Market Snapshot: Roses are red, natural gas flames are blue, heat rises, and Canadian natural gas production does too

Release date: 2018-02-14

Canadian marketable natural gas production has remained steady in the last few years despite declining natural gas prices since 2014. In 2016 production was 431 million cubic metres per day (106m3/d) or 15.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). By 2040 production is projected to increase 11% to 480 106m3/d (16.9 Bcf/d)Footnote 1 due to rising gas prices and production from new wells outpacing production declines from older wells.

Production from the Montney Formation, a large gas resource extending from northeast British Columbia into northwestern Alberta, has grown significantly over the past five years. Montney tight gas production increased from no production prior to 2006 to almost 128 106m3/d (4.5 Bcf/d) in 2016 – 30% of total Canadian natural gas production. Over the next 25 years the majority of Canadian production growth is projected to come from the Montney, with its production reaching 223 106m3/d (7.9 Bcf/d) in 2040. Production from conventional and coalbed methane natural gas resources – which do not rely on horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing – declines steadily over the projection period.

Source and Description

Source: EF2017 Supplement: Natural Gas Production

Description: This graph breaks down the Reference Case projection for Canadian marketable natural gas production by area and type of gas. Western Canada solution gas is projected to increase from 1.87 Bcf/d in 2016 to 2.41 Bcf/d in 2040. Western Canada Coalbed Methane is projected to decrease from 0.61 Bcf/d in 2016 to 0.07 Bcf/d in 2040. Western Canada conventional is projected to decrease from 3.15 Bcf/d in 2016 to 1.55 Bcf/d in 2040. Rest of Canada conventional production is projected to decrease from 0.19 Bcf/d in 2016 to less than 0.01 Bcf/d by 2040. Alberta Montney tight gas production is projected to increase from 1.25 Bcf/d in 2016 to 2.68 Bcf/d by 2040. British Columbia Montney tight gas production is projected to increase from 3.28 Bcf/d in 2016 to 5.19 Bcf/d in 2040. Alberta Deep Basin tight gas is projected to increase from 3.39 Bcf/d in 2016 to 3.88 Bcf/d in 2040. Other Western Canada tight gas is projected to decrease from 0.95 Bcf/d in 2016 to 0.17 Bcf/d in 2040. Duvernay shale gas is projected to increase from 0.2 Bcf/d in 2016 to 0.84 Bcf/d in 2040. Horn River shale gas is projected to decrease from 0.28 Bcf/d in 2016 to 0.15 Bcf/d in 2040. Other Western Canada shale gas is projected to decrease from 0.06 Bcf/d in 2016 to 0.01 Bcf/d in 2040. Total Canadian natural gas production is projected to increase from 15.23 Bcf/d in 2016 to 16.94 Bcf/d in 2040. The gas price increases from $2.51 per million British Thermal Units (MMBtu) in 2016 to $4.77/MMBtu in 2040 after fluctuating between $2/MMbtu and over $6/MMbtu between 2000 and 2016.

Canada has abundant natural gas resources. With existing technology, the amount of remaining marketable natural gas available to be developed as of the end of 2016 is estimated at 1 225 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) or over 200 years of supply at current production levels. From 2017 to 2040 total production is projected to be 135 Tcf which is just 11% of the potential 1 225 Tcf. See the Board’s latest report on natural gas production for a breakdown of resource by type of gas and area, as well as additional production details.

 

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