Russian LNG behemoth coming to B.C. in 2015

Gazprom is coming to British Columbia. 

Not to buy liquefied natural gas — Premier Christy Clark’s much-ballyhooed elixir for the future of the debt-laden province — but instead to sponsor the biggest sport final in Canada since the 2010 Winter Olympics’ men’s hockey gold medal match.

GazpromOn Sept. 14 in the Winter Olympic city of Sochi, as Russian president Vladimir Putin looked-on, the world’s biggest LNG company inked a deal to become the official oil, gas and fuel sponsor of FIFA, soccer’s world governing body. 
The agreement runs 2015 to 2018 and is connected to Russia’s hosting of the 2018 World Cup
The 2015 Women’s World Cup, FIFA’s second-biggest tournament, is coming to Canada June 6 to July 5, 2015. The championship final will be played at B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver

That means Gazprom’s logo will be seen on the pitch-level advertising boards and executives of Russia’s largest corporation will have the opportunity to enjoy a level 3 hospitality suite. The 2015 Women’s World Cup will be the biggest yet, with 24 nations represented, and matches in six Canadian cities. 

Tournament logoGazprom claims 18% of the world’s natural gas reserves and to be the producer of 14% of the world’s LNG. Gazprom was once poised to export Russian LNG to the U.S., but the advent of fracking meant the U.S. didn’t need it. The Kremlin-backed company has staked its future on a pipeline to China. Gazprom signed an agreement to supply China National Petroleum Corporation on Sept. 5 at the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg. Witnesses included Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping. Gazprom is also in talks to export Russian LNG to South Korea and Japan.

Clark will lead another trade junket to China, Japan and South Korea to flog B.C. LNG from Nov. 21-Dec. 3. (Academic research shows trade missions don’t actually increase trade, but that’s another story for another day.)

What happens to the investment of both private and public money in B.C. to develop an LNG industry if Gazprom meets China’s needs and if the Chinese find ample reserves of their own? What happens if Gazprom also finds buyers in South Korea and Japan? 

The word “shutout” comes to mind.
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