Tokyo Gas has announced its intention to acquire additional natural gas assets in the US, Reuters has reported.  

The move from one of the largest natural gas suppliers in Japan comes after the company’s purchase of Texas-based shale gas producer Rockcliff Energy, and a stake in a North American energy marketing and trading company. 

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In December 2023, the Japanese company agreed to buy Rockcliff in a deal valued at $2.7bn (Y421.37bn). 

Additionally, in February 2024, the Japanese firm announced plans to purchase a 49% stake in ARM Energy Trading.  

Tokyo Gas president Shinichi Sasayama said: “We would still consider investing in shale gas assets if we can acquire them at the appropriate price and in a competitive way.  

“But, we are not only looking to upstream assets but also to surrounding areas, such as marketing, trading and storage batteries, so that we could link them together to build the total value chains.” 

Beyond the US, Tokyo Gas is exploring opportunities in Asia, particularly in Vietnam, where it is studying two liquefied natural gas-to-power projects.  

The company aims to commence commercial operations in Quang Ninh and Thai Binh by late 2027 and 2029, respectively.  

However, Sasayama indicated that a final investment decision is not expected before the end of the current fiscal year. 

As a major LNG buyer, Tokyo Gas procures approximately 13 million tonnes of LNG annually from 13 projects across four countries.  

The company is diversifying its procurement sources to enhance flexibility.  

Its energy trading company chief executive Satoshi Tanazawa said: “We are incorporating not only long-term contracts but also term contracts of five- or ten-years, as well as spot purchases. 

“We aim for a flexible structure to respond to any major changes in the business environment.” 

In March this year, MidOcean Energy, backed by EIG, acquired Tokyo Gas’ interests in a portfolio of integrated LNG projects in Australia for $2.1bn in cash.  

The deal, announced in October 2022, included stakes in the Gorgon LNG, Pluto LNG and Queensland Curtis LNG projects operated by Chevron, Woodside and Shell, respectively.