's gas explorers are stuck in neutral, you might think that Asian energy firms would be making minimal offers, trying to acquire these resources on the cheap. Instead, Petronas offered C$22.45 a share for Progress, 77% more than Progress' closing price the previous day. Are they trying to earn goodwill with Canadians? Perhaps, but there's a more likely explanation for their generosity: pressure from behind. If they made a stink bid and Progress voiced displeasure, the dispute could draw attention from Petronas' peers, which are also on the lookout for good natural gas deals. One of these peers might then swoop in and make a better offer, leaving Petronas empty-handed.

This is the impact of the race for resources. These Asian energy giants are racing with each other to secure resources for the future. The constant pressure to stay ahead in the race means companies will offer whatever it takes to secure a deal quickly, before anyone else trips up their efforts.

Shale gas riches have positioned North Americans as beneficiaries in the global race to secure natural gas supplies. However, complacency is a dangerous thing. Just because North America has gas doesn't mean it has all of the energy resources it needs for the future. President Obama's recent executive order on Russian uranium was a reminder that the US relies on imports to feed its nuclear reactors, and with the Megatons deal coming to an end, the United States is being thrust into the global race for uranium just as that race is heating up.

Scarcity is a powerful force and it leaves those in control of limited resources wielding great power. We think a scarcity of uranium will increase Russia's power; control over some of the last big, easy oil deposits has earned Saudi Arabia great global influence. Petronas' deal with Progress is a sign that shale gas could generate similar prowess for North America, and is a strong reminder that the global race for resources will provide some with money and power while leaving others in the dust.

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silvermaister's picture

Buy SILVER !!!!!!!!

MillionDollarBoner_'s picture

too late...Sprott just bought it all ;o)

silvermaister's picture

There is still some physical Silver around, but not much so HURRY

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Good luck with that LNG port in BC.  You might be able to bribe all of Prince Rupert with promises of jobs and pay outs, but the rest of the province will kibosh it.  Its a rocky coast, and until they can convince us they can actually PREVENT spills AND clean them up in a worst case scenario it just AIN'T happening.  We smoke some good stuff up here, but it ain't THAT good!

Matt's picture

An LNG spill is nothing like a crude oil spill. The LNG will just turn into NG and float away on the wind. Fire hazard, for sure, but nothing like an Exxon Valdez incident.

Also, not certain, but I suspect Prince Rupert is a much better port than Kitimat, since the terminal could be built right on the ocean, without having to navigate through any fjords. 

LFMayor's picture

+1.  Never use a Greenpeace pamphlet for technical or chemistry footnote sources.

Popo's picture

The Canucks should take the money and run.  Shale gas is an absolutely awful investment.   $1 in $1 out.  And every equation to the contrary is so heavily doctored it's meaningless.

The only scenario under which this investment pans out is a massive (massive!) war in the Mideast.  Oh ... wait a minute ...



prains's picture

The article didn't mention Enbridge just got their shit handed to them after their lastest spill into the Kalamazoo meaning there will be a greater deal of skepticism about them being able to run a pipline to the west coast the malay's should have waited

Cadavre's picture

Aren't these the same enegy scarcity fears the repugs have been sharting to sanction genocide, with "not to be excluded" partners in treason and graft,  the podeophileic-phalanx-less-genocidiacs self grope & tug social club, or demoncraps, have been using for Al Gore-za-Bore perfectly timed to the solar cycle carbon tax ponzi- and then - when he couldn't deliver the pig `n a poke to the banker toads, had hisself and daughter excommunicated, by decree of divorce from the Schiff family (what kine-a girl did dat man raise - imagine tugging a Schiff wiener ...).

This article is unadulterated talking point bull shit written for an audience with fifth grade reading skills.

We''re in an energy f*cking glut - have been for decades.

First the cover picture for the article, Either is, or a near `nuff facsimile, of the same BS "you're a UFO sucking moron if you believe in cold fusion". A note for history buffs, Steve Jones, the very same guy that demonstrated mil speced nanothermite in the WTC dust and stood his ground on Fox CNN an others, well he was also one of the "cold fusion" detractors. Chemical reactions are not quantum effects - but anyway - the MIB and BIGOIL and BIGNUKES trotskydytes  pitched the "cold fusion is bull sh*t" during the last few decades of the big dumbdown, we all set it aside - we were too smart to get taken in by a pair of UK sissy academcs and their cold-fusion balony. The dream of a brief case that will safe power a home. Looks folks - if it threatens the central power grid tug boys - then it has got to be lost. Sh*t, got a white elephant gift once - it was a box with a scientific kit called "Cold Confusion". Remember the nano "antennas" IR "just spray on the roof" solar collector developed in Canada that was 8x more efficient than the standard photon solar technology - what happened.

They need time to figure how to centralize as a service products that were designed for distributed applications.

ANYWAY: As it turns, Japanese have been working on the "cold fusion" process almost since it became public. And the US's very own department of energy has applied for cold fusion patents (PDF).

That takes care of the "if you don't beleive me your a moron" for the article's cover. Now for content ...

First the fear shag hook:

It's yet another sign that things are getting serious in the global race for resources.

It wouldn't have the same dramatic effect with the impending doom insertion of the word "yet" in this fuck pretense sentence!

Now we scared. So how many zillions more do we need to spend to kill zillions more to win dis here race?

Now, for a testimonial ...

... we believe that it is one of the strongest forces at work in our world today ..

Like he wishes. The bullsh*t over the top zealousness to protect, continue and enhance the War Usury's energy inflation story-up pricing ponzi is one of the strongest forces in the world today.

And a race it is

I guess this "guessing" aurthor guy is Casey's Custom Pig `n a Poke Shtick paly by play color master of ceremonies.

Then "guessing" author used old school news speak so he could burn several syllables to say more of "nothing" ...

Pipelines have become a highly contentious issue in North America

He's right. With all the US energy sanctions in place - the wars - the scams (like restocking the domestic strategic supply when the market is at it's peak). To keep the ROBO gas hig means more sanctions more wars and more pipelines for US refiners to export more than the + 50% of gasoline they already send overseas (in the middle of an energy glut and drop in demand, mind you), means more pipelines until price succumbs to the reality of value.

Some polite xenophobia as cherry on top ...

This is the impact of the race for resources. These Asian energy giants are racing with each other to secure resources for the future.

Yeah - them Asians want nothing more than to fondle some thick thighed plas-ticked eyelash-ed shabby shiek WalMart elite in Dead Zone USA - there's an Asian under every bed wanting to pork uncle Tony's fat wife because they hate us for our freedom - the race is on - yahooo!

OMG ...

However, complacency is a dangerous thing.

For the ziod-customer's this author sells "shopped research" to, complacency is the fools belief this re-rolled 3rd grade talking point shill paste together is some kine of "assurance" or "protection", complacency can be lethal. Ask Mussolini ghost about getting complacent.

Refreshing to refresh on a little lame stream pablum once in a while.

mr1963's picture

There's tons of it by me, all at spot. Don't know where you shop, I can walk into 10 different places and buy $10000 worth at each one.

Overfed's picture

Not all of it. I just added to the stack today. ;-)

Ahmeexnal's picture

Yep, and go long H2O2.

Secret NASA X37 spacecraft has been running over a year on hydrogen peroxide propellant.



gorillaonyourback's picture

its either disinformation or not a secret

Flakmeister's picture

Check out some of the propellants the Nazi's used....

Peroxide powered V-1s.....

Dr. Richard Head's picture
Recent developments at the Keshe Foundation could change much of the battle for energy - or this is all a rouse.
  1. The world peace invitation and release of technology? – Keshe Foundation
    Pipe Dream? Disinformation? Who knows?
    As your Excellencies have been aware, we invited representatives of every country to the first presentation of our technology on 21 April 2012. The ambassadors of some nations attended this meeting and others chose to ignore the call, due to pressure from other nations, and decided not to attend or withdrew at the last moment.
  3. With this second invitation we directly and unequivocally invite the leaders of your nation to appoint qualified individuals who can take part in the upcoming meeting at the Foundation on 6 September on behalf of their governments.
  4. The reasons for this invitation and the meeting are as follows:
  5. 1.On 21 September 2012 the Keshe Foundation will release the first phase of its space technology and the gravitational and magnetic (Magravs) systems it has developed, to all scientists around the world simultaneously, for production and duplication.
  6. From that point on, international borders will cease to have any real significance. This is because, once the first flight system has been built and put into operation for the public, the time of travel for example from Tehran to New York will be about 10 minutes maximum.
  7. The new airborne systems will enable every individual to make the same length of journey in the same time and at hardly any cost from any point on this planet. The craft will not be detectable with present radar technology.
  8. 2.The energy crisis will be resolved at a stroke, and once the technology is put into practice the powers that control energy supplies and through them the present financial structures will find their hands empty.
  9. 3.The world water shortage will be addressed and resolved by presenting this technology to the public soon after the release of our energy and space technology.
LFMayor's picture

The He-She foundation?   I dunno man, I would consider passing on that conference, especially if it's being held at Pleasure Island or Sandals resorts.

Citxmech's picture

Lemme guess - there's a charge to RSVP and be first in line to invest in this great opportunity - payable to a bank in Nigeria of course. . .

Tehran to NY in 10 minutes?  Seriously?


Dr. Richard Head's picture

Actually the technology is touted to given away for free. I don't know though. Just passing it along.

Unique Snowflake's picture

What, so not one single person saw the big glossy bold introduction from Phaque Orf TV......Fuck off TV....get it? It's a massive yank of your chain.

Cosimo de Medici's picture

Is this the symposium where ORI is the keynote speaker?  Just my luck there's probably not any tickets left.

I also heard the Keshe Foundation has developed really really really long handled Swiffers that wipe away chemtrails and leave no unsightly residue behind.

Machination's picture

Keshe Foundation is either 1) a total quack/whack job or 2) joke/hoax or 3) scam 

If you actually read some of the technical pages it is complete bologna.  The other content and claims are comical at minimum, and garbage the rest.  

Machination's picture

You know, sometimes a gem of stupidity comes along that is just too fun to continue researching and laughing about.  Keshe is one of these.  Here is a post I found from 2009:

Dear Mr Sanmugathasan

You can pay through bank transfer, the cost of book and delivery will be about 45 euros. If you do so please let me know. You have to make sure that we receive 45 euros or use the western union payment, let me know which way is convent for you.

If you would like to know more about the contents of the book, please refer to youtub section of the KesheFoundation in the links given below. Please view these videos from the No 1 to the No 5, as the explanations in these short movies are interconnected.

In the next few days we will announce the first lift and flight presentation of the system for public. These presentations will be held in one city in each continent over 5 month.

The First Presentation: you can attend the first Magnetic and gravitational field force (Magravs) lift demonstration of these systems and may be you would be able to participate in these presentations personally.

The first "Bright light in the sky"presentation for the lift and the flight capability of these systems will be held somewhere in Asia on 21.3. 2010. Number of seats for each presentation will be about 10 000 seats per city.

Early next week (the week of 20.7.2009) details in respect to five presentation in five continents will be released on the site and all conditions which applies to these presentations and lifts will be explained.

The First Flight : The initial charges and booking for 10 hours of flight in space and for the booking for the first space lift by public through Keshe Foundation before December 2014 will be announced next week.

The cost for these flights will be 19000 (nineteen thousand) euros per person, this will include 9 hours of flight at about 60km distance from the surface of the Earth.

There will be additional charges to experience the weightlessness condition in these space trips. The number of seats available for the first year will about 5000 seats (announcements about these will be given on theKeshe Foundation

The First Flight to the Moon: We will announce for landing on the Moon by December of 2016, for round trip at the cost of 50 000 euros per person. There will be no disembarkations in these early flights. Number of seats available for the first year about 1000 seats (announcements about these will be given on the KesheFoundation

There will be no need for space training, as the condition within these flight systems will be atmospheric condition as the present days jetliner flight conditions.

I hope you enjoy the new science and may be you can bring this new knowledge to new generations.

Yours faithfully
M T Keshe
on behalf of the Keshe foundation

Marginal Call's picture


"This engine used ammonia and liquid oxygen for propellant and hydrogen peroxide to drive the high-speed turbopump that delivered fuel to the engine"

LFMayor's picture

aye, the russky's too, with peroxide/kerosene or nitric acid/kerosene systems. Touchy shit, both to just plain store and then load into a weapon system that pulls how many G's on ingnition?.    Makes for some epic film on History Channel.     

I heard that they run that top secret Aurora on this new top secret axial steam turbine tecnology, too. 
(that last was /sarc for all you conspiracy nuts).

BigInJapan's picture

Not such a secret now, is it?

sjamesje's picture

I would LOVE to buy silver!  But the CFTC just shut down PFG (who my broker used) and confiscated my silver options, as well as the money within my account!  So I can't do jack squat!!!

Buck Johnson's picture

Your totally correct, I think people should be buying silver and now.  Because the economies of the world are slowing and that is from manipulated data so it must be alot worse.  And once the EU implodes it will take the US with it.

ZerOhead's picture

Ironic isn't it?

The Canadian government (free trading globalists that they are) got rid of it's own state interests in the Canadian oil/gas sector saying that governments have no place in owning national energy resources on behalf of the citizens, only private corporations.  Now we see the Royal Harper Government pitching these same resources to first the Chinese (Sinopec) and now Malasian state owned companies.

What gives?

ParkAveFlasher's picture

I say bully for Canada. The only pipelines Washington supports pump liquified bullshit. 

ZerOhead's picture

But if the Canadian government is assisting a communist superpower enemy of the United States (China) and a totalitarian dictatorial regime (Malaysia) to achieve access to North American energy... I mean doesn't that make Canada a potential enemy of the United States like Iran?

Overfed's picture

Don't worry, O'bomb-a has plenty of drones for our Canadian friends. :-)

Matt's picture

So, if America won't allow the pipelines for us to sell to them, we are supposed to just not sell at all?

Pure Evil's picture

You just don't get it. Until your state, city, town, or neighborhood looks like Detroit, Obomb-a won't be happy.

FeralSerf's picture

It's in the fine print of the North American Free Trade Agreement.  You didn't really believe that "Free Trade" shit, did you?

CrimsonAvenger's picture

Next thing you know they'll want us to release Terrance and Phillip -

We should bomb them just to be on the safe side.

Marginal Call's picture

No, Canada takes their moeny.  Then the shit hits the fan and we tell Canada to shut it down.  Now we have their money and their gas and they are welcome to try coming and getting it.  

Pure Evil's picture

A la, Corzine, PFG and MFG. Nice!

falak pema's picture

gee that smells of blatant american citizenism. R u sure you are ZH minded folks who hate imperial play and vote Ron Pauuuuul?

Canada does what it does as new land of free and new home of  brave.

On the issue of lost american heritage which was discussed here on ZH, here is a good movie on the issue of western minded, texas branded, individual values and fenced in encroachment by big city, eastern dude civilization:

 Seuls sont les indomptés (1962) - IMDb   "Lonely are the brave", with Gena Rowlands and Kirk D. Awesome.

rete's picture

...and you quote the Star...the closest thing approximating the former USSR's Pravda in the (we are told) "free world". The Star has not seen a venture it does not believe government or it's snivel servants would be better at than private industry.

BigInJapan's picture

Take the money now.
When SHTF, nationalize it and kick the ferrners oot.
Harper does not equal Mulroonry/Chretien.

Temporalist's picture

Scarcest resource: Honest politicians

krispkritter's picture

So we can melt them into bars and bury them in the backyard? Please say yes...

surf0766's picture

We said no thanks

LawsofPhysics's picture

Lots of opportunity in this space, but corporations will still be about one thing and one thing only, profits.  If the capital and resource investment is too high relative to capital and energetic returns, the technology is dead, period.  Invest wisely.

MillionDollarBoner_'s picture

"corporations will still be about one thing and one thing only, profits."

What should corporations be about, then? hugs? Kisses? Unicorns?

LawsofPhysics's picture

The point is to do your homework and evaluate the full balance sheet of the corporation.  This is a financial site moron, just in case you missed it.

Let, me guess, you probably also favor the continued socialization of private losses by companies the get fucking bailouts from the taxpayer.

SmackDaddy's picture

The Republicans just want to drill, drill, drill.  But we call those reserves 'strategic' for a reason.  Strategic as in when the fucking towel heads run out, we still have a little left.  Canada apparently, like the Republicans, need to wise the fuck up. 

Oil and coal make this economy go 'round.  And the American miliary is the grease on the wheel.