BG Group plc is in "several very advanced discussions" as it looks to buy up Canadian natural gas that it can export to Asia.
BG is among the group of major energy companies with land on the British Columbia coast that can be used to build multi-billion dollar terminals to ship away liquefied natural gas.
Now, BG is looking for gas to fill that potential terminal, which it intends to build at Prince Rupert, and also potentially to partner with a company willing to buy it.
BG is "absolutely looking at all those combinations," Betsy Spomer, the company's senior vice-president of global business development, said in an interview.
"We're looking at lots of different options," she said. "We are having serious discussions. I don't think we'll see anything announced before Q3."
Analysts have pointed to numerous potential acquisition targets or partners for BG, including Painted Pony Petroleum Ltd. and Tourmaline Oil Corp., a gas-weighted company whose stocks have surged recently on takeover speculation.
Larger companies may also have an interest. In an interview earlier this year, Mike Wood, the vice-president of Canadian development for Talisman Energy Inc., referred to BG's search for gas supplies.
"They're looking at how do they participate, maybe, in some upstream stuff," he said.
Suncor Energy Inc. recently referred to the possibility of hitching itself to gas exports.
On its fourth-quarter conference call in early February, chief executive Steve Williams said the company has a "significant material resource" in unconventional gas and is looking at "all of the opportunities then downstream of that."
One of the options, he said is to "forward integrate that to an LNG plant to different markets."